Ric's R80 The Fox
By Anthony van Someren - 05 Dec 13
Ric Corinaldi is co-owner of Ficus Constructions, a high-end architectural construction company, specialising in hospitality and designer fit-outs, but 2012 was a tough year for the business. On top of that Ric tore his left cruciate ligament right off in a dirty bike accident and almost decided never to ride again. It wasn't exactly a great time in his life, but, during his rehabilitation he stumbled across Blitz, the Wrench Monkees and the cafe/brat custom scene and this restored his passion for two wheels. ...You can probably guess where this one is going... Let's allow Ric to take us through the rest. "On Fathers day last year I woke up and sat down with a coffee, a sheet of paper and a pencil and set about drawing my dream bike, with added notes and sideline concepts. The bike was modeled off a 1992 BMW R80 that I had seen online at Bike Sales. Two days later I bought it for $4k. I rode it for 4 weeks, then stripped it down at the beginning of October. If I couldn’t ride dirt bikes again, I would build a piece of functional art instead." "The R80 is a big bike in a relatively small frame, when you take all the excess stuff off there is not much left, in particular the seat is 70mm above the subframe. Bolting a Nitro Heads seat straight onto the subframe was not an option. So a complete redesign was needed, with lots of pipe bending to get the exact height, angle and poise that I was after. I wanted plenty of air between the seat and the rear wheel, I wanted lots of air everywhere. If I could find something to cut, grind or sand off it got the chop. My girls and wife love to ride with me, so the pillion pegs had to stay, but I turned them around so they would be tucked out of the way." "The tank was a critical part of the design, I knew I wanted brown and settled on a colour found on the BMW X1. The roundel, I also wanted to redesign, I found the image online from some BMW archives, it’s a design that never made it into production, from back in the 1930’s, it felt good to bring it to life acid etched into 1.2mm aluminium." "For boots I looked at Firestone 500’s, I even bought a pair, then a mate reminded me that I like to push bikes in all weather. Along came the Dunlop K81 known as the TT100, the first bike to average 100mph around the Isle of Mann was wearing them. So on they went, and I couldn’t be happier with them." "Renthal fat bars gave me that Flattrack position of a more upright open armed riding style. Rear Lighting and the rear fender came from Christian at Modern Motorcycle Company, just up the road from my workshop in Collingwood. The rear fender was chopped to pieces, in fact there is more scrap left then what ended up on the bike. The front fender is still gathering dust in the workshop." "For the exhaust, I started with a pair of shorty megaphones, but then found the Supertrapps. So a complete redesign of the whole exhaust system followed, more bending and welding, more getting rid of excess stuff. The headers have now a tighter curve and are closer to the underside of the motor, giving the bike better clearance cornering." "The speedo, was a great find at Motogadget in Germany, it is a complete piece of art, full digital, with an analogue face and some groovy features, like Top Speed. The mono shock was also a lovely surprise find supplied via Progressive Suspension in the USA. It also complemented the tank. I used a 12 Cell Lithium battery, that was small enough to fabricate into a small bucket and place it on top of the motor, clearing the bulk under the seat. Chris at Boxermetal in California, provided the block off plate and I fabricated the rest. Complete new stainless steel brake lines, throttle and choke cables, along with a rewire assisted by James at BM Motorcycles in Ringwood, got the girl up and running." "In short I am beyond happy with the outcome, the original sketches were ultimately surpassed by an uncompromising desire to do the best I could and achieve an outcome that gave me a bike that is both stylish but also can be ridden fast and hard. It cracked the Ton the other day across the Sugarloaf Dam wall, a short sprint of a couple of hundred meters, with a hard left turn at the end." Ric decided to call his creation ‘The Fox’ - born in innercity Collingwood, but just at home in the hills surrounding Warrandyte on the upper Yarra River. After riding the bike for over 1000km Ric has checked the bike in with Peter at ProMecha for some suspension work, which should transform the handling, and is worth doing to any bike, if you have the resources. This build may be 'yet another beemer tracker/scrambler/brat woteva', but this R80 stands out with a lot of original details and touches, and it's great to see a monoshock version done so well. Thanks to Ric for sharing with us at The Bike Shed. You can see more on this build on Ric's blog.