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He’s come a long way

Published: 26 August 2001

The Boxer factory was started by a man with a dream. The man is Thierry Henriette, and the dream was to give the public the kind of bikes he liked to build for himself.

The 45-year-old had been well-known in France as a specials builder for many years, but he wanted more. He says: " All the time I was in business as a dealer I dreamed of becoming a manufacturer. Only I didn’t want to do this with anything except a French engine, to create a bike 100 per cent made in France. "

Luckily for Henriette, his friend Jacques Gardette set up Voxan, building his own 72° V-twin engines in France, and agreed a deal to supply the engines to Henriette. Boxer was born.

Over the years, Boxer has brought us a regular supply of specials from the GSX-R750-based Vecteur of 1984, through the similar Sensor and the deeply finned Lamborghini concept machine of 1986, to the Triumph-engined Gladiator of 1993. The Scrambler, which was developed in 1986, was the first " production " machine, though it was

essentially still a Voxan.

So far, orders for the VB1 have only been accepted from within France, with around 200 buyers signing up. Henriette’s 10-man workforce has so far only filled 10 of those orders, with production currently running at a single bike a day. He is aiming to hit the dizzy heights of almost three a day by the end of the year.

Not being French shouldn’t rule you out if you want a VB1. The firm reckons the best way to get one is to contact it at: www.boxer-design.com and nominate a dealership for it to ship your bike to. It will then contact the dealer, make it financially attractive for them to take the order, and you’ll pick up your Boxer.

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