For many, it takes a long time to perfect a craft. Mistakes are made, and lessons learned along the way. For others, practice is the preferred method—expecting that possibility to make a strongly superb first effect.
Gabi Nicolae’s route turned into to broaden his talents using growing high-overall performance off-road 4-wheelers for his personal Taifun Engineering firm before developing his debut custom motorbike build—The Mechanik.
Nicolae’s hobby in motorcycles started 35 years in the past. At 14, he acquired a Mobra 50. Powered using a 4-horsepower 50cc two-stroke motor, it becomes the simplest motorcycle constructed in his domestic u . S. Of Romania on time. The Mobra 50 kicked off Nicolae’s custom-building profession.
“I modified it, as I desired to appear to be the Mobra Hoinar—one-of-a-kind exhaust, extraordinary handlebar, and so on. It changed into silly,” Nicolae explains, “however it changed into what I did. Customizing bikes professionally I began just a few years in the past, supporting one of a kind pals with their tasks, as my most important enterprise is a store that builds racing motors, custom projects, custom vehicles, and so on.”
Nicolae is the Team Manager for Team Dakar Romania—the primary Romanian Dakar Rally and rally raid team—similarly to the CEO and owner of Taifun Engineering, which sits adjacent to Bucharest’s Băneasa Airport.
It isn’t any surprise that he enjoy with 4-wheelers knowledgeable the construction of The Mechanik. “From the racing motors, I learned—many times the hard manner—that during a build, form observe feature and no longer the other way round. On the alternative hand, some thing you do and is k from the technical point of view, have to additionally be fine searching and pride to the attention. Also, I used quite a few racing cars tricks.”
One of these hints is that the whole thing constructed by Nicolae changed into designed in Autocad and laser-cut before being welded or mounted.
Custom BMW K 100: Gabi Nicolae’s The Mechanik pinnacle fork
Rather than being inspired by way of his locale or different developers—save Roland Sands—Nicolae says, “I just wanted to construct a motorbike that reflects my ardor, the mechanical stuff—anything, you call it, from automobiles to bikes to watches.”
For Nicolae’s first build, the BMW K one thousand platforms caught his interest. “First of all changed into the fuel tank,” he says with a wink. “Its shape—I adore it. Second, it’s a large motorbike, and I’m a large man. Third, its engine. It’s massive, properly balanced, effective. I’m not keen on small engines or small motorcycles…I do not forget that a biker desires a motorbike that has electricity. To feel something while you twist the accelerator!”
“I desired a bike that does not follow any rule—no longer a café racer, no longer a tracker, nor a scrambler,” Nicolae says, “however a motorcycle that runs first-rate, handles quality and looks great—as in keeping with my flavor, of path—and a motorcycle in which I can place my thoughts in fact.”
The rear suspension—with a horizontally mounted KYB surprise from a K1-generation Suzuki GSX-R1000—is a direct standout characteristic on The Mechanik. With the suspension geometry and tunability stimulated with the aid of F1 designs, Nicolae acknowledges that the rear suspension supplied demanding situations “to locate the proper percentage—in terms of dimensions—among the three facets of the triangulated form steel component that is driven with the aid of the push-rod.”
“It turned into complex,” Nicolae permits, “but we took care of it out, and the suspension works certainly, truely nicely. As I said, we’re constructing racing vehicles. And the suspension department is the most vital one. Therefore, I have plenty of experience with one of a kind suspension structures. I’m periodically rebuilding the shocks of the top five racing vehicles in Romania. I without a doubt understand what suspension must be.”
The fork from the GSX-R1000 become also applied, because of this it needed to combine with a selection of components. “Using my skills to select the proper shimming and the proper oil viscosity, the result may be truely good,” Nicolae says.
“I didn’t modify the fork. However I positioned an exceptional oil interior, custom adjusted the settings, and I needed to design new triple clamps,” Nicolae explains. “That became any other challenge due to the fact I desired the BMW K100 handling and not the Suzuki one. So, the top perspective and the trail is that of BMW K100. However, the width is from Suzuki to use the Tokico calipers and the Yamaha R1 disc brake.”
Nicolae also admits that the triple clamps have been the hard a part of the construct, as it involved engineering, sourcing the proper raw fabric, and the CNCing. Another hard a part of constructing The Mechanik came from integrating the Moto Gadget electronics into the motorbike.
Not all information are straight away obvious. However that doesn’t lead them to any less marvelous. For instance, the fuel cap is from an antique Boeing 707 jetliner. “From the very beginning, once I saw the BMW K one hundred gasoline tank, I knew that the first-rate fuel cap might be that one,” Nicolae stated. “I used to work in the airline industry for a few years, and I still have the contacts. The preservation facility for airplanes is located right across the road of my shop, so I was given one. I needed to the device it, to engineer some components. However the result is good.”
A headlight is an outstanding object. The seemingly over-engineered unit can speedily be flipped over to reveal quite a number plate. “The topic of the bike is ready mechanics,” Nicolae says. “I idea that making the headlight reversible might be a pleasant challenge, and it turned into! It’s formidable. However, it’s far what it’s miles.”
Anodizing changed into chosen over powder coating to defend aluminum elements for both practical and aesthetic reasons. “Powder coating adds a variety of thickness to the components—like. Four, Five mm, even,” in step with Nicolae, “that’s okay for huge elements just like the chassis. But for smaller parts, the arrival is cumbersome—you know what I suggest. Anodizing adds 0 thickness, the rims stay edges, and the machining can be visible. From the technical attitude, the anodizing technique is shielding virtually well the aluminum components.”
The Mechanik turned into meant to be more than a showpiece. “Form follows feature. A motorbike should be ridden, to start with. If it occurs this is additionally looking interesting; it’s even better. It’s like a 2019 1000cc recreation motorbike,” Nicolae says, “with much less electricity, however excellent managing and brakes.”
As with most builders, Nicolae is willing to part together with his firstborn. “I enjoyed building this bike,” he says, “but I’m driving, annually, at least 25,000 to 28,000 kilometers. I’m lots more into lengthy, blended journeys than going to the Shopping Centre. It’s a surely high-quality motorbike, but I’m not using it. So, I’ll promote it.”
That, of the path, way that Nicolae had to admit that he become finished with The Mechanik. “It’s like with the paintings. A painter will never say that a particular portray is completed—always can be better. I assume the sound might be higher. But, what to expect from an automobile four-in-line engine? The ‘technology’ is to recognize while to forestall doing (or redoing) matters; the identical precept applies to custom bikes.”
Next up for Gabi Nicolae is some thing very special. “A boxer engine BMW, or a huge engine KTM,” he divulges, “to be a few forms of adventure motorcycle, however at the least at the equal stage of customization as the Mechanik.”