La Bulla Is a Restyled Buell XB12X Ulysses With Rugged Utilitarian Looks and a New Attire

La Bulla 13 photos
Photo: Mattia Negrini Fotografo via Pipeburn
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The custom bike scene across the globe has its titans – firms which have risen to fame through hard work and consistency. For every famous shop there are several underrated ones, though, so you’re guaranteed to come across some hidden gems if you dig deep. GDesign over in Italy is a perfect example, and the man behind the scenes clearly doesn’t mess around!
He goes by the name of Giacomo Galbiati and has somehow managed to fly under our radar for quite some time. Today is the day we change that, though, because a one-off marvel like the utilitarian adventure bike shown above cannot be ignored! It calls itself La Bulla and had once been a stock Buell XB12X Ulysses from the model-year 2006.

If we were to pick the one project that does the best job at showcasing Giacomo’s abilities, this would certainly be it. Let’s have a quick rundown on the donor’s technical specifications before diving into the custom work performed by GDesign. The XB12X is powered by an air-cooled 1,203cc V-twin with two valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 10:1. In the region of 6,800 rpm, the engine can produce a very healthy 103 hp at the crankshaft.

On the other hand, a peak torque output of 84 pound-feet (114 Nm) will be achieved at 6,000 spins per minute. Stopping power comes from a 375 mm (14.8-inch) perimeter disc and a six-piston caliper at the front, along with a 240 mm (9.4-inch) rotor and a single-piston caliper at the rear. We won’t go into any details about the suspension, though, because Signor Galbiati did away with the original Showa equipment.

Although the standard upside-down forks are still in play, they’ve been fitted with premium Hyperpro internals to spice things up. The same brand supplied a new piggyback shock absorber for the bike’s rear end, and unsprung territory is now home to laced aftermarket wheels on both ends. Their rims are hugged by high-grade TKC 80 Twinduro rubber from Continental, providing plentiful grip both on and off the tarmac.

La Bulla
Photo: Mattia Negrini Fotografo via Pipeburn
The motorcycle’s fuel-bearing frame and swingarm were given a thorough clean-up right after the initial teardown had been performed. However, the bodywork department is clearly where the heavy lifting took place, as all the factory garments have been ditched to make way for bespoke replacements. Aluminum was Giacomo’s material of choice, and his proficiency in metalwork is clear as day here.

Right in the center, La Bulla carries a faux fuel tank complete with orange custom badges, which were designed by combining Buell’s logo with that of Harley-Davidson. What looks like the filler cap at first is actually the top of an aftermarket pod filter, but we’ll get to the intake and exhaust mods a bit later on. A custom high-mounted fender is attached to the lower triple clamp at the front.

It sits right below a grilled twin-headlight assembly that shares the same bracket as the instrumentation, and there is a deliberately industrial vibe about the whole setup. The same can be said for the rear-end equipment, which comprises a modified subframe topped with a two-piece saddle and a purposeful luggage rack. There is also a boxy taillight housing with LED componentry in that area.

La Bulla
Photo: Mattia Negrini Fotografo via Pipeburn
Attached beneath it is a handmade license plate holder, joined by a bespoke battery box that doesn’t even try to be discreet. The last piece of custom bodywork we need to mention is a plain skid plate encasing the engine’s underside and keeping it out of harm’s way. Some noteworthy accessories scattered throughout this build include the billet aluminum foot pegs and front LED turn signals.

The cockpit area is kept simple and devoid of any unnecessary clutter, featuring a cross-braced handlebar complete with adjustable control levers and minimalistic switches. As you can certainly tell, there are no rear-view mirrors to speak of. When it came time to address the powertrain mods, the mastermind at GDesign first busied himself with an invigorating rebuild inside out.

He then turned his attention to the intake and exhaust, giving the former a top-grade DNA pod filter for ample airflow. Gassy combustion by-products travel through a stainless-steel exhaust system from HP Corse, fashioned as a two-into-one arrangement and terminating down low on the right-hand side. With all these bits and pieces in place, Giacomo only had to finish off the paintwork before calling it a day.

We’ve already mentioned the striking orange badges, but the use of paint was actually very sporadic as far as La Bulla is concerned. A greyish shade of green is present in various places, such as the triple clamps, headlight housings, and some of the engine covers. The custom-made aluminum overalls feature a brushed finish over bare metal, bringing the utilitarian theme full circle and letting Giacomo Galbiati’s handiwork get the attention it deserves.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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