No, that’s not a pair of opera glasses or old-timey spectacles in the above image. It’s a motorcycle. In fact, there may not be a more bizarrely futuristic two-wheeler on the planet than the TMC Dumont.
It’s definitely not something you’d ever expect to see in real life because, quite frankly, it doesn’t look like it should even work. But then, that’s the point of a concept vehicle, right? The whole “unreal” angle was exactly what Marques was going for when he first dreamt of the Dumont.
Built by the now retired Formula 1 racer turned custom vehicle builder, Tarso Anibal Santanna Marques, it looks more like a light cycle driven in “Tron” or a bike you’d find zipping through the mean streets of Night City in “Cyberpunk 2077.” Marques is no stranger to concept vehicles. He and his company, Tarso Marques Concept (TMC), have built over seventy bikes, plus cars, planes, and boats to boot. So they knew a thing or two about putting stuff together and making it all work.
The Dumont’s creation didn’t happen overnight primarily because it had to be 100% functional. So, for fifteen long years, the idea sat bouncing around inside Marques’ brain, just waiting for the right moment when form met function. Aside from wanting to use the most bleeding-edge engineering concepts available, he couldn’t find a suitable powerplant.
This concept bike could fly if it wanted to
Marques was reticent to use a run-of-the-mill V-Twin or a two or four-stroke single-cylinder engine. He wanted something altogether … more.
When he stumbled onto a 300-horsepower Rolls-Royce Continental aircraft engine, his team finished construction of the bike a mere seven months later. Marques showed it off at Daytona Beach Bike Week in 2018 and ended up taking home several “Best of Show” wards.
The specs for the Dumont’s engine aren’t listed on the Tarso Marques Concept website, and few details can be found elsewhere. After comparing images of the Dumont’s powerplant with photographs of Continental engines, it appears to be one from the company’s Tiara line. More specifically, either the O-405 (285-320 horsepower), the O-520 (320-hp), the O-526 (270-310 horsepower), or the IO-550 (280-360). No other Rolls-Royce Continental airplane engine is capable of, at least stock and in 6-cylinder format, banging out 300 horsepower, as stated by so many reports.
According to the Robb Report, Marques said, “Every single piece was a challenge, but I knew that the concept would work perfectly.” And he was right. What there is of the bike’s low-slung minimalist body is made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The 36-inch hubless wheels make the Dumont appear as if it’s floating along the road, ala some futuristic vehicle we’d love to ride.