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The making of the Sachs Mad Ass 500


After 50 and 125 Mad Ass, Sachs wanted a blatant 500. How do you design something like that? The best thing to do is to ask the people who got the "crazy ass" into shape. The designers at Target.

No problem at all, the task seems easy: you drew a great 50s, you designed a great 125.

You just make a great 500 out of it, one,
which looks exactly like her too
the name Mad Ass ?? too German crazy ass ?? earned. You have to
but hardly design anything new. No
Problem. One should think so. Mistake. Because a 500 is more than one
inflated 50s. "The art," says Hans-Georg Kasten, Managing Director of Target-Design, "consists in transferring an existing image to a completely new machine." How? Step by step.

BRIEFING With the little Mad Ass, the 50s, Sachs had hit the mark. They are convinced at Sachs in Nuremberg that the 125cc, which was shown at the Intermot, will be just as well received. Because both models
apparently hit the zeitgeist that
To put it bluntly, turn people on. Turn on with their wacky design, the renunciation of plastic and elastane, the tank in a thick tubular frame, the martial-looking reduction to the essentials. So it comes like a mountain bike that you don’t have to trample on. Sachs sees the potential in this to be able to create a new category of larger motorcycles, perhaps to have to create. Because Sachs is not a mass manufacturer, but someone who has to look for a niche or create it himself. Which was quite successful with the little Mad Ass. Hence the strategy: expanding the niche to include larger motorcycles. The image transfers already mentioned. Target design, however, had to achieve this within clear framework conditions: close to the 50s and remain unconventional, easy industrial implementation, robust technology ?? "Should be able to fall over" ??, price under 4000 euros, clearly specified components, no conventional tank, just frame and motor.

IDEATION This is how the designers describe the idea generation phase. Since Lucas Lorch, who had shaped the two small models, was busy with another project, his colleague Matthias Diebold also had to
he motorcyclist, ran. Next to his desk is a poster of a Ducati monster, on his screen in the background his 900s monster, on his desk a pile of drawings. Pencil, colored pencil, ink sketches: drafts that are formally still very different from the later product, but first approaches to the topic. The method used to generate this idea cannot be categorically described, too numerous the influences, too important some coincidences. "When I was busy with the 50s, I had to work with a simple Sachs moped frame, "says Lucas Lorch." At first it was only clear that I didn’t want a classic tank. The idea of ​​using the frame tube as a tank only came to me when I saw these stationary units on the Sachs factory premises, and they had these elongated tubular tanks. That’s it. "
For the 500, it became clear after the first attempts that it simply wouldn’t work that way. The individual tank pipe would either be too weak or it would look too bulky. In addition, either the center of gravity would be too high or the pipe would get in the way of the tall engine. The consequence: two frame tubes that wrap around the side of the engine and hold the fuel. The next idea would be to attach metal plates that allow various motors to be integrated. This gives you a variable package.
This is the design principle-
zip tight. The details are still missing
precise elaboration on a small scale
purely in the manufacturing technology. But the designers also have to think about this in this phase-
to ensure the "feasibility", the later technical feasibility of the design. Without the appropriate technical understanding, this would hardly work because, as Kasten puts it, "technology and design must develop in harmony ". For the 500s, for example, that meant looking for tubes on the market from which the frame would be formed
would let. To have such components manufactured especially for the Mad Ass would have been too expensive.
“During the ideation, we discuss the various development steps and designs as a team. target
is to give the customer a picture of himself
convey your own ideas or
To give him an idea in the first place, ”explains Kasten. "Sachs had already had this idea himself in the 50s, and in the 500s they came with a catalog of requirements."

RENDERING After Sachs himself after sifting through initial suggestions
had decided on a design direction ?? Incidentally, something other than the one favored by the designers ??, Matthias Diebold went to work on further elaboration, the rendering. Translated, rendering means nothing else than reproduction, but for the designers it means the refined representation of the product, its final artwork. This is usually done by computer.
In the special case of the Mad Ass
500 this was done as follows: A picture of the specified engine is displayed
scanned and mapped on a level of a graphics program. On a second level, the frame is created in that the designer actually draws the frame with a special pen on a special screen. He proceeds in a similar way on other levels with fork, swing arm, exhaust, rear. It can be roughly imagined as several sheets of tracing paper that are placed on top of one another to create the overall picture. This has the advantage that you can modify individual levels in order to vary the display, and you do not have to start over from scratch to make changes.
For example, modified frame shapes could be combined with different benches or saddles, and even with alternative Moto-
you could experiment. That opens up a perspective for Sachs, one
to revitalize a production method that was almost forgotten? the assembly. Means: You give the customer the opportunity to choose from a range of products for the engine
to decide their choice. Whom
the Enfield drive appears too antiquated and limp, for example, a Suzuki single can be chosen for an additional charge or that is also conceivable,
a two-cylinder. »When I swap individual components on the screen, for me it’s like I would
build the part on a real model, ”Lorch describes this method.
At the end of this phase, the client should decide on a definitive design. Which does not mean that no further ideas can flow in later. But the basic construction is fixed.

MODEL MANUFACTURING Not all designers who conceive technical products can turn their ideas into technical drawings. At Target-
Design is different, says Kasten, about the philosophy of the house
explain: "We don’t think first
create a beautiful shape and then worry about it afterwards,
how we accommodate the technology in it
can. “That has to do with the fact that the Target designers work as model builders themselves, that they have to implement what they have come up with by hand. As a saddler, as a locksmith, as a fitter. The employees agree on what is definitely an asset.
Before such a model takes on a real shape, it is created in the computer as a three-dimensional projection. What used to be the task of technical drawings on the drawing board? a design template in real dimensions ?? supplements this projection with a spatial idea of ​​the
Object in all conceivable perspectives. Thanks to the very complicated and time-consuming program, you can immediately see what else in the picture
could only be inferred by abstraction from the technical drawing. For example, that the exhaust that has been thought up actually fits between the frame and the cylinder.
The prototype that Target built in its own workshop also fits Sachs. Of course, the client only saw the finished product at the trade fair. Unlike the Sachs Beast, which is also from
Target cam, should the M.ad Ass 500 don’t just create a hype at the stand. It will go into series. Now the designers are fine and the engineers are in the business. “We’re not doing it
the final construction, ”says Kasten. “If a frame breaks, we mustn’t be beheaded.

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