Dotto's first custom motorcycle folds open like a Swiss Army knife
Dotto's first custom motorcycle folds open like a Swiss Army knife
01 Jul Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

There's no shortage of crazy ideas in the custom bike world, but we haven't seen one like this before. The Biancaneve, with its seat hidden under a fold-out tailpiece, is an interesting first bike from new Italian custom shop Dotto Creations.

The Biancaneve is designed to look "sculptural" when parked, but folds open to become practical as a ride

This bike's first act started in 1979, as a Honda CX500. These middleweight shaft-drives were big sellers in their day as all-round touring bikes, and they've had a resurgence in the new millennium as a solid base for customs, with simple single-spine, dual-shock frames and an eye-catching sideways V-twin engine, making somewhere around 50 horsepower.

Super-smooth lines over the classic CX500 frame

The Dotto team came at its first project with the idea of removing everything unnecessary from a motorcycle and staying as close as possible to their ideal of "two wheels, an engine and a way to ride it." So the CX got stripped right down, cleaned up and mechanically restored. The engine, radiator, frame and fork boots were powder coated black, it got a set of cafe-racer-style clip-ons and a minimalist modern round headlight and tiny digital dash.

The Biancaneve (Snow White) folds out fairing elements to maintain its super-sleek profile when parked

When it came to aesthetics, Dotto got a bit more adventurous. It needed to be rideable, but the team wanted it to look almost sculptural when parked up. Seats are generally utilitarian items, and the bane of some high-minded designers that place form over function. Dotto didn't want to make one of those nutty customs that look amazing, but seem like declarations of war against a rider's perineum, so it came up with the cheeky idea of putting a fold-out cover over the seat.

Seat and fuel filler covers fold open when it's time to get practical

Thus, the Biancaneve looks super-sleek when it's parked, unsullied by buttock padding, and when it's time to actually ride the thing, you release the cover with a latch at the back, then open it out on a surprisingly complex-looking set of hinges and struts to create a kind of floating tailpiece at the back. The leather-covered seat pulls out gently from the tank section as the tail opens in a nice piece of mechanical theater, and off you go.

Radiator cover as manifesto – nice

To make the front end match, Dotto mirrors it with a flip-up cover for the fuel filler. When both are open, there's a distinct Swiss army knife vibe, a distant echo of those top-end hypercars that can open out like peacocks spreading their feathers at the touch of a button. Here, it's writ small, and done manually, but it gave us a smile and we hope it does the same for you.

No less than eight struts hold the seat cover up and create the pull-out motion of the seat

The name Biancaneve translates as "snow white," which feels a little reductive for a bike that's mostly black. But I guess you'd have to be Dopey to powderc oat an engine block white...

Source: Dotto Creations, Newatlas

The Biancaneve next to a standard '79 CX500

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