If you’ve never had the chance to hear a motorcycle with six cylinders in full throttle, you’re missing out on a true mechanical symphony. That’s exactly what Lisbon’s Unik Edition has achieved with their latest project—a café racer built around a screaming six-cylinder Benelli Sei.
The Benelli Sei may not be the most well-known six-cylinder classic motorcycle (that title goes to the Honda CBX), but it was the first production bike to feature a six-cylinder engine. Benelli introduced the 750 Sei in the early 1970s and later released the redesigned 900 Sei in 1979, boasting 80 horsepower and angular bodywork. Only 2,000 units of the Benelli 900 Sei were ever produced, and they came with a hefty price tag.
Tiago Gonçalves and Luis Gonçalves, the founders of Unik Edition (no relation), embarked on this project using a 1979 Benelli 900 Sei, but very little of the original bike remains. They stripped it down to its frame and engine, replacing or rebuilding almost everything else.
“Our goal was to create an incredible machine with six exhausts that is also easy to ride,” says Tiago.
To ensure they built upon a solid foundation, the duo thoroughly refreshed and tuned the engine. Having serviced several six-cylinder Benellis and Hondas before, they were well acquainted with these powerful motors. The Sei’s three Dell’Orto carbs now breathe through new pod filters.
However, it was during the modification of the chassis that things truly became interesting. They started by removing the factory subframe and fabricating a new one. They then made strategic cuts and reinforcements to the frame. The most ambitious modification, though, involved swapping in a single-sided swingarm from an early-2000s Ducati Monster S4R.
This required redesigning the rear end with a new shock mount to accommodate a modern mono-shock setup. It also involved aligning everything, from the swingarm pivot to the sprockets, to fit a wide 190 rear tire.
The rider is greeted by a digital Motogadget speedometer, neatly molded into the headlight housing. Motogadget also supplied the switches, grips, keyless RFID ignition, and bar-end turn signals and mirrors. The handlebars are from LSL, and the throttle is a Domino part.
At the rear, a tidy license plate bracket positions the plate behind the rear wheel without extending the tail section unnecessarily. It features a Koso license plate light and a pair of small Motogadget LED turn signals. Completing the build is the pièce de résistance of any six-cylinder custom bike—the exhaust. Unik Edition crafted a complete stainless steel six-into-six system, featuring three compact mufflers stacked on each side.