Pressure: we will all experience it at some point in our lives and even the greatest GP riders in history have told tales of almost indescribable nerves before a race. It’s probably what ended Stoner’s career and Mr. Rossi has admitted that despite his decades of experience, he felt overwhelming stress even in his last race. So, imagine the pressure then for a custom bike builder to be asked to craft not one, but two full-on custom bikes for a MotoGP Hall of Fame Legend. This was the task for Spain’s Bolt Motor Company when a call came in from Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martínez, who wanted a Honda CBX1000 for himself and one for his best friend. This incredible machine belongs to Aspar’s amigo and gets its name, ‘The Bellucci’ from the owner’s instant reaction to her beauty.
Aspar is of course not only a four-time Grand Prix world champion but also a highly successful rider coach and team owner. This is a man who possesses an ability on two-wheels and combined technical know-how, that few others have ever matched. Being tasked then with building him a bike means that no mistake, even incredibly minor, will go unnoticed by the racing genius. However, what makes his selection of a CBX1000 even more interesting is that he’s always been a small bike specialist, dominating the 80cc championship and being a stalwart of the 125 class.
But sitting down with Bolt boss Adrian Campos, who also runs a race team, the pair decided that the perfect choice for a custom would be a muscle bike that performed like a supercar. To make this a reality, Adrian went in search of two CBX’s and Aspar raided his race team’s parts bin to donate a bunch of pieces to incorporate into the builds. Aspar’s bike has since been finished to his immense pleasure, the magnificent machine before you is #BOLT50, belonging to his best friend. “This bike’s design may remind us of Aspar’s, but if we put them side by side, it’s nothing like it. #BOLT50 has more harmonious lines and cleaner proportions,” Adrian explains.
With the frame given an expert once over and preparation, it all starts at the front end and it’s seriously special. “It has been changed for that of a MotoGP, fitting Brembo Gold Series brakes, high-performance discs, and racing-world quality hoses.” The axle size is a dead giveaway as to the origins, with Team Aspar having previously campaigned a CRT Aprilia in the top class. Obviously, the discs and pads have been changed to steel to suit the street-based application. The top clamp was then designed to hold a set of Renthal bars for superior comfort over low mounted clip-ons.
Moving rearward gave Adrian a chance to appreciate the design work of CBX creator Shoichiro Irimajiri, who was ahead of his time more than forty years ago. But a lot has changed and to make one hell of a dramatic improvement, the guys set about adapting a full MotoGP swingarm onto the old Honda steel frame. This is by no means an easy feat, but with literally millions spent developing the piece and Aspar having spares, it only made sense! This is then mated to an Ohlins shock that allows for perfect adjustment and the wheels are lightweight Moto2, woohoo.
Before the bodywork to sit on such a specimen could be crafted, an all-new subframe was built and mated to the main chassis. It was decided that the original tank is the only thing that suits the engine below and the lines are then impressively picked up in the custom tailpiece. The front fender and rear hugger are carbon fibre, with meshed and framed side covers to fill the gaps. “We knew we wanted this bike to be black, but we were looking for an exceptional shine. The author of this work is none other than Angel, from Airbrush Customs, who has managed to make this bike look like it’s made of glass.”
Of course, being such an accomplished racer, Aspar knew he wanted an engine that sings a sweet song, and the big six-cylinder certainly does that. Before that was attempted, the Bolt crew completely rebuilt the engine and carbs, fitting the latter with race spec velocity stacks from the team’s surplus. “In the central part, the exhausts are the real eye-catchers. We built in six homologated exhausts that make this six-cylinder bike sound like a Formula 1 car.” And to ensure it fires into life without fail, the wiring and electrics are all brand new and built from scratch.
Taking care of the practicals meant custom crafting a set of rearsets to get the owner in his favourite position. With the front end decked out with a pair of Brembo radial masters and levers, and some of Motogadget’s finest. Even the headlight is an excellent selection, and the gorgeous seat was made by Tapicerias Llop, a two-seater in suede with a rainwater repelling treatment to keep it in perfect condition regardless of the weather. It adds up to an absolute work of art and it more than impressed the new owner, “far from being speechless, he decided to baptize the bike as ‘The Bellucci’, outlining the most obvious characteristics of this bike: Italian, mature, and beautiful.”