When two companies like Walter Tosto SpA, supplier to the global Oil and Gas industry, and Officine Rossopuro, a well-known name in the field of custom motorcycles, put their heads and knowledge together to build a bike, one should take some time and take a closer look.
It all begins a year ago, when Luca Tosto, managing Director of Walter Tosto SpA, met his Russian friend and collaborator Mihail Daev during a business trip. Due to their common passion for motorcycles, they both decided to trigger a project that demonstrates the skills and know-how of their company by means of a motorcycle, a completely unrelated object to their core business.
Back in Italy Luca Tosto met Filippo Barbacane from Officine Rossopuro. With ideas of something completely different than his usual builds already sprouting in Filippo’s head, partnering up for this unconventional project was a mere formality. The new Moto Guzzi California 1400 was soon selected as the base to start with for a bike revisited in an industrial way.
The Name Lupus Alpha was inspired by the fact that the wolf is present in both the Italian Abruzzo region as well as in Russia. Alpha, for the alpha-animal of the pack, made clear that the bike had to be focused on performance instead of show. It was meant to be a bike showcasing unconventional materials and an industrial design but nevertheless bearing, at the same time, typical characteristics of a hand built motorcycle.
Based on that idea, high quality and highly resistant materials such as Chromium-Vanadium, Titanium or Ergal were used. (Ergal is also known as Aluminium 7075. Got no idea what we’re talking about? Don’t worry, neither do we!) Furthermore, Incoloy 800y was used as well. Clueless about what the hell this is, Filippo’s clarification that Incoloy is used to manufacture reactors evokes an appreciative nod from our side. Based on Incoloy 800y’s extreme heat resistance, it stands to reason that this material is used to manufacture the brake calipers.
The Girder-Style front fork is completely manufactured out of Ergal and is combined with a modified Öhlins-shock absorber. The fork, as it was the first of many parts manufactured for the Lupus, serves as a basis for the entire design of the bike.
The rear swing-arm, made out of Ergal as well, consists of two parts and makes the driveshaft visible to the eye. The suspension system works in extension instead of compression. A sub-frame made out of Chromium Molybdenum links the two adjustable Bitubo-shocks to swing-arm.
This solution makes enough room in the rear-section of the bike so that a Titanium gas tank can be fitted underneath the seat while the voluminous, electrical system can be hidden in the tanks initial position and covered with a carbon fiber lid. The chassis parts are milled from a whole piece and adapted to the several handmade mechanical parts.
The wheels for the Lupus Alpha are milled from a whole piece as well and integrate a radial braking system. This system consists of 415 mm disks fixed to the rim and six-piston brake calipers milled out of this voodoo-stuff they use to build reactors. The exhaust system is fabricated by Moto Mass respecting precise guidelines provided by Officine Rossopuro.
A headlight, which origin is not revealed (can you guess it?) is modified, reversed and surrounded by an aluminum structure in order to integrate itself seamlessly into the front fork.
Due to the fact that 90% of Lupus Alpha’s parts are manufactured in house by Walter Tosto SpA, it is impossible to name them all. But nevertheless, the handmade aluminum oil radiator and the valve covers designed and crafted to fit the new design of the tank have to be mentioned.
Impressed by the craftsmanship of the Lupus Alpha, Moto Guzzi handed out some special parts like brake and clutch levers.
Filippo Barbacone from Officine Rossopuro admits the Lupus Alpha was the most complex bike he ever made. He confirms that it was only possible thanks to the extraordinary resources provided by Walter Tosto SpA and the support given by Luca Tosto himself. Nevertheles, Filippo doesn’t rule out the possibility that this bike was only a first step heading to an even larger, more complex project.
That begs the question, then, of what could possibly be more complex than this bike?
More info about the Lupus and all the other bikes Filippo has built to date can be found here, on Officine Rossopuro’s website.