No one upcycles quite like Roland Groteclaes. Based in Belgium, he’s a multi-talented creative that splits his time between illustration, design, painting and sculpture. And the latter is almost always done using salvaged parts.
This approach to their art is reflected in the custom bike he’s just built. Dubbed ‘Foray, ’ it’s best described as a Bimota/Ducati hybrid. But this wasn’t a simple engine swap job—instead, it was pieced together almost entirely along with leftover parts from multiple donor bikes.
The inspiration for Despoliation came from a particularly unusual source. “A friend form England gifted me an used Honda F1 carbon fiber heat exchanger, ” Roland tells us. “He thought I could use it in a sculpture, but it was more than clear to me that I should give this piece the new identity, as a good upcycled motorcycle fuel tank. ”
“So the creation of Foray—its mere existence—revolves around 1 piece: the fuel container. ”
Roland needed to piece a motorcycle together to host his new fuel tank, so he took stock of what he had in his garage. “I ride a Bimota DB3 Mantra, ” he explains. “And, like most motorcycle maniacs, I have a lot of new and used parts, all saved with the idea that one day I may make use associated with them. ”
Roland’s stash included the Bimota DB3 swingarm, a pair of DB4 Antera wheels, plus a DB2 exhaust system. Given that those parts almost all originated from Italy, he decided that a Ducati engine would be the particular perfect fit.
After some searching, Roland found the perfect motor in Germany; an ex-Battle of the Twins 944 cc race-prepped Ducati mill, complete with open Keihin FCR carbs. He immediately sent it in order to friend at a Ducati dealership in the Netherlands for a clean bill associated with health.
Yet there was one more part that Roland needed before the project could start in earnest: a suitable chassis. This individual managed to hunt down what he calls “the Holy Grail”—an original Bimota Tesi Omega frame. But even that was not left stock.
The Bimota’s frame has been stripped down to its distinctive CNC-machined mounting plates, which were flipped around to get the geometry just right with regard to a new trellis framework that Roland had conceived. “The construction of the particular trellis body, and the cutting and filling from the tubes into different shapes and angles had been truly complex, and a complete mixture among meditation, frustration and excitement, ” this individual lets us know.
“I have always been honest with myself, and I is aware that I am not a good welder. And since just about all motorcycle frames need perfect welding, I decided to delegate this task. So I contacted a friend who is the talented metalworker to give me personally a hand. ”
Roland’s connection TIG welded the whole thing together out of 15CDV6 tubing—a low co2, high strength steel utilized in the aerospace plus motorsports industries. True in order to form, a few upcycled scraps of salvaged aircraft steel had been added to the mix too.
Once the frame was ready, Roland spent 18 hours on it with a silver marker—covering every inch within an intricate hand-drawn pattern. A few custom-made badges were sprinkled on it too, to personalize it actually more. (Roland even added a stamped Ducati badge just behind the steering neck, since the engine is the only truly identifiable component on this particular build. )
With a set of Cnc machined yokes from a shop in Germany, as well as the Showa forks from the Ducati 916, Foray started to come together. The cockpit features a pair of CNC-machined fork preload adjusters, plus BKG clip-ons, a Keihin throttle, Renthal grips and Spiegler master cylinders. A custom-made headlight lights the way.
Foray has no speedo or tacho; instead, Roland added the timepiece from his favorite horologist. “I love Sinn-Spezialuhren from Philippines, ” he or she tells us. “I wanted a Sinn NaBo plane clock on the motorbike, so that will I would always be home in time for dinner. ”
With help from another friend, Roland ticked off the last of the particular electrical and mechanical tasks. The Bimota swingarm, wheels and exhaust that he had in hand went onto the bike too—but there was a single final component missing, plus it required a quick trip to Switzerland.
“I desired to install eight-piston Spiegler front brakes on the particular bike, ” he describes. “But the owner associated with these components insisted that the only way he would sell them to me, was if We showed up and had a cup of coffee along with him. ”
“The Foray project reflects work that was conducted with passion plus determination, and a good level of lunacy and caffeine, which also relied greatly upon camaraderie plus craftsmanship. ”
Sounds like a great recipe to all of us.
Roland Groteclaes | Instagram | Images by Gregor Collienne