Foray: A Ducati-powered {custom} with upcycled Bimota elements


Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
Nobody upcycles fairly like Roland Groteclaes. Primarily based in Belgium, he’s a multi-talented artistic that splits his time between illustration, design, portray and sculpture. And the latter is sort of at all times finished utilizing salvaged elements.

This method to his artwork is mirrored within the {custom} bike he’s simply constructed. Dubbed ‘Foray,’ it’s greatest described as a Bimota/Ducati hybrid. However this wasn’t a easy engine swap job—as a substitute, it was pieced collectively virtually totally with leftover elements from a number of donor bikes.

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
The inspiration for Foray got here from a very uncommon supply. “A buddy type England gifted me a used Honda F1 carbon fiber warmth exchanger,” Roland tells us. “He thought I might use it in a sculpture, however it was greater than clear to me that I ought to give this piece a brand new id, as an upcycled bike gasoline tank.”

“So the creation of Foray—its mere existence—revolves round one piece: the gasoline tank.”

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
Roland wanted to piece a bike collectively to host his new gasoline tank, so he took inventory of what he had in his storage. “I journey a Bimota DB3 Mantra,” he explains. “And, like most bike maniacs, I’ve plenty of new and used elements, all saved with the concept that someday I could make use of them.”

Roland’s stash included a Bimota DB3 swingarm, a pair of DB4 Antera wheels, and a DB2 exhaust system. On condition that these elements all got here from Italy, he determined {that a} Ducati engine could be the right match.

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
After some looking out, Roland discovered the right motor in Germany; an ex-Battle of the Twins 944 cc race-prepped Ducati mill, full with open Keihin FCR carbs. He instantly despatched it to buddy at a Ducati dealership within the Netherlands for a clear invoice of well being.

However there was yet one more half that Roland wanted earlier than the undertaking might begin in earnest: an acceptable chassis. He managed to search out what he calls “the Holy Grail”—an authentic Bimota Tesi Omega body. However even that wasn’t left inventory.

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
The Bimota’s body was stripped all the way down to its distinctive CNC-machined mounting plates, which have been flipped round to get the geometry excellent for a brand new trellis body that Roland had conceived. “The development of the trellis body, and the reducing and filling of the tubes into totally different shapes and angles was actually complicated, and an entire combination between meditation, frustration and pleasure,” he tells us.

“I’ve at all times been sincere with myself, and I’m conscious that I’m not a very good welder. And since all bike frames want excellent welding, I made a decision to delegate this process. So I contacted a buddy who’s a gifted metalworker to provide me a hand.”

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
Roland’s connection TIG welded the entire thing collectively out of 15CDV6 tubing—a low carbon, excessive power metal used within the aerospace and motorsports industries. True to type, a couple of upcycled scraps of salvaged plane metal have been added to the combo too.

As soon as the body was prepared, Roland spent 18 hours on it with a silver marker—masking each inch in an intricate hand-drawn sample. A number of custom-made badges have been sprinkled on it too, to personalize it much more. (Roland even added a stamped Ducati badge simply behind the steering neck, because the engine is the one actually identifiable half on this construct.)

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
With a set of CNC-machined yokes from a store in Germany, and the Showa forks from a Ducati 916, Foray began to return collectively. The cockpit encompasses a pair of CNC-machined fork preload adjusters, plus BKG clip-ons, a Keihin throttle, Renthal grips and Spiegler grasp cylinders. A custom-made headlight lights the best way.

Foray has no speedo or tacho; as a substitute, Roland added a timepiece from his favourite horologist. “I like Sinn-Spezialuhren from Germany,” he tells us. “I wished a Sinn NaBo plane clock on the motorcycle, in order that I’d at all times be residence in supper time.”

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
With assist from one other buddy, Roland ticked off the final of {the electrical} and mechanical duties. The Bimota swingarm, wheels and exhaust that he had in hand went onto the bike too—however there was one remaining part lacking, and it required a fast journey to Switzerland.

“I wished to put in eight-piston Spiegler entrance brakes on the bike,” he explains. “However the proprietor of those elements insisted that the one manner he would promote them to me, was if I confirmed up and had a cup of espresso with him.”

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine
“The Foray undertaking displays work that was performed with ardour and willpower, and a very good degree of lunacy and caffeine, which additionally relied drastically on camaraderie and craftsmanship.”

Feels like an awesome recipe to us.

Roland Groteclaes | Instagram | Pictures by Gregor Collienne

Custom Bimota café racer with Ducati engine



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