The Billet Sting is a custom BMW R nineT with a bespoke honeycomb alloy chassis machined by CNC in 10 individual pieces, before being carefully welded together on a jig to create one of the most eye-catching custom motorcycles we’ve seen in recent memory.
The Billet Sting – Inspiration
Dino and his son Mario spent weeks carefully designing the Billet Sting with a hefty dose of inspiration from Dino’s race bike from the 1980s – an 80cc two-stroke with a bespoke monocoque aluminum alloy frame that finished every race it was entered on the podium for three years straight.
Mario grew up playing with the 80cc monocoque race bike, marveling at its unusual frame and the stories of its remarkable successes on track. As an adult when the father and son struck upon the idea of building a modern custom motorcycle, it was always going to have a monocoque alloy frame inspired by its forebear from the ’80s.
The Billet Sting Custom BMW R nineT – Specifications
The Billet Sting project began with a 2018 BMW R nineT, a motorcycle that has become a wildly popular choice for custom motorcycle builders since it was introduced in 2014. The reason for this popularity has a lot to do with the R nineT’s retro styling , coupled with its modular nature, and its 100+bhp boxer twin.
Dino and Mario both work at DNA Filters, in fact Dino founded the company, this gives them access to the company’s advanced R&D department, state-of-the-art CNC machines, and experienced motorsport engineers.
The blueprints for the new BMW based custom called for extensive engineering – including a full frame replacement, a heavily modified swingarm, all-new suspension, all-new brakes, a new electrical system, fuel tank, exhaust, and intake. All that’s left of the original R nineT is the engine/gearbox and the rear section of the swingarm.
Frame – Swingarm – Intake – Cockpit
The central focus of the new build was the monocoque frame, it was designed in CAD before being milled in 10 separate sections by CNC. These sections were then welded together on a jig before the complete frame was sent back to the CNC machine for the final finishing that included it being honeycombed – keeping it rigid by removing considerable weight.
The front end of the bike includes twin ram-air ducts designed to feed positive air pressure (when moving) to the twin DNA pod filters mounted inside matching Lexan airboxes. Beneath these ducts is an unusual oil cooler and looks almost skeletal thanks to its symmetrical fins designed to aid in cooling – it was CNC machined from the same 6082 T651 alloy as the frame.
A curved purple windscreen covers twin LED headlights, an onboard Plex touchscreen computer, a billet triple tree, and race-spec clip on handlebars. The twin pod filters feed air back into the engine via matching titanium intake manifolds, which are paired with an Akrapovic full titanium 2-into-1 exhaust.
Swingarm – Suspension – Brakes – Engine
Possibly the most engineering-intensive part of the build was the modified swingarm, it includes a new alloy forward section designed to further increase rigidity. The swingarm is paired with a race-spec Hyperpro 3D monoshock, and there’s a Hyperpro 43mm conventional DLC coated race-spec art of forks up front.
The front brakes are twin 320 mm Braketech rotors upfront with 4 x piston ISR radial billet calipers, in the rear there’s a single rotor with a 4 piston ISR billet caliper.
Modifications to the ECU (including both road and race tunes) coupled with the new exhaust and ram air induction system have resulted in 122 WHP – a significant step up over the 110 BHP of the original engine.
If you’d like to read more about the Billet Sting you can click here for the official website.
Photographer: Mattia Negrini
Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.
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