Breaking the normality zone is one of the common factors in determining the differences between average custom builders and those who are pure geniuses. When Charly Grégoire of Red Baron Custom Motorcycles in Liemeux, Belgium, turned an Evo 90° from normal and hooked it up to a BMW transmission and shaft-drive in his latest custom, he continued a long tradition of mixing and matching machinery to create a one-of-a-kind motorcycle. The Revenge bike clearly puts Charly in the latter category; the end result is as different as the builder himself.
Revenge’s motor is a stock-size 80-incher, but with performance modifications done by RBC. Internally, a set of Wiseco pistons compresses the mixture from the Keihin carb which is mounted in front of the engine and breathes through a RBC air cleaner. The Moto Guzzi-style engine placement prompted Charly to design an unusually crafty handmade exhaust. The pipes have more twists and turns than a road over the Alps before dumping out over and under what appears to be a swingarm. But that’s not what makes this bike special; it’s RBC’s mating of the twisted Evo to a BMW R/75 4-speed transmission and shaft-drive. Beautifully integrated and looking like it was made to be connected to an Evo in the first place, Charly did a fine job of engineering these Bavarian pieces into his design. The unusual kick-only setup now starts by pushing the left-side lever down and away from the engine.
A curvaceous RBC rigid frame gives this unusual engine/tranny combo a home. The beefy tubes are covered in RBC bodywork which includes the gas tank which flows into the engine’s heads. The seat/fender unit doesn’t look particularly comfy with its surfeit of padding, but it sure is pretty with its nicely integrated taillight. The front fender, which thinks it’s a fork brace, is mounted between a set of short, pointy RBC forks. Keeping it simple are laced wheels, with high-shoulder alloy rims, mounting a set of wild RBC perimeter brakes with wonderfully complicated calipers clamping down on them. Apparently Charly isn’t into the fat tire craze as Revenge sports Old School-sized rubber.
One has to be careful around Revenge as the pointed theme used throughout the bike has plenty of items to seriously poke you with. For instance, the pointy RBC internal hand controls on clip-on style bars are definitely up to the task. The unusual brake and clutch lever mounting suggests yesteryear European design while the rear-set foot controls put the rider in a pseudo-sportbike position, nothing laid back about this bike. Oh, watch out for the headlight too, it could jab you with that sharp beak separating the dual beams.
Finally, the finish is something that is quite different as Revenge does not have one drop of paint on it. The finish is highly polished metal and aluminum, which provides an all chrome-like appearance and required hours of dirty work. Since every part is made of some type of metal, except for the tires and the glass portion of the headlight, Charly’s polishing fingers must still be hurting.