For­mer Royal En­gi­neer uses vast ar­ray of skills to cre­ate lu­di­crously pow­er­ful Ban­dit-en­gined beast from all man­ner of dis­parate parts

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Special Build of the Year 2018 - Craig Turner

Craig­turner makes no ex­cuses about be­ing a fair-weather rider. “Apart from the night­mare of clean­ing it, it breaks trac­tion in the first three gears, so the roads have to be good be­fore I can prop­erly ride it,” he says. “It’s a waste of time if it’s not bone dry.”anaprilia Mille is his ev­ery­day hack.

With an es­ti­mated 300bhp on tap, this 7/11 with a blown 1286cc Ban­dit en­gine is at the fur­thest ex­treme on the nuts scale. “I’m con­tin­u­ally smil­ing when I’m rid­ing it,” he says. He was smil­ing when he built it too. You can’t walk past the lid-en­tombed pro­jec­tor head­light ar­range­ment with­out a chuckle. “I wanted a res­pi­ra­tor type front-end, but I wanted to go to another level. So I cut the back off a Craft RX9 and went from there. Paul at King Ko­modo De­signs near Sal­is­bury shot the skulls and the mar­bled deep ma­roon paint.

“It’s taken eight years and I’ve spent £6500 all up.three grand of that was on the turbo and if you take in the man hours of work it gets ridicu­lous,” he says. Ridicu­lous is what it is. “I had ni­trous on it for a while, so the turbo was the next level. It’s not a cheap mod, and the set-up takes a while to get ab­so­lutely right too. I had to cut some springs down in the fuel reg­u­la­tor, and the jet­ting was way off to start with. Get­ting the fuelling right was the hard­est part. I only run one bar boost sim­ply be­cause if you go for any more it be­comes un­us­able.” Rid­ing the fine line be­tween hys­ter­i­cal laugh­ter and ut­ter fear is what keeps Craig amused.

His ap­proach to the build was novel. “I went around buy­ing things that looked nice and then worked out how I’d make them fit,” he says.the Gilles rearsets are a prime ex­am­ple. “I don’t know what they’re sup­posed to fit,” says Craig.the Mvau­gusta F4 tail unit was a dif­fer­ent mat­ter. “It’s so old school with all those an­gles in it and it matches the lines of the tank per­fectly.” Craig’s wiring and plumb­ing is top notch too: “I used a car cen­tral lock­ing mo­tor to make the tail unit q/d, you just hit that red but­ton above the swingarm and it pops off.”

He’ll never sell it. “I just keep build­ing things,” he says. “Next up I’ll maybe do a bob­ber with an old English en­gine, or cer­tainly a twin of some sort.” It’ll feel mild as milk af­ter this cre­ation.

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