Completed Tucson BT550 Superleggera weighs just 97kg

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Tucson has beaten its goal of creating a 100kg, 550cc Aprilia v-twin-powered sportsbike. In an independent weigh-in conducted by French magazine Moto Journal, using a calibrated scale, the Tucson BT550 came in at just 97kg (214lbs). That figure includes oil in the engine and water in the radiator, but not fuel. For some perspective, the road-going two-stroke Aprilia RS250 weighed 141kg (dry). Had Tucson decided to use the Strawber solid carbon fiber wheels that it had originally planned, instead of these forged aluminum items, it reckons that weight would be 2.5kg less. But this isn’t the end for project BT550.
The French custom firm now plans to have the engine converted to run on
E85 and to have body panels produced from organic (rather than carbon)
fiber. Both should combine to reduce the BT550′s impact on the
environment when it’s raced next year. That E85 should bring another
benefit: more power. Already rated at 70bhp, Tucson’s engine uses a
custom cam for more peak power, while the E85 fuel should increase that
figure by a further 10%.

We’re seriously impressed by the end result of this project. Check out
the size of the BT550 as it sits in front of its creators, Bako and
Jeff; bikes of this size simply aren’t produced any more. In fact, we’d
like to see a picture of it next to a 125GP racer to see which is
smaller. Using that 70bhp figure, it achieves a power to weight ratio
of .7:1, in comparison, a CBR600RR is around .6:1.


  • lennard schuurmans

    best bike of 2008

  • Philip

    Fantastic !!! – now if you really want to do something instead of ‘just’ making a beautiful bike, then . . .
    1) Make it affordable – if its more expensive than a new 600rr or r6, whats the point? If you want to change the game, make it the same price as a new sv650 (yes you can make two levels of equip if necessary (eg nissan/showa vs brembo/ohlins).
    2) Make it available – either build a shit load and bring them over here (USA) or license the construction to a factory or even to dealers or make a kit available to us (truck drops off box of parts – might help with requirement 1 above)
    3) When these are readily available, then you have a new class for Wera or a new league or other format.
    If we want our sport to grow we need more people who want and are able to get into it. If there was a bike that was readily available, was affordable, and on equal footing with everyone else (ie no mods – run it as you got it), then you will see more people at the track.
    It might not happen with this bike (can they ramp up the volume?), but someone has to be able to do it!!!!!!!
    STEP UP! :)

    • Grant

      Phillip, just so you know, there is absolutely without a doubt no way in frozen hell that a handcrafted or small-batch manufactured racer of this caliber can be produced for the same price point as mass-produced 600 class supersports. Manufacturing, whether in Europe, Asia or America, simply doesn’t work that way.

  • aaron

    crazy… under the new moto2 rules, this bike would need 28 kilos of ballast to make minimum weight! maybe they could race around with a kid on the back?

  • Jeff

    Please, please, please, make a road going version!

  • thane

    To me, that looks like the world’s most perfect roadracer.

  • Isaac

    I’m sure with some dyno magic and some race parts you could get about 85-90hp out of that motor.

    My R6 has a power to weight ratio of 1hp per 3.46 lbs (103 hp). This bike at 70 bhp has about 1hp per 3.01 lbs. This is higher than my bike. However it it only slightly better.

    So, I think this bike could out accelerate an R6 a little bit and with the right gearing maybe achieve the same top speed or close to it. Handling will supercede that of an R6 no question.

    2007 R6………1:3.41 bike weight 357lbs. no fuel
    2009 BT550……1:3.01 bike weight 214lbs. no fuel

    I’ll be watching this bike closely

  • Joel

    That’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. I’d like to see it with a larger rear tire though, maybe something around a 150-160, although it would limit tire choices compared to what appear to be 125gp sizes on there now.
    That bike is going to make a lot more torque than a 125gp, and it would be hard to get the power down early with a tire that size.