Back in February, 2020, Vietnamese custom shop Bandit9 announced its newest project: the Supermarine Concept. The shop said at the time that it planned to spend all of 2020 working on just this one project, turning it from a concept into a reality. The drawings it revealed over a year ago were beautiful, but concepts often change form as they find form in the real world. How would the Supermarine concept fare?
In October, 2021, Bandit9 decided it was ready to unleash the completed Supermarine project on the world. The end result is available in two versions, one with bodywork made of race-spec ABS, and the other crafted with bodywork made from carbon fiber. Either way you cut it, the form expressed in those original concept designs released in early 2020 is still there.
With bodywork designed to mimic the grace and presence of mobula rays, and a frame inspired by coral reefs, this is a fully sea-inspired design that’s meant to go fast on land. To that end, Bandit9 decided to power the Supermarine with a Triumph twin, in your choice of 900cc or 1200cc variants.
Gallery: Bandit9 Supermarine
That’s right, the Supermarine isn’t just a one-off custom. Instead, Bandit9 will build a Supermarine to spec for clients who want one. Besides the choice of displacement and body material, prospective buyers can also choose between Nitron or Ohlins suspensions, as well as Brembo or Beringer Aerotec brakes. Additional customization options to make your Supermarine a truly bespoke bike are surely on offer as well, but you’ll have to speak directly to Bandit9 about the possibilities if you’re interested.
The frame is made of either 7075 Aluminum or carbon fiber, again depending on your preference. Weight is anywhere between 216 and 190 kilograms for the upgraded version (that’s 476 to 419 pounds). Bandit9 says that as it fine-tunes this design, some specifications may be subject to change, but the basic structure is now ready to roll out of the shop and into customer hands.
While it’s absolutely stunning to look at, as some noted with the original concept drawing, it’s not immediately clear just from looking at it how easy this bike would be to turn or steer. The bodywork looks as though it would restrict handlebar movement considerably. Since it all appears to be one piece that sweeps back to hold the saddle and rider in position, it doesn’t look as though the fairing would simply turn with the bars.
Perhaps there’s some kind of cleverly hidden seam in the body near where the tank and saddle meet that would allow it to work that way? In any case, we’ll definitely be interested to see if anyone posts a ride review of their Supermarine in the future. Meanwhile, the completed project is quite a beautiful thing to behold.