We have seen many strange things in our time: Men who look like women. Women who look like dogs. Chevrolets powered by flathead Fords. The V-6 Alfa bike — downdraft Webers?!? — might just take the cake.
When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a dorm that began life as a hotel. (A very, very crappy hotel.) Because this building wasn't designed to be a dorm, it was both tall and gifted with a huge picture window in each room. My room was on the seventh floor; it overlooked a busy city intersection, an outpost of the world's worst/best taco chain, and a rest home. My roommate and I spent many, many nights sitting on the couch getting drunk, playing Gran Turismo, and watching traffic.
Oh, traffic: It was an education unto itself. Predictably, there were patterns. The streets got thick during rush hour and thin in the middle of the day; pedestrians were usually headed away from the interstate; and at three in the morning, at least five drunk frat guys would stumble over to the restaurant across the street and try to walk through the drive-thru. And then there was the Aldi Guy.
The Aldi Guy was, and remains, a mystery. He was a scraggly black dude in his thirties, and he appeared in the crosswalk every day at 10:30. He always wore a long trench coat, white sneakers, and a dark hoodie, and he always carried a plastic Aldi bag.
He emerged from the east side of the city, running — always running — waited patiently at the crosswalk, crossed, and then ran west. At 3:30 in the afternoon, he repeated his act in reverse. This happened every day, rain or shine, and he was so punctual that you could set your watch by his actions. Fittingly, he was as impenetrable as he was regular: People who tried to ask him questions met with silence, and none of the locals seemed to know anything about him. The school rugby team once paced him on his run through campus, jogging alongside, and he never said a word. When I left college four years later, he was still there, still running, still carrying that same damn Aldi bag.
I mention this not out of affection or nostalgia but because, in many ways, he reminds me of the motorcycle you see here. Why does a man mate a 2.5-liter, 156-hp Alfa V-6 to a Harley-Davidson four-speed and install it in an off-the-shelf frame? Why does he then put two Weber downdrafts in the vee and route the velocity stacks through the tank? Why does a dude regularly run through a major midwestern city like his ass is on fire? No one knows, and the mystery is part of the appeal — some things are meant to be accepted and marveled at, not understood. Answers just diminish their impact.
On that note, we give you what one man calls the Alfabeast. We are not inclined to disagree with this choice, and we will not ask questions. But we will say thanks. Today we salute you, Mr. Alfa V-6 Motorcycle Guy. You put the "crazy" in "crazy-cool motorcycle weirdness," and your Aldi bag is full of Win.
Addendum: The dude responsible for this thing also built (or is building) a cool street-tracker with a Ducati single in it, something called the DesmoHog (!), and a bike with a 2.7-liter, four-cam Maserati V-6 in the middle. Right on.
(Hat tip to Chris!)