Motorcycle News - Flame Thrower: The ‘Spitfire’ BMW from VTR and TW Steel
This extraordinary drag racer looks like it belongs on the pages of a 1930s Boy’s Own Annual. But it was completed just a few days ago by VTR Customs of Switzerland, and will race in the Sultans of Sprint series in Europe.
VTR boss Daniel Weidmann worked as a technician on vintage aircraft in his early career, so he’s comfortable with these methods. But even so, his skills—and those of head tech Cello Brauchli—were stretched to the limit.
The effort was worth it, because the bodywork is extraordinary. And not just from a distance, or in profile. The riveting is remarkable, and follows the same techniques used in the 1930s. (It helps that Dani has access to authentic materials and original tools.)
The design inspiration came from Dani’s own career in aviation and a sketch from the French studio Barbara Design. A torpedo-like monster, completely sheathed in aluminum, would be immediately reminiscent of old airplanes.
According to Dani, the hardest work was shaping the air intakes, deciding where to split the sheets of aluminum, and figuring out the opening for the front wheel, to keep the ‘fully enclosed’ look.
The bodywork should give VTR a head start in the Sultans of Sprint, because the race series is not only based on speed—it also rewards creativity and style. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect performance.
There are restrictions on the power-to-weight ratio, so VTR could not modify the internals of the boxer engine. Instead, they’ve simply freed up breathing with a free-flowing intake and custom exhaust system. It delivers a modest power boost from 125 to around 135 hp.
“We found a control unit that can generate a signal for the flame system,” Dani reveals. “We got an ignition coil, and fitted a standard spark plug in the exhaust.” About 30cm upstream of the plug is a fuel injector nozzle, which takes fuel from the gas tank and its pump.
To help stabilize the BMW and keep it flat on the ground during sprint runs, VTR have stretched the wheelbase by the maximum 20% allowed. Most sprint bikes use a lengthened swingarm to do this, but the BMW’s shaft drive makes that difficult.
There’s a smattering of high-end parts throughout Spitfire, such as Magura HC1 radial brake and clutch master cylinders. They’ll help crack pilot Amelie Mooseder control the bike in the heat of the moment.
VTR now have two incredible BMWs ready for combat at the Sultans of Sprint: as well as the TW Steel Spitfire, they will be running their blown R80 ‘Polizei’ bike in the more open ‘Freak’ class.
Just remember not to stand too close to Spitfire when Frau Mooseder fires up the engine and flips the flame thrower switch…
VTR Customs | Facebook | Instagram | TW Steel ACE Spitfire collection
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
May 17, 2018 at 04:11AM
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