From Paris to Dakar to Custom: The Gilera “Replay”

Gilera 600 Custom

Rusty Motors builds a Gilera 600 for a Paris Dakar veteran…

In 1991, a French privateer named Hugues Arancio raced a Gilera 600 prototype in the Paris Dakar Rally. His race mechanic was none other than Michel Augizeau, current boss of the BMW Tecmas Racing Team.

Gilera 600 Custom

Fast forward 30 years, and Arancio wanted to transform his veteran Paris Dakar mount into a street-legal custom that he could continue to enjoy:

“[He] wanted to keep it and absolutely not sell it, but wanted to travel again with a brand new motorcycle in a modern, race-inspired style.”

Gilera 600 Custom

Arancio and his ’91 Paris Dakar mechanic, Michel Augizeau, got together to envision the build:

“They started to work on the concept from sketches and used parts from the BMW S1000R endurance racer of Kenny Foray (French superbike winner, EWC).”

Gilera 600 Custom

However, the project remained on the bench for several years until it found its way to Stéphane Bertet of Rusty Motors, a former professional French motocross rider who opened his own shop in 2009 in Provence, France.

“I do classic motorcycle repair, restoration, and customs, and also tune bikes for motocross (engine and suspension).”

Gilera 600 Custom

Stéphane spent more than 400 hours carrying the project to completion, modifying nearly every last component of the machine, and earning the ultimate congratulations of both Arancio and Augizeau:

“Only the engine and the clutch cable remain original. Each piece was custom built or reworked without exception…for a final result that leaves no one indifferent. But above all a wonderful human adventure!”

Gilera 600 Custom

The result is a the “Gilera Replay” — a 267-lb one-of-one custom with an incredible racing pedigree, transformed for the man who once raced it from Paris to Dakar.

“Gilera Replay”: In the Builder’s Words…

Gilera 600 Custom

A year ago, I finished an exceptional motorcycle…finally here are the pictures! It was a real technical and psychological test to carry out this project, which required a lot of hard work!

It started with a Gilera 600 prototype, which had participated in the ’91 Paris/Dakar — stripped and modeled in the workshops of the famous #TecmasRacingTeam.

Gilera 600 Custom
’91 Gilera Dakar in 2014

I then recovered the motorcycle to “build” it: 400 hours of work for me. Only the engine and the clutch cable remain original. Each piece was custom built or reworked without exception…for a final result that leaves no one indifferent. But above all a wonderful human adventure!

Gilera 600 Custom

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

Hello, I’m Stéphane, 41. I got into motorcycles through my dad and started riding motocross when I was 5 years old. At 12, I started to work on my own machine and built some projects based on a Solex, Peugeot 103, Honda CR, and so on. At 15 I became a mechanic and then tried several different jobs (plumber, postman, cabinet maker). Until I was 22, In continued racing motocross in the French championship, and then I gave up everything and went to enjoy the life in Australia for nearly two years.

Gilera 600 Custom

I came back and started my workshop, first doing polishing and sand blasting on old airplane parts, making them into furniture. Then I created Rusty Motors in January 2009 in the south of France, in the wonderful Provence, near Avignon.

I work on classic motorcycle repair, restoration, and customs, and also tune bikes for motocross (engine and suspension).

Gilera 600 Custom

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

The Gilera Replay was a bike raced in the Paris Dakar Rally. The customer wanted to keep it and absolutely not sell it, but wanted to travel again with a brand new motorcycle in a modern, race-inspired style.

His 1991 Dakar mechanic was Michel Augizeau, the boss of the BMW Tecmas Racing Team. They started to work on the concept from sketches and used parts from the BMW S1000R endurance racer of Kenny Foray (French superbike winner, EWC).  But the project remained on the bench for a couple of years…then I got it in my workshop, along with all the desired specifications.

Gilera 600 Custom
State of project: 2016

It was a really hard job to build the entire bike, especially when you know you are working with the best, and we were 800kms away, so we spent heaps of time on telephone; but in the end, it was an awesome project and human adventure, which made everyone happy.

Gilera 600 Custom

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?

The bike is not very powerful, but it’s really fun to ride, very light, and precise in the curves — and the look is just unique!

Gilera 600 Custom

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

I spent 400 hours building or modifying every single part — only the clutch cable remained untouched — so I can say I’m proud not only to accomplish the entire bike, but to have the congratulations from the customer and from Michel Augizeau.

Gilera 600 Custom

Build Sheet

Factory prototype for marathon/silhouette category, rally raids in the 1990s
Participated in the 1990 Rally of Tunisia 1990 / 1991 Paris-Dakar Rally

Engine: 4t DOHC 4 valves
Displacement: 558cc
Power: 52 hp at 8000 rpm
5-speed gearbox
Electronic ignition
Electric starter

  • Gilera main frame
  • Saddle support built on modified BMW Racing subframe
  • Proto Racing endurance triple clamps
  • BMW S1000R inverted fork, prepared travel 120mm
  • Dual 320mm disc brakes with two Brembo 4-piston calipers
  • Replay-specific proto carbon mudguards
  • OZ Racing wheels
  • Wheel axles with quick-release endurance racing system
  • BMW S1000R swingarm modified to accommodate the lithium battery
  • Ohlins TTX36 shock, 130mm travel prepared
  • Rear brake: 200mm disc single piston racing caliper
  • Modified Honda CB350 K4 tank
  • Custom saddle foam, comfort leather, and Alcantara
  • Motogadget gear: M unit, M lock, M button, M blaze disc turn signals, tiny speedometer, M switch mini
  • Total dry weight: 121 kg

Miscellaneous handcrafted parts

  • Front light assembly
  • Steering column axis
  • Handlebar clamps
  • Stainless steel exhaust line
  • Aluminum expansion tank
  • Foot rests
  • Spacers and wheel nuts
  • Box output pinion
  • Radiator modification
  • Air box
  • Air filter deflector
  • Stainless steel license plate holder
  • Complete wiring harness

Dreamer: HA
Engineering: TECMAS
Builder: RUSTY MOTORS

Carbon Parts: SC AERO
Paint: TERRY DESIGN
Upholstery: ASSELA

Builder Thanks

HA for pointing me to the project
Tecmas Racing Team / Michel Augizeau for his experience and skill
Kévin Augizeau / SC Aero for the manufacture of carbon parts
Terry Design for paint
Sellerie Assela for saddlery

Follow the Builder

Facebook : www.facebook.com/RustyMotors84/
Instagram: @rusty_motors
Web: www.rustymotors.fr

4 Comments

  1. That’s one way to ruin a motorcycle that had a purpose in life.

    • Do you care to elaborate on what you don’t like (are you even capable of such), or is it your trademark broken-record criticism that “it’s not a Husky 701!”

  2. This turned out spectacularly. It has similar profile and vibes to a Confederate Hellcat, which is a unique but iconic style. Most single-cylinder enduros have a very tall headstock and a very tall engine, which makes sticking a pretty tank up top a design challenge. Then what happens is the seat ends up being high, leaving lots of empty space underneath. The swingarm on this build fills up that space. Again, the end result would be already a challenge with a ground-up build, but that this was done with an enduro style bike adds more than a few layers of complexity. There’s a lot going on here. Excellent work. The only initial criticism I have is that the dual-disc front brake setup is too burly for this thing, even though it aesthetically looks great.

  3. I can’t understand her …

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