Renowned Italian designer Aldo Drudi, in co-operation with Honda, created a custom interpretation of its VFR 1200F sport tourer. Born at the Air Garage installation in Rimini, Italy, the Burasca 1200 showcases some very exclusive parts while declaring its uniqueness with Drudi's one-off carbon livery.
The name Aldo Drudi will probably ring some bells to motorcycle fans, as his main work has always revolved around the world of two-wheels. A long-time collaborator of Dainese and Arai, he claimed his stake at celebrity through his helmet designs for some of the greatest Grand Prix riders of all time – most notably his close personal friend Valentino Rossi, whose helmets always bear the stamp of Drudi's studio, D-Performance.
In 2014 Drudi set up the Air Garage, a temporary installation on the roof of Rimini's City Museum (Museo della Città). Working in close collaboration with Honda, there he unveiled his plans to build a custom version of the VFR 1200F (non-DCT version) and now, two years later, the Burasca project has been completed.
The name Burasca draws its roots from Drudi's childhood as the nickname of an uncle of his. It originates from the Italian word "burrasca" that translates to gale-force winds and sounds quite fitting for Honda's 170-hp sport tourer.
As expected from a designer, the Burasca is more about looks and less about power, as Drudi kept the 1237 cc V4 engine in stock status. Producing 170 hp (127 kW) at 10,000 rpm and 129 Nm at 8,750 it probably does more than enough to support the concept bike's stormy name anyway.
Still, a little treat comes in the shape of a very special exhaust system. Drudi designed it to his taste and then passed the clay prototypes to Slovenian exhaust manufacturer, Akrapovic, who delivered the full titanium system with two superposed cans. Hopefully it performs as good as it looks, but it's very doubtful that we'll ever find out – unless one day Akrapovic has plans to produce this exhaust system for the stock VFR. The Burasca may be a fully working motorcycle, but according to its creator it is not intended to ever go into production.
The bike's new costume relies solely on one-off carbon fiber and ergal (aluminum alloy) parts, and is supported by custom ergal equipment like the lower handlebars, lighter wheels and instrument support. A set of Öhlins suspensions with NIX 30 forks and a TTX 36 GP shock absorber at the back, as well as a pair of radial four-pot Nissin brake calipers, add another touch of desirability to the Burasca.
Although little was done to beef up the engine's power characteristics, a lot of effort went into reducing the motorcycle's mass. Along with the aforementioned lightweight components and the titanium exhaust, Drudi also got rid of the ABS system to end up with 30 kg (66 lb) less than the stock VFR.
The future holds a series of events and exhibitions for the Burasca, where hopefully we'll have the chance to meet in the flesh (and carbon) at one of the upcoming international motorcycle shows – either Intermot in October or EICMA in November. After that, it's time for retirement. "The Burasca will end up in my house to become part of my personal collection as my first ever creation on two wheels," said Drudi in an interview with Italian magazine Motociclismo.