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Composition of magazine sketches from 1999.
"Artist's impression" commissioned by Motor Cycle News (UK) in 2004 after reports that British sportscar manufacturer TVR could be looking to produce motorcycles (by coincidence, I was once in charge of design at TVR - my first job after graduating in 1981). Styling cues were taken from the TVR Sagaris and general in-house design features. This was one of the last magazine illustrations produced due to widespread theft, which meant more time was spent chasing down the perpetrators with legal threats than producing the actual artwork.
A naked bike was also part of the MCN commission.
Yamaha FZX 1000 "artist's impression" commissioned by Moto Revue magazine in 2003. This was Yamaha's answer to a full-bore, naked R1.
Cut-away drawing of a fictitious 2-stroke engine inside a fictitious Yamaha TZR750, published in MCN in 1996. The "Yamaha" lettering was done with Letraset, and the rest by hand, on a single sheet of A3-size marker paper. This was before you could just press "undo" if you screwed things up when you were nearly finished.
Something different - action sketch done for Motor Cycle News (UK) back in 1994, guessing what the then-rumoured BMW 650 G/S might look like. All marker and pencil.
'Artist's impression' of the replacement for the MV Agusta F4, which still continues pretty much unchanged ten years after this sketch was made for MCN (UK). Much copied by students - I've seen this same sketch appear in different forms in several portfolios. This one also marked a transition from hand-drawn sketches, being the last sketch done entirely on paper with the old manual airbrush. The only exception was the lettering, which was applied via Photoshop after scanning. This was fine until an art collector wanted to buy the original, and I had to try to recreate the same graphics with a two-hair paintbrush and a magnifying glass.
More old magazine sketches. This vision of a future air-head Harley was completed for Cycle World (US) in 1998, and also appeared in Tod Rafferty's centennial book on Harley-Davidson.
Illustration for a new H-D Sportster, commissioned by Cafe Racer magazine, France. The magazine went bankrupt the following week and never paid for the bloody thing, although it continued seamlessly under new ownership as if nothing happened. So, if you want to order stuff without ever having to pay for it, and to rid yourself of all your debt in an instant, it seems all you have to do is declare bankruptcy. One week of my life for nothing.
A sketch of the Hornet 1100, which the journalists thought would be similar to the 600, only with twin cans and a half-fairing.
Here's my take on how I thought the Benelli Tornado might look ahead of its launch. Information was variable from the magazines, from detailed technical information to "no idea - just make it up". There was usually very little info about the styling. The sketches were intended as a caricature of typical features from a particular manufacturer to illustrate the story. An actual design proposal for the same manufacturer would have been very different. This one is from MCN (UK). The technical spec was spot on, but there was nothing to go on for the styling. Needless to say, Adrian Morton's actual design was infinitely better.
An 850cc version of the Africa Twin following information from Motor Cycle News - which of course became the Varadero in reality.
Bimota SB8 SR. Prior to the bike's launch, information indicated the new Bimota was to be powered by Suzuki's TL 1000 engine, and suggested an oval-section multi-tube frame, similat to that used on the BB-1 Supermono.
Suzuki 400 DRX - a four-stroke dirt-bike, to compete with Yamaha's YZ 400F.
(February 1998)
Ducati "Monduro"

