Balloon Motorcycle

part of Balloons
We have some good friends here in Leechburg, whom I refer to around here as Kebbin-n-Deb. They both were bemoaning the lack of a motorcycle in their lives (having grown up with them). I had purchased around that time Dewey's Advanced Balloons (a fantastic tape, by the way). One of the figures on that tape is a bicycle made out of 350's, with a couple of 260 accents and a round + a bee body for the seat. Sharlotte thought it could be mutated into a motorcycle. About 5 iteratons later, we came up with this.

I'm not going to post the full instructions since it'd be easy to reverse-engineer Dewey's bicycle (and you should get the tape anyway) Here's the differences from his design and mine. Click on a picture to get a larger version

This is the completed motorcycle, photographed the day before delivery. Some differences to note from Dewey's bike:
  • A bee-body is not used for a seat post. The seat is just tied directly to the back frame piece using a scrap of red 260
  • The top portion of the rear frame is longer than the bottom portion.
  • added the stand. I used a fuscia (metallic red) 260. The color really didn't go with the rest of the bike. The silver was too transparent to work. I didn't have the double-stuffing technique working to try a gray inside of a silver to get a better silver color.
  • The handlebars are different (e.g. no tassles). Just a silver 260 with apple twists on the ends.
  • A red 350 was folded over and used to fill in the space where the gas tank should be. I made the 350 a little too large so there's an unsightly gap above it. By the point in time I added this balloon, the front fork was dicey enough to where I didn't want to mess with it any more to replace the tank balloon.
  • The headlight is a white round rather than an extension of the frame.
  • The "engine" and tailpipes are new.
The front view. The headlight isn't acutally glowing, it's just from the flash of the camera. You can see some detail in the handlebars. The handlebars were the first things to deflate after delivery. So using a less porous balloon, or double-stuffing (or maybe even hi-float, which I don't use) may make them last longer.

In all of the previous versions I always had problems with the front fork and front frame assembly. Either something woudld pop and need to be replaced, or would just end up a little whoppy-jog, like the front wheel of this one.

Details of the "engine assembly" which is a silver 260 looped twice around the vertical part of the frame. The tailpipes are another silver 260.. The tailpipes are supported by a red 260 cross-piece, along with stips of uninflated 260 to tie them down. Keep the uninflated 260 straight and flat to make it look nicer.

Note here again the longer top piece of the rear frame member. That angles the rear wheel back a little nicer, and making it less "bicycley".

the hardest part of this whole thing (outside of they hand strength needed to make the seat. Dewey makes that look so easy) was getting the stand to cooperate. Finding the right length takes a lot of trial and error. I tried doing a stand on one side, with an "L" with an ear twist and another little leg sticking out, but either the bike would lean to the other side, or would crush the fold twist. A 160 was too weak (but looked good in proportion), and a 360 was just way-too-big. A piece of 260 with an ear twist in the middle forced up into the frame was what I ended up doing.

And here it is delivered to Kebbin-n-Deb the day after Christmas. I'm the one in the black pants, and that's Deb in the foreground. They have a teenaged daughter unit, so I gave her a Golden Poodle of Destiny (I love those gold 260s) and a ball-in-balloon toy so she wouldn't feel left out.