Interview: Riccardo Casarini From Ludwig Tekne

Taking this interview series ahead we have now Italian bike builder Riccardo Casarini founder of Ludwig Tekne with us. He has owns a garage in Voghera, Italy.

Riccardo with Libellula 

Here is Riccardo takes on our conventional questions for the interview:

1. Which is the first bike you purchased from your own money?

When I was 16 (2004), I’ve bought a KTM 125 EXC with some money saved after little jobs. It wasn’t new, because the 2004 model was really expensive for me, so I’ve found a M.Y. ’99 that I’ve modified changing fenders, graphics, handlebar, exhaust and overhauling the engine. I’ve used it every day, summer and winter, because it was for me the main way to be independent. I grow up in a village near the hills, so every Sunday I went out with some friends for make off-road/enduro.

2. When did you realised that you wanted to be a bike builder?

Hard question. My first experience was gained in the family workshop, where we used to repair and restore classic and racing cars. But sincerely, I’ve never thought about custom as work. During my university experience (I leaved the workshop in 2010 when I realized the desire to study philosophy. So I attended to the University of Pavia and I worked as a bartender by night) I’ve started to read custom magazines frequently, approaching to the new European custom scene. Not all about Harley Davidson. There was something different in the air. So I considered the possibility to work on a motorcycle (or car) with more freedom, because the custom culture started to be popular and approved, not just a niche for enthusiasts. Less rules, more fantasy, more expression. So, after the degree, I moved to Barcelona for work as apprentice in a custom workshop (Fuel Motorcycles). When I went back to Italy, in 2016, I decided to start with my project. Now I work with my partner, Federica; she have also studied philosophy with master in editing, and she manage communication, e-shop and events. Her work is essential. 

3. How many bikes have you build till now?

Five bikes from November 2016 till now. But I used to repair and and restore also classic bike. 

4. Which is your dream bike?

For me, the Vincent Black Lightning and the Moto Guzzi 500cc “8 cilindri” are two bedrocks. My dream bike doesn’t exist. I wish a modern bike with the essence of both, something with character and extreme technologies. A “raw” bike, just a little bit of electronic components and pure mechanical engineering! Mmmmhhh, I’m tell you this, and I’m thinking about John Britten…

5. What's your point of view on electric bikes?
The mobility need to be rethought. Probably the endothermic engine can be develop again reducing the emissions. But nowadays, the power plants have got 80% of thermic efficiency, much more than a common 4 stroke engine. So we can save a lot of energy with the electric vehicles. I’m a nostalgic rider/driver, but the match is lose. I hope in a future with common mobility solutions, clean and safe. There are too many people driving cars as “insecure idiots” (sorry), and ride a bike isn’t funny and relaxing as some years ago. It is schizophrenic! Maybe one day we’ll use the old motorcycles just for meetings or races, as a “purists garden”. I don’t know, but I’ll not work with electric bikes, because is everything so far by me, by my deep imprinting. Simply, I can’t.    

6. Who are others people who inspired you for your work?

I need to know the negative feelings more than positive feelings. So often, when I’ve completed a bike, I use to chat with some friends who I consider authoritative: Vives from Fuel Motorcylces, Pedraza from ZZ Moto, Jordi Sanz from Astro Cycles, Wiki Wiki Racer and the Hot Head Garage guys etc.  Not because I want to receive a real feedback. I do it because I want to see how different are the ideas. Why someone like a detail, and someone don’t like it? Is the “aesthetic key” of this build where I want? So, I’ve mention who, why and how some people inspire me.  

7. Whats your new project?

We’re working on a Suzuki GS 750 1977. I want to make a tuning inspired to the AMA Superbike series and Yoshimura works. A street legal bike with racing attitude. You can see all the process on our Insta profile or on our website.

You can contact ludwig through their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ludwigtekne

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