In Italian, “La Canaglia” means “The Scoundrel” or “The Rogue” — an apt name for this multipurpose Yamaha XS650 hybrid, built to tackle the “bastard configuration” of the Canadian roads, where well-paved highways are interspersed with rough pavement and dirt terrain.
The bike is the creation of Italian industrial designer Maurizio Tancredi, who studied under Miguel Galluzzi, the famed designer of the Ducati Monster, at the University of Rome before cutting his teeth at Ducati, Benelli, and finally Bombardier, where he’s now a design project leader for well-known brands such as Rotax, Lynx, and Evinrude. While he’d always wanted to design and build a motorcycle entirely by himself and for himself, he spent his days after work riding instead of wrenching or designing.
However, in 2013, his new job at BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) necessitated a move from Italy to Canada, where he found the northern climate and hard winters gave more time for bike-building:
“Here the culture of the bike is not the same, the weather conditions not even. The winters are long and rough, so after work, I started to design and make a bike in my garage.”
For the build, Maurizio wanted to honor the beauty of the original Yamaha XS-1 (1970 XS650) while looking to the future. He put all of his design skills and experience into the project, utilizing industry techniques such as 3D scanning, clay modeling, and computer simulations to develop the chassis and components. What’s more, the project allowed him to connect with friends and former colleagues from across the ocean, who dedicated their free time to help with the design. Several were friends from south/central Italy:
- Giuliano Lucerna: F1 Technical Designer.
- Francesco Savino, Leonardo Romaniello: Supported all the logistics and are now part of our team.
“Even though we are professionals designers employed in big names of the power-sport industries, this project has been made in a basement during our free time and weekends…we are self-funding this venture so is not always easy but we don’t give up.”
The result is a truly staggering machine, whose beautiful vintage engine is cradled inside a highly-engineered one-off chassis, finished with with a slew of custom-developed components and accessories. Below, we get the full story on this Yamaha XS650-powered custom bike.
“La Canaglia” Custom Moto: In the Builder’s Words
“It’s the passion for motorcycles that led me to design.”
When I was a kid, a policeman family friend, he put me on his Moto Guzzi, from that moment I spent hours drawing motorcycles.
I always knew that my work had to match with my passion. I started my studies in engineering, I had in mind the romantic figure of the engineer who creates everything starting from a blank sheet like the legendary engineer Ducati Fabio Taglioni.
At the time, the engineer participated in the whole process of creating the bikes but today he focuses on specific fields. discovered Industrial Design by chance and started my studies at the University of Rome where I was fortunate to have as a professor Miguel Galluzzi (designer of the Ducati Monster).
At the end of my studies, I started my career at Ducati, where I learned to design bikes in a professional way. I then moved to Benelli where I refined my knowledge and diversified my skills by designing a personal watercraft that won the Good Design Awards.
My career took a turnaround in 2013, moving to BRP in Canada becoming the design project leader of the brands: Rotax, Lynx, Evinrude.
The Idea of the Bike
I’ve always wanted to make a bike designed and built entirely by myself and for myself, but I’ve never had time to make it in Italy. When I was not working, I was always out with my motorcycle. When I moved to Québec, I had to adapt to a new environment completely different from the European one.
Here the culture of the bike is not the same, the weather conditions not even. The winters are long and rough, so after work, I started to design and make a bike in my garage.
La Canaglia is a hybrid in terms of style, mechanics, and construction techniques that befits the bastard configuration of the Canadian roads. Here where you can find well-paved roads, rough roads or even dirt roads, the ideal is to have a safe and rigorous multipurpose means that does not even disdain escapades on the excellent roads of the US neighbors. The influences of the dirt track world, the supermotard with superbike details are clear. The vintage engine with modest performance and the weight of almost 70 kg obliges us to do painstaking work on the frame and superstructures to contain the final weight.
The design philosophy is very simple: take inspiration from the heritage of the first XS-1 and Xs-1B to honor the beauty of the original motorcycle, merging them into an object projected towards the future. A mix of shapes and materials that incorporate the codes of the past integrated with cutting-edge technology of the world of motorcycle racing.
The heart of the bike, the engine, has not been modified, the signs of time are still visible. It has been developed with an electronic ignition system and a PMA charging system. The breathing was entrusted to a pair of Keihin FCR 37 flat slide carburetors tailored by the Japanese master of Bito R&D.
The making of
I put all my know-how and my experience as an industrial designer to build my bike with the same techniques used in the industry. Form follows function and performance. Everything starts from digitizing the frame through a 3D scanner, starting from the latter we started the conception of the bike putting together the proportions and lines previously defined on paper.
Later I started working on the clay model to sculpt the fuel tank and seat shapes by hand and thus define the design of the key components.
Starting from the clay model a mold has been developed to make the final fuel tank and the seat base in tri-composite fiber like the high-end helmets.
We also developed a mold to inject the seat’s foam, a set of foams of different density were injected in search of a good comfort even when using a reduced foam thickness.
Considering the level of complexity, the project would have been impossible to do alone, fortunately I could count on the help of former colleagues (but first of all friends) of the motorcycle’s world who have devoted a lot of their free time on the development of some key components.
The kinematics of the rear suspension, the swingarm, the numerous parts designed in 3D and validated at an engineering level with simulations using the finite element method. A team work that consolidated our relationships even more and brought us closer together again despite the more than 6000 km of distance.
The construction of the critical components was commissioned to suppliers selected as DM Telai.
There are several components that have been developed in 3D and CNC machined in Ergal 7075 T6 or Avional 6061 T6.
Above you can see the bike in the last stages of processing and below a 3D model render that shows the finished bike.
All the accessories on the bike are designed and realized by us (like the handlebar switch and the tail light on the pictures).