Wakan Motorcycles is Reborn as Avinton Motorcycles

Avinton Motorcycles is Wakan Reborn, a French S&S V-Twin sport bike

Avinton Motorcycles is Wakan Reborn, a French S&S V-Twin sport bike

It's been almost seven years since we first wrote about Wakan Motorcycles and the Wakan 1640, a French V-Twin sport bike, designed around an S&S 1640 and wrapped in a minimal frame, the idea was to emulate the AC Cobra, installing a big American powerplant in a small and light European chassis. I thought it looked great, as did many of you, though as a few years passed and the short run of prototypes remained the only units produced, it began to appear that another motorcycle brand would be stillborn. They were looking for investors with the aim of building them here in the USA, they even showed up at an S&S bike show to generate a bit of interest, but they left empty handed and Wakan seemed to disappear.

Well, they didn't disappear, they've come back as Avinton Motorcycles, rebadged with a new logo, but pretty much the same bike we saw when the Wakan first appeared. Current specs show 120 horsepower and 120 foot pounds with a wet weight of 430 pounds. Primary drive is Kevlar belt, final drive is chain. The air intake above the false tank is still there, the fuel is carried below the seat. It still looks as good as it did when we first saw it, which is pretty sweet.

They're offering three versions, the Avinton Collector GT, Collector Race and Collector Roadster plus the Avinton Cult, which looks like you can specify all sorts of variations, pretty much limited by the depth of your wallet. Price for a standard version looks like 33,500 € or $45,000. Some things did change in seven years. Definitely not mass market, but there may be some buyers around, we'll have to wait and see. They're currently looking for distributors around the world.

I still think this is a gorgeous bike, just like I did when I first saw it, I only hope it gets off the ground this time.

Link: Avinton Motorcycles


  1. JeCo says

    For that money I would buy a Buell XB12 and a BoTTpower kit. That exhaust also looks like garbage for a bike listed for 30k. Should have copied the micron for the Buells.

  2. says

    I think it looks very good.
    I’d probably want to customize a few things on it, but it’s real nice just as it is.
    I like the body style. It does remind me of a modernized cafe’ racer, in certain ways..

  3. Fred M. says

    I’m with you (and I have a Buell XB12Ss and a Buell 1125CR). More important to me than how it looks is how it handles. Erik Buell was a racer and built motorcycles that worked, not pretty-boy styling exercises. He addressed real problems, like mass centralization, unsprung weight, fuel sloshing and high Cg (by going to a fuel-in-frame design).

    I don’t really see anything very innovative here. I don’t see how they expect to get adequate braking for a 430lb. bike plus the rider from a single, conventional disc brake up front (rather than dual discs). I’m not seeing any text on their web site that indicates that there’s been any significant effort to make the bike handle. They don’t seem to have anyone with real motorcycle racing credentials working on the bike (as opposed to Buell, who had Jeremy McWilliams as a development rider on the 1125R).

    It looks like another incarnation of West Coast Choppers, but this time for cafe racer posers. The head of Avinton, in an interview, said “It’s very simple. Since this is an exclusive product and we really want that this bike is the “extension” of each person, there is first a customization work to do.” (Translated from French). I sincerely hope that I am wrong and that something is being lost in the translation, but this doesn’t appear to be a serious sport bike — just an expensive styling exercise for rich guys who buy pre-distressed leather jackets.

      • Paul Crowe says

        Wakan started out when Joel Domergue, the owner of Scorpa, sold it and decided to start another motorcycle company. Though Scorpa was a trials motorcycle builder, it’s not like Joel Domergue was just some guy with a welder whipping together a bike, so I think there was a bit of thought that went into the design. How would it perform? I have no idea. Peter Egan tested one for Cycle World though I don’t remember what he said about it, but I wouldn’t write it off as some road barge, it might go around a track very well, though it’s pointless to debate what can easily be tested, so until Curt Winter can line up next to one, we won’t know.

    • says

      As noted, the BTR uses a big block motor where the Avinton is Sportster-based, albeit a huge sportster. As much as i like both bikes, i write that b/c a big block version of the motorcycle engine is a better parallel to the 2-wheeled Cobra analogy since the most familiar Cobras shoe-horned a big block motor into its chassis.

      The Big Twin HD’s can be hot rodded easily for not that much money, especially relative to the Avinton’s price while yielding similar hp & torque figures.

      A track day comparison would be very entertaining and would be a phenomenal welcomed refresh to Discovery’s aging build off shows.

      • rohorn says

        Buildoff shows: About “bikes” that sit around and do nothing except make loud noises for an audience that sits around and does nothing but make loud noises.

        Sorry – a show about bikes actually doing, you know, like, stuff, would annoy the prime dullard viewing demographic – won’t happen.

        I guess that means we’ll just have to be satisfied with building and riding our own bikes.

  4. Keyboard Kowboy says

    Not to bag on someone elses hard work (It is asthetically beautiful)…..but it is a crap load of duckets just to have someone at bike night say something like “Wow….thats a nice Buell”. I frankly dont see it selling well and the lack of initial buyer shows it to be true. I do wish them the best. I also know what its like to bring a hard developed product to the market and struggle to sell it. I also agree with Fred M. There is no track pedigree to be had, they are calling some of their models “collector” this and that but collection of what? A pretty but less than capable bike for the sake of it looking good? AC Cobras were legendary for their race day exploits and thats what made them the true collectibles they are now and always will be. The comparison (American muscle motor with euro chassis) simply looks like an attempt at coat tail riding. Bottom line to me is its nice custom, but not ground breaking in any meaningful way as to justify a dedicated marque.

  5. says

    I think that the long chain and the right foot gear change (am I wrong ? I think they used the S&S Sportster gearbox) AND the price has put people off.
    Only ever saw one in England at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

  6. akaaccount says

    In that picture it looks like there’s some kind of idler point in the tensioned side of the chain, or else the chain will just saw on the swingarm. Maybe it runs straight when the rider sits on it and the suspension sags but it looks like pretty sketchy to me.

  7. B50 Jim says

    It’s a muscle car on two wheels, pure and simple. Adequate handling, adequate comfort, and massive, hold-on-tight, can’t-stop-grinning torque and horsepower when and where you want it. Avinton deserves a shot, but as with so many other custom, big-buck bikes out there, the market might not be big enough to support it.

  8. Frank says

    So sad that people put off this bike without even knowing who build it (Joel Domergue). It is definitely the bike of my dreams and I was really considering it for a while. On the other hand I already have a Buell and a Sportster (soon to be converted into a Café Racer) so it would be a whole lot of money for something I alredy have. apart form that it really puzzles me that they have changed the name. We´ve seen that before and I wouldn´t be too suprised if Avinton wold follow Voxan into oblivion…

  9. Mike says

    What`s the point?. Many bikes perform as well or better for many less $$$. Maybe exclusivetivity is worth it to those with more $$ than sense. Don`t think there`s enough of them to make this a marketable success. You could have a one off bike of your dreams for that $. And the same dealer network.

  10. David Duarte says

    Love the bike, but the price is ridiculous! Knock at least $30,000 off the price, and it might sell. Who the hell has money these days for that kind of bike?