Dynamic designer Sacha Lakic talks custom classics with Built

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Sacha Lakic is a world famous designer, better known for his James Bond set-style approach to architectural concepts, such as the Nest (pictured), a luxury home suspended 1000m high above the Colarado River in the Grand Canyon or Nautila (pictured), a super-luxury hotel planned to be built off the coast of Dubai.

But his passion is custom classic motorcycles and he’s just launched his own bike brand: Blacktrack.

In their latest issue, our sister magazine Built talk to Sacha about his love of motorbikes and desire to bring together the best of past and present design.

You’ve designed buildings, furniture and products and you’ve won many top awards. But never mind that. Tell us about motorcycles

Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by cars and motorcycles, by high speed. I love what it represents – it’s a symbol of modernity, technology and freedom. Motorcycles are definitely my favourite products to use and design.

Where did your love for motorcycles come from?

When I first saw a Vincent Black Lightning in a magazine I fell in love with the bike. Racey yet elegant, I still find it sublime.

What bikes are in your garage?

A Yamaha scooter TMAX for everyday use, a Harley Softail Breakout, a Voxan Black Magic that I designed in 2004 and I’m excited like a kid to receive my own Blacktrack BT0-01R.

Is Blacktrack inspired by the recent upsurge in interest in custom culture? Or is it something you always had in mind?

It’s a question of perfect timing and opportunity. The success of our prototype CX500 presented me with the perfect occasion for Blacktrack to propose a different type of motorcycle that I find missing in the market today – cool, simple, sexy, emotional and timeless machines, yet with modern components to make them more reliable, safe and efficient. Modern bikes are too clean, too perfect, too plastic and mostly too powerful.

Does your other design work contribute ideas and techniques to motorcycle design?

Motorcycles are definitely my favourite products to use and design, but they are also the most difficult. There are so many technical constraints, and so many people to work with. Motorcycles are fast moving objects, so aerodynamics and ergonomic issues are always present. Consequently,  designing a chair, a lamp or even a house is a piece of cake for me. It is more my other designs, like furniture, that are inspired by the world of motorcycles. When I’m designing, regardless of the object, I try to bring the same strong emotional dynamic sensation of movement. I feel that a product that is in motion is alive, almost as if it has a soul.

You’ve launched Blacktrack Motorcycles and plan to build five R models and 20 of the base model but what if someone asks you for a custom built from a Harley or Triumph?

The BT-01 is a first representation. This machine will be built to order only, this approach will give us the opportunity to personalise the models and to offer it to be built with options. Future motorcycles will be based on different platforms, but will always be twins and always designed in a café racer style. I’m very keen on the idea of transforming a Harley and Triumph. 

How important is it to you to get out and ride?

I love riding my bike and really feel a need for it on a regular basis. To me it’s all about freedom, and it is extremely inspiring travelling the country or mountain roads, through nature and beautiful landscapes. I have such a busy schedule that the only way for me to benefit from my passion for motorcycles is to combine the useful with the enjoyable.

What machines or engines excite you?

Well, there are many. I love the Triumph twin, big Harley engines, Ducati as well. At the moment I’m very impatient to receive my Blacktrack BT-01R. It should be ready soon. It is very important that people can see and try it. When the sunny days come I will take my backpack, a road book and cross the Alps for the Cote d’Azur and Corsica.

Read the full interview in the latest issue of Built magazine, on sale in all good newsagents now, or order your copy online direct from the publisher here and get free UK P&P.

 Photos: Sacha Lakic, Sébastien Nunes & Denis Boussard

Maria Vallahis

By Maria Vallahis