Elegant Apparatus #1
By Ali Latimer - 27 Jun 14
Facundo Falcó is a surgeon from Barcelona, he's 41 and has realised there's more to life than the daily grind, it took a death of a close friend, the birth of his daughter and the observance of his fathers increasing years; as well as the amount of candles on his last birthday cake to figure it out, but he has, and now he's building beautiful motorcycles with help from his brother Guillermo, who is also a surgeon, and a rather good one we're told. Elegant Apparatus is a blog, perhaps one might say a showcase of beauty; Facundo says it's a room of mirrors, a Spanish expression meaning somewhere he can reflect. It's a collection of images from fashion, motorcycles, cars, tattoos, women, architecture... basically anything that's sexy and pretty darn cool, and this is where it began. As with many of us, Facundo is a life long biker, man and boy, and is passionate about them, he has a healthy collection in his garage, presumably awaiting their turn under the knife. The collection consists of a Guzzi Le Mans II, a '65 Bonneville T120R, a 1948 Ariel Red-Hunter 500cc, a '94 Harley Sprung Bobber and 2 Benelli's, a 500 Quattro and a 900 SEI.... so that should keep the brothers busy for a while. I have to admit, I am a sucker for an old Honda dirt bike, I actually have a tracker XL600R myself, so I know these bikes and how they ride, they are just a joy, whether nailing it through town or hitting the shingle. This one is a 1998 XR600R, basically the same donor as mine and favoured by the green lane community for both their agility and reliability. The build had a deadline, it was for Wheels & Waves, unfortunately things didn't come together to feature her in the shed ahead of that great weekend, but we're pleased to have her now and yes, she did make it to W&W. The build wasn't one of those that had money thrown at it, it was given time, dedication and most importantly attention, Facundo and his brother set the challenge to not buy a single thing for the bike other than to pay for a professional paint job, they had a good collection of parts from their life long obsession with motorcycles, so decided to use what they have and manufacture anything else they may need.
This is one of those builds that draws you in to its details, all the little changes that make the overall result, the list of replacements, enhancements and adjustments is quite extensive, so here's some of it:
The donor bike is a fresh 7,000 kms engine that Facundo has owned from new. Mudguards are from a 1938 Velocette, the bars and levers came from an old Triumph scrambler and the headlight is from a 2008 Harley Street Bob with H4 bulb allowing an XR to actually see properly, something they weren't good at from the factory. Akront anodized rims are dressed with 4.00 x 18 Bridgestones Trail Wings.The fuel tank came from a 1971 honda scrambler, she's had hand built levers, switches and bracketry, and the front brake pump is hidden under the fuel tank. The bikes electrical system is only 10 cm long with all the original connectors and components, and an ignition key was added to the side of the frame, many of these XR's are keyless work horses. The frame was re-designed and benefits from being tig welded. The rear of the frame has been curved, replicating the waves at Biarritz, not just the location for this bikes reveal, but also one of Facundo's favourite places in the world, and whether he's chilling in Spain or Biarritz, watching the set with a cold beer, he'll have a bottle opener close by, a useful addition for those weekends away in the Mediterranean warmth. The seat is all handcrafted, even the hinges and under it you can find a nice tool roll, the upholstery is synthetic but water repelent and amazingly strong and durable. All wires run inside the frame. The silencer is an aftermarket one which was previosly fitted on the bike, the system however has been redirected and now aims downward, inspired by modern Dakar bikes. This is such a lovely bike, and knowing how they ride, it's a guarantee that Facundo and Guillermo will love it, in fact this is what Facundo has to say about it 'I wanted to design a fresh bike, fun to ride, with a nostalgic retro look, but with some serious performance. The bike you would choose to go to the beach in the summer or to take for a spin in the forest of the Pirineic mountains in autumn' Many thanks to the Facundo for sharing this great bike, to see what inspires them as well as seeing more shots of this build and even one of the Benelli's, check out the link to the blog, there really are some inspirational and elegant images to behold.