As these illustations show, the curiously named Spud, Pea Shooter and Ruby feature a monoshock chassis with what appears to be a monocoque alloy swingarm and a steel frame with a curved single-tube backbone. The Roarer's rigid frame differs mightily from its Mac stablemates, but major components on all four bikes--forks, engine, hand controls, brakes, drivetrain and rolling stock--seem culled from the same tooling and vendors. As manufacturing synergies go, Mac's four-bikes-from-two-chassis concept rivals the modern bicycle industry for parts-bin engineering.
A Blast from the Past
How different would Harley's customer demographic be today if Motor Company designers had followed a similar vision for their much-maligned single-cylinder street bike, the quixotic Buell Blast? In the real world, light, nimble and quick single-cylinder motorcycles make perfect sense: see Yamaha's SR500, Honda's XL650, BMW's G-series or any number of Buell-powered race bikes on modern dirt tracks for proof. Ruby and Roarer--my personal Mac favorites--embody every essential element of a great motorcycle, and do so without heavy-handed styling or expensive over-contenting. Truth be told, Mac's greatest achievement might be the way they've captured the spirit of so many different motorcycle genres with so few different components. This slavish dedication to the economy of scale should subtract hansomely on each unit's bottom line. If Mac motorcycles ever see the light of day on dealer showrooms, let's hope their spartan spec sheets are accompanied by a similarly lean price tag.
Green Means Go
Mac principals mince no words when asking for money, and in today's economy, who can blame them? Big dreams require big commitment, and making a small fortune in the motorcycle business almost always requires starting with a large one. These gas-sipping, NHTSA-approved street haulers would look great parked outside any rockabilly barbershop in America. If Mac can put a stripped-down Spud on the market for six grand, I'd PayPal them tomorrow. When I compare the specifications, powerplant and metalurgical composition of Mr. Pitt's wild ride to a modern four-stroke MX machine, six large seems reasonable. Any takers?