‘Bienville Legacy’ – madder than a Confederate

Ex-Confederate designer’s long-running project finally completed

UNLESS you’re in the David Beckham/Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt league of massively wealthy motorcyclist, always on the lookout for an even more extreme two-wheeled statement to be riding next time you’re papped for the front cover of a vacuous, celebrity-focussed glossy, you’re probably not in the market for the newly-completed Bienville Legacy.

Brainchild of JT Nesbit, former design chief at Confederate and thus the man responsible for many of Hollywood’s favourite rides, the Legacy is crazier than any of his previous projects. Powered by a 1600cc Motus V4, chucking out 185bhp as standard or up to 300bhp with an optional supercharger fitted, it’s as much a talking point as a motorcycle.

You’d never call it beautiful, at least not in a conventional sense. The proportions are odd and the combination of textures, shapes and materials are jarring, but the every image reveals more intriguing details. Like the carbon front girders and the rear swingarm; look closely and you’ll see they’re actually identical parts, despite operating in completely different ways.

They’re also connected to each other by a single, carbon fibre leaf spring that serves suspension duties for both ends. It’s the red bit in the pictures that sits above the fuel tank. The fuel tank, filled via that hole in the right hand side of a tan leather seat that would look right at home on the back of a horse, is carbon fibre, as are the wheels. Oh, and that seat is custom-made to fit the wealthy owner’s buttocks.

There’s a hint of steampunk, too, in the brass footpegs and bolts around the headlight-cum-instrument panel.

All-in, the bike is reckoned to weigh 400lb, which is an impressive 181kg in European terms. The number that’s missing is, of course, the price. Probably because each example will effectively be custom made, so the eventual tag will no doubt depend on whether the eventual buyer demands diamond-encrusted cylinder heads or panda fur instead of leather. It’s safe to assume, though, that the people who end up riding these things will probably have no idea what they cost either, because they’ll employ other people to worry about that sort of thing.

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