A story of ordinary technology: The Lunar Project

  • The Lunar Project
  • 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing and the Apollo Missions
  • Cutting-edge technology and materials
  • Made in Italy

The Lunar Project contemporarily celebrates the achievements of the past and the technologies of the future. This project was born in occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the first human Moonwalk and puts together two Italian businesses and their technologies, setting up a new apex in Advanced Manufacturing.

Bercella on one side and Beamit on the other, Composite Materials and Additive Manufacturing, Carboni e Metalli.

Two friends are behind this project, Massimo Bercella – CEO at Bercella – and Michele Antolotti – General Manager at Beamit. The Lunar Project represents their common passion for design, but also their will to promote and explore the utilities of Composites and Additive Manufacturing outside the traditional niches of Aerospace and Motorsport industries. An innovative start-up, born and raised in the Emilia-Romagna’s Motorvalley that symbolizes the state-of-the-art of the involved technologies.

The Lunar Project is based on an old KTM 250 GS, the bike has been reimagined with a futuristic approach, combining vintage details such as a steel frame and a massive 2-stroke engine, with the most advanced technologies currently available on Earth: a Carbon Fiber Sub-frame, a world-first Carbon Fiber and 3D printed Titanium Rear Swingarm, and the 3D printed Alminum Front Fork Mounts to name a few. In this way, stiffness, resistance and lightness are guaranteed.

 

The project explained by the protagonists – Massimo Bercella

How did you come up with the idea of a start-up to join your heritage and your businesses’ expertise?
During the summer of 2017 we started thinking about it because we wanted to increase our technologies’ applications in large scale productions. We looked at each other and we asked ourselves “why not?”

Are there some behind the scenes that more than others contributed to the development of the project the way we know it right now?
There would be a lot, about technical issues and folklore. For istance, Andrea Marola and Stefano Chiavarino, that are now partners of Carboni e Metalli, were studying the first Bi-Components structural optimizations and realised that the software didn’t work properly for our goal; so, they had to develop an alternative method to match our needs. That method is now a fundamental asset in Carboni e Metalli’s expertise, but it has been all but easy to develop!

Is the KTM a family heirloom or did you use that model because it simply best suited your needs?
We used that motorbike because of its emotional bond. In fact, it is part of the Antolotti’s family historical motorbikes collection. And once more we want to thank them for their present.

Do the colours red, white and blue have a particular meaning?
We wanted the Apollo and NASA’s bond to be absolutely clear in the smallest details, from shapes to colours. Red, white and blue are traditionally America’s theme colours, while white and gold wink at the rockets’ heat protections and spacesuits.

 

The project explained by the protagonists – Michele Antolotti

How did The Lunar Project start?
We wanted our first project to be a motorbike, since we are both passionate, and also to be extremely tied with our territory. We started thinking about it but our aim was to build a Story more than just a product, and in that moment we recalled another passion we have in common: Space exploration, that in 2019 celebrated an outstanding milestone: the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. We couldn’t hope in a better coincidence!

Why did you choose a 2-wheels project rather than a 4-wheels one?
A motorbike is simpler than a car under many aspects, such as dimensions and number of components. We are ambitious but we also like to weight our choices.

Are there other upcoming projects?
Well, let’s just say that the jump from 2 to 4 wheels is quite natural…

Why did you participate at Wildays Festival and how was the experience?
This was the kind of project that needs a fixed deadline to be accomplished, and the participation to this event was exactly what we were looking for. The environment was perfect too, and we were able to find our dimension and also win the Best Of Show award. We also went to Motor Bike Expo in Verona and, right before the pandemic, to The One Moto Show in Portland (Oregon).
We have been awarded at each event we’ve been to, so we can say: “mission accomplished!”