Sette Nero Manta
By Ross Sharp - 16 Apr 14
Think back to that awkward chat you might have had with the careers advisor about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Doubtful that the builder of this bike, Andrea Felice, ever needed to have such a conversation. His grandfather was a Baroque master carver and his father a furniture maker and teacher of cabinet making, no surprise then that Andrea would be a 'maker' too. After studying Industrial Design the call of genetics took over and Andrea moved to London to set up a now highly acclaimed furniture making business. A sucker for BMWs, he's owned many over the years and a decade ago completed his first cafe racer build, a '78 R80 called Biplano, and Sette Nero Motorcycles was born. This latest build, Manta, is based on a 1980 R100T frame and engine. The swingarm has been braced and modified with a fully adjustable Showa mono-shock connected directly to the centre of the frame's top tube with no linkage. The subframe is also bespoke and welded to the main frame. The front end is from a BMW K75 with beefier 41mm stanchions and uprated twin disc set up. Carbon headlight with integrated warning lights and a small, simple speedo are the obvious flashes of modernity, the engine and chassis will remind the rider that this isn't a normal eighties Beemer with a few cafe racer tweaks. A Heinrich endurance tank has had the knee recesses cut out and remade with fibreglass and sealed on the inside, allowing a clearer view of the suspension mods and ignition trickery. The battery is relocated in a custom aluminium box right down low, underneath the engine. Feet up on the billet rear sets and knees tucked up into the tank, the Manta is going to feel very lithe indeed. The engine has been fully rebuilt and dynamically balanced by Jim Cray Engineering to create an almost zero miles unit, with new pistons and barrels by Siebenrock, ported heads and an electronic ignition conversion for the double spark plug set up. 40mm Dellortos on K&Ns replace the old Bings which sets a precedent for the exhaust to follow. A slender, in-house fabricated, stainless steel 2-into-1 feeds neatly into a stubby Supertrapp low-down on the right side. The gearbox also received the full rebuild treatment, no expense spared on this build then! Front and rear rims have been relaced with stainless spokes and reduced by one inch in diameter to sharpen the handling. If you want to take a closer look at this build, and meet Sette Nero's Andrea, then get yourself a ticket for BSMC Event 3 where Manta will be one of the bikes on display.