3 Musketeers – Ducati / Cagiva Motards

3 Musketeers - Custom MotardsOne for all and all for one!

Who doesn’t know this motto from Alexandre Dumas’ famous The Three Musketeers? Each of them is cut from the same cloth: unorthodox and quarrelsome, but nevertheless unique – with the shared goal of fighting crime.

What? A literary history lesson in a fighter mag? No way!

But the three “musketeers” in this article bear more than a passing resemblance to Dumas’ trio. They ride design-linked bikes, ride together most often, think together as they work – partners, in this case, with the shared goal of fightering – on their “Hyperfants.”

I found the Hyperfants close to my home in the Netherlands. They were created by an old acquaintance, who lives just a couple of miles away. So it’s true what they say: you don’t have to look far to find something beautiful; you only have to look past the tip of your nose.

Rudy Berends, brother-in-law of an old friend, reminded me of that. He and two buddies belong to what you might call an exclusive club, as owners of what they’ve dubbed Hyperfants, based on a Cagiva Elefant. Rudy, Frank Poll and friend Jos Hulshof call themselves the three musketeers.

Their story begins with Rudy, in search of a second bike, something to spare his Ducati 851 SP. He’d purchased a Honda off-road cycle, but even after some adaptations, it didn’t satisfy him. So Rudy started searching for something better. He found a Cagiva Elefant offered for sale in a local newspaper. It had a Ducati 350 engine. As a Ducati fan, his curiosity was awakened by the Cagiva Elefant. He saw its possibilities, but not in its current form. Once he had the bike sitting in his barn, plans were rapidly forged to make something special of it. First, though, came some gruntwork, because with that 350 you could hardly even conquer a speedbump! A heart transplant gave it 250 cc’s more, and enough power to properly terrorize the neighborhood. To freshen up the rest of the bike and to compliment the motor, the frame angle was adjusted and upsidedown forks adapted with 17-inch wheels re-spoked on the original hubs and 320mm brake disk with six-pod calipers. Finally, a nice titanium silencer for grunt. Give it all a splash of paint, and voila!

Watching the construction of this first hyperfant, Frank and Jos both decided they couldn’t let Rudy have all the fun; they began searching for Elefants of their own to transform.

Two new Hyperfants emerged, each with with its own appearance. Frank’s Hyperfant is based on an ‘86 Cagiva, and houses a Ducati 750-engine with 36mm Dellorto carbs, a Ducati ST2-swingarm, Brembo brakes and White Power forks.

Jos used an ’85 Cagiva, and added a Ducati 750-engine as well, but with 32mm Dellorto carbs. He too has WP forks and Brembo brakes, but opted for the swingarm of a Ducati Monster. The noticeable difference here is a shortened back, with one-off luggage stand, thick Devil silencer on the side and, of course, the reversed color scheme.

With his friends’ components at the painters and coaters, Rudy decided it was time to re-think his own Hyperfant. He had new ideas, but thought it would be wiser to start over. He sold the first-ever Hyperfant and bought another frame with tank. Not to be outdone, Rudy threw in a Ducati 900SS-engine with 40mm Dellorto carbs, a Ducati 916-swingarm with associated wheels and Brembo brakes. Furthermore, for better weight distribution, he moved the battery to the front. Just as the frame neck, the subframe was modified and the whole thing fit with KTM body parts. When it came to painting, Rudy opted for the same colors, but opposite scheme.

Working like a honeybee with ADHD, he pieced together the Hyperfant Xtreme.

At last it was time for the virgin run. In the driveway next to his house, he kicked it into first gear and twisted the throttle. The Hyperfant leapt on its back legs and veered toward the pasture at the other side of the road! White-knuckled, he managed through quick gyrations to stop the bike before it could smash into a hedge on the far side. He rolled the bike back to the driveway, needing some down time (and a change of pants) before the next test drive.

The result? Perfectly stable up to 200 km/h (124mph) and more, with enough grunt to put the bike on its back wheel in second gear, just by turning the throttle. Stonger than his brothers and with its own appearance a forceful leader, the new bike can take charge and lead the way for his fighting friends. With their unique appearance, distinct sound and hooligan way of riding, this triumvirate has become a well-known sight in their regional area.

In the meantime, as in the legend of the three musketeers, work has continued in creating a complete army. Number 6 has already been built with 7 and 8 in preparatory stages. These will reinforce the team with equal pugnacity and their own characters: a perfect army that will fraternally shout with their own sound, “One for all and all for one!”

Text & Pictures: Jeroen (Spike) van der Veen


One Response to “3 Musketeers – Ducati / Cagiva Motards”

  • johanfaurie:

    hi there. i would like to know where to get pistons for my 1989 cagiva elefant 750. if anybody can help.

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