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Custom motorcycles are curious things, and can mean different things to different people. Some call them ugly, some call them functional pieces of motorcycle art.

A case in point is the Vanderheide, the brain-child of Rolf Van Der Heide and designed by Michiel van den Brink. Having previously worked with Dutch firms Spyker and Carver, Van Der Heide was in a unique position to bring the Vanderheide to life.

The Vanderheide is different in that it has a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, as well as a swingarm and fork made from the same material. Monocoques for motorcycles have been tried before, in the Elf Grand Prix racer, and the Britten V1000, as well as the Bimota Tesi and Buell RR, among others.

Indeed, the Vanderheide bears a passing resemblance in the top fairing to the Britten, notably in the way the fairing swoops under the handlebars. But, the resemblance ends there.

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Designed with the gentleman rider in mind, the Vanderheide carries an Aprilia RSV4 V-four engine, which displaces 999.6 cc and produces 201 hp at the crankshaft. Vanderheide supplies the machine with this engine as stock, but can install a 230 hp superbike-spec mill, if so desired.

There are two versions of the Vanderheide, road and race, which weigh in at 175 kg and 165 kg – dry – respectively. But the carbon-fibre monocoque chassis is not what makes this bike special.

What does set the Vanderheide aside is the front suspension. There is no fuel tank on the bike, not in the normal way. Fuel is carried in the chassis, and the space left where a fuel tank would normally go is occupied by an Ohlins TTX shock absorber.

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Fork movement is transmitted to the shock absorber via a shaft, and the shock itself is placed opposing the rear shock absorber. Van Der Heide says, this relieves the chassis from the stress of suspension movement.

Another special design touch is the location of the bike’s radiator in the tailpiece, which allows for better airflow. The tailpiece also houses the lightweight battery.

As can be expected from a build as special as this, pricing is not cheap, with Vanderheide expecting upwards of 150,000 euro (RM685,000) from one of the 25 limited first edition examples that will be built. A 50% deposit is expected upfront, and the discerning customer can specify many of the Vanderheide’s options.