Apex 2.0 – Charles Leclerc’s new custom carbon‑fibre motorcycle
He may be one of the fastest men on the Formula 1 grid, but Charles Leclerc has turned to another form of motorsport to get his kicks during the down season.
At the 22-year-old Ferrari driver’s request, custom motorcycle builder Bad Winners has created a unique streetfighter. Based on Husqvarna’s popular Vitpilen 701, which is in turn based on the KTM Duke 690, the aggressive build features an exposed tubular frame, a plethora of carbon-fibre, a svelte dash and new HMI, SC Project exhaust and Dynamag wheels.
Named the Apex 2.0, the murdered machine will in fact be available to well-heeled motorcycle fans, with the French custom shop offering the ‘701 Serie Apex 2.0’ for sale in four different ‘stages’. The entry-level model will feature the custom tube frame, uprated lights, a leather seat and a SC project slip on, and will cost €14,690 – €4,300 more than the Vitpilen’s French RRP of €10,390. The top-spec Leclerc model adds a host of high-spec components, including the aforementioned carbon-fibre wheels, and will retail at €20,990.
All four models are decatted and feature a power commander, which ups the Vitpilen’s power from 75 to around 85 horsepower. Thanks to the extensive use of carbon-fibre and weight savings on the exhaust and frame, the Apex 2.0 weighs just 130kg – a cut of 27kg compared to the standard model. We can only imagine how great that is to ride.
Speaking to BikeExif, Walid from Bad Winners explained the story behind the motorcycle. “It started with a simple message on Instagram. A message from Charles Leclerc to the Bad Winners account! At first I thought it was spam.
“Charles said, ‘I’ve been following you for a while, and I really like your motorcycles. Would it be possible to make me one?’”
Following a disbelieving phone call, Walid got to work on the Apex 2.0 – based on the original ‘Apex’, a Yamaha FZS600 Fazer that Bad Winners had customised a few years previously. Leclerc’s only stipulation was that it be based on the Vitpilen 701 and feature carbon components and carbon wheels, so after extensive CAD and 3D modelling, Walid presented the Apex 2.0 concept to Leclerc, who has now added the completed model to his stable.
The Monégasque is one of the most promising young drivers that Formula 1 has seen for a long time. Only making his debut in 2018, he was last year fast-tracked into the Ferrari team, with whom he won two races and scored 264 points, outranking his teammate and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Something tells us that he’s going to be equally adept on two wheels…