Dutch motorcycle-builder Rolf van der Heide calls his machine a “gentleman’s racer” – we’re not sure what that means exactly, so we’ll just settle on calling it beautiful.
The VanderHeide features a monocoque chassis, made completely from carbon fiber. The swingarm and front-end assembly are also made from the composite material, all of which was engineered and hand-built by Rolf van der Heide himself.
At the core of the machine is an Aprilia RSV4 engine, which makes 201hp in its stock form. VanderHeide says it can provide a 230hp superbike option, if one’s wallet so desires.
Other go-fast bits include 17″ BST carbon fiber wheels, a MoTeC dash, Brembo brakes, and a very unique setup for the bike’s Öhlins TTX36 shocks, which provide the suspension for both the rear and front wheels.
All told, the VanderHeide weighs 175kg dry (386 lbs) in street form, with the race version tipping the scales at 165kg dry (364 lbs). But, we haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg on what makes this motorcycle so breathtakingly unique.
“As long as I can remember, I have dreamed of creating my own motorcycle,” explained Van Der Heide. “I have been involved with various companies, like Dutch supercar brand Spyker, and Dutch car brand Carver. I felt inspired by the way these companies consistently step out of their comfort zones to ensure innovation.”
“And, as an engineer, I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of carbon fiber composites. Five years ago, I decided to combine my knowledge and experience and dedicate my life to realizing my dream.”
Van der Heide’s work here reads like a homage to the ideas of other independent and unique motorcycle designers – like Britten, Buell, and Czysz.
Taking the best of what has come before him, and adding his own ideas and interpretations along the way, the VanderHeide is everything that a good bespoke motorcycle should be.
What first caught our eye, besides the flowing lines of the carbon fiber monocoque chassis, was the non-traditional suspension arrangement, especially on the front-end of the motorcycle.
Using a double-wishbone front suspension setup made from carbon fiber, the movement of the front wheel is ultimately transmitted via a shaft to an Öhlins shock, which sits in front of the rider and is mounted against the Öhlins shock for the rear suspension.
VanderHeide says that mounting the two shocks against each other relieves stress from the carbon fiber chassis – a principle we have seen used in automobiles, though rarely in the two-wheeled realm.
Another interesting point of design is the absence of normal fuel tank, instead the VanderHeide carries its fuel in the carbon fiber chassis. One should also note that part of the radiator is located in the tail section of the motorcycle.
As you would expect with a small production volume motorcycle, the VanderHeide can be tailored to the individuals desires of the customer, with things like color and chassis dimensions customizable to the buyer’s specifications.
The starting price, though, is a cool €150,000, and only 25 pieces will be made. We doubt you will see a more unique motorcycle, for many years to come.