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Custom of the Week: ‘Pili’ Aprilia RSV by Kacerwagen




Collaboration and the orchestration of talented crafts people is a skill in its self but there’s a particular satisfaction derived from doing the whole job yourself.

Chus Valencia is a pro builder from Spain’s south coast, where he owns and runs the workshop Kacerwagen. Unique, handbuilt creativity appears to be the foundation of Chus’ business and he is keen to point out that he’ll only take on work that floats his boat – he’s not a bolt-on fly-by-night.

An existing customer pitched up with a request for a café racer, but not one based on a run of the mill donor that we’re used to seeing on these pages but a 2007 Aprilia RSV1000. An obvious choice if building a bike to appeal to one’s ear drums but eyes are a tougher judge and the Mille’s chassis isn’t the prettiest in stock form. This bike , Pili, is a successful attempt to prove that theory wrong.

Chus stripped the v-twin beast and got cracking. The ugly square section subframe has been replaced by a triangulated tubular version which supports the carbon tail section and leather saddle. Some of the myriad of electronics are housed within, as well as a decent sized lithium battery. The bodywork starts as sculpted clay forms before reverse moulds are made to accept the carbon weave which is then hand laid.

Whilst at it he made a new airbox to feed the thirsty v-twin. But not just any old box, motors like this don’t tend to work well unless particular air flow and resonance parameters are met. Earlier RSVs featured a chunky central headlight but this is the later 2007 Daniella Westbrook model which requires force feeding, Pili’s machined aluminium headlight surround now offers a far more attractive air intake solution.

Without huge fairing panels to cover-up ugly stuff the stock radiator had to go. Thicker but smaller oil and water cores have been mated to fabricated end tanks to keep the Mille looking and running cool. The exhaust is of course handmade, using sections of big bore stainless pipe, baffled by just a single Leovince silencer. I’m a fan of the 60° twin, it sounds better than the 90° clatterer from Bologna….oooww, controversial.

The wiring harness has been heavily modified and utilises a control unit from best-in-the-business, Motogadget. Mirrors are from Rizoma and the rest of the switchgear, levers and cockpit is stock Aprilia, which is no bad thing as the high-end model tended to be very well spec’ed. Down below the Öhlins suspension and radial Brembos work a treat so there’s no point changing something for the sake of it.

Thankfully the carbon weave has been generously lacquered rather than hidden beneath layers of paint. And it’s not just us that think Chus has done a great job, Pili took home the silverware at Moto Madrid 2017. I’ve seen tatty or damaged donors go for as little as £1500 (earlier non-Daniellas) so maybe it’s time we heard that wonderful Aprilia thunder emanating from beneath a better looking outfit.

Original article first published on The Bike Shed; Republished here with permission.

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Is the Manx Missile Cavendish about to trade cycling lycra for motorcycle racing leathers?



Could the Manx Missile hang up his lycra and pedals for something a little more petrol propelled?

Mark Cavendish has been the fastest thing on two (pedal-powered) wheels for a while now, but in recent interviews, the Isle of Man native and good friend of Cal Crutchlow has expressed an interest in two-wheeled vehicles of a motorcycling kind.

Speaking in an interview with Esquire Magazine from when he was in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One last year, Cavendish shared his love of fast cars and bikes, telling the interviewer that he’d ‘always loved anything to do with motors, or machines… Vehicles really. Just love them’. Before being asked if he’d ever considered being an F1 driver?

‘Nah. I don’t think I’m good enough. Everybody thinks that it’s like driving a car down the promenade, it’s totally not the same. To be honest, I prefer motorbikes more; I would like to race them instead.’

Ok, so it’s not a huge admission or a massive surprise – it’s something we’ve all probably dreamed of and one time or another, but when pressed on the issue he does seem to have considered the possibilities more than just in passing.

When asked if motorcycling racing might actually be next for him he replied with an emphatic, ‘In all seriousness, I think so’.

Adding fuel to the fire have been comments from him earlier this month made during press conferences in support of the Dubai Tour.

When asked explicitly if he’d consider hanging up his cycling blocks for motorcycle leathers, he certainly didn’t dismiss the idea, ‘Anything is possible, you know… I will just look at my options for the short term and the long term and see what I do with my future’.

So that’s definitely not a no.

For cycling fans fearful that he might be closer than expected to making the jump, there’s probably not any immediate cause for panic. In the very same Esquire feature he also explicitly stated that he had a ‘fair few years‘ left in his professional career.

Could a cycling pro move over to motorcycles with any expectation of success? Multi-discipline racers aren’t unheard of. Rossi loves his car racing and Lewis Hamilton has always expressed an interest in a taking turn in MotoGP.

But that’s from a motor vehicle on short track racing onto another motor vehicle on a similar track. We’d imagine that the speeds and skills involved from pedal cycle to internal combustion engine are a little less transferable for any moral human.

But then Mark Cavendish isn’t your average human being and reports suggest that the times that he has spent on track have been pretty impressive.

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Indian electric Emflux claims 120mph, over 100 miles range for under £8,000



Photo: Emflux

Startup company put its first electric sportsbike concept on display, alongside some impressive claims.

The Emflux can hit 62 mph in 3 seconds and charges to over 80 percent in half an hour. Couple that with a range of around 115 miles and a top speed of 120 mph and you have an electric motorcycle to pique anyone’s interest. Throw in a claimed price of under £8000 and you get the room to take notice.

That’s what the Indian startup Emflux did this week at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi.

The 25-strong company has completely developed the machinemachine i and the team have designed everything except for the brakes, suspension and tyres.

Featuring a steel-trellis frame and single-sided swingarm, the chassis of the machine certainly looks the part, and along with the 60kW motor and 9.7 kWh lithium-ion cell battery the entire package only weights 169 kgs.

Alongside the mechanics, the technology on-board features a built-in GPS system, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity – all alongside an NVIDIA Jetson TK1 core processor. That’s a mighty big brain to go alongside some mighty big claims from the startup firm.

The company say that they are planning to build 199 of the bikes for the local, Indian market, with another 300 for export.

Oh and if you want Ohlins suspension, forged alloy wheels and carbon-fibre bodywork, then the price will go up by another £10,000 or so.

With new companies coming out with interesting designs and ideas for new electrically powered motorcycles almost weekly now, surely it’s time for one of the major manufacturers to step in? Isn’t it?

Source: Emflux

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