Bugatti of motorcycles’ to cruise UAE’s roads

DUBAI// A red and white handmade “Bugatti of motorcycles” will soon be cruising the roads.

Bike fans are already placing orders for the bespoke 1,640cc French-made Avinton Collector GT, which is being sold in the region for the first time.

Four of the Dh172,000 racing bikes, with 150 horsepower and a top speed of 260kph, have already been snapped up. Many other buyers are requesting customised models with gold or platinum leaves and Swarovski crystals.

“Avinton produces more or less only 40 bikes a year,” said Tarek Azmi, the owner of Rumble Cycles, a dealer for Avinton and Headbanger motorcycles.

“They are very exclusive bikes. The concept for the bike was that AC Cobra – the old man of cars – wanted to put the biggest engine on the lightest chassis possible.

“It is essentially the Bugatti of motorcycles and made to order. This the first time it is being brought to the Middle East. The starting price is Dh165,000 and the sky is the limit.”

Mr Azmi said there had been requests for Swarovski crystals and gold-plated covers. He said the company was willing to go with the “customer’s imagination” and make it as exciting as possible.

“We can do gold plates or platinum plates. We can use gold leaves to cover the air filter and the racing stripes. If the customer wants to cover it with Swarovski crystals, we can do it.

“It depends on your imagination. Since it is fully custom-made and handmade, we can do whatever the customer wants. We’ve had a few requests for them.”

The four Avinton bikes already sold were on display at the Dubai International Motor Show and attracting many prospective buyers and onlookers during the final day of the show on Saturday, Mr Azmi said.

“It is a one-of-a-kind bike. People stop and are curious to know what it is.”

The bikes have air-cooled engines instead of the usual water or oil-cooling systems.

Another vehicle that made a splash at the motor show was an open-top, three-seater buggy that can be used for desert camping or to help farmers carry their equipment.

The 700cc, off-road, 4×4 Yamaha Viking has a differential lock to give extra power to tyres stuck in sand.

“The buggy is useful in sandy and rocky terrain,” said Mohammad Nader Ahmad, the product manager for Al Yousuf Motors, a dealer for Yamaha in the UAE.

“We have added an extension in the back so it gets longer. Poles are available to put up shades.”

Mr Ahmad said the buggy could be particularly useful while camping in the desert and sleeps two in the back.

“A portable tent can be put up at the back of the buggy so it is safe while camping in the desert. It protects you from snakes and scorpions,” he said.

The Side by Side buggy costs Dh55,000 and is open on all sides. Sixty units have already been reserved in the UAE, mostly by Emiratis.

“We can get a windscreen fixed. It has no air conditioning. It will be hot and the drivers will get dirty,” Mr Ahmad said. “It is a desert vehicle meant for all terrains.”

The buggy can be used in farms and can carry up to 700 kilograms.

The five-day motor show attracted hundreds of visitors at the weekend. Many went with their families to look at the luxury cars and new launches.

“Both of us are into cars,” said Tom Johnson, an auto enthusiast from the UK who was at the show.

“The show has a diverse range of cars. We are getting introduced to the new brands in town such as Cherry and Foton. I am just here to have a good time, and maybe look for a car that I can buy in a few years’ time.”

Another British expatriate said he was interested in the luxury cars on display.

“I will spend a few hours looking at the high-end cars you normally don’t see,” said Mike Ranber. “I’d like to dream a little bit about them.”

The 12th Dubai motor show had 17 global launches, 76 regional launches, 15 concept-car unveilings and more than 600 cars on display.

Organisers said thousands had come to the event. Exact visitor figures and sales will be released in the next two weeks.