Though first held in 2009, the annual Motorbike Expo — or MBE – has become Europe’s premier custom motorcycle exhibition, attracting talented builders from across the globe. Being invited to display a one-off machine at MBE is an honor in and of itself, but being crowned with Best In Show, (aka “King of Verona”) is one of the highest accolades that any custom builder aspire to. This year, that coveted award went to an absolutely flawless collaborative rolling work of art from Officine Mermaid and Radikal Choppers.
The two Milan-based shops started the project with a BMW R1100S, though aside from the powertrain and swing-arm, almost nothing remains of the Bavarian sport-tourer. The intricate build is constructed around a fully custom two-piece chassis that’s married to a bespoke, girder-inspired front-end complete with one-off fender, headlight, Discacciati brakes, clip-ons, levers, top triple, and a wildly-ornate set of fluid reservoirs. The hand-formed bodywork is comprised of a single-piece tank perfectly matching the contours of the trellis-style framework before feeding into a waspish tail-section that accommodates the bespoke slash-cut exhausts exiting under the seat. On top of custom meshed, slash-cut intakes, the engine has also been treated to custom cylinder head covers and a new one-off front-cover.