‘Shed office chat has often lead to a few of us trying to determine the perfect donor. Most here prefer twins, Dutch is an ex-KTM geek and Shopkeep obsesses over the REV’IT! 2WD overlander from a few years back. We’ve regularly ended up with the KTM 950/990 in our top ten but none of us have customised one, yet.
But the London arm of Untitled Motorcycles has, and this futuristic marmite motorcycle is it. “I know what you are thinking. What were we thinking of? God knows! There’s a bit of Tron in there and the brutalist, concrete architecture of the 1950s. Definitely a bit of sci-fi, plus I like dirt bike design, those mad X-games bikes: so flat seats and belly pans!” UMC co-founder Adam Kay told us.
The customer wanted something angular with a belly pan, the rest was up to Adam. Well, he sure got what he asked for. The 990cc v-twin barks through an underslung stainless steel silencer box which makes up a portion of the aluminium pan.
This, the hinged seat, fuel cell and headlight assembly were first templated in card, then fabricated by Gilbert at Kern-Slade Engineering, to a daring style. Having been in the game for nearly a decade Adam was a little bored with turning-out bikes for customers who wanted to follow more traditional trends, so this project was a shot in the arm, he recounts “I wanted the bike to have a flat ‘tank’ and seat so the tank doesn’t look like a traditional bike and doesn’t contain petrol either. That’s in the subframe now and, how do I put this, holds ‘enough’ fuel. It’s probably got an 80-mile range. People talk about fuel range but honestly, after 80 miles on a bike that’s this brutal, you’ll be glad of a break!”
The headlight is an array of high power LEDs originally destined for a Jeep, powered by a Motogadget compatible loom that lives under the seat, where a regular fuel tank would live. This is now mounted slightly rear of centre and is accessed vie the hinged saddle, which must cause a stir at petrol stations. The Motoscope speedo, indicators, switchgear and keyless ignition are also from Motogadget.
The drilled plate brackets attached to the rearsets are to allow for pillion pegs to be fitted, at varied positions to suit the passenger – how jolly thoughtful. There’s also a small compartment on the nearside that houses a lock. Although you’d be a brave thief to think you’d be incognito tooling around town on something this recognisable, with blue flames shooting broadside.
Although they’d have fun trying “the KTM is such a brutal bike. A friend rode it and said that it feels like riding a thunderstorm” says Adam
“I’d guess you would call this a Marmite bike. Some people have praised it. One guy walked up to me at a show and said: ‘what the fuck have you done to that bike…’ and walked off.”
Well, fuck him. To each their own, and this KTM, named Rudis (raw in Latin), is cherished by its owner. And frankly that’s what matters.
To hear how it sounds check this vid from a few weeks back when Adam popped in to film a piece for our YouTube Channel.