To build a custom bike able at the same time to win prestigious bike shows, perform on the street, race…and win a record in Bonneville is an arduous challenge that very few custom builders have given to themselves… As far as I know, Roger Goldammer from Canada and Fred Krugger from Belgium are the only ones who have successfully defied the show judges, the street cops and the race chronometer with the same bike. And now I think you can add a 3rd name: Laurent Dutruel from France. He is an eclectic and atypical builder like I like them. (Just read again about his amazing Aluminum WL 45). As many Europeans, Laurent is a nostalgic of the Café Racer era. You can immediately recognize his inspiration, the 77 Harley-Davidson XLCR 1000.
Always custom building his frame around an engine, Laurent started with a 1998 Sportster/Buell engine that was heavily modified to accept an oil filter bracket on the right side and a centrally located turbo compressor. He had to lower the compression ratio (now 980 cc) to make the engine work with this turbo, an hybrid TD 05-16G usually used on Mitsubishi or Subaru cars! A hand made thick aluminum swingarm is attached to a custom bended thick tube steel frame via a modified Buell S1 shock. There are 2 gas tanks: a large one under the left engine case hiding a car gas pump and a very small one above the frame to lighten the overall look of the bike. Front end and 2 rims have been borrowed from a Buell XB. Oil tank is fitted inside the seat backrest. All body parts, except frame, are custom massaged aluminum (Laurent Dutruel also designs and fabricates unusual aluminum home furniture). For a special effect all hardware was gold plated in Geneva, Switzerland…At the time I publish this post Laurent still didn’t raise all the money he needs to travel from France and race on the Salts of Utah. So, with the help of magazine Freeway, he is right now selling a limited series of 200 Bonneville tee-shirts. He is not sure it will be enough. So, if anyone can help or sponsor him, contact me and I will forward. In August his bike may be the new world record holder of the 1000 A-PBG Class. Laurent Dutruel at Zen Motorcycles