I know what you’re thinking. What were we thinking of? God knows. There’s a bit of Tron in there and the brutalist, concrete architecture of the 1950s. Plus I like dirt bike design, those mad X-Games bikes: flat seats and bellypans. The bellypan is one piece and the silencer sits inside it.
The customer loved the bellypan idea and wanted to do something angular and square – which suited me because I wanted to do something radically different from a cafe racer or street tracker.
The KTM is such a brutal bike. A friend rode it and said, ‘it’s feels like riding a thunderstorm.’ I wanted the bike to have a flat ‘tank’ and seat, so the tank doesn’t look like a traditional bike and doesn’t contain petrol either. That’s in the subframe now and holds ‘enough’ fuel. It’s probably got an 80-mile range. After 80 miles on a bike this brutal, you’ll be glad of a break. The tank/seat unit is hinged so you can lift it up to access the fuel filler cap under the seat. The ride is actually pretty comfortable, with the pegs slightly set back.
The aluminium bodywork is all done by Gilbert at Kern-Slade Engineering. He also did the stainless subframe and exhaust. I did the basic shaping in cardboard and gave him the templates to cut the sheet alloy and weld it. The headlight comes from an American Jeep while the Motogadget Moto Scope speedo sits in the top of the shell. We made the box to hide the water tank reservoir and on the opposite side of the bike, the box holds the lock.
All the electrics are under the seat in front of the normal fuel tank area. The only splash of colour is the orange shock spring, crash bungs and the vinyl protector around the ignition key.
It’s a Marmite bike. Some people have praised it. One guy walked up to me at a show and said: “what the fuck have you done to that bike?” and walked off.