In 1938, Estonian entrepreneur J. Laan founded a motorized bicycle manufacturer in the capital city of Tallinn, and called it Renard Cycles. Renard is French for ‘fox’, and a fox’s head formed the original Renard logo. But in March 1944, the factory was hit by a bomb and was completely destroyed. The emerging Estonian motorcycle industry became nothing more than a memory. Then three years ago, a group of Estonian entrepreneurs, designers and racing engineers joined forces to revive the Renard brand. Last April, the first ‘modern’ prototype was unveiled at the Hanover Technology Fair—the Renard Grand Tourer. It’s due to go into production this year.
According to the PR, the Renard GT’s carbon-fiber frame weighs only 11 kilograms (24.25 lbs). It’s reinforced with Kevlar and stiffer than a regular pipe frame, ensuring very precise steering. This ‘unibody’ integrates the frame, petrol tank and air box into a single load-bearing structure, helping to give the Renard its distinctive appearance.
The air-cooled engine comes from Moto Guzzi; it’s the 1151cc, 8-valve, fuel-injected V-twin found in bikes such as the Stelvio. Pumping out around 125hp, it’ll take the GT to a top speed of 230 km/h. And yes, there are some parallels here with Confederate. If this machine actually makes it into dealers’ showrooms, I know which one I’d prefer. What about you?
Engine type: V2 90° Moto Guzzi Quattrovalvole
Wheelbase: 1450 mm
Trail: 97 mm
Caster angle: 23°
Dry weight: 190 kg
Peak horsepower: 125 hp (90kW) at 8000 RPM
Peak torque: 120 Nm at 6000 RPM
Top speed: 230 km/h