Return of the Cafe Racers - GP Design Diva R1200S

GP Design Diva R1200S

Giulio Paz is an Italian engineering who takes great pride in taking his concepts from rough sketches through to consumer-ready products. After years of working with Italian automotive giant Fiat, Giulio had a chance meeting with Jacopo Parenti, CEO of Pro-Lite, and the friendship they formed started him on a new path of motorcycle manufacturing. Pro-Lite’s extensive experience producing carbon fibre parts for the America’s cup, Ferrari, Vyrus and BMW SBK gave him access to a world-class manufacturing facility and it wasn’t long before their first concept bike, the ‘Zen’, was born in 2006. To expand their manufacturing capabilities the duo then partnered with Bonamici Racing giving them access to the latest in CNC parts manufacturing technology. With the 3 working in unison, lead by Giulio’s unique design aesthetic their latest production motorcycle, the ‘Diva’, was born.

The Diva project was inspired by BMW motorcycles of twenties, taking their class and elegance and blending it with modern mechanics and design techniques.” says Giulio. “No one part of the bike takes precedence over the others and I have tried to reinterpret the original design concepts of the twenties in a modern way.”

As far as timeframes go the Diva has not been a quick build. Every nut and bolt has been carefully planned and positioned in 3D before a single part could be built. “The first drawing I put on paper was in 2009. We could not work on it full-time and there was a lot of planning that had to be done before we started. We approached this project in a similar way to how a motorcycle manufacturer would. We took no shortcuts and only made parts that had been thoroughly tested and could be reproduced in a production scenario.”

Giulio’s partners Pro-Lite and Bonamici Racing both have a client list that includes BMW’s World Superbike Championship team. With extensive experience working on BMW’s finest racing machines, building the Diva around a BMW engine was an obvious choice. It was the German made R1200S boxer that made the final cut, with it’s 110 horsepower boxer layout it offered both performance and physical attributes that synergised with Giulio’s vision.

The build started with a frame designed by Giulio and constructed by racing specialists Moretti. Exploiting the layout of the Boxer engines cylinders, Giulio designed a fuel tank that encompasses the engine, sitting low on the frame beneath the line of the seat. This unusual design places the rider in a standard riding position, but adds more freedom to the riding experience by positioning the bulk of the bike below the riders line of sight. “The bike gives you the feeling of flying, because in front you have nothing.” Giulio explains “The driving position is very comfortable despite it looking so different to what we are used to seeing. Our well designed frame and Ohlins suspension have helped to create a bike that is 40kg lighter than a standard BMW R1200S. Combined with the handling and power gains from this configuration the sound of our new exhaust system delivers a fantastic riding experience.”

For the construction of the bodywork Giulio worked with Pro-lite to create high strength, lightweight carbon parts that look dramatically different to the carbon fibre we’re accustomed to seeing. “We created a very special design for the Diva. In addition to our paintwork we leveraged the reflective properties of carbon fibre to create beautiful iridescent effects.” The CNC milled parts on the Diva have been anodised to match the bikes paint scheme or left raw to add silver highlights and everything from the triple clamps to the filler cap has been designed from scratch. The R1200S engine and drivetrain (shaft drive, rear wheel and swingarm) remain essentially stock to allow easy maintenance with the only changes to it’s configuration being a revised airbox design and exhaust system.

After a successful unveiling of the Diva at the recent EICMA show in Milan, where it was awarded a first prize for design, the team are now looking forward to moving into production. The Diva is available to order in limited numbers and can be styled to each customers specific taste. “We have added the possibility of maximum customization, enough to make each Diva truly unique. We want to offer an Italian ‘haute couture’ experience, giving our clients the ability to design a motorcycle from the ground up.”


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