It feels like the world is suddenly full of custom bike builders, each trying to out-do each other. But undoubtedly one of the best are Walt Siegl Motorcycles (WSM); the eponymous business formed by an Austrian in New Hampshire, with a fascination for engineering and an eye for detail mainstream manufacturers (and most buyers) can’t afford.
His latest creation, this Ducati-powered retro 'Superbike', makes MV Agusta’s recent, similar looking Superveloce 800 look like an unfinished afterthought. And while MV’s version won’t be available until late 2019, you can order one of WSM’s creations now. Siegl’s bikes are all based around Ducati or MV Agusta engines and the new superbike is no exception.
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Uniquely, though, it has been developed to accommodate both the air-cooled two-valve engines, and the later water-cooled four-valve engines, allowing WSM to pander to clients’ powertrain preferences without ripping up the style book.
The bike pictured above uses a Bruce Meyers Performance Ducati 1098 engine, cradled in a WSM perimeter chrome-moly trellis frame (built to Ducati factory WSB geometry), with bespoke WSM electronics package that integrates the original Ducati ECU, but with new mapping, a quickshifter and autoblipper, traction control, LCD dash, and data-acquisition.
This isn’t just about style – it’s a serious road and track weapon. The wheels are OZ Racing, braking comes from Brembo, and the suspension comprises the Öhlins FGR World Superbike fork and TTX monoshock (mated to the original 1098 swingarm).
The beautifully proportioned bodywork is all pre-preg carbon fibre, as are the airbox, intakes, and seat unit. With personalisation part of the design brief, there are also various exhaust configurations available using WSM headers and SC Project end-cans.
Siegl says: "I was trying to bridge the gap between classic design and modern technology. This machine is my romance with classic race bikes blending, I hope seamlessly, with modern technology and design." And it achieves that with effortless balance.
The one balance that might be a struggle is your bank’s. The Superbike starts at $58,000, and is only available direct from Siegl’s New Hampshire workshop. But if the back of your sofa yields an impressive haul of lost coins, then all this exclusivity, craftsmanship, electronics wizardry, riding and garage happiness are yours.