Set Number: 8051
Price: $39.99 / £34.99 / €39.99
Year of Release: 2010
Links: Bricklink Peeron Brickset (note: as of Oct 2010, there is no Peeron page yet for this set)
The front of the box is the standard Technic design - black background with a straightforward image of the set. No scenery, flourishes, or other nonsense, just a photo of the set so you know what you're buying. The top corner does show the mechanical abilities, and the bottom corner has the big 2-in-1 to remind you to turn the box over...
The Box Back
...where you can see the B-model. Being a non-motorcycle person, I had to do a double-take to make sure it really was showing a different build. Where most sets have a significantly different B-model, this has just a different style bike. Lego did a great job on the photography here - I love how the low camera angle accentuated the long, low styling of the bike.
The covers of the manuals (yes, this set includes printed manuals for BOTH models!) are, like normal, just the same image as the box. The instructions are the now-standard Technic style, with very clear diagrams, part call-outs, and a plain blue background.
The Manual Back
The back of one manual has the "Gewinne! Win! Gagne!" guy. The other has this image. I've seen it on Technic for years, but they occasionally update the models. For this set there's 2010's 8043 Excavator in the center, and around the laptop are 3 older sets - 2006's 8288 Crawler Crane in the top left, 2005's 8421 Mobile Crane in the bottom left, and 2006's 8283 Telehandler on the right. Can't they ever update this photo?
The Interesting Parts
- 6.5L Shock w/ hard spring - available in 10 sets over the last decade
- 9.5L Shock w/ soft spring - the connectors on these give a variety of ways to build a suspension. Other than 2008's Dirt Bike set, this shock hasn't been available since the late 90's.
- Axle 8 with stop - Although this has been in over 70 sets ranging from Star Wars to Bionicle to Technic, it's only been around since 2006. It's the first I've gotten any of these.
- Pin long with center pin hole - These are new for 2010, but in a LOT of sets this year. It's a handy part, but I was surprised to see that in the bike it's only used as a spacer, not to run anything through that pin hole.
- Technic Link Chain - These chains have been around since 1978, but haven't seen a lot of use in official sets. I don't have any old links to compare to, but many people have said the new production of links in this bike set aren't as good as old ones.
According to Bricklink, this tubing is light bluish grey, and the only set to ever include it in any length in that color. However, I've got it here with another LBG part and it doesn't look the same to me. I'd have called this silver. There has been tubing in silver in many sets, but I don't have any to compare to to see if this is the same color as the older silver tubing.
The One Unique Part
This part is only available in this set. The shape is common enough, but this print is unique to this set (and the only printed part in 8051). Personally I think it's a great design. A sticker would be impossible to put on this due to the curves, but the flames and gas tank cap add a nice touch of detail to the bike.
The Wheels, an Almost Unique Part
The only other set to have these wheels and tires are 7158 Furno Bike, a Hero Factory set released this year. These are great bike wheels in my opinion. They look nice and are large enough for a pretty detailed model. There's attachment options, since they have an axle hole surrounded by 6 pin holes. Very weird aspect though - they also have pin and axle holes in the SIDE of the rim. That's not used here or in the Hero Factory model, but Lego obviously put it there for a reason. What do they have coming?
The Wheels, Continued
There are a couple other weird features on these wheels... On one side, there's an indent around two of the pin holes. I have no idea why they did that. On the other, you can see how the plastic around the axle hole is not solid. This seems like it would make molding much more complicated, but the gap is needed to handle the expansion / contraction of the plastic. A solid center would have too much change in size.
Like most Technic sets, the build starts with a blob of parts that you couldn't possibly identify.
The Build, Adding the Engine
Now there's a 3-cylinder engine, but it's still not clear what this would be if you didn't know.
The Build, Surrounding the Engine
A few more steps, and now there's decorative panels surrounding the engine. In the photo this is actually upside down - the black panels are the underside of the bike, and the angle connector sticking up is the kickstand.
The Build, The Back Wheel
Now the back wheel and chain have been added. The suspension is in as well.
The Build, Finishing the Back
Now the exhaust, rear panels, and building the top has begun. The stickers on this set are fantastic - they really add a nice splash of detail.
