When it comes to exotic donors, you don't get much more special than a Bimota, in this case a 1996 DB3 Mantra, based around the M900 engine. Back in '96 it wasn't exactly hailed as Bimota's finest hour when it came to styling, but there was no denying the quality of chassis parts and handling. All it needed was a serious makeover.
This stunning build is the handy work of Tony Prust and Mark Ardito from Analog Motorcycles - a workshop based around the idea of simplicity. Tony's roots were in music recording. He always loved the warmth and character of analog audio over digital, and most of us can appreciate exactly how this translates directly into the world of creative custom building. Bikes like the Bimota are all about simple high quality components and good engineering; the perfect starting place for some stripped-back automotive beauty.
The bike was a customer commission, where the brief had been to build something unique, but having found the bike at a swap meet at a vintage festival it took Tony a while to convince the customer that this could be something very special. Happily for Tony - and for us - he eventually saw the light.
The bike also caught the eye of Cafe Racer TV who had come to Tony asking if he anything special cooking in the workshop. He explained his vision for the bike; "...a modern cafe racer with some vintage flair. I knew I wanted the tank to be a Ducati style tank from the 70's era 750ss and I wanted spoke wheels. The rest was making sure all the lines met and worked together".
While the Bimota was genuine exotica, it wasn't pretty, and was only going to benefit from Tony throwing away all the original bodywork. From being stripped-down the bike got a custom subframe, tank, seat pan and hump in aluminium - the combination of angular lines and curves working together to complement the Bimota's rounded box-section trellis frame. The seat was upholstered by Rod's Designs.
The twin valve, aircooled 900cc engine was rebuilt by TJ at Ducati Milwaukee with a more efficient oil cooler and breathing through FCR carbs, velocity stacks and ceramic-coated custom pipes. A slipper clutch was added for true racetrack manners. Getting spoked wheels to fit was a major challenge. From the start Tony had wanted wire-spoked wheels, but the forks and swing arm on the Bimota were considerably narrower than most bikes that accommodate 17inch spoked rims, dual brake rotors and a rear cush drive. The problem was eventually solved with a pair of tubeless Alpinas from JCPak Bikes designed for early model Monsters.
The Bimota OEM brakes were not known to be lacking but the bike still got an upgrade to a full ISR brake system, sourced through Mike at Power Barn, with flawlessly beautiful and well-made components throughout. Many of the bike's parts were anodised aluminium which had been matched to the Alpina's orange wheels, so Tony put his painter Kiel from Crown Autobody onto the task of matching the rims and incorporating the same colour into the bodywork graphics. The base colour paint was matched to the engine's grey powdercoat finish.
Other details include Vortex clip-ons with Speedymoto bars and CRG bar end mirrors, while the rear pegs and foot controls are Rizoma. The headlight is an Emgo British 7" bucket with integrated LED turn signals and LSL brackets.
The speedo is a Koso DB-01R and the bike runs a light-weight Earth X lithium battery and LED tail light array, also featuring integrated brake and turn signals. It's all very Tron Legacy.The end result is a bike that rides as good as it looks - in fact, maybe even better. The Bostrom brothers took the DB 3.5 out for a hard ride on-track, in front of the Cafe Racer TV cameras, and described the bike as being light, quick and able to stop on a dime. Both Tony and his initially reluctant customer are extremely happy with the outcome, and we would be too if Analog MC's DB3.5 was in our BSMC shed. Huge thanks to Tony for sharing this beautiful build. We look forward to seeing what comes next out of Analog Motorcycles. Follow them on their Website and Facebook, or here on The Bike Shed. Photos by Andrew Barkules Posted by Dutch@TheBikeShed