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‘Roman’s Bol d’Or’ MV Agusta F3 Racer – Walt Siegl Motorcycles

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Andrew in Classic, Racer. 16 comments

I had a dream last night in which I was a gun bike builder. I was living and working in a small, picturesque American town where it snowed in winter and the streets were lined with beautiful old trees. In the surrounding mountains, there were great riding roads that seemed to go on forever. My shop was in an old stone mill; I had a real eye for great-looking bikes and a set of hands that were able to create pretty much whatever I wanted. Except that this wasn’t just a dream. It’s everyday life for New England’s Walt Siegl. Here’s his latest dream bike, this amazingly cool MV Agusta F3 endurance racer.

“My shop is located in a quaint little New England mill town called Harrisville, which is North West of Boston,” says Walt, to start things off. “It’s in a restored textile mill, which is in the centre of the town. I have a full machine shop, and all my projects are hand-built. I have two full-time, fully dedicated employees; Aran Johnson is a technical & electronic whiz and my right hand man. My wife, Laura, does everything else that isn’t related to the actual building of the bikes.”

The donor bike was a brand new 2015 MV Agusta F3 that was built for a client (and now friend) named Roman. “MV Agusta is an iconic brand,” say Walt. “Their truly sweet 3-cylinder engine, among many other things, was a very attractive platform for a cool, 80’s-style endurance racer.”

The bike is a part of Walt’s ‘Bol d’Or’ series, which see him transforming the F3 into a road-legal race bike. “In my experience, saving weight wherever you can always results in a better performing motorcycle. The weight reduction program for the Bol d’Or starts with the use of high-tech composites to replace the plastic OEM bodywork and gas tank. Additional weight reduction is achieved with our aluminum subframe, the lightweight performance exhaust system, and our WSM rearsets that are machined from 7075-T651 aerospace-grade aluminum.”

A ram-air system was created to get the best out of the highly tuned Italian 3-cylinder engine. The diameter of the air intakes was increased and they were neatly tucked into the front of the fairing (below). To get the most out of these modifications and to obtain better torque and horsepower, the ECU has been flashed with a bespoke and fully tunable performance program.

“Anyone into bikes needs to try riding such a lightweight motorcycle with its razor-sharp handling and the engine performance of the legendary MV Agusta. Being engulfed by a sound similar to that of a Formula One car is difficult to put into words. It needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated,” say a clearly inspired Walt.

Keeping in mind that the bike is part of a production series, Walt says that the Bol d’Or’s build process is focused on creating the all-new kevlar composite bodywork, aluminum fairing stay and subframe. And after all this weight reduction, the machine’s suspension needs some serious upgrades, as the finished bike is significantly lighter than the factory original.

“The hardest part of the build was to design the bespoke bodywork that is both all-new and visually cohesive with the factory’s chassis components. I had to create a clear reference to the brutishness of an endurance racer without losing the sexiness of its Italian heritage.”

And by the glint in his eye, we can tell that the sheer, eye-watering performance is Walt’s favourite feature of the new bike. “It’s just a real animal when you get on the throttle. Its lightness and responsiveness makes it feel like a scalpel on the road.”

No, the bike’s not winking at you

Dreaming of owning one yourself? Walt’s order book is open, ready and waiting. This marks the eighth Bol d’Or build that he has undertaken, and by looking at all the bikes back-to-back, he’s clearly making each bike the perfect incarnation of an endurance racer while still managing to push the whole concept forward with every new build. We can’t wait for the next one.

You know its cold when you have to wear a coat over your shop apron

Walt Siegl Motorcycles – Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Daniela Maria ]

  • MotoTrooper

    It’s heart warming to click on builds by your favorite builders. Even ones that are deliberately provocative in their design/fabrication ethos. I guess I appreciate the spirit and intent that goes into these builds. Walt is one of those creators.

  • bill smith

    Perfection in grace and performance.

  • Manesh Karunakaran

    In a word, perfection!!! What’s the matter with you guys?? It’s just one great motorcycle after the other. It’s as if you folks are trying to smack our faces and shut us up for whining about the never ending versions of cafed and scrambled and everything in between BMW boxers. And boy, do we love this !!

    • More Firestones and pipe wrap coming right up!

      • No! Please no.

      • John in Pollock

        Agreed. Please no. Can’t you see what a good week you had?

  • AB

    Said it recently – endurance racers will be the next ‘look’.

    And looking at this – bring it on 🙂

    Q: how much weight has been saved? I’m thinking the biggest saving was the exhaust swap out. Pop on some super light wheels and then get serious.

    • Bob Hill

      I’ve seen one of Walt’s bikes with carbon wheels. So there you go.

  • the watcher

    The only problem with this pretty little bike is, rather like the recent Panigale, is that MV’s own F3 “series Oro” is all but impossible to better. Nice though it undoubtedly is, the factory’s own work is just as good, and I personally prefer it.

  • Yannick Read

    This is an object lesson in how to ruin the looks of a beautiful motorcycle

    • the watcher

      Precisely! Don’t people understand that cafe racers were built because you couldn’t afford the top marques of the day so you bought what you could afford and tarted it up as funds/skill levels permitted. To go out and buy the most beautiful sport bikes on the planet (Panigale and MV f3) and attempt to “improve” them is nothing short of vulgar.

  • Lowflying

    Well sure, maybe it’s a not-needed “improvement” of an already awesome bike. But to my eye (not a builder, just an enjoyer of every motorbike I can ride or possibly look at) this looks “all of a piece” and an awesome job. I can’t see a line, a finish or a colour that doesn’t work. Definitely a bike I would be proud to ride, but maybe not be able to afford.
    I get the “cafe racer” philosophy criticism, but letting go of all that and living in the moment this is definitely a bike that 1. Would be a memorable ride and 2. Could be stared at while drinking a cold one in the shed. Tick, and tick!

  • Mark Makr Atkinson

    Walt’s bikes are classically elegant.

  • Guzzto

    How did I miss this , it’s sublime. Walt can do no wrong.