Exotic Wraith-like Guzzi from...Estonia?!

Renard GT

In 1938, Estonia’s Renard Cycles built a simple motorbike powered by a 98cc Sachs engine in a tube bicycle frame painted black with gold pinstripes, emblazoned with a fox head. In 1944, the factory located on the slopes of Lasnamäe Estonia, was completely destroyed by a direct hit. Dormant all those years, the memory of those motorcycles emerged from the ashes in 2008, when Estonian entrepreneurs/enthusiasts revived the Renard brand.

In April of this year, in Hanover, the “new era” Renard Grand Tourer was unveiled. The Grand Tourer looks to have quite a bit of Confederate inspiration in its carbon-fiber girder forks and certain lines, but goes its own direction in the use of an 1151cc Moto Guzzi “Quattrovalvole” V-Twin, complete with Euro 4 Engine Management System and around 125 horsepower. And instead of the typical frame, the Renard uses a Kevlar reinforced carbon-fiber monocoque which contains a 4.8-gallon fuel tank as well as a seat 33 inches from the ground. That chassis, says Renard, with its large surface area, is also designed to damp out shocks and vibrations from the engine and the road surface. The monocoque, says Renard, weighs just over 24 pounds, helping to keep the total weight of the GT down to 419, dry.

The girder fork and wheels are also c-f, while the swingarm is aluminum. Front suspension is handled by a two-way adjustable Öhlins S36DR1L, while a three-way adjustable Öhlins TTX36 controls the rear wheel. With 97mm (3.8 in) trail and 23 degrees of rake inside a 57-inch wheelbase (1450mm), Renard says the bike

is a “real two-wheeled scalpel.”

“The main goal was to create a motorcycle which incorporates in itself genuine motorcycling spirit,” says Renard, “that primal emotion that you feel for a beautiful moto-object with a powerful engine in the first place—desire.” Renard's motorcycle delivers this core value.

Prototype testing is in the fine-tuning stage, says Renard, with production bikes scheduled to be ready by late summer—and no plans as yet for importation into the U.S. Renard says it will begin taking orders in October for delivery in spring, 2011, of 10 Grand Tourers, with five more bikes a possibility (if five more people with 75,000 Euro happen to spring up).Renard encourages you to reserve yours now!

Brakes, front/rear: Twin semi-floating 320mm discs, six-piston monoblock calipers/ Single 220mm semi-floating disc, four-piston monoblock caliper.

Wheels, front/rear: Carbon fiber 3.50” x 17" / 5.50” x 17"

Tires, front/rear tires: 120/70 ZR17 / 190/55 ZR17