The Bottpower Morlaco is back on track

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11 years ago, I read about a funny-front-end CBR954RR in MCN. It had a bespoke trellis frame that seemed to flow uninterrupted into the girder forks. I found it particularly interesting because it used the motor from the bike I owned at the time. Then, Bottpower got busy building race bikes, transforming into a real company in the process and putting the Morlaco firmly on the back burner. Now, having developed a Moto2 racer and various customers customs, they’re returning to it.

The original build is distinguished by its orange frame. The new renders color the frame black.

The goal “is to build a high performance street superbike (also for the track, of course), with a modern 1000cc engine and high level components,” writes David Sanchez. “A bike that would allow us to take the maximun profit of the electronics we are developing (which are already competing in 2013 World Supersport championship with Gabor Talmacsi). As you probably know, in Bottpower we always have been very interested in alternative front ends, so this is a solution that we also would like to use in our future superbike.”

“This was a free time project, the bike building was very advanced but at that time I started working on the races as a second job and all my free time went there, so the bike was never completely finished and tested.”

“Later on Bottpower became a small company and we started working on new projects: the moto2, the racing electronics, the XR1, and some more that we will show very soon. Years passed by and the Morlaco did nothing but accumulate dust, disassembled in a corner of our workshop.”

“But, some months ago we thought that if we want to build a modern superbike it would be interesting, as a first step, to finish and test the Morlaco. For sure that we can learn a lot of things from it before starting our new project. Moreover, it is important to finish what you start, and the Morlaco is a very interesting bike which deserves to be finished.”

“The bodywork we designed years ago looks now a little bit out of fashion. We take aesthetics very seriously, so the first step has been to design new fibers for the bike (including the airbox and the fueltank).”

“Basically, what you can see in the renders is the original chassis and front end with the new fibers. We added a set of magnesium OZ rims with Brembo discs (the same combination we use in our Moto2). Brake master cylinder and clutch lever are ISR and the display is a Motogadget.”

“We also have added our CR2 electronics module in a hollow at the top of the fueltank. We are very proud of our CR2 so we thought that it would be cool to locate it in a place in which it could be seen.”

“We wanted it to look more as a racer. So we made it more spartan, with “less design”. We also wanted it to have almost no covers, so the airbox and the fueltank are seen. There is no bodywork, only the windscreen and the airbox intake conduits.”

“I can’t talk about the Morlaco without mention Hugo van Waaijen (Dutch designer who lives and works in Germany). Since we started this project in 2002 till now, he has provided hundreds of inputs, ideas and sketches. He is a very talented and passionate designer, an essential part of this project, I am very fortunate having him involved because working with him is a really cool experience.”

“For sure that we will still make changes to this design. The intention of publishing this renders is to have your feedback. What do you think about this redesign of the Morlaco? Do you like it this way or do you think it should look more like the original sketch?”

  • Racetrack Style

    I very much like this project and most of the new designs except for the front fender since it covers too much of the trellis FFE. Maybe add just a tiny fender to the front and rear of the trellis, on the radius of the tire? The rear hugger fender is super cool.

    Btw…the one rendering of the Buell project with the bikini fairing & 2 stacked, (different sizes) headlights was incredible

  • Andrew Haala

    Whoah, rad look about that bike. That does look like a big chunk of unsprung weight in the fork though.

  • R_Melaun

    Wes – I have a request. I would ask you to refer to the front suspension as a Hossack – and not a girder. Norman Hossack created a new type of front suspension wherein the dampers and springs are not suspended with the “forks.” Also, with a girder, there’s a conventional steering head and the complete front-suspension is steered meaning much higher inertia forces (the damper and spring and control arms are not steered with a Hossack).

    Thanks – and I applaud you for featuring an FFE bike.

    • Wes Siler

      We could really use an article explaining how front ends differ and what their advantages/disadvantages are. Want to write that?

      • R_Melaun

        Glad to do it as long as I don’t have to worry about html tags and so forth.

        • Wes Siler

          Ha, no need to worry about that BS. email me: wes at rideapart dot com.

  • Khali

    I read about this bike some days ago on their website…I like what they are doing and following somewhat closely…plus i wanted to check if there was some info on XR1 pieces yet (want to buy a headlight).

    • motoguru.

      You mean the projector beams mounted behind a piece of carbon fiber? I’ve got all that in my junk bin.

      • Khali

        Mounted and EU marked? Id like to build it myself, but I am not that good. Plus the homologation would be a pain. Worth buying it in my opinion. And you get the bonus of supporting this guys who design awesome bikes :)

  • Hugo

    It is also not a real Hossack but a set-up similar to the Wright-Bailey front suspension (meaning it has a suspended headstock, there’s a picture in Tony Foales book)
    A very good short artilce about different type of front suspensions is this one, written by Tony Foale:
    Regarding unsprung-weight, yes that is probably higher then a usd fork (altough I haven’t read to many bad reviews about BMW’S Duolever) but an interesting thing is that one can “tune” such a fork regarding the ‘mystical’ flex; the MotoGP frames are designed to have a certain flex (acting as a spring when leaned over) and with this FFE one can design the fork to take over that part.
    I don’t know all the technical details (that’s David part;) but for sure some interesting stuff can be thought off using this system.
    Now where can we get that 220hp BMW S1000RR HP-tuned engine;)

  • Sasha Pave

    That is freaking GORGEOUS!