Motorcycles

Dotto's first custom motorcycle folds open like a Swiss Army knife

Dotto's first custom motorcycl...
The Biancaneve is designed to look "sculptural" when parked, but folds open to become practical as a ride
The Biancaneve is designed to look "sculptural" when parked, but folds open to become practical as a ride
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The Biancaneve is designed to look "sculptural" when parked, but folds open to become practical as a ride
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The Biancaneve is designed to look "sculptural" when parked, but folds open to become practical as a ride
Super-smooth lines over the classic CX500 frame
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Super-smooth lines over the classic CX500 frame
The Biancaneve (Snow White) folds out fairing elements to maintain its super-sleek profile when parked
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The Biancaneve (Snow White) folds out fairing elements to maintain its super-sleek profile when parked
Seat and fuel filler covers fold open when it's time to get practical
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Seat and fuel filler covers fold open when it's time to get practical
For a bike called "Snow White," there sure is a lotta black
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For a bike called "Snow White," there sure is a lotta black
Radiator cover as manifesto – nice
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Radiator cover as manifesto – nice
Dotto believes its bike is one of the few you can park in an art gallery
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Dotto believes its bike is one of the few you can park in an art gallery
The Biancaneve next to a standard '79 CX500
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The Biancaneve next to a standard '79 CX500
No less than eight struts hold the seat cover up and create the pull-out motion of the seat
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No less than eight struts hold the seat cover up and create the pull-out motion of the seat
View gallery - 9 images

There's no shortage of crazy ideas in the custom bike world, but we haven't seen one like this before. The Biancaneve, with its seat hidden under a fold-out tailpiece, is an interesting first bike from new Italian custom shop Dotto Creations.

This bike's first act started in 1979, as a Honda CX500. These middleweight shaft-drives were big sellers in their day as all-round touring bikes, and they've had a resurgence in the new millennium as a solid base for customs, with simple single-spine, dual-shock frames and an eye-catching sideways V-twin engine, making somewhere around 50 horsepower.

The Dotto team came at its first project with the idea of removing everything unnecessary from a motorcycle and staying as close as possible to their ideal of "two wheels, an engine and a way to ride it." So the CX got stripped right down, cleaned up and mechanically restored. The engine, radiator, frame and fork boots were powder coated black, it got a set of cafe-racer-style clip-ons and a minimalist modern round headlight and tiny digital dash.

The Biancaneve (Snow White) folds out fairing elements to maintain its super-sleek profile when parked
The Biancaneve (Snow White) folds out fairing elements to maintain its super-sleek profile when parked

When it came to aesthetics, Dotto got a bit more adventurous. It needed to be rideable, but the team wanted it to look almost sculptural when parked up. Seats are generally utilitarian items, and the bane of some high-minded designers that place form over function. Dotto didn't want to make one of those nutty customs that look amazing, but seem like declarations of war against a rider's perineum, so it came up with the cheeky idea of putting a fold-out cover over the seat.

Thus, the Biancaneve looks super-sleek when it's parked, unsullied by buttock padding, and when it's time to actually ride the thing, you release the cover with a latch at the back, then open it out on a surprisingly complex-looking set of hinges and struts to create a kind of floating tailpiece at the back. The leather-covered seat pulls out gently from the tank section as the tail opens in a nice piece of mechanical theater, and off you go.

To make the front end match, Dotto mirrors it with a flip-up cover for the fuel filler. When both are open, there's a distinct Swiss army knife vibe, a distant echo of those top-end hypercars that can open out like peacocks spreading their feathers at the touch of a button. Here, it's writ small, and done manually, but it gave us a smile and we hope it does the same for you.

No less than eight struts hold the seat cover up and create the pull-out motion of the seat
No less than eight struts hold the seat cover up and create the pull-out motion of the seat

The name Biancaneve translates as "snow white," which feels a little reductive for a bike that's mostly black. But I guess you'd have to be Dopey to powderc oat an engine block white...

Source: Dotto Creations

View gallery - 9 images
5 comments
5 comments
PhilippeHolthuizen
Seems like a missed opportunity, that cover could have been the saddle itself. Yes, it would have to be pretty soft but if you are taking all this effort, it would still look better and be more surprising than the massive cover hanging of the back now.
Nelson Hyde Chick
What good is this other than making the bike look cool parked?
Leo.G
What a waste of a good Honda CX500.
I guess I've seen so many customised and unattractive CX500's I shouldn't be surprised (though they do have a reputation of being ugly standard, until you ride one and realise what an amazing machine they are). I own an original 81 model (my third CX) with genuine 39,000 Kilometres I want to clean up after a long period of poor storage but it's going back to standard when I get to it.
A good set of rear shocks (Marzocchi), some rework of the standard front end (heavy oil ), fork brace, needle roller bearings in the steering head and they weren't a bad handling bike.
Long live the CX!
Martin Hone
Leo G. You seem to love your CX, but Im sure that fitting good rear shocks ( not Marzocchi) tapered roller steering head bearings ( not needle roller) and a proper re-valve of the forks ( not heavier oil) would certainly be steps in the right direction.
ljaques
The sun baked both of their heads, I tell ya. What do these hideous monstrosities cost, $50k or more?
Total war, not against the perineum, but against the eyeballs and wallets. A snowy beetle humping a diesel boat motor.
(Is that really a CX500 engine?)