Bikes

This Russian Three-Wheeled Ice Racer from Balamutti Is Super Cool

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What you are looking at here is a Ducati Hypermotard 1100. Well…it started life as a giant Italian supermoto, but after finding itself in the workshop of Russian outfit Balamutti, this Bologna Bullet is leading a very different life as a three-wheeled ice machine.

If you look closely, you can still see the Hypermotard’s steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm, and its air-cooled v-twin engine. But, you will also notice the extra wheel at the front of the leaning reverse-trike, as well as a supercharger, studded tires, and controls that look like they belong on a Star Wars speeder.

This is because Balamutti’s Vitaliy Selyukov intends to race the machine, which he calls “Yondu” (after the Guardians of the Galaxy character), at the Baikal Mile – an ice speed festival that takes place each year in Siberia, near the Mongolian border…and Selyukov intends on making his ice runs in style.


It is not like ice racing has trouble being cool – and we mean that in the figurative sense. Studded tires grab frozen lake beds and provide an amazing amount of grip, along with insane lean angles. Some of our most favorite motorsports shots come from two-wheeled fun on the ice, and it is a great way to keep the motorcycle wheels turning all year long.

And also, it is hard to pick out which part of this creation we like the most, especially since Selyukov has so many interesting mechanical ideas converging into one machine – many of which have been executed from his own imagination.

Intended to be a drag racer, we are not quite sure why the bike needs a leaning two-wheeled front end, and yet…here we are. A centrifugal supercharger seems sensible, obviously, right? Though Selyukov has gone out of his way to modify a Garrett GT35 turbocharger for the job, creating his own pulley arrangement and a custom blow-off valve system along the way.

It is all a bit crazy, and it is the sort of crazy we enjoy quite a bit here at Asphalt & Rubber.

Visually, the bike looks a bit like the Yamaha Niken…if the Japanese three-wheeler went to boarding school for its formative years, developed some serious daddy issues, and started experimenting with smelling salts and snuff films from the 1980s.

We will be curious to see how “Yondu” fares on the ice when its race day comes. We already know that it is going to turn some heads. Kudos to Vitaliy Selyukov for making this crazy machine. Keep keeping it weird.


Source: Balamutti via Pipeburn; Photo: Denis Minchenkon

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.

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