Fantastic Plastic

Fantastic Plastic
Photography: Acerbis, KTM Media

Acerbis, a motorcycle components manufacturer and pioneer in plastic fuel tanks, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with an entry in the Guinness World Records. The company’s founder Franco Acerbis took me on a journey through time during this interview.

Ever heard of a motorcycle with a 28-gallon fuel tank? Probably not. Yet, today, such a bike exists.

It is a small Honda Monkey 125, built to cover as many miles as possible on a single tank of fuel to make it into the Guinness World Records. Behind it is the AC50 project, which the Italian company Acerbis launched to celebrate its 50th anniversary and the ingenuity of its founder, Franco Acerbis—76 years old and still going full throttle.

A Mudguard Pioneer

Acerbis originally wanted to be a photographer, but when he applied to study at the Polytechnic University of Milan, all places were taken. So, he signed up for the plastics engineering course instead.

He worked in the sector for a few years before founding his own company—simply titled Acerbis Franco—in 1973, which specialized in sealing fiberglass swimming pools.