Roquechop Design (RCD) is a small workshop located in the city of Brownsburg-Chatham (Quebec, Canada) which is focused singularly on building quality handcrafted bikes and parts. It’s a shop that keeps an open mind, but clearly won’t compromise.
Back from last years AMD World Championship with a 10th place win in the freestyle category, RCD Minotaure and builder Philip Roquebrune have been back in the shop and are working on the next project.
Philip says: “I am devoted to the idea of bringing something different to the V-Twin industry, a mix of different elements that might at first look incompatible. On the other hand, I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, but pushing it forward and improving it to suit my vision”.
RCD is a one-man shop, that way, I have complete control over the quality level of the things I build and don’t have to wait for special services. I’m the one who provides all the particular skills my customers want and really focus on good service. I try to fabricate and design as many parts as I can, that’s what makes the difference in the end. I think that’s how you give soul to bikes.
With my dirt bike/downhill racing background, it’s not surprising to see how much that kind of machines inspired my design, if we only think about the suspension, geometry and wheelbase of my bikes, for example. Creating a stylish bike that handles easily, brakes on a dime and can jump curbs is my main focus. I also like my bikes clean, simple and pleasant to look at. I like it when you get the concept behind it, at the first glance. Then, as you look closer you can see all those little details that make the machines very unique, special, out of the box.
If you stick to the above, you can get a pretty good idea of what my new project this bike, the Minotaure, looks like. It all started with a totally different frame than the one that is actually on the bike as you see it. In fact, the first frame I worked on for this project was a six link activated suspension frame with the shock in the middle of the gas tank. As time passed, the inspiration wasn’t there anymore and the less I could imagine it finished.
But with all the hours I put into building that frame, I tried to convince myself that I needed to continue, but, on the other hand, I had another vision. I finally solved the problem by putting that first concept aside for future development. I started the project all over again with this new mono-shock chassis and girder frontend that I was dreaming about – the bike you see here.
Back to step one, I spent time drawing the overall look of the frame with different dimensions and angles. The bike ended up with a 28 degree rake, a short wheelbase, a 1 ¾ inch single loop frame, the transmission raised one inch and brought two inches closer to the engine to achieve a more compact look, a seven inches ground clearance and a five inches of rear travel via a Penske mono-Shock. Up front, a massive arched tube , twin shock, handmade girder fork to complete that retro racing look!
My love affair with old Harley engines brought me to use a pan shovel that we (my father Jim, and I) stripped down and rebuilt entirely, I split the rocker boxed, dual plugged the heads, I used a Sputhe Engineering kidney cover (to adapt the new Shovel ignition) and 4 ¾ S&S stroker flywheels. Also, a four speed tranny with a BAKER hydraulic kicker cover couple with a 2”BDL open belt assure power transmission to the rear wheel.
Speaking of the wheels, I went with lightweight aluminum rims spokes wheels, Avon venom tires and what better to complete this bike than the new Beringer 4D braking system, hydraulic clutch and master cylinder controls to suit its clean design and performance look.
I also managed to tuck the aluminum oil bag underneath the cam cover to lower the center of gravity. The small peanut gas tank was then angled forward. All theses details together, really give the impression of the bike going 100 mph standing still. Despite it’s aesthetic it’s a motorcycle and needs to be ridden and used to have fun.
By mixing and blending past and present, RCD has again created a high-end motorcycle designed for those who refuse to conform.
ROQUECHOP DESIGN (RCD)
BROWNSBURG-CHATHAM, QUEBEC, CANADA
450 712 4900
Written: josée lalonde
Images: stephen berner