It was almost certainly the most unique bike to roll out at the 2023 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.
The 2023 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is in the books for another year, with millions of riders worldwide gathering to raise money and awareness for men’s physical and mental health causes. It’s an important event that brings riders together every year—but we’re not here to talk about it today. Instead, we’re here to talk about one specific custom bike that one specific guy built, finishing just in time to take it on its first DGR ride on May 21, 2023.
DFX Moto is a custom shop and carb specialist based in Maidstone, Kent, England, which is located southeast of London. It’s the brainchild of Marcellous de la Rosa, who’s been working on a mad 360cc, seven-cylinder, radial engine custom bike build since at least January 2023. He calls the finished bike Radial Nerve, and it’s a truly impressive sight (and sound) to behold.
De la Rosa chronicled the build with photos and occasional videos on the official DFX Moto Facebook page, which we’ll include a link to in our Sources if you want to go through it step by step. On January 10, 2023, he unveiled the 360cc, seven-cylinder UMS radial aircraft engine that he said his next project would be based upon. He also noted that he’d already built the frame, and then proceeded to make several posts over the intervening months that chronicled the build.
As you’ll note in the video and photos, there’s a massive aluminum fan that’s mounted on the left side of the engine bay to cool the engine down. It has a belt final drive, and the two panniers are repurposed Bakelite hair dryer boxes from the 1940s. Gauges installed include both volts and hours run.
The Radial Nerve can be started using a kick starter, as you’ll also see in the video. However, both as a nod to its aviation derivation and as a practical matter to avoid potentially hydro locking the engine, there’s also a stowable hand crank that can be used to start it up.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that stands well apart from all other bikes—classic or modern. Take some time to appreciate this one if you can—whether it’s from afar, or perhaps at an upcoming event attended by DFX Moto if you’re in the southeastern quadrant of the UK in the coming months.
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Source: DFX Moto on Facebook