The Build, Adding the Front Wheel
Almost finished - with more stickers and the printed panel, it's really looking great.
The Finished Bike
And it's done... so much nice detail. Brake handles, an engine you can barely see, the radiator... this bike looks great!
The Other Side
This model is almost symmetrical. Only the chain is different.
I just love the triple exhaust tucked high under the seat, even if there are only two hoses coming from the engine.
Stickers give two nice gauges up front.
The Spare Parts
Here's the pile left after building. Far more than most sets - there's extra chain, gears, and other parts in addition to the usual spare pins and bushes. Yes, they actually included some parts used only in the B-model.
The B-Model Build
The second book has the 45-main-step B-model instructions. Here is what you have after 9 steps - a strange bunch of beams stuck together with pins sticking out. So in other words, a normal Technic beginning.
The B-Model, Step 18
The rear wheel and one section of chain have been added, along with a decorative tail light.
There's a pretty lengthy sub-model built at this point - the engine. I think it looks great - a nice V shaped, 2 cylinder engine with the same long shafts as the main model.
The B-Model, Continuing
Now the very long construction starts to make sense. After attaching the engine, the front flips up and over to connect with the back of the bike. It's finally starting to look like a motorcycle.
The B-Model, Continuing More
More recognizable motorcycle parts are added now. There's some exhaust hose, foot pegs, kickstand, and seat. It's also very clear and obvious how the front wheel is going to attach and swivel.
The B-Model, Done
The chopper is done, and I think it looks great. The stickers add some nice detailing, but who is 88? You can see the suspension on the front wheel, but there's none in the back. Also, that printed gas tank panel here is annoying. There's not much friction on the axle it's connected to, so it swings side to side as you play with the bike. Perhaps a different connection point than the axle that holds the front end on would have been better. On this side of the bike you have the exhaust, which is simple but looks nice. It's good use of the flexible tubes, although the rear one is too long and has to loop around. It just sticks out so far.
The B-Model, From the Front
The front doesn't look like a classic chopper to me. I'd expect to see much longer handlebars.
The B-Model, From the Rear
The bike is long and low, but it seems so wide. That extra chain section just sticks out so far. And why is there only one red tooth (that I assume is supposed to be a brake light) on the back? I could understand one light if it was centered, but low and to the side like that, I think it needs a matching one on the other side.
The B-Model, From the Side
Lego calls this a chopper, but I'm not sure I agree. I think of something like this when I think chopper. The shape just isn't quite right in the Lego version. The back half isn't too bad, although it could be longer. The main issue is the front wheel. The fork just isn't near long enough or angled right. This isn't at all a bad motorcycle that Lego designed, I just wouldn't have called it a chopper.
The Leftovers from the B-Model
There is a significant pile of parts left over, but really, it's not too bad for a B-Model. Many have been FAR worse. And this set even included some parts just for the B-model - some chain, gears, axles, and connectors.
I love this set. The size is perfect. It's small enough to keep the price down, but big enough to have nice playability - working engine on both models, working suspension, loads of detail, and even good stickers. I prefer the main model, but even the B model is nice. However, the chain does have some issues. There's a bit too much slack in it and so it jumps sometimes when you push the motorcycle. The B model is worse, since it has two separate chain loops. There's discussion elsewhere on EuroBricks about which way to have the chain facing and how to sand it a little to make it run smoother (see here and the posts lower on this page), but that shouldn't be needed in a Lego set.
Value: 8/10 - This set comes in at under 10 cents a part, but since there's over 50 chain links and 40 black pins, that does affect the score.
Design: 10/10 - I'm not a big motorcycle fan, but I love how this bike looks. Too bad they couldn't have picked another color though - red and black is just overdone in Technic.
Playability: 9/10 - I'm not sure what more they could have done in a motorcycle at this scale. Other than having a rider, there's not much to add. However, motorcycles are a little less playable than most sets just by their nature.
Parts: 9/10 - Loads of small panels, very nice wheels, and some suspension parts. The only way to get better would be to have a different color scheme.
Overall: 9/10 - This is a fantastic motorcycle set. Recommended!
My Flickr set for this set (to see the images larger)