Another model in the rumoured range of single-cylinder street-bikes based on the Supermono racer, this illustration showed how a Funduro-competitor from the Bolognese factory could look. (April 1997)
Kawasaki ZZR 1200
This hi-tech sports tourer was again inspired by Kawasaki France, and featured single-sided front suspension, similar to Yamaha's GTS. In reality, the 1200cc bike became the sportier ZX-12, while the spiritual successor to this sketch morphed into the ZZR1400.
Here's an early "artist's impression" of the next-gen Bandit from Motor Cycle News back in 1994. Mostly marker with a little soft pencil and a few splodges of guache, there was only one airbrush mask to give a little depth to the black. (October 1994)
Honda Blackbird "Ram-air". An up-rated version of the Blackbird, this model was to be visually similar with subtle styling changes to allow additional intakes for the "ram-air" system.
(December 1996)
Honda CBR900 RR "Ram-air"
Rumoured to be under development for the following model-year, the up-dated Fireblade was expected to retain much of the previous model's mechanical and body parts, but was to feature a "ram-air" intake system.
(December 1996)
Perspective view of the same bike.
Bimota SB-9 R (January 1999)
Bimota was expected to make use of the Suzuki Hayabusa's immensely powerful 1300cc four-cylinder engine, tuned for even greater power, to produce the world's ultimate exclusive superbike.
Honda CBR 1000 RR FireBlade
Working from an engineering drawing leaked from one of Honda's suppliers, this sketch shows one interpretation of how the 2000 model-year FireBlade could have looked.
(March 1999)
Big heavyweight tourers are not really my scene, but you've got to draw what people pay you for. Kawasaki was thought to be developing a rival model to Honda's Gold Wing using a development of the ZX-12 engine. In the end, the Concours 14/1400GTR turned out to be more sporty, but MCN (UK) who commissioned the sketch wanted a full dress tourer. Even so, I tried to find some typical 1990's Kawasaki features to set this bike apart from the 'Wing.
Trying to double-guess the replacement Gold Wing. I went with some of the styling features from the X-Wing show bike, which turned out to be wrong. Still, the sketch was popular enough to be stolen a few times.
One of the earlier magazine sketches, guessing the next GSX-R 750 back in July 1994.
This sketch tries to predict the 2000 model Ninja ZX9R. It was all still marker and airbrush, although the lettering here was retouched on Photoshop at a later date.
Aprilia V-Mille Roadster
Naked Roadster based on the 1000 V-Mille sports bike but with all-new body parts, to compete with the Cagiva Raptor and Ducati Monster.
(June 1999)
Aprilia Pegaso Mille (December 1999)
Finally revealed at the Munich Intermot as the "Caponord", this guess at how the big Aprilia trailie might look wasn't too far off the mark, although the triple headlamps used on other V-twin Aprilias didn't make an appearance.
Honda VTR 1000 S Firestorm
After a gap of over two years where no "artist's impressions" were produced, a trio of Hondas was commissioned by the French magazine "Moto Revue", predicting models that were expected to appear at the Paris and Milan shows later that year. The long-running VTR 1000 was the first model expected to get a revamp, although to date, no new Firestorm has appeared.
(May 2003)
More magazine sketches from the 'drawn by hand' era. This Harley 'Supertracker' design predated the production XS, although MCN's information that the bike would use a smaller version of the V-Rod's water-cooled powerplant proved to be misguided.
Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Commissioned by the French magazine "Moto Revue", the rumoured big GSX-R was probably going to look identical to the smaller 750 as has been Suzuki's trademark for many years. However, to justify four days of work in producing the illustration, I allowed the liberty of modifying the front air intakes and rear seat hump, whilst retaining the body shut lines to match the existing panels. But sure enough, the final thing was pretty identical to the 750.
(June 2000)
This is the 600cc version of the GSX-R, completed right after the profile sketch of the 1000. The bigger bike was drawn directly on the computer, but for this one I went back to paper. Paradoxically, there's something about the imperfections in a hand-drawn sketch that makes them look more tangible than when it's all drawn via a graphics tablet. Same with airbrush, which is why I did as much as possible with pen, pencil and marker, and just used the airbrush to create the larger gradated surfaces
It was around 20 years ago that I took a bunch of long-dead motorcycle brands, and redesigned them to look up-to-date (well, for 1992). Funny how many came true.
Another collage from the "Back to the Future" series produced in 1991-2. There were six German models in total, the sketches being first published in 'Motorrad' magazine. Although the cutaway drawing took 6 weeks to produce, the NSU Sportma...x (bottom left) was omitted for some reason. The design was entirely fictitious, and featured a narrow-vee engine, with three camshafts, the middle one working both intake and exhaust valves. Then last year, Horex reappeared (another famous long-dead German brand), with - you've guessed it - a narrow-vee engine, with three camshafts, the middle one working both intake and exhaust valves. And one of the company's technical advisers? A journalist who was working for Motorrad magazine at the time of my article. Coincidence?
With its radial engine integral with the front wheel, the 1922 Megola presented the ultimate design challenge for a modern interpretation. Here was my answer as part of the 'Back to the future" series 20 years ago.
How it all works. A few days labour with black pen and sheets of Letraset film - a medium I have NEVER used since.
It's been a while since this sketch saw the light of day. Laverda 750 SR for Motor Cycle News (UK) from July 1997.
Okay. VERY old sketch of a revamped Jota. Nearly 20 years old!
Then the 'Ghost', which Motor Cycle News commissioned with a v-twin engine. In the end, it turned out to be a parallel twin, but the rest of the information was pretty close.
And finally back to a triple - the best kind of Laverda. Pity it never came into being.
More oldies. Guessing the next Triumph Sprint for Motor Cycle News in 1996 - which back then meant taking John Mockett's usual amoebous forms and tightening them up just a tad.
A selection of 'artist's impressions' commissioned by motorcycle magazines in 1997.
A selection of 'artist's impressions' commissioned by motorcycle magazines in 1998.
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Magazine Sketches 1990-2005

