October 16, 2007 Ludovic Lazareth has impressed us before with his eye-catching and unique customs. Somewhat of a legend in the French motorcycle tuning and custom building scene, Lazareth’s latest has fascinated us on a technical level as much as for its brutal good looks.
Completed the day before the Paris Bike Show kicked off, the latest Lazareth beast is a worked Buell XB12S lightning. We just missed out on meeting the man himself to learn more about the bike, but what we know already is fascinating; retaining the stock frame and motor, pretty much the rest of the bike is pure Lazareth.
The stock XB12S puts out a little over 100 horsepower, which makes for a lively enough streetbike given the Buell’s traditionally short wheelbase and the grunty delivery of the Harley-Davidson motor. Lazareth has fitted a supercharger from a Mini Cooper S to pump the beast up and take it into lunatic territory.
The front wheel will likely spend a lot of its time at eye-level, which is just as well because it’s mounted on a single-sided fork assembly that people will want to gawk at. The rear wheel, likewise, gets a single-sided swingarm, so the left profile of the bike is very tidy indeed – except for the huge belt drive for the supercharger.
We’re told that Lazareth has built this Buell with adjustable steering head angle and swingarm length – so it’s possibly one of the most tunable chassis setups we’ve ever seen on a roadbike, opening up a wide range of handling characteristics.
We can’t tell you how the front-end suspension works – but we do know that Lazareth is planning to use this bike as a platform for experimentation with an electronically managed suspension system. It could be something as simple as the electronic adjustment system available on bikes such as the BMW K1200S, or potentially something as groundbreaking as the revolutionary computer-controlled and electronically actuated system Bose are fitting to cars. It’s certainly time somebody other than BMW started looking for superior alternatives to the telescopic fork, which has hardly changed in the last 50 years other than being turned upside down.
For a PDF photo file of the Lazareth Buell, as well as a list of his other outrageous customs, take a look at the Lazareth Website.