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The Maserati Barber – Crossbreed Cycles

Published May 11, 2016

When we showed off the Maserati powered “Lazareth” it received a fairly lukewarm reception – so how about this instead? A Maserati V6 powered motorcycle that runs on two wheels, rather than the Lazareth’s four? Naturally, a build of this caliber could only come from Chris Barber of Crossbreed Cycles. He’s put Alfa Romeo engines into Harley frames in the past (the Alfabeast), and mated Ducati heads to Harley bottom ends (the Desmohog), so sticking a Maserati engine into a bike frame should be a cinch, right? Wrong. It’s a lot more work than one would imagine…

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Fortunately, the designer of the Maserati Merak and Citroen SM V6 engine, Guilio Alfieri, was also the same designer of the Laverda V6 motorcycle engine, so the engine naturally lent itself to the project.

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“The objective for this bike was to build something more compact and rideable than the Alfabeast, although the Alfa V6 is a superb engine it is a bit messy with all the belts and exposed ancillary parts.  The cylinder heads are only 13″ long due the the cam chains coming up the side of the cylinder bores and over the top of the heads rather than at the end of the head or in between the cylinders, also the positioning of the internal water and oil pumps has resulted in the engine being very compact for a V6 and ideal for putting in a motorcycle. I’ve designed the bike to have no external belts, pulleys, chains or sprockets; there will be no visible moving parts except the final drive chain.”

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At the moment, it’s only a work in progress but even in its incomplete form, it’s obviously well on the way to becoming a masterpiece. According to Chris Barber, there’s still plenty to do before we get to the see the finished article.

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“The Maserati Barber will have a wheelbase of 1640 mm and I hope will weigh less 700 lbs. Transmission is via a 6-speed Baker Frankentranny, fitted with a kickstarter, the clutch assembly is Jims driven by a custom made 58 link primary chain. Oil in the transfer housing and primary drive case is shared with the sump oil; oil blown from the rear crank journal will enter the transfer housing and flow out to the sump, maintaining the same level as the sump. A Ducat ST2 alternator and rotor are housed in the case on the end of the transfer box.”

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We’re looking forward to seeing it in its finished form. In the meantime, check out these photos of the work in progress, or take a look at the Lazareth Maserati machine.

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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