"FORAY" by Roland Groteclaes

A one-off Motorcycle created 2018 by Roland Groteclaes.

Often a project starts with a single detail that decides the direction to be taken. Also for this Ducati everything started from F1 carbon fiber oil-air heat exchanger. We had noticed this bike during Amd world championship of custom bike building so we contact Roland to let us tell how this bike was born.

He is an artist who creates sculptures and drawings and this can be considered as one of his creations however in 1: 1 scale

The Birth of the idea of the motorcycle FORAY, comes from a time in which a friend from England gifted me a used Honda F1 carbon fiber oil-air heat exchanger. He thought of using this for making a sculpture of it, but it was more than clear for me to grant this piece a new identity as an upcycled motorcycle fuel tank.

The creation of the FORAY and its mere existence turns all around one piece: the fuel tank.
Personally, I usually ride a Bimota DB3 (Mantra), and like many other motorcycle maniacs, I have a lot of new and used parts in my garage, all saved with the idea that one day I may make use of them.

Now, this project came to existence at the right time for me to use all the pieces that I had previously saved, such as a Bimota DB3 swingarm, Bimota DB4 Antera wheels, and a Bimota DB2 exhaust system.

As I had decided to use these Italian pieces as to make FORAY come to life, it became completely clear to me that I should take a Ducatti engine, which I found in Germany.
An original BoT (Battle of Twins) Ducatti 944 ccm race engine, with open Keihin 41 FCR carburetors, which I gave to a friend and a Ducati dealer based in the Netherlands for a perfect checkup.

Nonetheless, my dream would only start to be assembled by finding what I like to call the Holy Grail, a lost Bimota Tesi Omega frame, which I simply decided to turn around to obtain a perfect geometry for the future trellis frame, in addition to using a 15CDV6 aircraft tube due to the materials high performance. This was then followed by a period of drawing, designing and engineering the trellis frame, to finally obtain a sturdy and elegant way in which to represent my vision.

The construction of the trellis frame, and the cutting and filling of the tubes into different shapes and angles was truly complex, and a complete mixture between meditation, frustration and excitement.

I have always been honest to myself and I am aware that I am not a sound welder, and as all motorcycle frames need 100% perfect welding, I decided to relegate this task. Therefore, I decided to contact a friend who is a talented metalworker to give me a hand with this job.
Working with scrap has always played an important role in each one of my sculptures, as I like to give each single piece a second chance in life, by sometimes changing their shape or just giving them a new function.
After finishing all the work that regarded the proper adaptation of the trellis frame, I then began to give it a new look by applying a full hand painted job by using an ordinary silver marker.

With regard to the front suspension of the FORAY, I decided to use a Showa front fork from an early Ducati 916, as to maintain the glamour and age look of the motorbike in alliance to the other parts that I used for its completion.
The custom triple yoke was made by a friendly motorcycle dealer in Germany.
However, as to make sure that my dream of creating FORAY was fully achieved, a quick trip to Switzerland was needed. This is because I truly believed on keeping myself real to my ideas, that I wanted to incorporate 8 pistons Spiegler front brake systems for the bike, that would only be obtained if I had a cup of coffee with the then current owner of these parts, as he insisted that the only way in which would sell them to me, was if I showed up and had a cup of coffee with him.

The electric part and general finishing touches of the FORAY were carefully worked in collaboration  with an old friend who made sure that everything worked correctly, and that this bike was fully functional.
The FORAY project reflects the work that was conducted with passion and determination and a good level of lunacy and caffeine, which also relied greatly in comradery and craftsmanship.

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