Now that our Ducati TT Racer Builds have been completed in fulfillment of our agreement with Two Wheel Classics-UK, we recently made time to complete our Biggelaar Performance/Italianiron Cafe Racer project or Bii-Rad. I am so fortunate to work with some incredibly talented engineers and racers. Such is the case with my friendship with owner/engine builder/racer, Toine van den Biggelaar, aka, Dr Frankenstein.
When we started this joint project, I wrote about the first stage of the build in my Blog Post from 13 Aug 17. However, we were initally delayed due to working on other projects such as my 2001 Ducati 996 rs IFC/Reve RedBull, 2000 Ducati 996rs and Ducati 900 SSD bevel drive. As a 3rd Generation Ducati dealership, both Toine Biggelaar and his father, Jan, have massive expertise and experience with the Ducati brand. As racers, they both have become saught after experts in maximizing the performance of vintage and modern Ducati race engines.
Excellence in engineering is Toine's forte and he has become quite famous for Ducati Superbike RS engine builds in particular. However, we decided to build a Cafe Racer project like the racebike campaigned in the Dutch Ducati Dealers Cup using a Ducati ST3 engine and ridden by Team Biggelaar pilot, Sveti Alexandrov. It was my responsibility to source the ST3 engine and 848 chassis for our project. Seen below is Toine at Assen getting ready to race and having a strategic conversation with none other than Troy Bayliss. It is interesting that we all like Orange and Blue!!
Therefore, we took a collection of bits and made something special. Toine built the engine to a high level of race tune to balance the use of this bike for street as as well as the track. He too is a racer and likes the ST3 engine as it is the lightest engine of its kind made by the Ducati factory. Using a Ducati 848 rolling chassis and in our case, modifying the frame to accept the S2R trellis swingarm, we were well on our way to making something unique. Our goal was to maximize Power:Weight Ratios through significant gains in engine power while building a chassis that was significantly lighter than stock. Using a professional race scale at Evan Steel Performance, we discovered that the weight of our Bii-Rad is 345 lbs (157 kg) "Wet" versus over 400 lbs stock.
While Toine built the ST3 engine, at Italian Iron Classics, we decided to honor our joint effort by using Dutch colors from the Orangemen of The Netherlands with Blue. We collectively love Reve RedBull Blue. Thanks to Tom Kegeleers from TK21 for supplying the tank and seat combination with its distinctive styling. As a SAMCO hose dealer, we were able to order Orange hoses and had our local powder-coater match the orange hoses to what his sample book listed as M&M Orange like the sweets. As we had just completed the bodywork for our Reve RedBull Ducati 996 rs, we had the formula for the Blue.
Bill of the Italianiron team worked his magic by plumbing the 1098 wiring loom/dash while connecting it to our Dual LED headlamps and rear taillight as this Cafe Racer project was born to "rip-up" the street as well as the track. Due to size restrictions of our TT 1 front cowling/fairing, we found a perfect sized radiator with fan from a Kawasaki 400 that has been providing significant cooling of our large 990 cc ST3 engine. Header system is a stock ST3 system that we ceramic-coated silver. We found a carbon fiber Akrapovic exhaust muffler to replace the previous Ducati muffler where the paint was bubbling up due to the excessive heat created. This engine has "wicked"performance and in a light weight chassis.
In addition to Toine's expertise in building this race-inspired ST3 engine, and mapping the 1098 ECU, Evan from Evan Steel Performance shared his years of race engineering expertise and gave us a loads of Dyno time to get the most out of our Biggelaar prepped engine. The Ducati factory states that this engine should put out 107 HP at the crank. We found 108 BHP at the rear wheel which we feel is very respectible for a bike that will be as great on the road as it will be on the track. When I took this bike out for the first test ride, I had to use the rear brake to control "power-wheelies"!! That has not been necessary since running my Ducati 996 rs at the track!!
It is our belief that we have also created a unique and striking aesthetic in the appearance of our Bii-Rad. However, it is the performance of this Cafe Racer that it is the most striking. This is not a novice's machine due to the significant and rapid power delivery of this package. We believe that we honor the spirit of the original Cafe Racers with this minimalist, light weight chassis with an abundance of power from a light weight 990 cc 3-Valve per cylinder engine. This project is the epitome of maximizing Power:Weight Ratios and fun!! Seen below is photo of the Biggelaar Speciality Performance shop in beautiful Oisterwijk, The Netherlands before Jan Biggelaar semi-retired from this family business. Behind those walls, like in the book Frankenstein, Ducati "Monsters" are created out in the lake country of The Netherlands. As a family we love flying back to Oisterwijk to see our friends. We plan to continue to work on projects for as long as we continue to create race bike concepts in our minds to develop and then to take them to the track!!