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Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Scott in Café Racer. 8 comments

This Guzzi was sent in by George Dockray from Vancouver who used to be an airplane mechanic but is now a pilot flying float planes around the B.C Coast. I thought it would be best to let George describe this unique Guzzi build: “This particular Guzzi was inspired by the contenders at Cartagena, Spain in the vintage series there. I had seen various things on the web about the series and then four years ago I flew over there to see for myself. Guzzi’s dominate the series, especially a rider and builder named Manel Segarra. Suitably enthused, I decided to build a “Segarra Replica” of sorts – a heated up version of the Guzzi hot rod I already had. Kind of a classic case of “what happens when you heat the garage”. The project was acquired piece by piece, built and assembled over about 2 1/2 years. The idea was to have a cafe-come 70’s endurance racer with some reasonable up-dates and conveniences”.

“Most of the metal fabrication I did myself. Paint, welding and fiberglass fabrication I left to others. My fabrication experience is from aircraft so that’s reflected in the way it’s built. Much of what most people would have welded, I riveted together. It makes for a lighter structure, generally. The electrical system was built from scratch and incorporates a Valentine 1 radar detector and “Blinder” police laser jammer. The engine is far from radical – ’79 1000SP cases, Megacycle X10 cam, 40mm dellorto carbs, V11 Sport flywheel, 1977 LeMans 1 heads (dual-pluged & ported by Mike Rich), home-built headers and modified “Scorpion” megaphone / muffler for a GSXR1000. Gearbox is a stock-as-a-stove Guzzi 5-speed coupled to a 1000SP final drive both overhauled and tweaked by Charley Cole. Barrels are from a ’75 850T, bored & Nikasiled with JE pistons (10.5:1 CR). Ignition and voltage regulator from Sachse. Horn is a 139 db Stebel, all lights except for the headlight are LED’s with Kisan headlight & taillight modulators. Shocks are from YSS racing suspensions”.

“The steering angle was reduced from the stock 28 deg. to 25.5 deg. Front forks and triple clamps from a ’95 Sport 1100 giving ~100mm trail. Rims are Excel & hubs from a ’76 T3. Tires are Dunlop AM23 “street compound”. Tank & seat from Manel Segarra “Guzzi Motobox”, Terragona, Spain & painted V11 “Tenni” mat finish green. Kombi tach-speedo from Moto Spezial, Germany.The finished unit weighs about 425 lb. with 1/4 tank of fuel. HP is about 80 at the rear wheel at 8000 RPM. This motorcycle is a brute, there is nothing subtle about it. Kinda loud, but in a good way, or as Tom Waits put it, “like the ghost of Gene Krupa with glass-packs”. A true hooligan machine”. If you want to see more Guzzi race bikes check out this impressive compilation put together by George.


  • George – great bike. I saw just one pic awhile ago, so it is nice to see a write-up and more pics. I have a V11 and I am interested in the speedo unit from Moto Spezial. It looks fantastic with 2 analog needles. How is that working out for you? Was the company ok to work with?


  • George

    Moto Spezial was fine – no problems and orders in English were OK. Gage was easy to install, though instructions were in German only but wiring diagram was not too hard to figure out.

  • julian

    Hi George
    great bike, i have a iv lemans which the front end is knackered, but i also have a front end from a 1100 sport 1995, i was thinking of copying what you have done and swop them over. Do you have drawings for the plates that hold the calipiers on or can i buy them from some where. Also did you press the head stock spindle out and swop them over and did you change the speering head angle because you were using different yokes, would i get away with just swop the yokes and forks and maintain the good handling.

    cheers julian

  • George

    Hi Julian,

    I didn't make a drawing for the caliper brackets, but they are easy to replicate using stiff construction paper to make a template with. I just taped the calipers in place on the discs where I wanted them and then drew out the shape and matched the wholes. The whole front end is off the bike right now, so if you send me your address I could trace the shapes out and mail them to you.

    For adapting the fork yokes and forks off the Sport 1100, there was no adapting at all – the steering stem is the same diameter at the T3, etc. I did have to make a spacer for the upper triple clamp since the early Tonti frame steering head is about 15mmm or so shorter than the Sport 1100. But other then that, the steering parts fit right in.

    I changed the steering angle to duplicate the Sport 1100 geometry & quicken up the steering a little bit from the regular Tonti (slow) and it seems to work fine. If you were going to install the Sport 1100 yoke on a Tonti frame I would recommend the same.


  • julian

    Hi George
    Thanks for the information, a drawing would be good with the material thickness required, address is
    9 Napier cresent
    because of the difference in stem lenght i was expecting to have to press out and swop the stems over from
    the old to the new yokes, which is a bit of a pain as i have already knocked the one out from the 1100 sport, your spacer
    sounds good, do you think the stem swop will work?

    cheers julian

  • Lars Hansen

    That's a very good looking Guzzi you created!!!! My compliments
    I'm building a 1970 V7 (750) Cafe Racer and that Tenni green paint job on yours is exacly what I'm looking for.
    Do you have the paint code and how is it done. Is it the same color that's used on the V11 Tenni and or the Griso SE??
    Happy new year

  • Mike

    Hi George,

    What a beautiful machine!

    I notice that you strengthened the front end of the frame by welding tubes straight down from the horizontal frame tubes to the engine attachment points, unlike the Segarra team, who have the tubes running down diagonally and welded slightly higher, above the engine's attachment points. I am wondering whether you chose a different design because it made more sense from a structural standpoint? The reason I am asking is that I have a beaten up Jackal that I am thinking of converting into something analogous to your fabulous MG cafe racer and at some point I will have to decide how to strengthen the front end of the frame. Like you, I will have to find someone to do the welding, especially as my skill in that department is next to zero. Maybe Segarra is still doing the mods for a fee if one sends him the frame.

    Also, I was wondering how you changed the rake on your bike all the way from 28 to 25.5 degrees? Did you have to remove the steering stem tube, modify the frame, then re-weld? Or did you come up with a less labour intensive method? If the former, I guess I will just have to live with my current steering angle!! Boohoo!

    Thanks for your comments.


  • Jaydubb

    they get better and better, George -Jason Moto I. Seattle