Scrambled Buell X1 Lightning Isn't the Type of Custom Bike You See Every Day

Scrambled Buell X1 Lightning 9 photos
Photo: Wouter Mertens
Scrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 LightningScrambled Buell X1 Lightning
Operating in a quaint Dutch village by the name of Wilp, Moto Adonis was established back in 2012 by one Daan Borsje. However, this original founder moved on to other professional endeavors somewhere down the line, so the shop was taken over by Arthur Renkema and Job Leussink. The two had worked with Daan for a few years prior to his departure, and they shared a common vision for the firm moving forward.
Moto Adonis continued to make waves in the custom bike scene under the leadership of Arthur and Job, but the specimen we’ve about to look at was actually built during Daan’s reign. It is a beastly scrambler with menacing looks, custom parts galore, and a strong appetite for off-roading action. The project started with a pretty unlikely candidate, though, it being a Buell X1 Lightning from the early 2000s.

Of course, that’s far from the easiest motorcycle to turn into a rugged scrambler, yet it is a solid basis from a mechanical standpoint. The X1 Lightning’s air-cooled 1,203cc V-twin has 95 hp and 86 pound-feet (116 Nm) of torque at its disposal, which can translate into speeds of up to 135 mph (217 kph). Furthermore, Buell’s titan is able to run the quarter-mile in a respectable 11.5 seconds.

Its running gear is not to be sniffed at, either, with inverted 41 mm (1.6-inch) Showa forks, an adjustable shock absorber, and a beefy six-piston brake caliper up front. Still, scrambling the X1 was no easy feat for Moto Adonis’ ex-frontman and his team, because its stock anatomy was far from the stylistic traits they had in mind.

The first step saw them taking the donor apart and discarding all its chunky stock garments, then the customization process got underway. Some intricate fabrication work was the first course on the menu, so the Dutch bike-modding chefs began by prepping a new aluminum fuel tank to replace the factory part. It comes with a small, but useful storage compartment up top, placed right behind a sport bike filler cap.

Scrambled Buell X1 Lightning
Photo: Wouter Mertens
Further back, we come across a bespoke loop-style subframe with built-in LED turn signals, which replaces the ugly OEM rear skeleton. Atop the Lightning’s freshly-installed subframe, there is a classy two-piece leather saddle, whose rearmost section can be removed to reveal a sneaky luggage rack. Below the main seat, Moto Adonis stashed oil tank, electronics, and a Motogadget controller with Bluetooth connectivity.

Completing the equipment in that area is a handmade fender with integrated LED lighting from Highsider’s catalog. As for the license plate, it now lives atop a swingarm-mounted bracket on the right-hand side, keeping the machine’s rear end as clean as possible up top. Have a look at twelve o’clock, and you’ll find a high-mounted fender preventing mud and grime from going where it shouldn’t.

A potent LED headlight is located a bit higher up, secured in place by way of a frame-mounted tubular steel bracket. It would certainly be bright enough by itself, but the guys also attached a pair of auxiliary spotlights to the frame tubing on the right. The aftermarket sorcery continues in the cockpit, where we notice digital Motogadget instrumentation and a cross-braced handlebar fit for the scrambler label.

Scrambled Buell X1 Lightning
Photo: Wouter Mertens
It wears plain Motone switches, bar-end turn signals, and stylish Motogadget grips, as well as a single rear-view mirror on the left side. Down in the unsprung sector, the X1 carries laced wheels with 17-inch Excel rims fore and aft, both hugged by TKC 80 knobbies from Continental. Installing the new footgear wasn’t exactly a plug-and-play affair, but Moto Adonis managed to pull it off without breaking too much of a sweat.

The original brake calipers have been retained and mated to premium Moto-Master rotors on both ends. Although the Buell’s standard Showa suspension hardware is still present, the forks feature gold-anodized stanchions and the rear shock was rebuilt inside out. Now, the engine was in good shape and capable of spawning enough power without any internal mods, so the only changes had to do with its intake and exhaust.

Air comes in through a tailor-made intake manifold topped with a forward-facing DNA pod filter. On the other hand, gassy combustion by-products are routed through high-mounted plumbing made of stainless-steel, running a two-into-one configuration toward a reverse megaphone muffler. Accompanying heat shields have also been fitted to keep temperatures in check and prevent the rider’s leg from getting cooked.

Finally, this X1 scrambler was covered in black paint for the most part, in a tasteful mixture of gloss and matte finishes to add visual depth. All things considered, the creature won’t be tackling any hardcore trails with its weight and unusual monoshock placement, but it would definitely excel at some mild off-roading. What’s more, Moto Adonis created something truly outstanding by scrambling the Lightning, as you won’t be seeing this sort of build on a daily basis.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories