WSM BOL D’OR RACE BIKE
Photography by Paulo Rosas
Although the Bol d’Or is not a ground-up WSM build, I wanted to use it as an opportunity to get our feet wet as a WSM racing team. I’m proud of what we achieved with the Bol d’Or by reducing weight significantly and enhancing the stock MV engine performance without opening the motor up. We even used the stock suspension, but took advantage of its adjustability to make it race worthy. It was too tempting to see what how the bike would do on the race track, pushed to its limits.
MV Agusta’s F3 was for me a logical choice because it is already a light bike to begin with, has the trellis frame with its good feedback, and the base engine is a really good performer.
Bruce Meyers, Technical Director of MV Agusta USA, provided the fresh F3. Roman Graure, a WSM client with a Leggero, agreed to sponsor the build.
We used the WSM Bol d’Or bodywork, aluminum fairing stay and aluminum subframe and a full race exhaust system. The bike now weighs, with all fluids but fuel, 338 lb. That’s 82 lb. less than stock. We also squeezed extra horsepower out of the engine by reprogramming the factory ECU and making use of the WSM ram air system that I designed as part of the fairing for the Bol d’Or. The bike now pulls 148 hp on the rear wheel. Because of the bike’s tight geometries, I designed a steering damper set up as well.
The livery design was done by Paulo Rosas of www.speedmachinedesign.com, a design and marketing studio that works with the likes of MotoGP, WSBK and more. He also did the photography and is the owner of Pagnol which sponsored the M5 track suit.
Robbie Nigl, my painter and a very competitive racer, agreed to race the bike. I haven’t done a club race in three years, and therefore felt like I wouldn’t get the best out of the performance potential of the Bol d’Or.
The ideal place for this racing project was at the last AHRMA race of the season at Barber Motorsports in Alabama during their big vintage festival. Both classes were open to full out contemporary race spec bikes up to 1200cc. All the big guns were there with full-out race spec, fully sponsored bikes, some ridden by race champions.
At Barber, Bruce made incremental adjustments to the suspension system each time Robbie came in during the two days of practice. On race day, Robbie placed 7th in all four races, each time in a field of up to 47 riders, and in the midst of full spec race bikes. Bruce with his dark heart (and all his racing experience) was secretly thinking we’d make 20th or slightly better, given the competition. But we did so much better than that!
Bruce is the engine builder on all my bikes, and our friendship goes back to the 90s. Robbie has been my painter and friend for years now, Aran Johnson of WSM and Paulo Rosas made the fantastic-to-work- with “WSM Racing Team”.
We will be returning next year with a totally new WSM machine that I’m designing right now from the ground up. It will have a new WSM trellis frame that allows the use of two valve and four valve Ducati engines, new composite bodywork, all new high performance suspension and brake components, fully electronic wiring harness with the latest computer technology for the injection and traction control system.
Work has kept me away for several years, but man was it good to be back on the race track. — Walt