Belgian-built vintage motocrosser rediscovered by an Italian race mechanic…
Sergio Giordano, founder of Italian Dream Motorcycle (IDM), believes that study and research are crucial to his work as a motorcycle builder and race mechanic. He has wrenched for World Superbike and GP teams, and his custom bikes fetch a premium through online showrooms such as The Arsenale. His garage is staffed by other professional race mechanics, ensuring that durability, performance, and finish are exact and uncompromising.
Sergio was walking the talk, researching vintage motocross competitions, when he came across the specimen you see here. Dubbed the “Suzuki EF400BB,” it was built in the late 70s by a Belgium frame-builder to compete in European motocross championships. The frame and forks were entirely handmade, with hand-beaten aluminum fenders, adjustable controls, and a flame-spitting exhaust. The bike has since been fitted with a four-stroke DR400 engine, as well as a number of choice parts from other makes and models.
EF400BB Vintage MX Bike: Build Story
What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
This motorcycle that has just arrived in our garage, has been discovered by us during research on vintage motorcycling competitions. It was in fact built entirely by hand in the late seventies to run in the European motocross vintage championship in the 1965/70 class.
The motorcycle was built by hand in the late ’70s in all its parts, with the exception of the engine (Suzuki DR400), the aluminum tank (which was obtained by re-adapting that of a Husqvarna, which has been reduced and re-heated), and the saddle (which is taken from an Ossa).
What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The IDM SUZUKI EF400BB is absolutely consistent with our vision of motorcycles. It is built with attention to every small detail, and has been made high-performance, a feature that still retains today. The Belgian craftsman who built it was a frame builder, and wanted to make a bike with which to run and win.
This cross special that has an absolutely current design and style, in the context of the vintage off-road fashion, was built so that each component contributes to the best possible competitive performance. It is rich in particular highly innovative details for its time.
What custom work was done to the bike?
The engine is a Suzuki 400 four-stroke engine with Mikuni carburetors. The frame is made by hand in iron and aluminum.
The steering plates which are cast and engraved the initials of the manufacturer B.B. They have built-in handlebar mounts to make driving more responsive.
The front forks are made by hand, as well as the rear suspensions made with a cooling system to have a better activity despite the stresses.
- The exhaust pipe that is beautiful in its simplicity, and amazing for the time it was made. It hides the expansion near the aluminum filter box like the current ones, making it not only more cool, but also safer, and there we guarantee that it makes fire and flames. The foot brackets are machined from solid, and are adjustable with a double attachment to be able to have an optimal driving position. The mudguards are made of beaten aluminum by hand, the spoked wheels are from ’18 and ’19.
The bike has a very first generation electronic ignition, obviously has the kick start, which turns on the engine at the first shot.
How would you classify this bike?
Vintage Motocross Bike?
Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I am particularly proud to have found this bike, because I am convinced that to produce a constant and optimal development, it is very important to study and research.
This masterpiece, besides being extremely captivating and current, both for its performances and for its style, shines because it shows the soul of Beyens who built it, realizing his dream.
The IDM SUZUKI EF400BB, even if it deserves to be kept as a piece to collect, is extremely versatile in its use and still highly performing. It is for sale at €25,000.
Photography: Gianluca Cannella (@cannellaph)