The small Baltic nation, and EU member state, the Republic of Estonia lies in the northeast part of Europe right between Russia and the Baltic Sea. It was once part of the Soviet empire during the Cold War, but it won its independence in 1991 along with many former Eastern Bloc states when the iron curtain fell. Since that time, Estonia has been working very hard to become one of the economic engines of Europe. The Great Recession, though, has slowed their ascendance just as it has most of us who do not work in the hedge fund industry. However, a small company which was recently born again - as is the modern trend - thanks to several entrepreneurs interested in reviving the marque, is doing its best to improve the financial underpinnings of the Estonian state.
Renard Cycles was born in 1938 when they started building small motorized bicycles for their home market in the capital city of Tallinn. At the time, Renard used Sachs engines in their own simple frame; the machines sold well but World War II came along and their factory was destroyed by Soviet bombers. The new Renard is much different from its origins, though. Now they have set themselves up as a boutique manufacturer not unlike Italy’s NCR. So, high quality and low production will be the Renard hallmarks in the 21st century.
The first motorcycle design released to the masses from Renard is their Grand Tourer. The engine is a Moto Guzzi Quattrovalvole 1200cc V-twin, though no information is provided on whether it is ‘tuned’ or altered in any way. The chassis is the true highlight of this bike; it is a carbon fiber/Kevlar monocoque which weighs a featherweight 24.25lbs (11Kg)! The front fork is a carbon fiber girder-style design which uses a high-end Ohlins shock for suspension – Ohlins also supplies the rear suspender. Wheels are five-spoke carbon fiber, which are slowed by ISR braking components. The entire machine is loaded with the highest quality pieces in the industry and the GT oozes style and substance. It looks like it should be in a museum…and will likely be priced like it too.
The 2011 Renard Grand Tourer will be available sometime next year. For more information, please click here: http://renardmotorcycles.com/