The World Admires the Motorbike Designed by a GUT Researcher

Jack Watkins, a.k.a. Jacek Czyżewicz, Ph.D. Eng. from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Gdańsk University of Technology is passionate about motorization. He designed and constructed a motorcycle, in spite of unfavorable circumstances which made him carry out this project for four years, working mostly at nights. His Watkins M001 debuted at the beginning of March in the Polish Championships in Custom Motorcycles Building and immediately took the second place in the freestyle category.


"The project took me four years to be created, but not because it involved so much work. Apart from working as an assistant professor I teach machine design at Gdańsk University of Technology, work in the industry and I also have a family. Therefore, the hobby was at the fourth place", Watkins explains.

In normal circumstances, such motorcycles are built in large workshops. There is a full range of tools and available for professionals with expert manual experience.

"I did not have anything like that. I had to design the motorcycle in a way that I would not run short of any tools", says Jack Watkins. "I only screwed together the parts I ordered. There was no room for something that would not fit. Therefore, a great deal of attention had to be devoted to the design of the smallest details. Every detail had to be perfected down to a millimeter. Everything was designed digitally with the use of 3D scanning technology, and the information was then sent to my affiliates who created the components in accordance with the documentation I provided".

All the metal elements are made of steel in order to reduce the costs. This approach has some negative consequences, but when things are done for the first time, costs matter. In the next model steel will be replaced with aluminum. However, all parts that have a direct impact on the functioning, and therefore also on safety, are made of higher strength aluminum alloy", Jacek Czyżewicz explains.

Watkins M001 makes use of technical and technological solutions known from heavy industry and aviation. The technical curiosities include unconventional and complicated front suspension, consisting of circa one hundred elements.

The subassemblies arrangement is also non-standard, e.g. the fuel tank is located under the seat.

"As it is supposed to be a vehicle for everyday use, I struggled for every cubic centimeter of its volume. The tank's capacity is 16 liters, which allows you to cover over 200 kilometers in a single run. At the same time it is a structural element of the rear suspension. Balancing these factors, i.e. volume and strength, was one of the biggest challenges" Jack Watkins says.

Mateusz Kozłowski from the MotoSpec company supported the construction of Jack Watkins' motorbike.

Watkins M001 has already caught the attention of the industry media abroad. An article about it was published on the website.

The scientific profile of Jacek Czyżewicz, Ph.D. Eng., can be found on the MOST Wiedzy portal.

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