Some custom motorcycles build on the style that the base bike already had. Others, though, veer in completely different directions, to the point where you can’t believe that such-and-such a motorcycle was the starting point. And then there are the truly custom bikes—the ones that aren’t based on an existing model, but an idea. Such is the case with Bandit9’s latest motorcycle, the Supermarine. It might have a Triumph heart, but it’s built like an ocean ray.
Vietnamese shop Bandit9 has a host of wild—and wildly artistic—custom motorcycles in its portfolio
While Daryl Villanueva established Bandit9 in Beijing, these days the motorcycle shop is headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. But regardless of the locale, Villanueva’s designs have certainly made a splash worldwide.
Although all Bandit9 motorcycles tend to have “a retrofuturistic feel,” Silodrome says, the garage doesn’t stick to any single manufacturer. Villanueva’s first build, Loki, was based on an old Chinese military bike, for example. The Odyssey and Dark Side, meanwhile, are based on the now-dead Harley-Davidson Street 750.
And despite the wild, swooping looks of Villanueva designs, the donor motorcycles are often humble. The Bandit9 Eve, Eden, and Bishop, for example, are based on 125cc Honda SS125s. Janus Motorcycles would approve.
Bandit9 has also partnered with motorcycle manufacturers on official collaborations. It’s worked with Royal Enfield several times, first on the Merlin and Arthur and next on the Jaeger, a bolt-on kit for the Continental GT 650. And working with Triumph, Bandit9 has made the Supermarine.
It can’t dive, but the Triumph-powered Bandit9 Supermarine can swim down the road like a Mobula ray
|Engine||Stealth Class: 900cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin|
Carbon Class: 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin
|Power||Stealth Class: 74 bhp|
Carbon Class: 103 bhp
|Torque||Stealth Class: 59 lb-ft|
Carbon Class: 83 lb-ft
|Transmission||Five- or six-speed manual|
|Front suspension||Fully-adjustable Nitron or Ohlins forks|
|Rear suspension||Fully-adjustable Nitron or Ohlins mono-shock|
|Curb weight||Stealth Class: 476 lbs|
Carbon Class: 419 lbs
Based on Bandit9 Supermarine’s specs, its parallel-twin powertrains are likely from the Triumph Street and Speed Twins. But just like Revival Cycles’ Birdcage BMW R 18, the Supermarine isn’t really a Triumph motorcycle. Rather, Bandit9 wrapped a Triumph powertrain in a frame and body straight out of science fiction.
Or rather, as its name implies, straight from the ocean. Bandit9 says the Supermarine draws inspiration from the Mobula ray genus, whose members include the giant manta ray. Hence why the Supermarine has that flowing, aerodynamic body. And the frame underneath that sleek body was inspired by coral reefs.
But there’s more to the Bandit9 Supermarine’s design than just looks. For one, while the Stealth Class’s body is made from high-strength ABS plastic, the Carbon Class uses carbon fiber. And while the standard frame is made of 7075 aluminum, Bandit9 can make it out of carbon fiber, too. Also, to save additional weight, the Carbon Class ditches the Stealth Class’s stainless-steel exhaust system for a titanium one.
To help the Bandit9 Supermarine stop as well as it goes, it comes standard with four-piston Brembo disc brakes. But if you need some additional stopping power, you can upgrade to six-piston Beringer Aerotec discs. And to help the rider keep track of everything, the bike has a custom LED display built into the cockpit.
Customer versions are almost ready to order
Despite its wild looks, the Bandit9 Supermarine isn’t some one-off built for a custom motorcycle show. If you have the money, the shop will build one for you; deliveries start in December 2021. And because it uses a stock Triumph powertrain, it complies with Euro5 emissions.
As of this writing, Bandit9 hasn’t released official pricing details for the Supermarine. Based on its previous builds, though, the Stealth Class likely starts in the $30,000-$35,000 range, Robb Report says. And the Carbon Class is likely considerably more.
Still, how many bikes do you know that look like a ray?
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