OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Finding something to watch on the TV in a foreign country can be rather frustrating. Between badly overdubbed familiarity and mother-tongued banality, a compromise had to be found. Apathy led to a popular Music-TV channel, happy to expose all and sundry to the decline of modern society, condensed into colouful 3 minute snippets. With the urge to start gouging eyes barely suppressed, it was therefore a joy to see this technical tour-de-force from Officine Rosspuro drop into the inbox. A perch may be best for this, as even beyond a second or third glance, there's a lot say about the Lvpvs Alpha. Basic air cooled, girder forked tech has been given a space-age spruce up thanks to some doting parents. Papa wolf came in the form of Walter Tosto SpA, an Italian company making industrial field components for Oil & Gas plants. While the proud Momma is Officine Rossopuro, a builder with a history of genre busting bikes and an attention for quality and creativity. Inspired by the way of the wolf, Lvpvs Alpha is a wildly suitiable name for such a domineering machine. Rossopuro instilling the temperament of the beast within the bike bearing the name of the local Abruzzo creature. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Begining more than a year ago, Luca Tosto, Managing Director of Walter Tosto, went to Russia for a trip. During a (presumably vodka laced) conversation with his Russian friend and collaborator Mihail Daev, they laid the foundation for an extraordinary project, based on their common passion for bikes. Back in Italy, the search for someone who could help him realise the ambitious project began. It was undertaken to test the abilities of his company's manufacturing abilities, a bike is far outside the core business activities. Yet it provided the scope and platform to allow the gold-standard competencies of his company to shine. And then on the other side, there was Filippo Barbacane of Officine Rossopuro. Waiting for the chance to work on something completely different. A rambunctious meeting revealed prodigious enthusiasm for the manufacturing of this special, to be based on a Moto Guzzi California 1400, the first of it's type. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Whereas Officine Rossopuro builds normally start based on nothing more than a single minded idea and carried through by creativity run wild, without limits or boundaries, this time would be a little different. While initial ideas were sketched out and mocked up, Walter Tosto's team built the entire model in 3D. This ensures an OEM level of fit and finish to Filippo's flowing futurisitic design. It allowed structural calculations and testing of parts before the CNC mills were even fired up. It's why the junctions of components are seamless, and structural members are engineered, not just designed. A long history of Tonti-tinkering meant a Guzzi was the natural choice for the build. With dynamic capabilities ranked at a level importance as the engineering and aesthetics, the most modern Mandello machine was selected. The new California 1400, had many benefits, but provided some epic challenges in and of itself. Another theme to the build, conveying the technical prowess, was the implementation of as many innovative materials as possible, where appropriate. Chromium-Vanadium, Titanium, Ergal and Incoloy 800y adorn the bike. And while these materials provide fantastic qualities for their repsected applications (high temperature, pressure and corrosion resistance) the same qualities mean these materials are a collosal pain-in-the-derriere to machine and fabricate with traditional techniques. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To put it into perspective, more than ninety per cent of the motorcycle is handcrafted, with most of the components manufactured in house by Walter Tosto. Only a part of the chassis and of course, the V-twin engine of the Guzzi California 1400, remain. That Girder front fork certainly catches the eye first. Completely designed and manufactured from Ergal, it was the first part made, from which the entire design of the bike originated. Making use of an adjustable Ohlins monoshock, which in itself was modified and re-valved for the specific application, old and new work in harmony. The rear swingarm, two separate pieces also crafted from Ergal, exposes the cardan shaft coupling for all to see. The final drive suspended via underslung shocks working in extension rather than compression. The rear linkage was put together from from 2¼" Chromium Molybdenum Vanadium tubes, connecting the oscillating parts to the twin Bitubo adjustable shocks. The reason for this? To make greater room between the swingarm and chassis; the bike looks like it's supporting itself without obvious means. The rear subframe, machined from 7075 aluminium, hosts a titanium fuel tank, the filler cap poking through the tail fairing of the unit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In place of the original tank, a carbon fibre cover hides away the voluminous electrics, from the ECU to the speedo, they all have a new home. This leaves the front end of the bike uncluttered and allows the forks to do the talking. The tank itself was designed in the traditional way; whittled down from a solid block of foam to get the desired shape. An artisanal rinse and repeat method amongst the modern industrial processes. Of course, the model was then scanned before being layed up in carbon fibre and baked in an autoclave. Wheels were no afterthought; a quick powdercoat wouldn't suffice here. Machined in house from a single piece of aluminium they were designed from the off to incorporate the radial braking system. Whopping 415mm discs are clamped by 6 piston calipers, themselves machined from Incoloy 800, renowned for it's thermal properties. Similarly precious metallurgy was sourced for the exhaust, the simplest of designs hides a clever muffler, made real by the magicians at Mass Moto. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It's not possible to describe all the handcrafted parts of this bike. From the aluminium oil cooler bejewelled with CNC'd fittings, to the new forward mounted pegs which replace the big touring boards of the original machine. Virtually every inch of the bike is bespoke. New valve covers integrate perfectly into the tank, flowing through the bodywork in an aerodynamic fashion. Even the upholstery in a crafted by Italian artisans, the print and stitching chosen specifically for the build. If you're trying to work out what the headlight is from, well, that's a secret. Filippo chosing not to reveal his source. Regardless, it's been reworked and modified to accept a new mounting system and fits seamlessly into the fork. So how does it ride? Well with the donor bike renowned for it's non-cruiser like ability, I'd wager rather well. Other than the rear wheel growing from 16" to 18", the bike retains the standard geometry. Despite appearances, that rear swingarm hasn't been stretched; it certainly makes you realise what a long bike the original machine is! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is a bike that needs to be seen in the flesh. Ideally, taken for a blast along the Italian riviera and then studied over the top of a Caffè Macchiato. It's an anachronistic collision of design and technology, summed up perfectly in the aerospace girder forks. With a few finishing touches supplied by the fascinated Guzzi factory, brake and clutch levers must be just a few of the OEM parts remaining. By a long margin, the Lvpvs Alpha was the most complex project Filippo has ever attempted. Only possible thanks to the considerable resources provided by Walter Tosto and the complete trust given by Luca Tosto. The story doesn't end here though. This is just the first step in the evolution of an even larger project. The stimulus to create something bigger, better and braver is already sprouting in their heads. Still hungry like a wolf? Bike Shed Archive | Web | Facebook | Instagram
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