• By
  • On 7th March 2015

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Another guiding principle in building BLACKSQUARE was the quintessential bobber principle of “nothing superfluous”.   I personally find it very appealing (but do not necessarily endorse it).  As a result of my affection, I may have taken this principle to the extreme when I interpreted it to mean that “everything that is not essential for the machine to run must be eliminated”.   Hence, BLACKSQUARE has no instruments, no switches, no mirrors, no blinkers, no horn, no front fender, no chain guard, no passenger accommodations, no conveniences and no luxuries.  A headlight, taillights and a license plate holder are present, in violation of the “nothing superfluous” principle, since they are required by law.

The minimalist approach may be seen by some as a way to achieve the perfection implied in the above quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  I happen to be one of them.  Others may see it as downright irresponsible.  No objection.

The sole reason I discuss it here is that the minimalist approach provides an opportunity to reduce a motorcycle’s weight.  (I’ve discussed the use of the minimalist approach with regard to achieving a preferred look elsewhere.)

Minimalist Approach 1

To those curious what the weight reduction may be, here is what I found:

Eliminating the following components can reduce the weight by:

  • Instruments (speedometer & tachometer) =  2.6 lbs. (1.16 kg)
  • Instrument panel and ignition key = 1.0 lbs. (0.45 kg)
  • Switches = 1.3 lbs. (0.59 kg)
  • Mirrors = 1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg)
  • Blinkers = 3.3 lbs. (1.48 kg)
  • Front fender =  3.1 lbs. (1.4 kg)
  • Passenger foot pegs and associated frame supports = 2.3 lbs. (1.03 kg)
  • Chain guard = 1.8 lbs (0.83 kg)
  • Grab rail = 2.03 lbs. (0.92 kg)
  • Rear brake-light bracket = 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg)
  • Horn = 0.7 lbs. (0.30 kg)

Modifying the following components may reduce the weight by:

  • Custom Solo Seat = 6 lbs. (2.7 kg)
  • Battery (lithium, EVO-2) = 8 lbs. (3.6 kg)
  • Custom exhaust = 6 lbs. (2.7 kg)
  • Custom alloy exhaust pipe clamps = 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg)
  • Front Drum Hub (no rotor, no caliper, etc.) = 6 lbs. (2.7 kg)
  • “Bobbing” the rear fender = 2.5 lbs. (1.14 kg)
  • Frame modifications = 1.0 lbs. (0.45 kg)
  • Headlight = 0.3 lbs. (0.14 kg)
  • Handlebars = 0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg)
  • Custom foot pegs = 1.2 lbs. (0.54 kg)
  • Custom brake pedal and gear shifter = 0.9 lbs. (0.41 kg)
  • Customized electrical harness and components = 0.4 lbs. (0.18 kg)

Some custom components may increase the weight by:

  • Tank = 2 lbs. (0.91 kg)
  • Cables ( with stainless steel housing)  = 0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg)
  • Custom ignition key + start button = 0.4 lbs. (0.18 kg)

NOTES: Eliminating the air filter and associated components such as box, connections, rack, etc. does not result in a weight gain if substituted with brass velocity stacks, but could reduce the weight if substituted with aluminum velocity stacks.  Eliminating “cat’s eyes” and fork pipes is not accounted for. Eliminating unnecessary fasteners due to elimination of components is not accounted for. The weight reduction or gain depending on tires and inner tubes choice is unknown.