Okay; all the parts for the scanner came yesterday. Had to jump through some hoops to get the necessary software but I was able to create a decent scan of myself this morning in absolutely terrible lighting, and in general terrible conditions for this technology. Even still, it worked well enough and I was able to import directly into Rhino as well!
Here is a rendered view:
and then rendered still in Rhino hahaha; obviously I should have aligned the mesh better.
I think this is definitely good enough to justify scanning the bike, likely several times and then its sub components, etc. It'll be a good training exercise and super useful in the future. I guess the real question will be how useful digital form finding will be or whether it should only be used as guide for more mechanical layout from a concept sketch.
This is one of those projects where I realize that what I'm trying to copy was made by mortals. I'm pretty sure that there are small variations in the tubing angles and its going to take me forever, and likely unsuccessfully attempts to reproduce manually what I'm studying.
So a 3D scanner is appropriate, I have a nice camera so photogrametry is an option but I went ahead and bought a $25 Xbox Kinnect sensor array. Using some software http://manual.kscan3d.com/1.0/index.php/About_KScan3D I should be able to scan the bike and its components. This will be particularly useful for stuff like the footpegs which sorely need to be redesigned and reconsidered ergonomically.
If the first scanner I bought, coming next week is not good enough there is another $30 more modern version available too. Apparently they could even be used simultaneously and I could add lights and a range finder, etc. Using an ultrasound unit I could make a targeting system (to help maintain proper scanning distance) I have all the parts necessary so... maybe a sub $100 decent 3d scanner? Guess we'll see.