Scorpion, by Canjamoto

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 10, 2007
Everyone knows that a scorpion has a sting in its tail and should be admired from a respectable distance. However, this isn’t the case with Richard Minott’s Scorpion motorcycle–quite the reverse in fact, as the Toronto designer is finding that bike fans just can’t keep their hands off it.

"We got the Scorpion ready for the Montreal motorcycle show earlier this year and put it on the BMW Motorrad stand. The first thing I noticed was that people couldn’t stop touching it. I was standing back from the crowds with my camera and took lots of pictures of people with their hands all over it."

The Scorpion–which was also on display at the inaugural BMW Motorrad Summerfest meeting at Mosport racetrack north of Toronto in July–was built in three months but has been 14 years in the making ever since Minott first sketched his initial design concept while studying at the Ontario College of Art in 1993. Now working as a sales associate in the premier BMW Toronto dealership, Minott’s starting point to bring the Scorpion project to reality was a R 1200 S sports boxer, donated by BMW Canada.

Cuba Massey with the Canjamoto Scorpion.
The crew (from left to right) Richard Minott, Garfield Minott and Robert Lukasiewicz.

“I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was nine years old,” says Minott. “When I was 11, I tried to build my own motorcycle. I’ve always been interested in pulling bikes apart to see how everything fits together and my original design for the Scorpion was based on an old Suzuki TL-R that I’d owned. However, when I started selling motorcycles for BMW, I adapted it for the R 1200 S and there are even some design cues taken from the R 1100 S on the Scorpion.”

Originally from the West Indies, Minott comes from a talented and artistic family. His father won an art scholarship when he was in Jamaica and his brother Garfield–who was instrumental in providing the technique for rapid modelling, and has helped with the shaping of the Scorpion’s exotic curves–has been sculpting since he was six years old. Richard Minott’s other brother, Bonneville (just like the famous salt flats), has an engineering company that is helping with the project. Richard has also been working with a firm that provides turbos to develop the turbo-charged engine to produce an estimated 160 horsepower at the rear wheel.

The small Toronto-based company known as Canjamoto (Canadian Jamaican Motorsports) had originally produced only a mock-up, but such is the interest in this bike that they are planning to make it to order, with the first customer delivery expected to take place early in 2008.

The Scorpion can be specified in carbon-fibre or fibreglass bodywork, with a standard black paint finish, or a specially commissioned design carried out by the team’s airbrush artist Rob Lukasiewicz. There is also a choice of a turbo-charged or normally aspirated Scorpion. All rider information will be provided by a ‘heads-up’ display rather than conventional gauges, and a choice of screen can be specified depending on intended use.

With the Scorpion, Minott’s goal is to create motorcycles that have the presence and feel of exotic cars, and the smooth surfaces, aggressive stance and exposed engine and chassis leave you in no doubt of this machine’s potential.

“Our plan is to deliver the most exciting motorcycle our imagination will allow,” he says. “It’s been a tough journey to get the Scorpion to this point but where there’s a will, there’s always a way. Some nights we hardly slept as we were in the studio and the workshop trying out things, but we think it’s been worth the struggle. You climb a mountain one step at a time and in doing this project, we hope that it will inspire some of the younger generation to realize their potential. If this takes off who knows what it could lead to? I’ve got a design based on the K Series platform that is even wilder than the Scorpion, as well as the possibility of using a clean energy power source, but that’s for another day.”

One of the best views of the Scorpion’s swooping bodywork.