Bandit9 – back in black (click for a larger image)

Forget the intro paragraph where I try and be clever with my big vocabulary and witty banter. Forget the jokes about really, really black things. And forget the interesting back story about Chinese Army motorbikes and a Filipino guy living in Beijing. This bike has Scott and I in absolute awe and is easily the best custom bike we’ve seen in a very long time. Feast your hungry eyes on Bandit9’s “Nero” Chang Jiang.

Here’s Daryl, the bike’s owner, maker, and boss of Bandit9. “Nero is the latest bike to roll out of our Beijing-based motorcycle design boutique, Bandit9. It’s a revamp of a Chang Jiang 750 – hopefully like no other. The idea was to build a dark, mechanical beast. It had to be visceral.”

“Bandit9 started with a very ambitious design for the tank and fenders. Since everything had to be made by hand, it took about 3 months to perfect. The result was a very long, narrow hexagonal tank that continues its razor sharp edges to the rear fender.”

Any blacker and it’d start to bend the space-time continuum

“Nero is very minimalist in design. The goal was for the bike to look beautiful from every angle. A view of the profile shows off Nero’s flat silhouette; from the top – Nero’s V-shaped body. Take a closer look and you should be able to see some of our attention to detail. The fork and handlebars are one piece. It’s a very clean design. No more chaos of nuts, clamps and screws that serve only one purpose.”

It’s as if colour photography never happened


“We borrowed a lot of inspiration from
Giger’s creature design for the movie Alien”


“We borrowed a lot of inspiration from Giger’s creature design for the movie Alien. The engine almost looks organic – every wire, tube and valve serves only to keep the bike’s heart pumping.”

Did we mention it’s black?

“Nero is the most experimental bike yet built at Bandit9. There wasn’t a lot of planning involved. Instinct drove the design. It’s more of an emotional piece vs. a pure engineering exercise. And that suits well with our style.”

Daryl recovers from a near-fatal case of helmet hair

If you can stand to avert your eyes from the bike for a second, you may want to check out Daryl’s previous two creations here and here. Or just visit his site here.