Ecosse Moto Works’ Heretic X3 is the epitome of an elite exotic motorcycle. The high-dollar two-wheeler is a combination of raw American muscle, Italian framework, and top-shelf Swedish suspension that all add up to a rather unusual sum that straddles the line between several genres of motorcycle. Only 100 of these bikes were produced, though “EMW” would go on to release a super limited edition Heretic Titanium which was at one time the world’s most expensive motorcycle at $270,000 (the damn thing made a claimed 218ft-lbs of torque!). This rare Heretic example is #41 of 100 and includes several add-ons making this already impressive model that much more trick and well-farkled. Love it or hate it, it’s a fascinating machine.
Ecosse Moto Works was started by Denver, Colorado-based husband and wife duo Don and Wendy Atchison (who were Confederate and Bimota dealers prior to starting up their elite brand). Unfortunately, both Confederate and Bimota were experiencing some tough financial times when the Atchisons were trying to move their bikes which ultimately led the couple to starting Ecosse. “At that point, we thought the only way we’re ever going to do these kinds of things is to do them ourselves”, explained Don. The story starts back when Don was in grad school after already getting his BS in mechanical engineering. He’d grown up riding dirt and sport bikes but had gotten into Harleys when he got back into riding.
“It drove me nuts that Harley’s wouldn’t turn, [and] wouldn’t brake. I thought, ‘Why can’t someone retain the fun and torque of that motor in a chassis that works?’” said Don. Fast forward to 2001 and Ecosse Moto Works was founded. EMW would spend three years developing the Heretic, creating two increasingly evolved prototype machines before churning out the third version; the X3 which would go into production. “I was a fan of Leonardo Da Vinci, and he’s known as the original heretic,” EMW’s CEO stated when explaining the machine’s moniker.
Powering the Heretic is a billet aluminum, 45-degree hand-built and assembled 120 ci (1,966cc) V-twin with a dynamically balanced crank that greatly reduces engine vibration. The powerful American V-twin makes a claimed 130 hp and 137 ft-lbs of torque. Married to the engine is a six-speed close ratio gearbox made by (Burt) Baker with final overdrive gear. The beefy small-production powerplant inhales through Mikuni 45mm flat slide carbs while burnt fumes are spit from hand-crafted Ecosse two-into-one-into-two dual under tail titanium exhausts with stainless headers. Cycle World’s Mark Hoyer compared riding the Heretic to “Carrying a weapon (with the) trigger at the right handgrip”.
The engine is – from what I understand – more or less just a Harley engine that has been thoroughly massaged. The Evo-style power-plant also has a primary drive that is roughly four inches shorter than a standard H-D primary drive in order to get the swing-arm pivot as far forward as possible. Cycle World did an extensive write-up on the Heretic about a decade ago that’s more than worth checking out if you’re intrigued by this extravagant scoot. If I had to compare Ecosse to another company, I would say they aren’t that different from Arch Motorcycle, albeit I’m curious as to how they would stack up against each other.
What really makes the Heretic shine lies in the frame and suspension. The frame, sub-frame, and swing-arm are all composed of trick 4130 chrome-moly tubing. The chassis and swingarm are heavily derived from Italian superbike designs while the suspenders are equally sport/race oriented, being made up of special upside-down fully adjustable Ohlins units fore and aft manufactured specifically for Ecosse.
The majority of the components on the Heretic are race-oriented, and even the materials used to build the bike are derived straight from the track. The brakes on the exotic V-twin are ISR dual six-piston radial calipers with 320mm full-floating damped disks in front and 260mm single two-piston unit in back. The 4.2 gallon tank is all handmade from a carbon fiber/carbon kevlar/fiberglass matrix blend. The headlight housing, fenders, tail-section, tachometer shroud, air-filter cover, and seat pan are all made from carbon fiber. Carbon BST wheels are an optional add-on over the standard 17-inch O.Z. forged aluminum rims.
The adjustable footpegs have a dozen different positions and the bike itself has 6.5 inches of ground clearance and in total the bike weighs in at 452lbs. The instrumentation on the Heretic is made up of an analog tach with a digital LCD speedo. The exclusive model also boasts three separate riding modes: dragster, road racer, and cruiser. Each machine comes with a plaque with its corresponding sequential production number too. With a retail price of about $65,000 new – before any taxes, fees, or add-ons – you pretty much expect this caliber of machine. One of my favorite subtle touches is that the legally-required DOT symbols for the kill-switch, horn, and the script on the master cylinder saying what DOT to use are all machined into the parts. “I refused to do stickers,” said Don. I love it.
Because the Heretic was a small batch production run, the folks at Ecosse Moto Works opted to allow customers a wide range of options to personalize the expensive American sled. Buyers could select from a wide range of pearl colors or a clear-coated raw carbon option, as well as their choice of any color for the frame and swing-arm’s powder coating. Wheels came in the choice of black or silver, as did the handlebars, and there was the option for a plusher seat or a sexier low profile saddle. Lastly, buyers had their choice between MOMO Design leather or carbon grips. Optional add-ons included a polished engine upgrade, further custom paint work, custom ergonomics configurations, and a GP shift pattern conversion (one up, five down).
This particular Heretic example only has 160 original miles on the odo and is in damn near perfect condition. This 2006 bike sports a black livery with red highlights and lots of exposed carbon fiber underneath a clear coat. The photos of the bike reveal an absurd amount of billet parts like the piece the taillight fits into that supports the exhausts and indicators. CRG bar-end mirrors came standard on the Heretic and are still on this bike. The sale also includes a Pit Bull rear-stand, full factory owner’s manual, and dust-cover.
You can find this 2006 Ecosse Moto Works Heretic X3 (VIN: 1E9S12GG46D30904) for sale here on Craigslist in Las Vegas, Nevada with a price of $36,999.