Carbon Fibre R1: Not your average paint job

Posted: 14 Jun 2013

Last month Bennetts unveiled its stunning new Yamaha R1 to bike fans at Donington Park. The machine, which has the same pioneering carbon fibre composite paintwork as used on Formula 1 cars and in the aerospace industry, was designed by custom paint specialists Altamura Concepts. We caught up with Technical Operations Manager, Warwick Binks from Altamura to find out just how they created the Bennetts R1…

The general perception is that anything custom-made will cost more than a standard design; however bespoke helmets, leathers and bikes continue to be popular among motorcyclists, despite the recent downturn in the economy. “The whole concept of bespoke products is certainly growing reasonably well, as is our company alongside that,” explains Warwick. “We’re finding that we’re doing a lot more work for corporate clients and high-end customers, which is the best way to get our name out there.”

However, custom design can still be expensive.  “All our products are made with state-of-the-art technology – we never use stickers on our designs, every product is air-brushed,” he continues. “All our designs are made to the finest detail and to the highest quality. It could cost about £1,000 for us to paint a bike, but it comes down to the required detail of the product – the more time spent on it the more it’s going to cost. How long is a piece of string?!”

And it’s not just motorcycles that Altamura designs. “We design all sorts of products for our customers,” says Warwick. “As well as motorcycles, we design helmets, bicycle frames, prosthetic limbs, shotguns, rifles, crossbows… even toilet seats!”

The company has enjoyed particular success with its paintwork in the prosthetic limbs industry. “We did a bit of work for Paralympic athletes,” he continues, “and we also did the paintwork for a BBC journalist’s prosthetic leg. He carried the Olympic torch on its tour of the UK. Sometimes we never actually find out who our client is though as we’re commissioned by another company, Endolite, who specialises in the manufacture of the prosthetics. Endolite also does a lot of work with injured soldiers coming back from Afghanistan, so we’re involved with that too.”

The new R1 received a positive reception on its grand unveiling at the British round of the World Superbike Championship, but the finished result wasn’t all down to Altamura. “Akrapovic exhausts helped us out with the design of the R1,” continues Warwick. “So it’s a real one-off. We wanted to create a bike that would really catch the eye – something that would take everyone by surprise, and this particular design of bike hasn’t really been attempted before.

“The overall aim for us is to be at the forefront of bespoke design – artistry for both public and corporate clients. We also aim to go into as many different markets as is possible to further expand our range of products.”

For more information, please visit www.altamura.co.uk

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