Nembo 32: The upside down engined bike

’32’ stands for ‘3-Cylinders, 2-Liters’

After some successful prototyping, an Italian company might be gearing up to go into production of a bizarre and unique boutique motorcycle. The Nembo 32 is a naked sports machine featuring an upside-down, three-cylinder, 2-liter motor making 200 horsepower.

Why upside down? Well, if you ask the Nembo team, it’s inspired by early aircraft engines and done in service of mass centralization. Keeping the centre of mass low, in Nembo’s estimation, is less important on a motorcycle than keeping it tight. With a rider on board, the best way to keep the bulk of the mass in the smallest possible circle is to flip the motor over and put the crank at the top, with the lighter cylinders below.

There’s an element of “just to be different” too, but that’s hardly seen as a bad thing in the motorcycle world, where the majority proportion of riders love to have something that’s the centre of attention.

The motor in the two prototypes pictured is a 1,814cc version, but Nembo says all production bikes will feature a redesigned 2,000cc version. Power will be limited to 200 HP, torque will peak at an Earth-shaking 210 N-m @ 5500 rpm. The total weight of the bike depending on specification can be as low as 160 kg, so this thing will go like a bat out of hell. Helping keep the weight low is the fact that the crankcase forms a major part of the frame, augmented with a few trellis bits where required.

The bodywork tilts back from the end of the subframe to reveal a bolted-on tank and airbox above the motor. The swingarm is carbon fibre, as are the rims, the rear of which uses a fairly wide 200-section hoop to help get the power down. Forks are fully adjustable 50-mm Marzocchis, brakes are Brembo, and the eye-catching rear suspension is a Bellapadrona fully adjustable air shock.

The first Nembo prototype was running as far back as 2011, and the company’s website still states the production bike is due in 2014 – swing and a miss there, it seems. But creator Daniele Sabatini and his team are turning to crowdfunding to get their unique machine into production.

An Indiegogo page offers fans of the design a range of perks for contributions, including the ability to put your name down for chassis numbers 1-11 once production begins. Reserving a bike will cost you a minimum of €5,000 (₹4.5 Lakh!) and the final price won’t be known until Nembo knows how many it’ll be building. We do hope Nembo figures the whole business side of things out though.

Bike Specifications:

  • Chassis: aluminum engine crankcase plus Cr-Mo steel hand-welded and CNC machined trellis
  • Seat frame: Cr-Mo steel hand-welded and CNC machined or full carbon
  • Swing-arm: hand-layered carbon fiber double arms – vacuum molded body  autoclave treated, axle to axle length mm 670/690, pivoted onto the engine block, adjustable pivoting and lenght
  • Front wheel rim, five-spoke 17 x 3.5 carbon fiber hand layered and vacuum molded body, autoclave treated
  • Rear wheel rim, five spokes 17 x 6.0 carbon fiber hand layered and vacuum  molded body autoclave treated
  • Front tire: 120/70 ZR 17, rear tire: 200/55 ZR 17
  • Front suspension: 50 mm Marzocchi USD telescopic fork, fully adjustable
  • Rear suspension:  air monoshock Double System / Bellapadrona, fully adjustable
  • Front brakes: Brembo T-Drive 320mm floating double disc. Discacciati or  Brembo radial calipers
  • Rear brakes: Discacciati or Brembo 220mm single disc and Discacciati or Brembo radial calipers
  • Seat height: 800-860 mm, adjustable
  • Wheelbase: 1450mm (with 680mm swing-arm lenght)
  • Dry weight: 160/170 Kg depending of the chosen components
  • Fuel tank: 12 liters – Oil tank: 4 liters, handcrafted aluminum
  • Body: carbon fiber hand layered and vacuum molded, autoclave reated, tilting body

Engine Specifications:

  • Width: 470 mm, Height: 470 mm, Length: 410 mm
  • Type: Inverted – naturally aspirated 4-stroke in-line 3-cylinder
  • Bore: 104 mm, Stroke: 77 mm
  • Capacity: 1962 cc
  • Compression ratio: 11.5 : 1
  • Distribution: SUHC – single under head camshaft, driven by chain and gears
  • Number of valves: 2 per cylinder
  • Engine coolant: air / oil
  • Lubrication system: dry sump – inverted oil pumps
  • Clutch: hydraulic / oil bath
  • Transmission: 6-speed, extractable gearbox
  • Fuel system: EFI
  • Power: limited at 200 bhp @ 8300 rpm
  • Torque: 210 Nm @ 5500 rpm
  • Maximum Engine Speed: 8500 rpm
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Tanmay Kulkarni
Tanmay Kulkarni

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