Matthew Jones05 November 2013

Caterham to build motorbikes

Brit maker of lightweight track specials swaps four wheels for two

Leather enthusiasts take note: Caterham has today launched its motorcycle division, cryptically named Caterham Bikes.

It's a venture that makes sense, if you think about it: Caterham has spent forty years trying to turn the venerable Seven into a four-wheeled superbike - getting mighty close with the new 620R - so why not go the whole, erm, hog and ditch those pesky third and fourth wheels?

Caterham's bike range will launch with three clean-sheet designs. There's the Brutus 750, a sort of 2x2 that can be converted into a snowmobile; the Classic E-Bike, a retro electro bike with a 60-odd-kilometre range; and the Carbon E-Bike, an F1-inspired mountain bike that uses the same tech as the Classic, but addended with posher materials.

All look rather... jazzy for a company renowned for its back-to-basics approach to car-building, but Caterham promises its bikes will share the philosophy of its four-wheeled offerings.

"We're here to offer an alternative that befits the spirit of Caterham," says Caterham Bikes boss Al-Ishsal Ishak. "Just as the Caterham Seven is a motoring icon because of its unique design and engineering credibility, Caterham Bikes' products will be aimed at a niche audience seeking exceptional quality, bespoke design flare and bikes easy enough for anyone to ride."

Can Caterham really muscle its way into the bike world? It'll be interesting finding out, but at least its efforts look rather more... finished than the last we heard of Lotus's two-wheeled proposal...

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