“Midnight Dancer” from Cherry’s Firm…
Launched in 2008, the BMW HP2 Sport was fairly the machine, a contemporary German sportbike whose 1170cc flat-twin (Boxer) engine made 128 hp — essentially the most highly effective Boxer engine ever produced! That mammoth engine, which had air-cooled cylinders and oil-cooled heads, was accompanied by BMW Telelever / Paralever suspension with Öhlins shocks, Brembo race-spec Monobloc calipers, light-weight cast aluminum wheels, and a carbon-fiber rear subframe.
Riders and reviewers discovered a lot to like within the flat-twin sportbike:
“Overlook the truth that the HP2 Sport is an outdated air-cooled Boxer engine…assume extra in the way in which this motorbike will sustain with Japanese superbikes on the open highway due to its dealing with, suspension, and demon brakes.” –MCN
What’s extra, the bike’s efficiency within the World Endurance Championship earned it a status for reliability, because the race bike ran the identical the identical engine, ECU, and air filter because the manufacturing HP2 Sport. All in all, the bike was an excellent road and circuit package deal:
“Not solely does it make an excellent road-going bike, the BMW HP2 will lower up tough at observe days.” –MCN
Enter Kaichiroh Kurosu of Cherry’s Firm, who was commissioned to rebuild a 2008 HP2 Sport concerned in an accident. Kurosu-san determined to take inspiration from Eighties GP bikes, rebuilding the outside in carbon whereas retaining the sportbike’s already excessive degree of efficiency.
Kurosu-san is well-known for his Freeway Fighter sequence, and he’d begun utilizing carbon fiber on his clients’ builds, however he was in search of a brand new modeling methodology:
“That’s when I discovered Vacuum Infusion Expertise. Utilizing Vacuum Carbon Infusion Expertise, which hardens carbon fiber with epoxy, I discovered that it’s doable to provide carbon elements with a top quality near dry carbon.”
Kaichiroh created a carbon entrance fairing with offset headlight and slimline windshield, together with a separate carbon tank cowl whose built-in facet cowls overlap with the ahead cowl.
There’s additionally a carbon stomach pan, and all the bodywork has been lettered and flourished with gold-leaf paint.
To enrich the carbon bodywork, Kaichiroh determined to create a uncooked aluminum tail part, drawing inspiration from the sponsor-less MotoGP bikes he’s seen throughout testing:
“Within the low season, when no sponsor or physique colour has been determined but, the racing groups have been seen testing their bikes with a uncooked aluminum tank and a carbon cowl in a physique configuration very similar to the Midnight Dancer… That’s what I wished to specific this time.”
When Kurosu-san confirmed the bike on the prestigious Yokohama Scorching Rod Customized Present final 12 months, he was stunned to seek out some media of us who thought carbon and resin didn’t have a spot in sizzling rod tradition. For these of us, a bit of historical past lesson was so as:
“The recent rod scene has been customizing with resin elements because the Sixties, exemplified by Tracy Nelson’s Fiberglas Works customized bikes with one-piece module fiberglass physique. And now, greater than 50 years on, even the getting older of Tracy’s customized bikes, with their chipped fibers and pale paint, is a part of the customization course of, I assume.”
Kurosu-san goes on to say that carbon permits him to provide intricate shapes he may by no means obtain in sheet steel, and Midnight Dancer is an ideal instance of that.
A particular thanks goes out to our pal Tadashi “Tad” Kohno for bringing us this story, and credit score goes to Hiromitsu Yasui (@hiromitsuyasui_weekend) for these beautiful photographs. Get pleasure from!
Midnight Dancer: Within the Builder’s Phrases…
I acquired the order in 2018. Earlier than that, the proprietor’s BMW HP2 Sport had been in an accident. He requested me to do a customization for it. However there was Covid19 across the time, and me being busy, the plans to construct the bike had been on maintain for a very long time. At the moment, I didn’t have a concrete customization plan, however the HP2 Sport had a carbon exterior, the robust efficiency of the flat twin engine, and a chassis to help it. I had a obscure concept that I didn’t wish to degrade the efficiency or styling of this sports activities bike.
For these causes, I wished to construct the HP2 Sport with a carbon exterior. I began to consider that across the finish of 2021 to January 2022. On the time, I used to be utilizing a carbon exterior on the “Freeway Fighter” full bikes, which got here out of the R nineT customization mission of 2014. Nevertheless, I had solely established the hand lay-up methodology of carbon modeling, which I assumed would compromise the efficiency of the HP2 SPORT. Alternatively, dry carbon was inconceivable. I used to be looking for a brand new modeling methodology. That’s when I discovered Vacuum Infusion Expertise. Utilizing Vacuum Carbon Infusion Expertise, which hardens carbon fiber with epoxy, I discovered that it’s doable to provide carbon elements with a top quality near dry carbon.
