The Aston Martin One-77 Cycle

bf1systems Factor range uses CATIA

bf1systems is widely recognised as a provider of electrical, electronic and composite solutions to the motorsport, high-end automotive and aerospace industries. Its client list includes Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley and Maserati, so it wouldn’t be surprising if you didn’t naturally associate them with the design of futuristic road bikes. However, a few years back bf1systems decided to diversify and commenced work on designing a high-end road bike dubbed the Factor 001.

The purpose was to spotlight bf1systems pioneering engineering capabilities and demonstrate how the latest race car materials could be applied in a two-wheel context. At its launch, the Factor 001 received universal praise and was showcased at the London Science Museum. The success of the project resulted in bf1systems establishing Factor as a separate brand subsidiary. Both companies would share the same philosophy however; a commitment to speed and innovation through engineering.

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Aston Martin One-77

This philosophy is working. Recently, Factor announced the launch of the Aston Martin One-77 Cycle. The latest addition to Factor’s range is named after the Aston Martin One-77 supercar, of which only 77 have been made. Just like the car, the One-77 Cycle will also be limited to just 77 pieces. Customers will have their choice of 7 different colour/trim packages, colour matched brake callipers and matching leather trimmed saddle and bar tape.

The limited edition Aston Martin bike is based firmly on the original Factor 001 concept but how did the Factor design process start? David Dowdell, principal WiC design engineer at bf1systems, explains:

“To begin with it was very conceptual, basic sketches and a multitude of ideas on how we could make this happen. We recognised that we needed state-of-the-art design software if we were to give ourselves the best chance of succeeding. Therefore, we went to tender to identify the most suitable engineering design package on the market. This end result was a conversation with Desktop Engineering about CATIA and its capabilities. We were looking for a PLM solution which was cost-effective but would enable us to innovate. CATIA fitted the bill. It addressed our complete product development need from concept and specification through to production. That conversation took place four years ago, now CATIA is widely used within our organisation.”


The Factor series of bikes are composite driven. To fully benefit from the potential that composites offer, designers need a dedicated solution. Through CATIA PLM Express, bf1systems engineers were provided with a collaborative and completely CATIA-integrated environment to create the innovative composite parts they required for the design of the bikes. The composites module within CATIA enabled the project engineers to work concurrently on the same design and to embed composites manufacturing constraints early in the conceptual stage. With powerful synchronisation capabilities, CATIA essentially became the link between engineering design and the physical manufacturing of the Factor series.

Aston Martin One-77 carbon fibre 3D image

Although based on Factor 001, the One-77 Cycle is unique in many respects; the custom Di2 hydraulic levers have been replaced by Shimano Dura Ace Di2 levers controlling a Hope V-twin hydraulic converter that is hidden in the handlebars. The bike also includes a fully integrated, multi-channel ergonometric data recording system that provides an in-depth record of the user performance. The bike focuses on the riding experience and was designed from the ground up to form an integrated, cohesive device.

Using the extensive surface and modelling capabilities of CATIA, bf1system engineers were able to design mechanical shapes based on a combination of wire frame and multiple surface features. The software provides an extensive set of tools for creating and modifying surfaces used in the design of complex shapes or hybrid parts. Moreover, it captures design intent as the design is built via a combination of interactive shape design and styling functions along with the solution paradigm of embedded knowledgeware. This provides the power of explicit rules that define product behaviour. As a result, CATIA acts as an expert advisor to guide designers through tasks, warning them of rule violations and conflicts to achieve automated design generation and reduced risk.

Dowdell continues:

“One stand out aspect of CATIA is its ability to control surfaces. It enabled us to manipulate free form surfaces and robustly morph shapes without altering their quality at any time during the design process. It is also very intuitive and can be used by either non surface specialist designers or advanced shape designers.”


Aston Martin One-77 side view of supercar

Every design decision taken on the One-77 Cycle was influenced by the desire to maximise efficiency. Unique innovations include the rigid, lightweight and compliant diamond form frame with its unconventional twin vane design. Hydraulic brakes, concealed sensors and unique bespoke wheels combine to create a bike which is lightweight, sleek and perfectly balanced.

The One-77 represents the pinnacle of British engineering. It is symbolic of a no-compromise approach and bespoke design that pushes materials technology to new heights in an attempt to attain the ultimate in performance.

Dowdell concluded:

“Nearly every component on the One-77 Cycle has been custom designed using CATIA. The design knowledge and expertise that we have gained during the evolution of this bike has been transferred onto other projects. We believe we have created something which is unique and sets the standard for future bike design.”

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