• ETC
  • Jul 16, 2013
The LFA Works that produced the Lexus LFA hasn't had too much to do since the 500th example of the V10 supercar left the plant on December 15, 2012. So what are a bunch of carbon fiber experts meant to do with their time when they have some of the world's most advanced CFRP machinery but no engine to wrap it with? Why, make a bicycle, of course - and not just any bicycle, but the kind that costs one million Japanese yen ($10,000 US) and of which only 100 will be made.

Only they didn't really "make" it – the carbon fiber frame was sourced from Takumi, in Taiwan. On the face of it that's a shame, but it makes sense; when you've got a company like McLaren assisting bike manufacturer Specialized produce a road bike, it's clear that 'pushies' have got so advanced that a company can't just hop in and mold a $10K bike in six months. Beyond that frame it's got a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group with electronic shifters, and it weighs 15 pounds.

However, the Lexus crafstmen did polish each frame for three hours, and the bike is said to embody the "principles and philosophy" of the supercar, while the brochure for the bike says it represents "a new chapter in Lexus history." That chapter is still all about rarity, though, since there's only one bike headed for Canada and two for the US.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      There seems to be a major misconception about the bike market. Very few bike makers actually own their own factory and build all of their own frames. Some companies build only a few of their own frame models, and the rest are contracted out to pacific rim manufactures. Other companies don't build any of their own frames at all. Only a minority of bikes on the road (and dirt) are actually built by employees of the bike brand, in factories owned by the bike brand. Dig into the histories of companies like Specialized and Giant if you want to understand more about how this works.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        Yes. But you would think the facility with the world\'s most advanced carbon fiber manufacturing tooling, would make their own cf bicycle frame instead of outsourcing it.
          dartingd
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          I disagree...they'll outsource it...
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Just because they have the world's most advanced carbon fiber manufacturing tooling, that does not mean it is cost effective to re-tool the machinery just to make 100 bike frames. Any company with half a brain would know that outsourcing 100 units to someone who does it every day will be way more cost effective than trying to tool up their own very expensive equipment using their own very costly labor, and having to do their own QE testing, prototype frames, etc. Sounds like someone should stick to building tasty cold drinks made with coffee and milk, and leave real manufacturing to the adults, Mr. Cold Latte.
          vripper
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Because you fully understand the ins and outs of the world's most advanced carbon fiber manufacturing tooling or because you are an expert in bicycle frame design. Do tell...
      George Krpan
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are no fast bikes, only fast riders.
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lexus has a carbon fiber weaving loom, sitting around doing nothing, that they designed for extruding hollow CFRP parts for the LF-A, and which would be IDEAL for building a bike frame, yet they still just bought a ready made frame and LITERALLY polished a turd. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AScfESzQzIQ
      grassmonkey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look at that handlebar/hood setup. Hmm. Old school or did Lexus miss the finer details of a bike build? I believed in the tech and sold the McLaren Venge (because both Specialized and McLaren worked hand in hand to achieve a goal) when I was working in a bike shop. But this? As previously mentioned, total crass marketing. At least it's Dura-Ace!
      dartingd
      • 1 Year Ago
      Believe it or not that price isn't off-the-charts. I think Giant's top-end bike with Di2 is around 12k, so this is spot-on . I guarantee you Giant made the frame, lol...
      • 1 Year Ago
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        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          vripper : John Blaze is right. The LFA is a dead end. They did not discover any breakthroughs which would make carbon fiber mass-production worthy. All they did was take the old, exxisting cf manufacturing techniques, and scaling it up to a huge, expensive scale. But the process is still just as slow and expensive as before. It is a dead end process as far as mass production is concerned. And in the end, the LFA is not particularly faster than the other conventional steel chassis supercars. Or all that much lighter for that matter.
          vripper
          • 1 Year Ago
          Mr. Blaze, please sit down. It's not relevant to you because you just don't understand. The technology and efforts that were put into that car have trickled down and is already implemented in their lineup. I don't think VW will ever profit from the Veyron and that is how much again??? The LFA (and Veyron) was not meant to make a profit but a process to keep progressing with materials, technology, showcasing, PR...etc.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        For nobody being able to afford them, its funny how they sold all of them before making 1. You might like this better than autoblog: ItrollalldaybecauseIhavenothingelsetodo.com
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          They sold each and every one of the cars at a loss.
          axiomatik
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          m_2012- They didn't sell them all before production started. In fact, in the US, they were still available 1.5 years after the first deliveries.
      axiomatik
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sooo....Lexus' carbon fiber expertise had nothing to do with this product? They just polished it? Crass marketing.
        modalita
        • 1 Year Ago
        @axiomatik
        Don\'t tell that to the asshats who buy this crap.
          straferhoo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @modalita
          They will just leave the bike permanently attached on the bike rack above their Lexi. Status symbol that won't get used for it's intended purpose.
        Narom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @axiomatik
        I can buy that frame for $500 on ebay aswel...incredible markup.
      collabplan
      • 1 Year Ago
      At least it doesn't have the horrific front end treatment of the other Lexus'.....
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      SO I can buy a bike that was built in Taiwan by someone else but polished by Lexus and them slapped a sticker on it. I thought the LF-A pricing was pretty absurd but at least it was an engineering masterpiece. This, not so much.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      As I said before- the whole LFA project is Toyota trying to create a sports car by throwing money at it. It is an inelegant, brute force approach with very underwhelming results. And now they have the most expensive carbon fiber loom sitting idle. Didn\'t anyone have any plans for what to do with the loom after LFA production finishes? This is what happens when a company is awash with cash and spoilt with success. They start spending money on frivolous, vanity projects. The LFA will be remembered as the moment when Toyota peaked.
        vripper
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        A true legend in his own mind. I can't believe you haven't found the cure for cancer yet.
      Durishin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks pretty stiff in the tail. Tough to do that and have it be a fast bike.
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wanna stick some Lexus stickers on your Diamonback from Wallyworld
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