Balamutti Yondu: An apocalyptic, supercharged Russian ice-racing trike
This supercharged, three-wheeled, ice-racing monstrosity once lived a happy, peaceful life as a Ducati Hypermotard, until Vitaliy Selyukov of Balamutti got hold of it and turned it into a mutant Trikenstein perfect for today's apocalyptic mood.
Selyukov runs a workshop for Italian bikes out of St. Petersburg, and when he's not doing services and tuning, he's wrenching on the Yondu. Inspired by the Speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi, he took the engine and main trellis frame of a donor Hypermotard and set about making pretty much everything else himself.
According to Pipeburn, that hideously brutal front end is effectively a double hub-center steering system on dual Sachs-suspended swingarms, the wheel pivoting on spherical roller bearings, controlled by dual steering dampers and rose-jointed articulating rods. No small amount of thinking has gone into this, and the chief nod to Star Wars is the outside-in reverse handlebar setup, which looks absolutely nuts.
The wheel hubs, where they're not required to support swingarms and brake systems, are covered with convex reflective covers – except the rear hub, which is painted up to show some kind of galactic hellfire scene. The subframe is comically tiny, and holds aloft what appears to be a bicycle seat, leaving room for a particularly vicious-looking exhaust to rise up underneath.
As for the engine, Selyukov has apparently chopped a Garrett turbo to bits, yanked out the turbine and repurposed it as a crank-driven supercharger, building his own belt and pulley setup in order to blow a bit more life into an engine that makes less than 100 horses stock. We are in the presence of a madman here.
Lord knows how it rides on those spiked-out ice tires – it looks like one for the bold – but Selyukov plans to drag-race it on the ice at the Lake Baikal Mile. Godspeed, you marvelous maniac. More shots in the gallery, thanks to photographer Denis Minchenkov.
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