Equipped with a kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber monocoque chassis that incorporates the airbox and fuel tank, the Renard GT is exceptionally strong and at just 190kg/419lbs (dry), pretty light too. But, rather than equip this futuristic platform with an equally high-tech engine, Renard chose to squeeze an air-cooled Guzzi v-twin into all that carbon. The result is a motorcycle that should be exceptionally good. At cruising.
Other fancy components include components milled from aircraft-grade aluminum billet and a carbon fiber girder fork that’s adjustable for rake and trail as well as the usual preload, compression and rebound damping.
Renard hales from Estonia, where a group of investors decided to rekindle a brand that produced motorized bicycles before WWII obliterated the country. They describe the GT as, “a surgeon’s blade on two wheels” and say that it’ll reah a top speed of 155mph.
Limited to just 100 units per year, this will clearly be an exceptionally expensive motorcycle and it looks like it’s equipped with the component quality to justify such a price. Check out the aluminum switches on the bars and the way the foot levers protrude through slots in the carbon monocoque.
While it doesn’t look like the GT sets out to achieve anything radical in the way of performance or handling, the respectably short wheelbase, quality suspension and incredibly strong platform should lead to very good handling. Even the foot pegs are mounted where they should be. Renard describes the GT as a “performance cruiser” but we’re guessing that means more Moto Guzzi Griso than it does Victory 8-Ball.
The eight-valve 1,151cc Moto Guzzi v-twin puts out 125bhp and 89lb/ft of torque, so the GT should even be pretty quick.
In fact, we’d be raving about this original, quirky, neatly engineered motorcycle if it wasn’t for one thing: it blatantly sets out to copy JT Nesbitt’s original Wraith, but doesn’t manage to copy it terribly successfully. It’s not just a case of the girder fork, look at the seat and the sweep of the frame beneath it. The problem is, JT originally set out to subvert motorcycle design archetypes with circles, not just pull out of his ass, but based on the power plant he chose: a v-twin that was made from two cylinders of a radial aircraft engine. Basically, he just extrapolated that circle into a motorcycle. With cylinder heads poking out the sides perpendicular to the monocoque, this imitation misses the original point and that’s a shame, because otherwise this is clearly a neat motorcycle.