Giving away a one-of-a-kind custom motorcycle you’ve just spent 12 months planning and building doesn’t sound all that appealing. For siblings Thibault and Florian Klingler, it’s an integral part of their French Moto business plan. The lifelong motorcycle enthusiasts turned their passion for bikes into a business back in 2012. Since then, their business has grown to become a service center, custom shop, online retailer of parts and accessories, and a Royal Enfield dealership; and they have no plan to slow things down any time soon.
French Moto’s current strategy for growing its customer and follower base involves giving away stunning custom motorcycles and this heavily modified Royal Enfield 650 nicknamed Stellar is the latest on offer.
“We have always made motorcycles for customers and in 12 years have completed more than 40 bikes to order,” says Florian. “We sell a T-shirt which earns an entry in the competition. This approach allows us to no longer have any constraints from the client, no more time constraints, no limited budget, no lack of taste on the part of the client.” It’s the kind of free rein every builder hopes for and one that the brothers have earned through years of hard work.
French Moto’s Royal Enfield cafe racer ‘Stellar’ started life as a 2023 Interceptor 650. “I have been thinking about this motorcycle for almost 10 years now, but due to lack of means, had never been able to do it,” says Florian. So when the opportunity arose to create the bike he and Thibault spent 6 months planning the project. Once a basic concept was laid down the brothers enlisted the help of digital designer Barbara Customs to accurately render their vision. With a highly detailed concept drawing under their belt and a clear plan of the build, they kicked things off with a complete teardown.
“Without a doubt, the bulk of the work is the aluminum part of the project,” says Florian. “We worked with Jake Apiata from Apiate Metal Shaping, a New Zealander based in France for 10 years. This is our 3rd joint project. He understands what we want and we trust him.”
Jake’s workload included the creation of all new bodywork for the Interceptor. The new tinware includes a one-off fuel tank which necessitated the relocation of the fuel pump, a sleek full fairing, side panels designed to integrate a bespoke exhaust system, and solid wheel covers to complement the Enfield’s out-of-this-world sci-fi-inspired aesthetic.
While Jake was busy shaping aluminium Florian and Thibault got to work on the rest of the project using aftermarket parts from their own store and creating a few of their own bespoke additions.
During the overhaul, the Enfield’s stock forks received new internals with adjustable top caps for fine-tuning the ride. The forks now sit in a theme-matching USVracing machined triple tree and have been fitted with clip-on handlebars. To complete the more aggressive riding position the Interceptor mid pegs have been swapped out for Mass-Cut rear set alternatives.
The new rear-end suspension hails from French supplier Nimbus. The unique-looking shocks are oleo-pneumatic which combines pneumatic spring and a hydraulic shock absorber technology into one unit. These shocks are traditionally used for aircraft of off-road applications but here they’ve been specially tuned to suit Stellar.
The clip-on bars wear all-new backlit switchgear, an alloy fluid reservoir, bar end mirrors, Kustomtech levers, and an Accossato Racing quick throttle. There’s also no ignition barrel in sight since it’s been replaced by a Motogadget keyless ignition. Between the bars, you won’t find any gauges because French Moto developed a one-of-a-kind alternate solution. Sitting within 2 round windows recessed into the fuel tank are digital screens that are connected to an onboard computer. The 2 screens relay different information back to the rider with the first showing speed and rev info while the other manages notifications. Both have a 1980s sci-fi feel about them with 8-bit style typefaces, an inverted 3-color palette, and slick graphics.
To make this project even more unique the Klingler brothers hand-carved a Linden wood tail unit that artfully juxtaposes with the primarily metal construction of the rest of this project. To tie things together it’s complemented by a matching set of wooden grips and the custom seat pan has been covered in soft suede leather.
It’ll come as no surprise that Stellar’s lighting is all custom too. Siting within slits at the front of the fairing are LED running lights that double as turn signals. A front axle-mounted Highsider headlight provides night-time visibility and at the rear are Highsider JetStream triple-function LED tail lights.
Being based in France means French Moto’s work is bound by the country’s strict roadworthy laws. So despite wanting to push the envelope even further with this build, the brothers had to show restraint so the bike’s winner could fully enjoy it. This resulted in the engine’s performance modifications being limited to a custom stainless 2-into-2 exhaust system that passes through the side covers. The most significant performance upgrade however came with the fitment of a new brake system. Replacing the Enfield’s stock hardware is a €3000 Beringer brake setup. On a motorcycle that retails for €7000, this may seem a little excessive but as Florian explains it, they did it “just for fun!”
Stellar has been valued at €40,000 and is currently up for grabs on the Fench Moto website. If you’re living in Europe and fancy a chance to win this gorgeous bike head over to their website for more details.