Once upon a time people picked up books on motorcycle racing. Within them they found wild words and captivating images. People in not near enough protective gear launching big engines in simple chassis upon narrow wheels over unrefined roads. If that doesn’t hold you in awe for a moment you’re not a motorcyclist.
Written between all those lines was the birth of a passion. And tied into that the sounds, the aromas, the dangers, the heros, and the places. Places we still identify with racing, that we named machines after in an effort to capture that legacy.
Then, things began to change. The japanese inline four began to dominate superbike racing. A trend that would continue into the future. The sorrow this caused some was less about the rise of something new and more about the loss of something dear. This felt like a new story rather than a continuation of the old. All those memories, of sounds, the smells, and places were not wrapped up in it.
And so was born the Battle of The Twins (BOTT). What that meant was captured well by Peter Egan writing for Cycle World in 1981 on a Daytona race.
“… the Battle of the Twins … was an event for Real Motorcycles. Those who might wonder what exactly was meant by Real had only to listen to the field of big Twins warming up on the grid. The Superbike Fours and GP twostrokes might have the unmistakable wail of thoroughbred race engines going for them, but the Twins produced a deep, motors-from-hell bass that shook the earth when they fired up. “Those things don’t rattle windows,” one of the organizers shouted over the noise, “they break them.”
And with that the bloodline of the big twin racer was preserved. And beacuse of that, this incredible BOTT inspired racer came to be. Hallelujah.
Ok, there’s a bit more to it than that. Say’s owner Max, “I’d introduced myself to the owner of Scuderia BMW Amsterdam and told him I raced BMW’s in Australia. He took me to Assen and I got to see their heavily modified race bike. I left with a factory blueprint of a lightened crank and thoughts of building a new race bike back home.”
“Of course the obvious next step was to talk to Paul Rooney about it“
While parts were gathered for the engine work began on the chassis. A sound frame was sourced and treated to the Paul Rooney experience. The engine mounts were relocated and reinforcing was performed. The drive line would now point that power right at the centre of that rear wheel hub, no kinks in delivery. Delivering that power to the ground an r1150r final drive and swing arm was mounted with the rear suspenion mounts of the frame adapted to suit. It’s both an elegant and effective solution. The front forks retain the BMW heritage of the late 80’s and 90’s Battle of the Twins. The use of K series forks and brakes on R series engines became popular in racing and also on the street. Max had first hand experience of this; “the front forks are out of a K1000RS because the Brembo brakes on the K100RS I owned back then were the best I’d felt“
Meanwhile the engine was rebuilt from bare cases. The crank was sent away to be be machined according to the Scuderia Amsterdam blueprint. Connected up to that are Mahl 1050cc barrels and 12:1 Mahl pistons, larger valves were complimented by sculpting of ports and adaption for 39mm flat slide carbies and a custom airbox. A tuned 50mm underseat exhaust was custom built to neatly expel the by producuts of all this performance. Paul Rooney also rebuilt the 1150 gearbox with a few trick mods and fitted to it a heavy duty clutch
Max tells me “It handles superbly and sounds absolutely incredible, just like a big bore flat twin should”
Max took the bike to a couple of race meets and track days but like many of us …err… maturing enthusiasts found that his own physical chassis wasn’t quite on the same performance specification he had himself at the height of BOTT Racing. “I then began transitioning the bike for street use and the occasional track day but since its completion in 2006 it really hasn’t had much use at all.”
Which is why Max is now looking to move this incredible machine along. “I’ve invested a massive amount of time and more money than I care to recall on building up a brilliant performance bike, it needs to be ridden, it would make an awesome cafe racer, with a double shot of racer!”
So if you’ve always wanted to own a BOTT inspired superbike, or want a cafe racer that goes as good as it looks, this is rare opportunity to buy in, you just might be the fastest cafe racer on the route.
If that sound good to you get in touch with Max on
Zero 4 Zero Zero, Zero 44, Nine 6 Nine.