19-05-2022

Project X3: land, sea and air

Pilot Jaime Bonet has developed his "X3 Project", aiming to be the first to create a motorbike capable of moving through three elements: land, sea and air. “I called the prototype a X3, as the objective was threefold" he explained. A commercial airline pilot, motorcycle enthusiast and paramotor pilot for the last five years, Jaime Bonet independently invented a motorbike that is able to move in all three elements.

With his size 42 Niviuk Takoo 5 wing and a paramotor engine, he takes off and flies with a Kawasaki motorbike to which he has attached a converted Naish windsurf board. After enjoying a totally unique flight, he lands, frees himself from both the glider and the engine, and begins his journey overland on his dirt bike. When he reaches the beach, the bike becomes amphibious and Jaime surfs the waves of the Mediterranean with complete ease. 

He explains: "The first time I flew and saw that my project had become a reality and that it worked, it was super exciting. It was amazing. I felt the adrenaline from the first second.” The result has come about due to his persistence: “You have to believe in yourself. This is the only way to make your dream happen, when for many others it would just remain an ambition: to fly on your motorbike, ride it on land and cross the sea with it. And to be the first person on this planet to have done all three on two wheels.” Definitely a unique “Amazing Adventure”. 


First steps - land and sea

"The initial idea came to me in 2014 while working in Vietnam, when I had the idea of making a hybrid between a motorbike and a windsurfing board," says Jaime. But later similar models linked to brands such as Red Bull came out, so he put it on the back burner. "Over the years I saw that these models were not evolving and had become a bit stagnant, so I decided to follow my instinct. When I have a clear idea and I know I can achieve it, I usually do everything I can to make it happen. I don't want to leave anything undone in life. I started by asking some people I knew for materials and tuned the bike with things I had in my own garage. I had the help of my friends, and we worked in their workshops. 

I am even more satisfied to have launched my project independently, without being linked to any established brand. It is very difficult to achieve something like this, and I am proud of myself for doing it on my own", Jaime emphasises.

At the time, the motorbike was just surfing. "My initial thought was a new and very practical concept to make a bike that would go on the sea, so that any motocross rider could adapt my invention to their situation and resources". Surfing with his dirt bike has been possible thanks to his own flotation system, made with a windsurf board he had at home and a bodyboard cut in half with which he created an emergency system to float without capsizing in case the bike stops in the water. It works with pulleys, making the rear wheel pivot slightly underwater to lower the centre of gravity. Together with a friend who is an electronics engineer, he converted the petrol motorbike to an electric motorbike. This reduces weight and at the same time avoids polluting the sea with oil or petrol in the event of a leak.


Take flight

He visited an agent to see what he thought of his project and it was then that he felt that it was not finished, that something else was missing. In 2021 he considered the matter more and decided to include flying. "When I had the original idea, I was not yet flying a paramotor and I didn't relate to it. But last year I decided that the motorbike would also fly and in December I was able to complete the project by bringing together all the extreme sports I like to do," he says. 

He took his Takoo 5 wing, a PAP paramotor with Vitorazzi Monster 185 cc engine and got to work. "With the dirt bike hanging in an olive tree, I did some centering and weight calculations, and designed special parts to give it more stability. I even climbed on top of the hanging bike, sitting with the paramotor switched on and accelerating, to know how it was performing and to be able to correct it in flight. The total weight is exactly 213 kg, I can reach a maximum height of 200 metres and the flight usually takes about 30 minutes," he says.

"They were very practical and basic calculations. I don't want to say easy because they are not, but they were my way of completing them. I relied more on the reality of what I saw during the testing, rather than on calculations. This has always been my philosophy and my way of doing things. Basically, I don’t use a computer to design things. I usually use some very basic drawing or sketch and work it out in my head. In the end, what I see in my mind is always close to what works in reality.” 

Jaime carried out three test flights and, using two 360º cameras, was able to observe the errors, analysing them from all angles in order to correct them. "Even so, there was some setbacks, especially during launches, where I broke two propellers. I was always well protected and nothing happened to me, but there were times when I considered giving up.” He explains that the launch is undoubtedly the most complicated part: "I steer the bike with my feet, taking into account the instability of the bike at one metre high while inflating a 42 square metre wing, plus the 40 kg of paramotor on my back which makes it very easy to tip over. I put some stabilising wheels on the bike to help me take off, but it was still difficult. Once I mastered the launch, I had everything under control. Really, in flight it is super stable and landing is not difficult".


Three world records in mind

Jaime believes he has three world records within his grasp: two related to motorcycling in the sea and one to flying. "If I wanted to, I could break all three records today, but they involve risk, testing and a budget. I am waiting for the right moment. Also, if sponsors come forward, I have 100% clear ideas for some projects that are much more extreme than this one, which are on a different level".

Jaime Bonet concludes excitedly that "I dreamt it, I designed it, I built it and I piloted it myself. The level of the extreme sports I practice is quite high and if there is one thing I have always done, it has always been to achieve my goals. I already knew I would be alone in the development process, but I made the decision to take the prototype forward in order to get the credibility of big brands and to be able to realise my next projects. Right now I'm looking forward to achieving world records and moving forward with my X3".

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