Test and previews Tue 06 February 2018

“L’Avventura” Bike

When I was a kid I loved Walt Disney’s “adventure cartoons”, while today, still a kid inside, I am captivated by “Walt Siegl’s L’Avventura”.
The Walt I got interested in after seeing some of his creations, is an Austrian guy who left art school when he was only 19 to work as a mechanic in a road motorcycle racing team.
After various jobs, in 1985 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appoints him to promote contemporary Austrian art and culture, so he flies to New York. He spends his free time building motorcycles for himself and his best friends out of a basement.
In 2007 he moves to New Hampshire and sets up the Walt Siegl Motorcycles (WSM), designing contemporary high-performance motorcycles with timeless styling.
“L’Avventura” is the name of his project dedicated to off-road: an aggressive look that recalls ’80/’90 rally motorcycles without giving up elegance.   
The goal is to bring the weight of the bike well below that of a BMW GS or a Ducati Multistrada, starting from an air cooled 1100cc twin Ducati engine and a Hypermotard Ducati frame.
The fairing is all Kevlar and can be easily removed thanks to Dzus fasteners. To lower its center of gravity while guaranteeing enough fuel for long trips, 2 aluminum fuel containers have been positioned one under the main tank cover and the other in the rear sub-frame. The two units are connected to one another and work as communicating vessels.
Special care has been dedicated to suspensions, which are completely adjustable, for maximum comfort based on weight and the use it has been designed for. The forks are Showa with a travel of 215 mm, motocross-derived as the Ohlins shock-absorber. A specific fork support has been designed to adapt a radial caliper and a bigger-sized disk to the braking system.

The off-road tires are mounted on Excel rims, 17” the rear and 21” the front one. Even the 26° rake of the steering head and the 13° rake of the monoshock have been designed considering comfort on long trips. The swingarm, made of box section aluminum with ribs strengthening the critical points, is a real masterpiece.
No major change has been made to the engine; however, Walt did modify the final transmission with a more suitable gear ratio. A wide aluminum panel completely covers the L twin engine protecting it from accidental impacts against rocks.
The sophisticated on-board computer, that includes a GPS with over 22,500 km of trails besides normal check functions, can be easily removed and used as a tablet.
The round double-headlight, deliberately retro, is the best the market offers in LED technology.
The motorcycle weighs around 156 kg and is sold for $ 34,000, about 27,000 €.

Siegl informs that exclusive side bags will be available shortly and that a dual-sport version of the machine, with 17” front and rear rims, is also available Color, where possible, and also many other details, can be customized to satisfy the customer’s requirements.

Walt’s lucky friend, owner of this motorcycle, is totally satisfied: The ergonomics are perfect. Fits like a glove. Even the seat, which is always a problem, is spot on. So comfortable. Bottom line, L’Avventura is a dream come true and I plan on logging many, many memory miles.
The whole bike is a true work of art!

Text: Pietro Bartolomei
Photo: Walt Siegl’s archive

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