Carbon Caballero: Fantic 500 Street Tracker

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

A fully carbon Caballero from Scotland… 

Fantic Motor was founded in Italy in 1968, and the company soon earned a reputation for their lightweight mopeds, enduros, and trials motorcycles. Fantic’s 50cc and 125cc “chopper” mopeds became the dream machines of 1970s UK teenagers, while the company’s competition trials bikes took home three world championships in the 1980s. More recently, their 300cc enduro machines won the 2012 European championship and 2014 Italian rally championship.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Around that time, the company was purchased by a Venetian investors group and received a new CEO, Mariano Roman, who served as technical director for Aprilia and Moto Guzzi for over twenty years. In 2019, the Fantic launched the Caballero 500 Scrambler and Flat Track, a pair of single-cylinder four-stroke street bikes that draw their inspiration from the Fantic off-roaders of old:

“When it comes to dirt bike-inspired retros the Caballero 500 Scrambler is a surprising gem and as easy on the wallet as it is on the eye. Put simply, the Fantic is the light, simple, affordable, cheeky Scrambler Ducati should have built…but never could.” —MCN

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Our new friend Ian Macmillan of Scotland had been wanting to build a full carbon bodywork bike, but he hadn’t decided on a donor. Then he saw the Caballero Flat Track for the first time:

“Immediately I knew that’s the one, the design and overall look of the bike would look stunning dressed in carbon.”

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Ian had been involved in designing parts and modifying Yamaha RD350/250LC’s since the 1980’s, but he needed a partner to handle the carbon side of the project. Unfortunately, most of the composite companies he contacted had no interest in the project — in fact, many of them questioned his sanity.

“Do you realise the costs? (Yes.)
“Are you mad?” (Quite possibly.)
But mostly I got laughter! “Or are you being serious?”

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Then, via the Caballero owners’ forum, Ian got in touch with Mark Woods of Edge Composites — and a winning team was born. Ian stripped down the bike and sent the bodywork from Inverness to his Mark’s shop in Norfolk — pretty much any and every part that could be remade in carbon. After a solid year of back and forth — drilling, sanding, and sawing to make parts fit, then sending them back for remolding — they had the world’s first fully dressed carbon Fantic.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Of course, the modifications don’t end with the carbon. This Caballero street tracker is running a full Arrow exhaust, race mapping, bespoke radiator grill and tail tidy, stainless hardware, Hagon rear shock, and more. Ian hopes this will just be the beginning for the team that came together to complete the build:

“The build has been a team effort working together with friends who all have the one thing in common their passion for motorcycles. We have two mechanics (Cameron and Russell) Mike who is a CNC engineer, and Mark the carbon fibre magician. The plan for the future is to design and develop a series of parts specifically for the bike builders market worldwide under the E.M.D brand. Ecosse Motorcycle Development.”

Below, Ian gives us the full story on the build.

Caballero 500 Flat Track: In the Builder’s Words

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

About the Owner/Builder

I’m originally from a wee village called Dornie in the Scottish Highlands now based in Inverness. Have been involved in designing parts and modifying Yamaha RD350/250LC’s since the 80’s. The build has been a team effort working together with friends who all have the one thing in common their passion for motorcycles. We have two mechanics (Cameron and Russell) Mike who is a CNC engineer, and Mark the carbon fibre magician. The plan for the future is to design and develop a series of parts specifically for the bike builders market worldwide under the E.M.D brand. Ecosse Motorcycle Development.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

About the Build

Always wanted to build a fully carbon bodywork bike, something a bit different to all the race reps. Along came the Fantic 500 Caballero Flat Track. Immediately knew that’s the one, the design and overall look of the bike would look stunning dressed in carbon. After countless phone calls and emails to various composite companies worldwide, turning the dream into reality was to say the least looking bleak.

“Do you realise the costs? (Yes.)
“Are you mad?” (Quite possibly.)
But mostly I got laughter! “Or are you being serious?”

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

So it looked like the project would be shelved before it had even started until one day Mark Woods from Edge Composites posted on the Caballero owners forum looking for a donor front mudguard to make a mould to produce a carbon one. So I phoned and asked him if he would be interested in building a fully kitted-out Flat Track. “Yes would love to” was the reply! And so it began.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Stripped the bike down and everything that could be made of carbon was sent off to Norfolk. A year later, and after many parcels going to and fro from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, the bodywork and all the other wee bits and pieces were completed. A lot of hiccups along the way as many of the parts didn’t fit as Mark had no bike to work with, so lots of drilling, sanding, and sawing, then parts sent back for remoulding.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

We persevered and got there in the end. Mark even came all the way up north with his workshop so we could do the fitting of the tank cover which certainly was not an easy job. Now that is customer service for you! Cannot thank Mark enough for all his effort and time that went into producing the parts and also his attention to detail but most of all his belief in the project. Huge thanks also to the following loons who helped me out and gave me the encouragement through some of the frustrating times involved with this project. North Coast Customs Inverness crew, who sourced the bike for me; Cameron MacDonald, their mechanic who set up the suspension and did the spannerwork; Russell Duncan and Barry Potter for the parts and craic; Rob Irving, Mike Jefferson for the CNC work for the custom tail tidy; SD Motorcycles for the Arrow pipe; Dean Clements at Fantic U.K. for all his technical help; Al Carson for the beers! And Elaine for all her support throughout the garage chaos!

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Modifications

  • Arrow full race system, Racing mapping giving another 4hp.
  • Highsider indicators (Smaller than a small thing)
  • Hagon rear shock (Rear lowered)
  • Rizoma Fluid Pots
  • Rizoma bar ends
  • Nissin Master front brake cylinder
  • Probrake D.E brake and clutch levers
  • Bespoke tail tidy
  • Bespoke radiator grille
  • Footpegs alloy aftermarket ones
  • Fantic sump guard with mesh
  • Fantic handlebar brace and pad
  • Carbon tank cover
  • Carbon tank inlay
  • Carbon seat unit
  • Carbon seat unit under tray
  • Carbon 2 piece side panels
  • Carbon exhaust heat shield
  • Carbon water pump cover
  • Carbon radiator overflow cover
  • Carbon engine sprocket cover
  • Carbon chain guard
  • Carbon 3 piece front mudguard
  • Carbon 2 piece instrument cover
  • Pro bolt polished stainless fasteners bolts used throughout
  • Still to fit carbon engine clutch cover.

Think that’s it. Haven’t managed to weigh bike as yet, but it’s a lot lighter. Race pipe and remapping makes the bike far more aggressive, as it felt really restricted with all the cats on the standard pipe. Bike is great fun to ride, handles beautifully, and really suited to the single track B roads up north.

Fantic Caballero 500 Street Tracker

Builder Thanks

8 Comments

  1. Elam Blacktree

    Well done! Absolutely beautiful!

  2. Top effort as always Ian, another stellar bike build. Happy to have supplied beers, and the odd bit of encouragement too.

  3. Great bike. Congrats

  4. Seen any 441 BSA’s lately?

  5. This is absolutely awesome. Thank you.

  6. Thomas O’Neill

    Lots of hard work has gone into that motorcycle – I think it looks phenomenal – be interesting to know the price

    • Original bike bought brand new £6200. Arrow Exhaust system £900. Rizoma parts £250. Fantic parts (Sumpguard, Bar brace, Lowering kit (Hagon shock and new side stand) £420. Probrake DE levers £139. Highsider tiny indicators and stems £200. Pro Bolt stainless fasteners no idea really but probably in the region of £200+. As for all the one off carbon parts lost count! 😀

  7. Thanks everyone for the feedback. Very much appreciated. 😀🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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