Picture this scene: William Shatner at home, suspended in his plexiglass pleasure-pod. He's finishing the last of his tiger steak, and is getting a little drunk on Skrot, a fermented spider's milk liquor from Tibet. He has an idea. His fundamental essence, as a motor vehicle. It's a trike, it's a V8, it's a steel serpent, and it's happening. It's called Rivet.
You're not dreaming. This is reality, the mundane world of notary publics and millet fields, and yet somehow it will also contain this very personal vision of what a motor vehicle should be from none other than William Shatner. This William Shatner:
So just take the feeling in your gut you get from that, and imagine it as something you can drive.
Shatner has partnered with American Wrench, a custom motorcycle shop, to make his vision reality. Shatner has always wanted to cross the U.S. on a motorcycle, but has yet to do so because no current motorcycle meets his exacting standards of awesomebonkeritude. His dream bike, inspired by the shape of a riveted airplane wing, has three wheels, lots of exposed rivets, and a huge V8 engine. Because he's William Shatner, he's opted for the less-stable Reliant Robin-style tri-wheel layout, with a single steering wheel up front.
The current renderings of the Rivet ONE show a completely open cockpit and only seating for one, though in this video it seems like Iron Bill was pushing for a canopy and seating for two. Most likely because there's no way he'll be able to fight off every desire-delirious honey that sees him in this:
Things to note: Shatner feels that flames shooting out of the exhaust are "excessive," but he's almost demanding a wheelie bar and the ability for it to do wheelies on command. The man has a VISION.
The current design for the Rivet ONE shows something approaching the sort of machine you'd expect to be built with William Shatner in charge: bold, loud, insane, heavyish, and dramatic. The single seat looks sumptuously padded and upholstered, and in these early renderings the controls are enticingly confusing: two heavily padded handgrips with squeeze-triggers.
What the hell is that? Are they jus disguised handlebars, or is this steered like a tank, with each rear wheel able to get torque independently, on command? I have no idea.
There's that big V8, mounted low and in the middle, with the radiator, protected by a curvaceous grille, right in front. The rear is shaped sort of like a horseshoe crab's shell, with four rocket-exhaust taillights thrusting redly out the back.
The wheels have full, unvented, unadorned covers, and the pewter-grey finish and every seam generously riveted make this thing look like a steam-or-dieselpunk chariot from some powerful and capricious demigod. Which, really, it sort of is.
And the best part? Shatner is committed to driving this thing, whatever it turns out to be, from Chicago to LA this summer.
So, this summer, we should all prepare ourselves to have the United States bisected by a rapidly-advancing torpedo of fire, steel, and Shatner, leaving a wake of smouldering road, wheelie skids, and miraculous pregnancies all across this great land.
What a glorious world we live in.
(Thanks, J. Decourcey!)