Riding a motorcycle is about more than just getting from A to B—it’s an experience. Someone who truly understands this sentiment is David Sánchez at Bottpower in Valencia, Spain. They’re known for creating some of the wildest custom motorcycles on the planet.
When David isn’t spinning spanners in his workshop, he’s spinning spanners for other people. Last year marked his 16th season as a data and race engineer on the European Superbike and Supersport circuit. On top of this, Bottpower’s XR1R won its class at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and finished 4th overall in 2017; David knows a thing or two about making well-engineered bikes.
This is the latest build in Bottpower’s XR1 series. For those who aren’t in the know, Bottpower XR1s are based on Buell’s XB12 series of bikes. David and his team take a stock XB12, and, using parts that they also sell in kit form, transform it to great effect.
Buell fans will notice that the bike’s distinctive twin spar aluminum frame has been replaced. Hiding under the carbon fiber tank cover is a brand new backbone-style frame, which now uses the 1,203 cc Buell Thunderstorm engine as a stressed member.
Since the Buell frame usually does double duty as the fuel tank, Bottpower has a three-stage fuel cell system for their XR1 builds. One cell sits under the tank cover, while the other two cells are located on either side of the bike, behind the rear cylinder and under the seat. It’s a wild way to store fuel—but so was the factory’s method.
The engine is treated to a new fuel system, handmade titanium collectors and a Torque Hammer exhaust. Breathing through a Bottpower intake system, this thing would thunder down the road like few bikes can.
The front forks are from a Buell 1125R, complete with the obligatory radial mounted brake disc. Also packing a set of K-Tech cartridges, this thing would handle like a dream, especially with those Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires.
The rear shock is replaced by an Öhlins TTX unit, built to Bottpower’s exacting specifications. As for the brakes, up front is a Brembo master cylinder with an eight-piston Buell caliper. At the rear is the stock Buell master cylinder, paired to a Brembo caliper that is hidden behind the swingarm.
The handlebars are Bottpower’s own TA-KE composite bars, mounted on their own risers and triple clamps. The cockpit area is blissfully simple, with a single Motogadget Chronoclassic gauge and keyless ignition. Brembo controls and race-spec switchgear indicate that the XR1 means business.
The client did have two requests that deviate from Bottpower’s usual XR1 formula. “Instead of using a flat track-style number plate like the ones we normally use on our XR1s, our client suggested we use a JvB-moto signature headlight,” David explains.
“It is curious to see how simply by changing the headlight, the aesthetics of the motorcycle can change completely.”
And what a difference that one detail makes. David Sanchez and Jens vom Brauck (the ‘JvB’ in JvB-moto) are a match made in motorcycling heaven. The JvB-moto headlight gives the Bottpower bike just the right amount of neoclassic café racer style.
The client’s second request was the seat. He asked David if they could build him a tail unit without Bottpower’s usual flat tracker side panels, and David was more than happy to oblige. Although in the end, the team ended up building two seats—one with the number plates, and one without.
Both hand made in carbon fiber, the customer can switch them over in a mere minute. They both look fantastic—but if it were up to us, we’d take the number plate seat, for that signature Bottpower look.
This Buell is a testament to experiential motorcycling. Blending form and function in the way that only a vastly experienced craftsman can, it’s the kind of bike you could spend hours looking at, poring over every last detail. And it would be hours well spent, too.
If you think we didn’t do a search for cheap Buells to see how much we could build an XR1 for, you’d be wrong. And really, can you blame us?
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