'Artist's Impressions' - sketches completed for motorcycle magazines showing future models before photos were available. Most of these were completed by hand (airbrush, marker, pencil, gouache), although the later ones were retouched on Photoshop. By 2003, I transitioned to drawing entirely on the computer, although the process of masking and airbrushing is still similar. The computer actually takes me longer, because I can go into greater detail. The advantages are that it's less messy, and with a real airbrush, you can't hit 'undo'.

Comments (21)
  • Excellent rendering and detailing Glynn

    6 years ago

  • amazing~!

    8 years ago

  • Thats nice detailing... that too hand rendering unbeliveable... hats off to you Sir...

    9 years ago

  • wooooa!!!! amazing this would be an AMAZING (crazy) motorbike!... it really catch the TVR spirit... I WANT IT!!!

    9 years ago

  • This is one of my favourites with out any doubt

    9 years ago

  • nice work!

    9 years ago

  • perfect detailing!

    9 years ago

  • This is fantastic, Glynn!

    9 years ago

  • Old school stuff - nobody does this by hand any more. Things have moved on, and rightly so.

    9 years ago

  • A stunning portfolio that I enjoyed very much! ..Love the Benelli!!

    9 years ago

  • I remember when these first blades came out. Today they look like ''whale bulky'', back then they were top of the game. the R1 s & Gsxr hurt their market quite deeply

    9 years ago

  • Superb

    9 years ago

  • crazy !

    9 years ago

  • That is one awesome sketch!

    9 years ago

  • fantastic composition. so tired of seeing people out here mess around with digital tools and forget the basics of great design. you nailed it! super!!

    9 years ago

  • this is great...

    9 years ago

  • Thumbs up!

    9 years ago

  • great job man.

    9 years ago

  • Great work!!!

    9 years ago

  • Thank you all for the compliments. I'm very surprised this particular sketch has generated so much interest - I have never thought it one of my best. Still, this one is 100% hand drawn, graphics and all. Can anyone figure out how the 'carbon look' on the mudguard and swingarm was done?

    9 years ago

  • I wonder how long did you need to make one of this amazing illustrations. (about the "carbon look"... maybe painting through some net?) ;)

    9 years ago

  • This is one of my favourites with out any doubt

    9 years ago

  • wooooa!!!! amazing this would be an AMAZING (crazy) motorbike!... it really catch the TVR spirit... I WANT IT!!!

    9 years ago

  • Thats nice detailing... that too hand rendering unbeliveable... hats off to you Sir...

    9 years ago

  • amazing~!

    8 years ago

  • Excellent rendering and detailing Glynn

    6 years ago

Glynn Kerr
Independent Motorcycle Designer Loomis, CA