Custom café racer builder Avinton is known for out-of-the-box design. The French firm may favor American V-twin engines, but it pairs all that low-down pull with lightweight chassis and a unique layout. In order to maximize air intake, Avinton repurposes the bike’s tail unit as a fuel cell and positions the airbox directly over the hulking V-twin.
While that remains Avinton’s signature style, not all customers appreciate the unorthodox configuration. One such owner commissioned Nice, France-based garage Ortolani Customs to address the chunky tail end by reintegrating the fuel cell back into its traditional spot. There was only one catch: the customer also wanted shop owner Olivier Ortolani to retain the tank-mounted intake that typifies Avintons.
While Ortolani had his work cut out for him, the master builder pulled off the feat with fashionable results. The resulting gas tank not only acts as a storage unit for fuel and the airbox, but Ortolani also incorporated a push-to-start button for extra pizzazz. The voluminous cell may take up more space, but the new shape lends to the Grand-Prix-racer-meets-café-racer aesthetic.
Ortolani only leaned further into that style with a MUPO racing fork and rear shock, superbike-worthy Brembo calipers, and forged Marchisini wheels shod in Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa slicks. The bike’s 1,645cc, 45-degree V-twin provided by S&S Cycle also earns a new custom-made stainless-steel exhaust system with MotoGP-inspired mufflers. The Evo-generation mill pumps out 120 horsepower and 125.4 lb-ft of torque; more than enough for the sub-400-pound Avinton.
Gallery: Black Swan: 2014 Avinton
A lithium battery feeds the build's high-tech arsenal, including a Motogadget M-unit, dashboard, and an LED taillight. However, Ortolani turns to a refurbished Ducati Scrambler headlight to maintain the custom café racer look. The gloss black paint job with red and matte black accents only fuses that vintage silhouette with today’s sporty sensibilities.
An Alcantara and gloss leather saddle puts the finishing touch on the project, capping off a design that’s both out-of-the-box and traditional at the same time.