THE ALPINE STAR
For these two Italians who practise the extreme form of “motoalpinismo” the ideal machine doesn’t exist. What else could they do?
This is one of the craziest machines we have ever seen at Trial Magazine
Words and Pictures: Carlo Bagalini
According to our two passionate riders of Motociclismo Fuoristrada (extreme off–road motorcycling) the ideal machine doesn’t exist; however they know what they want.The result is the first machine constructed for extreme enduro. This combination is 99% Honda, but the sum is more interesting than the parts. The Berghem combines the mechanicals of the Montesa 250 4RT with a rolling chassis from the HM 50 CRE. It is the work of Andrea Rizzi and Enrico Lorini; well versed in difficult trails on the famous “mulattiere” (mule roads) these extreme pathways are the training ground where the best Italian enduro riders are forged. We are of course in Bergamo Italy or Berghem in the local dialect. This homemade prototype didn’t have to travel far to reveal its potential.
Homemade – really?
It looks like a normal production bike. “That is because we have utilised the maximum number of parts from both HM (HM is a specialised Enduro products company based in Italy) and Montesa and tried to make any modifications as unobtrusive as possible” replies Andrea, the younger of the two. The fact is that it was the frame where the most work was undertaken and where Enrico, the technician, had the most challenges. He removed the front frame cradle to enable him to slide the engine into the existing rear mounting points, the radiator and the Montesa sump guard, whilst at the same time winning a couple of extra centimetres of ground clearance. The mechanicals are suspended, just like the original. Our artist was left with the task of machining the two supports from the cylinder head to the central part of the frame, and welding lateral triangular plates to the frame to support the front spars descending from below the steering head and around the radiator. He was forced to cut the swinging arm, as the axle passes through the rear of the engine on the Montesa whereas on the HM 50 it passes behind. The rest was essentially mounting parts and some fabrication such as the fuel tank, made to measure from aluminium, the fork yokes which are machined from solid with the fixing bolts facing forward to gain more steering lock, and the final connection to the silencer.
Other than the trials handlebars, footrests, headlamp and the front mudguard which is an Acerbis Super-Moto style and allows sufficient air to reach the radiator, all theother parts are from the catalogue of HM-Honda. The front fork is the Marzocchi 40mm from the 50CRE, like the Paioli rear shock, even if the damping characteristics are well modified. On the HM front wheel the disc is gripped by the same Magura 4 piston radial calliper that will soon be standard on the little Italian Hondas. On the rear the wheel comes from the Montesa as it allows the fitment of a tubeless trials tyre which can run with low pressure. The front tyre has a light mousse fitted. The secondary transmission ratios are also Montesa. Dry, the Berghem comes in at a creditable 96.8kg with a 50/50 weight distribution which both creators think is ideal.
Looking over the bike we wondered if a generous sponsor such as Repsol were picking up the bills. “We were not helped by anyone”, replies Andrea, “even the decals came from our own pocket. The reason why we did this is so that the bike gives the impression of being part of the HM range, who are also the importers of Repsol to Italy. It is our intention to convince them to produce the bike and we thought it would be easier if it was presented like that. The good news is that HM are interested, but need to negotiate with Honda to see if a motor supply deal is possible.” Watch this space, as they say.
Last question, if one day the Bergham was to become a production bike who would be interested? “Not someone like Taddy Blazusiak”, laughs Enrico, “he doesn’t need one, but it’s the guys like us who ride what we call motoalpinismo that want to be able to ride everywhere without wearing themselves out, for them it is a very efficient bike. With only 13 bhp on tap the Bergham will not interest the ‘X-treamists’.”Nevertheless they are the exception; there are many circumstances where it is better to be happy with what is at the end of the throttle cable, rather than riding a beast!