Saturday, 29 August 2009
Marchesini wheel waits to go in.
Joel designs the oil-in-frame chro-mo spine frame, forks, bodywork, clutch (the best on a V-twin ever, perhaps), electronically controlled bugcatcher air intake... And the drawings are all on the wall.
I like a tidy tool wall. Goodwood Festival of Speed entry sticker.
Joel made the models at the concept stage back in the early 1990s. He wanted to build a two-wheeled Shelby Cobra - big US engine, lightweight Euro chassis. The similarity of the model and real bike is astonishing.
The day job has been keeping me pretty busy, but I've got to meet some great people, old friends and ride some amazing bikes. I spent an afternoon and evening in the South of France, working with Chippy Wood, riding the Wakan with its creator, Joel Domergue. The Wakan Hundred is 1630cc of S&S Sportster, with top-notch Euro chassis parts. It's not a one-off. Wakan are set up to make 500 a year. But the global economy had something to say about a €26,000, two-wheeled hot rod. Shame, because Joel, and his ex-pat English consultant, Rory Simpson (the former French Pope of Ducati) are two of coolest people.
And the Wakan stomps, picking it's wheel up in fifth over crests. 120bhp and 120ft.lb of torque. Yahoo (full story in this month's Bike).
Joel and Rory took us out and fed us foie gras and lobster. So if anyone is wondering why Sideburn 4 is running a bit late...
Oh, Wakan are looking for distributors and dealers if anyone out there is interested. The bike is amazing with the build quality of a Honda Fireblade. That means it's brilliant.
Self-portrait. We've got these laser-cut stickers (on the chinbar) in yellow, white and black now. Red has run out.
Chippy borrows my lid and jacket for a spin.
The Wakan Racer. I'd love to see this compete at Daytona.