So I modified the manufacturing methodology of the outside elements for the Freeway Fighter to Vacuum Carbon Infusion as a check mattress for the institution of Vacuum Infusion Expertise. Bike elements are small, complicated in form, and have intricate curves. So I devised a vacuum methodology and explored my very own Vacuum Infusion Expertise. After all, the manufacturing methodology remains to be evolving and continues to enhance the energy and high quality required for bike elements, in addition to the liberty of modeling.
As soon as Vacuum Infusion Expertise had been established, my work moved on to design. The picture is that of a WGP racer from the Eighties. It was characterised by its giant cowl and considerably exaggerated design in comparison with right now’s racing bikes. Nevertheless, I liked the WGP in that period and have used that picture many instances in my customized bikes. This time, I attempted to make it work with a BMW flat twin engine.
Because the HP2 Sport had high-level driving efficiency, I made a decision to rebuild solely the outside with out altering the association of the suspension system, together with BMW’s distinctive Telelever Entrance Suspension System and Paralever Rear Suspension System, the body supporting them, and the computer systems and different gadgets essential for the BMW’s driving efficiency.
Nevertheless, the HP2 Sport use an inside gasoline tank system, with a tank cowl over the gasoline tank. The facet of the entrance cowl is built-in into the tank cowl. Moreover, the entrance cowl was a separate construction from that facet half. Behind that entrance cowl there’s additionally an air consumption for ram air and a tool holder, and the design course of was carried out with out altering the association of those elements, which led to this design, with the outside elements overlapping one another.
I used to be going to complete even the rear cowl in carbon. However in the course of the manufacturing course of I began to assume that I wished to mix steel and carbon in a mixed fashion. Even these days, racing bikes like in MotoGP or WSBK typically use uncooked aluminum for the gasoline tank. Within the low season, when no sponsor or physique colour has been determined but, the racing groups have been seen testing their bikes with a uncooked aluminum tank and a carbon cowl in a physique configuration very similar to the Midnight Dancer. And it’s cool. That’s what I wished to specific this time.
After I exhibited the Midnight Dancer on the Yokohama Scorching Rod Customized Present 2022, many media requested me why you tried a carbon exterior. Plainly the recent rod scene and carbon elements, or resin elements for that matter — they thought the 2 issues weren’t a very good match for one another. Nevertheless, the recent rod scene has been customizing with resin elements because the Sixties, exemplified by Tracy Nelson’s Fiberglas Works customized bikes with one-piece module fiberglass physique. And now, greater than 50 years on, even the getting older of Tracy’s customized bikes, with their chipped fibers and pale paint, is a part of the customization course of, I assume.
I additionally insist on resin molding utilizing carbon supplies as a result of it permits for better flexibility in designing. Mildew making is important for resin molding. And it is vitally troublesome to make the mould. Nevertheless, it’s doable to create complicated shapes with optimistic and adverse curved surfaces, such because the Midnight Dancer’s, that are inconceivable with sheet steel. By combining the carbon exterior with sheet steel elements, I used to be capable of create a brand new world that’s neither a chopper nor an excellent sport. With the “Midnight Dancer,” I’ve proved this, I feel.
Construct Sheet: Midnight Dancer
■ Mannequin Identify： Midnight Dancer
■ Builder： Kaichiroh Kurosu / Cherry’s Firm
■ Donor Machine：2008 BMW HP2 SPORT
・Entrance Suspension System：Customary
・Rear Suspension unit：Customary
・Brake Caliper： Customary
・Brake Disk Rotor：Customary
・Brake Caliper： Customary
・Brake Disk Rotor：Customary
・Tires：MICHELIN Energy Cup 2
・Gasoline Tank：Customary／Interior Tank
・Tank Cowl & Entrance Cowl：One-off／CFRP
・Rear Cowl：One-off /Aluminum
・Foot pegs ＆ Pedals：Customary
・Headlight：4inc (No Identify)
・Rear Gentle：KIJIMA NANO
・Rearlight ＆ Flip sign：KIJIMA NANO
・Paint：〜Hopping Bathe〜 Tetsu
Comply with the Builder
Photographer: Hiromitsu Yasui (@hiromitsuyasui_weekend)