If you thought the most exotic production motocross bike you could buy was a TM, you are way off the mark. Also made in Italy, the WRM is a truly hand-built bike that’s constructed with the firm’s own engine and frame – all made in house. No buying someone else’s motor and bunging it in for WRM. It’s made by the WR Composite company from Bergamo, owned by the Balestra brothers, which makes expensive carbon fibre bicycle frames and components.
The bike, which costs around £19,000 at current exchange rates, is a very rare machine and is claimed to weigh just 101kg. It’s called the WRM 450 MX1 Cross and has been on general sale since around 2015, although prototypes have been around since around 2007 and it was even raced in the World Supermoto series by Christian Beggi. It uses a single-cam 449cc motor with a 96 x 62.1mm bore and stroke, clearly influenced by the older model Honda CRF450R.
But the WRM motor was designed and built in house with four titanium valves and it still uses a carb rather than fuel injection. Very old school. There’s a Vortex ignition with 10 programmable maps, though, and it comes with a slipper clutch.
But it’s the frame that’s the most radical as it’s a combination of chromoly steel, cast aluminium and a carbon fibre/ kevlar composite. The front part of the frame near the headstock is a trellis-style steel tube affair very similar to Ducati’s World Superbike race machines used for years. The bottom frame rails are also steel, but main side spars are cast aluminium like Japanese motocross bikes. The steering head angle can be changed by up to 4 degrees by just tweaking some bolts. The mid section under the fuel tank is a composite carbon unit. The swingarm, fuel tank, side panels and airbox are also made of carbon fibre.
The bike uses Solva forks and shock, Brembo brakes and lots of hand-made parts including a cone-section exhaust. And lots of the fasteners are titanium to keep weight to a minimum. So what does it ride like? We have no idea as we’ve never seen one in the flesh, they don’t do test rides and they don’t even have a website! It’s a true bespoke dirt bike that is for the connoisseur only.
By Adam Duckworth