Our old friends from the Netherlands, Dimitri Hettinga and Dirk Pieper have formed a new company, Motoroco, with Jack De Roco, to create bikes like this stunner.
This Wood Rotax was originally imported from upstate New York by Jack de Roco, hence the name on the front number plate and that of the company. 'The bike had seen some rough racing in its past,' explains Dimitri, 'A battle scar here and there, AMA scrutineering stickers, the lot, but the bike was in a poor state and desperately needed attention.'
Dimitri Hettinga, who runs the Super Motor Company, undertook a nut and bolt restoration including new nickel plating for the frame and swingarm. He also decided to make a new tail/seat for the bike since he had always disliked the original Wood seat. A clay model was made which deleted the hump, streamlined the tail and shortened the seat length by 25mm. 'To avoid any ranting from the purists, the original seat, painted in the same chocolate brown colour, has survived,' say Motoroco.
Most parts returned pretty quickly except for the engine. 'It took a staggering nine months for no apparent reason,' says Dimitri, still fuming at the memory, 'It was a complete bank-breaking nightmare even after we got it back. The valves were leaking, the inlet work was sloppy. We will not be working with that engine builder again. It had to be done all over again. Happily we found a guy that reworked the head and valve seating perfectly.'
When it was time for final assembly everything came together easily except for the wheels. 'The alignment must have been off for years,' reckon Motoroco, 'All spacers and bearings are completely new. The R6 forks that the bike was fitted with were shaved and polished to give it that clean flat track look.' Motoroco thought the forks protruded too far above the top triple clamp, so they bought later, 2003-2004 R6 forks and sent them to MCT Suspension for new springs and re-valving to suit the forks' new application. The fork legs were painted matt black finish to compliment the rare, black anodised Performance Machine eight-spoke wheels.
The final piece of the jigsaw was a new exhaust. 'The original Wood pipe was replicated except for the end cone. Like a typical black exhaust of a 1960s Honda RC racer it got a more organic flow to it by slightly tilting the reverse cone. Volumes are identical though to the original Wood system.'
There has been a steady flow of air-cooled framers to the UK and Europe that doesn't seem to be slowing, but few are as beautifully finished as Motoroco's Wood. We look forward to seeing it get used in anger on the racetrack.
In their own words...
Motoroco is collaboration between Jack de Roco, Dirk Pieper (owner of the Wood Rotax) and Dimitri Hettinga. Motoroco's main focus is on true American dirt and flat track racing machinery. In the works are a BSA Victor 560cc works flat track racer and an original Triumph T100 C desert racer. Motoroco regularly imports flat and dirt track framers/racers for road and track (Wood, Knight, Champion, C&J, J&M) from Los Angeles, USA. Conversions from track to road ( according to EU legislation) are done in house at the Amsterdam premises.
Depending on interest shown, Motoroco will contemplate the manufacture of a limited run of Wood framed racers, in full race guise or as road going proposition. Engine options are various. The obvious choice is the Rotax 604 engine, but even vintage BSA singles will fit or modern 450cc water-cooled singles.
Frame: Ron Wood, Cro-Mo steel
Tank: Ron Wood
Plates : Motoroco
Engine: Rotax 604
Bore & Stroke: 98 x 81mm
Power: approx. 60bhp (claimed)
Weight: 110kg inc. fuel (claimed)
Carburetor: Mikuni 44 mm
Front wheel: PM 8-spoke, 2.75 x 19
Rear wheel: PM 8-spoke, 3.00 X 19
Tires: Maxxis DTR
Rear shocks: Ohlins
Front fork: Yamaha R6 43mm, MCT
Brake caliper: Grimeca 41mm
Master cylinder: Tokico 14mm
Triple trees: Weiss racing
Clutch lever: Magura
Sprocket cover: Motoroco 3D printed
Photos: Xxxxx xxxx
Photos: Lennard Schuurmans