There can't be a better way to kick start a new decade than with a new bike but amongst the plethora of options available, what would fit the bill? After mulling it over, nothing was really fuelling Red Torpedo's "fire." Could nitrous oxide be the way to go?
Enter FRNKNSTN - not just any run of the mill motorbike but a nitrous oxide injected 1000cc Ducati custom that bangs and blurts like Beelzebub on steroids. Set in a Honda CB750 frame with a modified KTM 640 swinging arm, the bike's a European championship sprint bike slayer. We've seen the bike run in the Glemseck 101 1/8th mile sprint and she's a ground shaker. The Genie was out of the bottle and a new era beckoned. Big FRNKenSTN was destined to join us at Red Torpedo.
The bike was originally built by Mellow Motorcycles in Stuttgart who campaigned it in the 2017 Sultans of Sprint series with Amir Brajan in charge of flicking the nitrous oxide switch. Amir and FRNKNSTN lifted the title. It was then purchased by Andy Geeroms owner of Hermanus Bruges the caffeine fuelled motorcycle lifestyle shop and bar/eaterie on the outskirts of Bruges and rebuilt with the help of Gunnar's House of Custom in Belgium. Andy's partner Evy then piloted it in the Sultans of Sprint Euro sprint race rounds. When we heard it was on the market again, a deal was done and the bike was brought over from Bruges to RT Towers in Glasgow.
Sultans of Sprint
The Sultans of Sprint's a four round European sprint / drag competition for air cooled twin cylinder custom bikes with two separate classes: "freak" and "factory." The former is open to four stroke bikes up to a maximum capacity of 1600cc. These machines are invariably supercharged, turbo charged or use nitrous oxide injection for additional "warp speed" - activated, in FRNKNSTN's case, by a switch adjacent to the instrument cluster marked - "Good Times." Results aren't solely dependant on outright acceleration: style, originality and a general "bonkers factor" are also taken into consideration.
FRNKNSTN - nitrous oxide injected 1000cc Ducati in a CB750 frame
The factory class has no capacity restrictions but the bikes are limited to a power to weight ratio. The class tends to be populated with RnineT and R1200R BMWs, 1200 Triumph Thruxtons and Bobbers and Indian Scout 1200s. Four times ex WSBK champ Carl Forgarty campaigned a supercharged 1200 Triumph Thruxton to victory at the Glemseck 101 in 2016 and former GP legend Randy Mamola and BSB star Taylor Mackenzie rode an Indian 1200 and a Harley Street Glide respectively at last year's event. The four rounds span four countries: Italy (the Monza Reunion), France (Montlhery Cafe Racer Sprint in Paris, Belgium (Spa Francorchamps) and Germany (Glemseck 101, nr Stuttgart).
"More nitrous oxide:" the bike at the Glemseck 101
Speaking about the new acquisition, Red Torpedo's CEO Bill Gordon said, "We were over seeing Andy Geeroms of Hermanus Bruges with John McGuinness recently and heard that the bike was on the market. When we saw it, we were smitten. We'll use it to promote the brand and also to have some fun at the sprints. We've been going over to the Glemseck 101 since 2013 and love the event but now that we've got hold of the bike, we may consider entering some of the other European sprint rounds as well. We've had Guy Martin and Conor Cummins over to the Glemseck as invited riders but we could also see Lee Johnston, Dean Harrison and John Mcguinness having a blast at some point. Conor's been over with us on several occasions - including last year - so we'll be introducing him to some nitrous oxide soon!"
We'll be re-branding the bike and probably renaming it too - so watch this space.
📷 Hermanus Bruges / Jeroen De Plancke