PainTTless is one of those motorcycles that comes along every now and then than makes even jaded, cynical motorcycle journalists stop and think. This bike is the brainchild of renowned custom motorcycle builder Andreas Bergerforth and his team at the Thunderbike Garage, she took 8 months to build with almost every element having been painstakingly hand-fabricated.
The design inspiration was ice-racing motorcycles from the early 20th century, the narrow front profile is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible and the long, stretched side profile allows the rider to stretch out and get as low as possible.
Andreas Bergerforth chose a beautiful old 1000cc Harley-Davidson Ironhead V-Twin to power PainTTless, the engine was carefully restored and rebuilt with a number of it’s external components being nickel plated to blend in with the rest of the bike.
The design of the fuel tank, seat and rear cowling is staggeringly well done, the front suspension was made by hand (and looks remarkable in its own right), the frame was also created bespoke by the talented team at Thunderbike. It’s been estimated that the total cost of the build including man-hours and materials is well over $150,000 USD, putting it up in the same league as the bikes built by the uber-luxury motorcycle builder Falcon Motorcycles.
It may be my imagination but I can see some influence from legendary Japanese bike builder Shinya Kimura, his bike “Spike” bears a striking resemblance to PainTTless, although this is possibly due to the fact that both bikes were inspired by the same ice/salt-flat racers from the 20s and 30s.
It should come as no surprise that Thunderbike’s lastest creation just won the 2012 AMD World Championship in the Freestyle class, it’s one of the most worthy winners in recent years and it’s great to see non-choppers rising to prominence on the international stage.
Pictures from Thunderbike Garage
Additional information from the excellent Return of the Café Racers