A few years ago, I had the fortune to hop on the Zaeta 530 SE for a quick romp. The eye-catching machine was stupid-fun, as it rattled just about every bone in my body. Beautiful, but completely unrefined, the lithe Zaeta was intriguing to me until I saw its $25,000 price tag. Ouch, on so many levels!
Too rich for my blood, too unpolished for my senses, but still very drool-worthy – the potential here was strong, and the small Italian brand was making strides on fixing some of the machine’s more troublesome gremlins.
The 528cc single-cylinder thumper (and it is a thumper!) is from TM Racing, a unique Italian brand in its own right, but the real highlight of the Zaeta was its CNC’d aluminum chassis, which was just gorgeous.
This made the 266 lbs machine a tough one to forget, so when I saw in my foreign news feed that the fearsome Zaeta was coming to the US for American Flat Track racing, I was quite excited…even more so when I saw that a twin-cylinder machine was also in the works.
Zaeta has already shown its mettle in the Italian flat track racing series, with Francesco Cecchini at the helm. And now, that effort will come to the USA to race in the AFT Singles class for 2019.
The goal though is for the Italian brand to move into the AFT Twins series for the 2020 season, with a new racing platform. There is no word yet what motor will power this unnamed twin-cylinder race bike, and that in itself is an interesting proposition.
This almost surely means that twin-cylinder street tracker is coming from Zaeta as well, which is aptly timed. We already see this space starting to evolve, as we get closer to seeing the Indian FTR1200 come into the market.
From Zaeta, we can expect something that is both at the cutting edge of spec-sheet and design brief. Pricing won’t be cheap, of course, but we do hope that some refinements have found their way into the design by now.