photo 1 (Steven Decroos)

Mahjouba II

Eric van Hove, 2016 - Installation view @ Muzee, Belgium 2017

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Mixed media (12 materials): chrome-plated steel, nickeled silver, red copper, bolts, rubber, cow’s skin, plastic, electronics, 5KW Golden Motor electric engine, electronics and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries.
Size: 230cm x 60cm x 95cm
Weight: 150 kg
Edition: Unique
Courtesy: Collection Muzee/Ostende, Belgium
Photo: Steven Decroos

Another step of the ongoing Mahjouba Initiative, this second prototype is aimed at building an custom electric motorcycle using only materials and craft techniques available in Morocco today while simultaneously challenging preconceived (local) ideas about popular craft in Morocco. I noticed it is in general less interesting to Western audiences as it appears more banal than our first prototype, but it is actually the favorite among Morocco’s worker class artisans as it makes them more proud. Our upcoming third prototype will mix experience gathered on both Mahjouba I&II and fusion both their principles together with 3D-printing.

Technically, the Mahjouba II prototype is a direct shaft drive transmission motorcycle. The frame is made of chrome-plated handcrafted steel, as are most other components while the body work is made of hammered nickeled silver sheets. It has two chopper style recycled aluminum sand-casted solo seats, while disk brakes and wheels diameter are adapted/inspired from a Honda SH125. Rear bumpers are adapted from the Docker C90 ; front bumpers and Yuanxing tires are adapted from a Chinese Xingda tripoter for the simple reason that all these parts are easy to find in Marrakesh. Most parts of the transmission are custom-made using a mix of locally sourced Caterpillar drive-train differential gears and Chinese delivery tricycle reverse gear parts. It is motorized with an air-cooled brush-less 5 Kilowatts Golden Dragon electric engine and four lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery packs giving it an autonomy of about 50km.

Again, continuing on our first prototype, the project is based on two major context-specific aspects:
– Craftsmen represent 20 percent of the active workforce in Morocco, but their trade faces extinction if it doesn’t reintegrate meaningfully into national industry. These three million craftsmen are potentially the makers and the consumers of the craft-made (art work) motorbike I aim to manufacture and commercialize locally down the line.
– Morocco aims to have 42 percent of its energy consumption to be renewable by 2020, via solar energy (see Ouarzazate Noor Solar Power Station)

Éric van Hove Vandalorum