Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

'O2 Pursuit'-Air Powered Supermotard

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

‘O2 Pursuit’ provides a future for urban motorcycles. The motorcycle runs on clean compressed air using existing engine technology developed in Melbourne, the ‘DiPietro’ air engine.

This air powered supermotard is firmly planted in the urban environment, with the ability to run in a range of road, track and dirt riding conditions.

With the aim of being unisex and appealing to all ages, the motorcycle is designed to appeal to a larger market sector.

‘O2 Pursuit’ benefits include:

-Reduced air pollution
-Reduced noise pollution
-Weight reduction
-Increased agility and maneuverability
-Low running costs
-Sustainable energy use

Project Team


Simon Curlis


Dean Benstead
Dean Benstead

The ‘O2 Pursuit’ motorcycle concept was a personal design response and development from a design studio at RMIT. I refined the ‘O2 Pursuit’ concept at the completion of semester two this year. I felt that the project could be developed from being a genre of future motorcycles to a sustainable system for motorcycle riders in Melbourne and around the world.

Project Brief

Human mobility, sustainable and cost effective.

The ‘O2 Pursuit’ motorcycle was created to provide a sustainable transport alternative to consumers, which is becoming more necessary due to rising fuel prices and oil depletion.

Using existing engine technology developed in Melbourne by, ‘Engineair’, the ‘DiPietro air engine’ provides a sustainable platform for the motorcycle to operate, with benefits running much further through the bike than simply sustainability.

Developing a product using alternative energy that would be accepted by the public would be challenging. Developing a product that could be implemented into infrastructure within five to ten years would prove to be a timely design solution to a market sector where sustainability and alternatives to current polluting systems occur.

Creating a design solution that reflected it’s simplistic engine technology would provide an appropriate and simplistic solution to the motorcycle. ‘Low tech’ components using current manufacturing techniques would provide the application of the designed ‘O2 Pursuit’ systems and products within an acceptable implementation time.

Project Innovation / Need

Human mobility is a factor of human life and will be important into the future just as it has been since the dawn of time.

Peak oil increasing fuel prices and air pollution.

What is the alternative?
A design solution which provides a low cost, zero emission and quiet solution to a problem escalating every day. The ‘O2 Pursuit’ supermotard uses existing technology, the ‘DiPietro’ air engine. This air engine technology developed in Melbourne provides a unique and efficient way to power future mobility solutions.

Being air powered and using the ‘DiPietro’ air engine not only decreases the weight of the motorcycle, which in turn increases manoeuvrability and rider skill but it enables the unique motorcycle to run on only air. This provides a sustainable solution to transport needs and opens up design solutions not possible with current engine technology.

The engine has a low part count which was taken into account in the design of the final motorcycle with simple, relevant and low tech solutions to the design of the bike.

Reduced noise pollution and air pollution go hand in hand and provide a future for motorcycle riders with the air refill system being free to low cost.

Design Challenge

Designing products and systems that use alternative energies can be challenging to perception, technology and cost. During this design response I completed extensive personas to help create an understanding of the target market, their needs and desires. Alongside each persona scenario, development was completed to see aspects of the bike and the system in use.

How would people use the bike? Where would people use the bike Why would people use the bike? And why would someone want the bike?
Creating an air powered motorcycle that would be accepted by users is challenging, yet in today’s environmental climate, it seems a timely solution to so many environmental issues.

The project aimed at challenging people’s perception of mobility and the energy that we use, (although backed up by existing technology developed here in Melbourne), I think that this does this in its system and product technology.


Sustainability has driven this project from the initial brief. Types of energy that can be used for mobility spread far beyond oil. Many examples of hybrids and electric solutions have entered the market. Energy and energy use are the main areas of sustainability covered by the design.

Air has proved to be one energy that has been relatively ignored yet provides a free alternative to fossil fuel derived petrol. Air provides a safe, clean and efficient solution to mobility systems.
The only emission that the ‘O2 Pursuit’ motorcycle expels is clean air. Air can be compressed by solar or any other renewable energy source creating a complete circle of clean energy creation and use.

‘O2 Pursuit’ refill stations would be fitted with these renewable energy powered compressors providing the clean energy for the developed motorcycles. They would roam the streets as a sensible and potential air powered solution to human mobility .
The motorcycle would aim to be manufactured with recycled materials where OEM components are not required