DAB's ultra-configurable LM-S supermotard looks like the future of motorcycle shopping
On the one hand, this is a custom bike, and no two will be the same. On the other, it's totally Euro IV certified and engineering homologated for road use. DAB is allowing an unprecedented degree of customization for every bike, but they'll all be road legal.
This French company puts a premium on individuality, but not at the expense of safety and road law compliance. Thus, while DAB fully expects its customers to personalize their bikes, it's trying to get them to do it pre-purchase, so nobody's insurance gets voided and nobody's risking a defect notice from a sharp-eyed highway patrolman.
Every new LM-S can thus be configured online before buying, allowing you to choose and/or color your own bodywork, seat, bars, grips, suspension, subframe, wheels, tires and braking system, after which DAB says it'll have a brand new bike built for you within 3 months.
The motor, frame and basic shape won't change – the former being the excellent 500cc DOHC single from the Husky 510, and the latter being a steel double-cradle frame and tough urban enduro/supermoto kind of look with a gorgeous lenticular front light that looks for all the world like a race plate, and a tight 8-liter fuel tank. It'll be an absolute featherweight, around 125 kg (275 lb).
From there, you're off on a flight of fancy. ABS or no ABS on your Brembo brakes? Kayaba or Ohlins suspension? Chunky TKC 80 road/trail tires, slightly more civilized Pirelli MT 60 RS hoops or full-sumo Supercorsa road rubber? Your call. As is the color of virtually every component on the bike, bar the engine, frame and swingarm. I'm happy to share the details of my personal build if you like it:
Prices start at €16,900 (US$18,850), and we got them up over €22,000 (US$24,500) with all the fancy bits on. That's a lot of money, but then how much would you spend to make yourself something like my masterpiece above – and this thing looks like it'd be a killer ride as well as a sharp looker.
One notable piece that can't be changed is the exhaust – usually one of the first handful of parts to go in the bin after a new bike makes it home to the garage. There's only so far you can go with the concept of Euro IV compliant customization. Still, this kind of configurable bike buying experience could become more and more the norm as low-volume additive manufacturing continues to get cheaper and more convenient. And while the DAB customization process is mainly a color picker for the moment, there's no reason it can't be expanded to include new bodywork shapes, bar setups, rim types, additional exhaust options and a bunch of other bits and pieces as the concept matures.