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It is no secret that modern CAD and manufacturing techniques have allowed smaller shops to do wondrous things. You can go back a few years and see Kenny Roberts competing with the big boys in MotoGP out of a very small shop, prototyping, developing, building and ultimately racing sophisticated motorcycles at the highest level. But what does this mean for manufacturing in the real world . . . including street legal machines available to the public?

Leaving aside for the moment emissions issues and other government regulatory costs associated with putting a bike on the road, sort of like Bimota has done for decades, smaller manufacturers can be expected to develop chassis that house engines created by larger manufacturers, or even engines created by specialty shops (such as Sweden’s Highland Motors).

Although most of us still cannot afford our own computer controlled CNC machines, and build motorcycles from scratch in our garage, many smaller manufacturers can, and will build motorcycles with the new technology now available at rather remarkably low costs. These small manufacturers will not challenge the big ones. At least, not initially. But fresh ideas, patentable, and otherwise, can be expected to come out of these efforts. If you would like a taste of some of the technology that is out there, take a look at this video of Jay Leno demonstrating a relatively inexpensive parts prototyper/manufacturer.