Raptor special is a big noise in the city

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FROM their bike emporium in North London Moto-Casoli are used to adding extra special touches to their customers’ already special bikes.

Their's is an Aladdin's cave of Italian exotica; MV Agustas fight for floorspace with Foggy reps and other varieties of V-twin loveliness All expensive, all exclusive.

We’re here to savour a particular bike that for the moment renders even these machines run-of-the-mill.

We’re here to ride what Moto-Casoli call their " X-tra " Raptor.

Cagiva’s official importer, Three Cross, insists this isn’t how the final production Xtra Raptor bike will look, but there’s no doubting this upgraded Raptor has many a head-turning ingredient of its own.

Essentially this special is the same aggressively styled streetbike the V-Raptor is, with it's bird of prey looks, but the standard plastic has been replaced with mouthwatering carbon fibre - which brings the cost of the bike up by about £1000 pounds. It has colour-coded wheels, a sexy belly-pan (in more carbon fibre) and a hand-built exhaust. It is loud enough to upset car alarms, it spits fire on the overrun and has ladies, old enough to remember the Blitz, running for cover. Road legal it is not.

After being pointed in the direction of some suitably twisty back roads, MCN's Marc Potter blasts off to get a first taste of this beast.

After 20 minutes he's back and his first impression is obvious from the cheesey grin plastered across his face.

"What a laugh you’ve got to watch it when you pull off from junctions though; the front just wants to go vertical.

"Very easy to go fast on right from the off and it steers beautifully. But you wouldn't want to go over 90 on it the windblast catches you right in the chest. "

Chiropracters are going to be kept busy with the number of cricked necks the attention grabbing special causes.

The official Cagiva Xtra Raptor will be arriving in the UK between July and September and cost £7899.

Moto Casoli’s very special V-Raptor is as close as you can get until then. Our full report on it will be appearing in MCN on April 4.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff