We featured the all alloy Zaeta DT 450 of El Solitario on the cover of Sideburn 26, back in 2016. I asked the Spanish provocateurs why the bike was called Pluto.
'The smallest planet orbiting the sun (like a dirt track) is made of cool ice and black rock and loved the fact that they retired its planetary status,' replied El Solitario's founder, David Borras.
Borras, rode the 450 single from Spain to Dirt Quake V at King's Lynn in 2016. How was that...
'Pluto is a primitive and ridiculous bike to make a long distance trip, although equipped with horn, blinkers, and lights. Pluto did its first miles on a race track but now it was time to push things a little bit further. Only a handful of custom houses in this world would unveil their most precious exercise in a flat track race, and why not, kick the shit out of her alloy bones. But even less would ride their race bike for a 1000 miles before racing it at a famous event in another man’s land. At El Solitario we always bid to loose (as only then, we might have a chance to win!) and that’s exactly what we did.'
'Vibration, vibration, vibration! I’ve known guys that pay good money at their gym to suffer what the Zaeta gives you for free. Because of this, I lost the shifter twice, the license plate once and the left mirror for ever and ever in the midst of Buckinghamshire.'
'In small winding roads the bike is astonishing and kid’s fun, but good old England didn’t have many of those for me to blast. In fast straight lines, the bike just wanted to take off and fly in a constant and sketchy tankslapper. We still haven’t had the time to tackle this problem but something doesn’t work in the front end above 65MPH. We need to remove the hub caps, and try different wheel sizes before we think about the trail and other dimensions too hard,' Borras continues. 'Anyways it was awesome and gave my a familiar vibe only felt before when riding for days on pre-war machines! It made me think of what Shinya [Kimura] said that for him a bike was a primitive tool such as a knife. In other instance my old belief that the harder you make a bike to ride the the sooner you will enjoy riding it and at lower speeds just was reconfirmed. You don’t need to go 100+ to walk the line and savour that exquisite mix of power and fear that keeps us alive.'
After changing tyres and oil at the UK's only Zaeta dealer, Krazy Horse, David raced both on Friday night, in the DTRA, and Saturday in the Street Tracker class. He also loaned the bike to Ainjul to race in the women's class on Saturday too. Here he is line up with 52 Ross Herrod, 8 Guy Martin, 76 Brad Hardman and 42 Tom Clemens. This isn't a set-up for a feature photo. It's a Friday night heat race.
Solitario Style. This must be Saturday, because of the DIrt Quake pie plate.
All photos: Gonzalo Arroya
Read all about this bike in Sideburn 26 while stocks last.
El Solitario's wonderful Ducati Petardo is the cover story of Sideburn 16
A great interview with Zaeta founder, Paolo Chiaia in Sideburn 11