Viper Motorcycle Company Shows First Production Motorcycle

The Diablo is the first step in its maker's plans for a line of proprietary motorcycles. The company's prototypes wore Norton logos. By _ Art Friedman.

The Viper Motorcycle Company has rolled out production examples of the Diablo, the first motorcycle model the firm will sell.

The Viper Diablo uses a rubber-mounted 127-cubic-inch (2080cc) billet engine from Patrick Racing with a six-speed transmission from Baker Drivetrain with the final-drive belt on the right. Other features include air-pressure-adjustable suspension, an inverted fork design, billet swingarm, flush taillights, and unique inside-the-frame bodywork that shrouds the center of the bike and flows into the seat base/rear fender.

We are pleased to see that the stark, clean lines of the first prototypes remain intact on the production bikes. Those early bikes were showed with Norton logos, but disputes arose over the Norton trademark. Rather than expend resources in a fight for a nameplate that was last attached to -- and still associated with -- very British vertical-twin motorcycles, the company took a settlement and switched to the Viper brand, which we think better suits its American-style products.

Although these first motorcycle models use a Harley-pattern engine, albeit with many unique features including using billet for major visible components, Viper is reportedly continuing to pursue a proprietary engine design. The company was apparently ready to buy Canadian engine maker Merch Performance, Inc. when the motor-maker ran into financial problems before that happened. Viper turned to Patrick, which is supplying its highly respected engines as original equipment exclusively to Viper.

The Viper Diablo will retail for $29,995, and the forthcoming Vago, with a 100-cubic-inch billet engine, will be priced at $21,995. For additional details, see the Viper Motorcycle Company website or contact the company at:
5212 Whispering Oaks Drive
Dallas, Texas 75236

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The prototype shown earlier this year.