This week is gearing up to be a pretty diverse mix of custom motorcycles and Cafe Racers. To follow up Shaun Wainfords incredible Yamaha MT-01 Barbarian and Medusa's Thruxton Cafe Racer we have an equally "out of this world" custom build by Magpul Industries, a company whose roots lay in the development of accessories for firearms. This is the Magpul Ronin a one off prototype that's just as lethal as the companies firearms division!
Those who have seen the film or have read up on their Japanese history will know that a Ronin is a masterless Samurai or sword for hire. Magpul chose this name for their first motorcycle prototype because their Ronin was built around a Buell 1125R, which ceased commercial production in 2009 when the company shut down. This of course means the likely hood of their ever being another Magpul Ronin is slim. Magpul never had that in mind though. This bike is a new direction for the company that allowed them to experiment with their ideas, develop their own style and most importantly build a bike with out any limitations.
Magpuls decision to go with the Buell 1125R centered mainly around the fact that its 72° V-twin produced the highest power rating of all of Buell's bikes at 146bhp. With an aim to get the most out of those power figures a weight saving suspension system was designed that consists of a monoshock in the rear and linkage fork system at the front. The custom lightweight aluminium frame which houses the bikes fuel uses the rammed air intake and tail section to form a stressed member which supports the rider. Perhaps the strangest of Ronins weight saving features is the move to a single radiator, but it's not the number that's strange it's the location. The radiator now sits where you would traditionally expect to find a headlight, up in the front of the forks which also improves it's cooling performance. All up the Ronin weighs in at a whopping 54lbs (25kg) lighter that the stock 1125R.
Aesthetically for me the Ronin sits somewhere between Confederate Motorcycles Hellcat with it's exposed, industrial look and the sharp, angular lines of KTM's RC8. The Ronin is a bold introduction in to the world of custom motorcycle building and hopefully it's not the only one we'll see rolling out of Magpul Industries workshop.