Ducati's hyper-distinctive sports cruiser XDiavel has proven to be a remarkably adaptable canvas for motorcycle customizers in the last few years and the visual focus has always been on the interplay between that massive 120 degree v-twin engine and the trellis frame that it comes wrapped in.
Today at the Bikers' Classics motorcycling carnival to be held in the Belgian Ardennes (at Spa Francorchamps), we're going to see a completely different take on a customized Ducati Diavel by Freddie "Krugger" Bertrand, the Belgian artisan who has twice won the AMD Custom Bike Building World Championship.
The most interesting aspect is Bertrand's conscious obfuscation of the Ducati trellis frame from the Thiverval profile, in complete contrast to all those XDiavel customs we've seen previously.
We've added all the available imagery (over a dozen pics) of the Thiverval in the gallery, but thought it worthwhile showing the complete contrast between the Thiverval and some of those high-profile XDiavel-based custom bikes that have come before it.
This is the original XDiavel S.
This is Roland Sands XDiavel-based custom we covered in August, 2016.
This is the Ducati Diavel Draxter designed by Ducati's internal design studio.
This is the Bimota version of the XDiavel, or at least a complete rethink using just the Testastretta 11-degree motor from the XDiavel to create the Bimota Impeto. Even though Bimota has created an entirely new frame for the Impeto, the frame members still make up a major part of the motorcycle's visually arresting look. For those who like the look, the Bimota Impeto can be ordered with or without a supercharger, giving it 190+ hp if you so desire.
Hence when we saw that Bertrand's newest custom does not use the trellis as a key visual element in the design, we thought it interesting enough to go back and look at what the world-class artisan has created previously.
Bertrand's most recent win in the AMD Custom Bike Building World Championship was in 2014 where BMW's 1600cc straight six engine was used to create a custom named "nurb's." That's Krugger proprietor Freddie Bertrand seated with nurb's.
The nurb's project BMW was Bertrand's second win in the title. Only two people have ever won the AMD Custom Bike Building World Championship more than once, the other being Canadian Roger Goldammer who has won it three times.
Bertrand's previous world championship win was in 2010 when he created a bike for Norwegian robotics engineer Peer Toftner in league with Dutch designer Mark van der Kwaak (check out his site, some cool CAD bikes and interesting ideas). Toftner had been developing a shape-shifting motorcycle concept for many years, and had patented several aspects of the design.
Named the Veon, the bike used a Harley-Davidson V-Rod motor and was built with an electronically adjustable frame system which enabled the bike to transform from racer to cruiser. In racer mode, the bike has a steep 23 degree rake, 3.1 inch trail and 60.4 inch wheelbase for nimble handling. In cruiser mode, the rake is 30 degrees, the trail 4.7 inches and the wheelbase is 63.4 inches, offering great highway stability.
Toftner (pictured above left with Bertrand and the 2010 World Championship Trophy), is pursuing his dream of a dual purpose motorcycle that can transform at the flick of a switch and we cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.
In the meantime, the bike can be seen transforming in the video below.
The Bikers' Classics event begins today at the Spa Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium, and it is yet another of those motorcycle events that have sprung up across Europe in recent times that is more about feeling good than going fast.
Increasingly, these events celebrate the point where art, human spirit and motorcycle construction meet and custom motorcycles are at the core of each event.
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