Every so often in the street fighter community someone brings a new and interesting flavor to the scene and surprises everyone with some stunning build photo’s and a mindful tip of the hat in the direction of the fightering masses. Enter desmoBibu from Romania. A cheerful bloke with a desire for the Ducati’s. When he isn’t turning a wrench, he is thinking about it.
I contacted Bibu and got the inside perspective on his beautiful GTV cafe and the ideals behind his current crop of SuperSport goodness. At the very least I can say I am impressed with the level of dedication motorcycle builders have, the world over, we all speak the same language when it relates to chassis codes and torque specs.
We all start somewhere, some just a little earlier than others. Bibu can remember clearly watching the movie “Top Gun” as a 7 year old and seeing that wildly styled GPz900 Ninja. Just like so many of us, the sound of a motorcycle and the thought of that Kawasaki stuck. It’s hard to deny that scene where the 900 is running down the air strip next to a fighter based aircraft on takeoff. It is a rush you just can’t compare until you have ridden a motorcycle for yourself.
Like so many kids, after seeing that iconic scene we took to our bicycles. Bibu was no different. A classic orange pedal bike soon found its way into parts, customized, and reassembled as “his own”. The modification didn’t stop there, everything he could get his hands on got a treatment of his own style and flavor. Moto helmets, computer cases, bicycles, and eventually motorcycles.
As fate would have it, once we start turning a wrench we think of it as pure blasphemy to even speak of stopping. A 49cc Aprilia RS50 began the addiction to an engine and two wheels under him and nothing could stop the progression. I’m sure we all know that feeling, you know the one, that little tug on your soul that says, “I’m home”. After a few small modifications the pursuit of a better machine began. Most of us state side are unaware of the company Derbi. I for one have wanted a Senda 50 SM for a few years and hearing the build sheet on his made me wish for one even more!
The purchase of the Senda SM was a door opening so to speak. The modification began and brought a light to the motorcycle world that as a new builder/rider you just don’t understand until your right there in the middle of it. The first mechanical (motorcycle) experience for Bibu was fitting a sport type air filter, a bigger carb, and a 80cc big bore kit to the little SM. The results were the glue that adheres the rider side to the builder side for life.
With a big smile Bibu tells me that is when it dawned on him that he needed a “REAL” bike.
A 1994 Ducati 350SS presented itself in affordable fashion and it was purchased with great intentions and after one ride, it became an addiction. The exclusivity, the styling, the feel of the bike grabbed him by the wrist to lead him along as a Ducati enthusiast for life. As he put it, “I like all motorcycles, but the Duc’s are the only motorcycles I really love.”.
The garage he is operating out of is home to everything but machining work. After he finished his classes at the University to become a Dental Technician he returned to his home town and bought the garage and began renovations to turn it into his dream shop. After much work and tireless effort he has a place to call his own. Modification from paint, to wiring, metal forming to welding. He does it all. And the machining? He has a friend for that too. His bikes are 100% built by him. A true testament to the fighter ingenuity. If there is a way, we will find it!
A little about the bikes. The GTV is a pure cafe racer. Not alot of people can follow such a line as to what Bibu did with such an ugly duckling. I even found myself saying “Damn! I want one!”. The pure ideals of the cafe are so close to the SF movement it’s unbelievable how 50 years later we are coming full circle to the pure ideals of minimal and functional. The GTV speaks volumes on this level. No fancy chrome bits, no RFID ignition, just a motor and some wheels. Perfect.
The more modern of his stable are under the knife with the same ideals. The 350SS is on the way to being a (modern) cafe. We can only wonder what the end results will look like, but we can be guaranteed world class results. The idea of a trellis frame and modern suspension coupled with a classic, minimalist approach to building and an eye for the details will surely produce results on a world scale. I’m watching with great interest.
As for the 600SS, a pursuit of the hybrid styling “cafe fighter” is in the mix. Yet another build I am eagerly awaiting progress on. There is few people who will cut into a Ducati, even fewer with the skill to turn out a product on the level with the likes of Radical. Yes, Radical. Bibu has an attention to the little things that tie into the overall of the bike in a way that some of the highest class builders can accomplish. A gift to most of us. But they way it just is for him.
The overall idea behind every build he puts together is “minimalist and light weight”. I think we can all agree with that. The better and bigger our community gets, the more people like Bibu join in the fray and share the amazing things they are doing in minimal facilities. The future of the rider/builder is in our own hands and we have no problem with the control. The industry doesn’t need to lead us here and there. The industry doesn’t’ need to offer parts for us to build our dream bikes. And the industry doesn’t have to set rules for our style either. We dictate every bit of our own dreams and aspirations with motorcycles and it really is a gift to have the talent to be on the front lines of this movement.
Follow this man’s lead. Blur some lines, cross into some new territory, enjoy the view my fighter brethren, this is our world.