A tribute to 500cc Gran Prix champion Marco Lucchinelli…
Marco “Lucky” Lucchinelli is a legend of Gran Prix racing and one of the most thrilling riders ever to come out of Italy. In 75 starts, he had 6 wins and 19 podiums. He won the 1981 500cc world championship on a Suzuki — at the height of the “unrideables era” of high-power two-strokes, beating out the likes of Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene — and went on to ride for Honda, Cagiva, and Ducati, winning the 1987 Battle of the Twins on an 851cc Ducati.
Enter Sergio Giordano of Italian Dream Motorcycle, who runs a team of professional racing mechanics uniquely qualified to build high-performance custom motorcycles. IDM has decided to build a motorcycle each year dedicated to one of the six Italian champions in the premier class. First is Lucchinelli, who is one of Giordano’s heroes.
In order to make the bike practical and rideable, IDM eschewed a 500cc two-stroke in favor of a greater challenge — a Suzuki Bandit 1200. The result is the “Lucky Legend,” which Lucchinelli now refers to as “his bike” and will soon be resting on the track at Adria circuit, where he runs his driving school, the Lucchinelli Experience. We especially love the 4:4 exhaust and fairings copied from the original race bike.
Below, we get the full story on the “Lucky Legend”!
“Lucky Legend” Custom Bandit: In the Builder’s Words
Every year, Italian Dream Motorcycle, dedicates a motorcycle to one of the 6 Italians who won the world championship of motorcycling in the premier class.
We decided to start with the legend of MotoGP, Marco Lucchinelli, who in 1981 won the world championship of the 500 class riding a Suzuki RG500, passing ahead of champions such as Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, and Randy Mamola. We have decided to begin with him, because for us he embodies to perfection what for us is a true champion, but at the same time he is a rebel, a dreamer, certainly a real man. This bike is a tribute to him, to the world and his crazy life.
Suzuki Bandit 1200. We chose to customize a Bandit, because for us it is very important that our bikes are also usable and drivable in the best conditions. The 500 two-strokes are obviously not easy to use. It was a great challenge. A 500 two-stroke motorcycle would have been so beautiful on its own, while making the famous Bandit something unique was more stimulating.
The uncommon choice of the number 3 on the bike proved to be an excellent intuition, because it has even more marked the bike, making it identifiable and recognizable among all. But it was always wanted by me, because of the three bikes that Lucchinelli had at his disposal at Team Gallina: the number 2, the 3 and number 5, when he won the world championship with a race in advance, in what had been a rainy race and not very lucky did not even get to the podium, but was in the saddle at number 3.
All the special parts are handmade in fiber and aluminum, and made from scratch. To make the fairing we found a collector that had the stamp of the original RG500 carrier. He made a copy for us, which we used to realize the Lucky Legend in the same form of Lucchinelli’s original Suzuki.
The engine was completely refurbished by what was one of Lucchinelli’s own mechanics.
Mikuni carburetors and open filters, requiring an accurate and specific seasonal carburetion. Except for this the motorcycle is absolutely usable and allows a continuous use without any non-ordinary maintenance.
It was not easy at first to convince Massimo Rinchiuso to make the 4 exhausts, whose terminals are made from scratch with a numerically controlled machine, but as always, we work together to accept the challenge. We created a whole series of details, which have impressed Lucchinelli himself.
At the Accossato handlebars, we find Brembo RCS brake and clutch pumps, and vintage controls made by a 3D printer.
Marvic Penta wheels in white magnesium are beautiful and maintain the color balance of the bike intact, which, despite being inspired by the livery of the racing bike, does not find the writings of the sponsors except Suzuki.
The Lucky Legend is surely together with the Tripla the most iconic motorcycle that is representing us. On social networks and on the web, it has been widely shared by all official Suzuki channels all over the world, and has been published on some of the most important international motorcycle magazines, such as MO Motorrad, Moto Heroes, Motociclismo Revista, Pratical Sports Bikes, Moto Journal, Moto Revue Classic, and the Spanish FUEL and Revival of The Machine. It was the bike of the week for Bike EXIF just as it came out, and the magazine Caferacer Original has dedicated a preview service released simultaneously with the presentation of the bike. The Return of The Cafe Racers dedicated a amazing review.
But what makes this bike magical for me is the opportunity to get to know who for me is a myth, Marco Lucchinelli, and he has reciprocated this with a friendship and a kindness towards me incredible. From when he saw the bike, it became “his bike.” In Verona at the MBE where he too with his driving school the Lucchinelli Experience, where he and his team also teach the road driving, is one of the guests of honor and has its own stand, came to our box with of his friends to show “his bike.” After this he invited me to participate with him on several occasions, and whenever they asked him to bring the bike with which he won, he kindly did instead exhibit ours. We made this video in Verona.
The bike has done a small test on the track, technical and mechanical. We will soon do a test on the track of performance and to drive it will obviously be Lucchinelli. We will make new photos and videos in his driving school at the Adria circuit, where together with his instructors he organizes different types of courses for all needs, the Lucchinelli Experience.
We made this video in Verona at the Motor Bike Expo. The video is in Italian but from the expressions and exclamations of Lucky you can understand a lot:
“It’s really beautiful, but then you know what? It feels…that it was made with love, you feel the passion…”
Grazie, Marco…grazie di cuore.
- Ginaluca Cannella (Moto, details, and track. Me and the model.)
- Roberto Brodolini (Lucchinelli picture)