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Venier Customs ’87 Moto Guzzi V35 C – “Diabola”

Posted on August 25, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Classic. 56 comments

As if the gods are screwing with us, the post immediately after the world’s greatest Firestone Squigglies poll turns out to be a bike that looks so good wearing the things, there ought to be a law against it. Meet one of Moto Guzzi’s lesser-known creations; the weird little brother of the V7 who doesn’t speak much and likes to set things on fire… the V35 C. In original “C” form it was, believe it or not, a cruiser (Harley Davidson – so much to answer for). But thanks to NYC’s Stefano Venier and his shop Venier Customs Motorcycles, it’s no longer a lardy 80s misfit, but rather a lean, mean ridin’ machine. Which still starts fires.

Here’s Stefano. “I’m 32 years old and I started modifying motorcycles when I was a kid. Living in the Italian country side, the only thing me and my brother Marco had and still have were motors and long streets. We are from Friuli in the north east of Italy, living in Cordenons in the exact middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, my family was and still is against whatever I do around motors.”

“Dear Mom and Dad. You don’t understand the smell of it…”

“So basically they don’t understand the reason why I’m still around customizing stuff, I’m a grown man now with a business in New York. I will get married at the end of the year, so why should I still care about that motorcycle thing? Well dear Mom and Dad, I deeply love you, but you guys don’t understand and you never will… you don’t understand the smell of it, or the smile you get when an old bike that doesn’t start from decades sings again.”

“In 2006 I moved to New York and founded with Bartolomeo Bellati, where I’m the co-founder and design director. I don’t really look at other bikes when I design, I just try to think how that bike could become cool, I look in the market for parts I think would fit my idea and I design using hand sketches and Photoshop helps a lot for colors.”

“Now I’m starting to make custom tanks as well – I draw it first by hand and then with Autocad. For this bike we used glossy black paint everywhere leaving the motor with his patina we basically just washed it, we figured that was helping the design have a compact look using all black, and actually it came out right. I would say that we made the design out of my sketches but then we improvised as well.”

“I’m currently working with two new Moto Guzzis; one Scrambler made out from a 750cc Police bike and a race bike made out of a V75.”

  • davmo

    Love the metal. The rubber…not so much.

    • gone

      + 1 . The rubber doesn’t fit the design on this one

      • davmo

        There had to be a last man with a mullet… well, maybe not, but at some point, the fascination with this particular tire will fade. The first time I saw them, used years ago on a retro-military themed bike, they looked really cool. Every once in a while, there is a vintage bike where they still look good to me, but when they show up on a bike like this one, it makes me scratch my head.

        • Well, according to the poll, 48% of you think they are design classics, so I wouldn’t be holding my breath for them to go away if I were you…

          • gone

            I never asked for the TIRES to go way Andrew ! I Simply stated they didn’t fit this bike . Naaah ! Its those butt ugly , butt killing , eyesore , loaf of bread saddles I want to go the way of the DoDo bird .

            But …. as to the tires . Wanna place a wager as to how long those Firestones will hang around despite the polls ? I’ll guess another 24 months . Trends are trends and trends at some point always die out . Or at the very least fade away

          • davmo

            I suppose there was a moment when the mullet might have drawn similar percentages…Ah, the passage of time changes everything. As far as them going away, I only said they would fade as a fashion…sort of like “Members Only” jackets. They are still around, just not so popular as they once were. Now if you have a mullet and I insulted you, I apologize.

          • What if I have a mullet AND a Members Only jacket AND ride on Firestones? Does that make me cool or am I in trouble??? At this point I just don’t know anymore!!!

  • This sweet little testanegra is just pretty from all angles. A babe always looks good in basic black. I even like her shoes.

    P.S. You guys at Pipeburn make it tough on us when you post something so pretty. If you want us yelling and scratching and pulling each others hair out, I don’t think this bike is the trick.

    • gone

      Patso Tony ! Dusi Patso ! :o)

      • We know you two are lovers. Don’t try and deny it.

        • gone


    • arnold

      testanegra? brioche? doppelganger? I am awed at the inter nationality of it all. And the fact y’all are polysyllabic in your posits.

      • I just do it to show off. By the way – can I have two testanegras on brioche, one for me and one for my doppelganger?

  • Robert F. Russo

    The last photo finally got it right. Black bike – light background. Nice scoot!

  • Like the color, like style, like the scarpe – what’s not to like.

    • gone

      That loaf of bread goram saddle …. thats what !

      • I would call this more of a pizza saddle rather than a loaf of bread – maybe a pita. We used to call a thick saddle on a brit bike a “loaf of bread”.. But thin saddles can be comfortable. My Monte Foreman Balanced Ride close contact reining saddle has no padding and it’s very easy to ride.

        • gone

          Its not the comfort I’m disliking . Heck the Brooks saddles on my bike and bicycles are solid leather and IMO more comfortable than anything else . Its the looks of these loaf of bread travesties I despise and wish’d finally go out of style . Flat – ugly – shapeless and boring sums it up . Heck a 5 year old could design something better than these things

          • 1 Sourdough

            Hi Guitar Slinger; I am bewildered by your posts. Here’s why; I have seen a lot of fancy styled motorcycle saddles which looked good but were killers to ride. If a saddle isn’t aesthetically appealing that’s OK to me because my interest isn’t mostly in looking but in riding. If it isn’t comfortable after three or six hours into the ride, that’s a serious problem. My motors usually have a few bug splats and some road grime on them so
            they’re not lined up with the show machines when I attend a rally. The long, flat seats Guzzi put on their machines in the 70s & 80s were more comfortable to me than most of what I have sat on lately, including some of the custom work. Is a compromise possible here, or are we on totally different levels?

          • nobby

            guitar slinger, you do fill fill us in on your life.

          • I chuckled.

          • gone

            @Pipeburn_Andrew:disqus – You would ! 😉

          • gone

            nobby – Thppppppppppppppt !

          • gone

            1 sourdough – Butt ugly is butt ugly is butt ugly and these saddles are butt ugly

  • Gonzo

    Lose the ugly-ass, lame, overdone Firestones, put some grippy rubber there, and then it would be a great bike.

    • “You do not know what you want, Luigi knows what you want.” – Luigi from Cars

      • gone

        Hey ! Count Guitalfavatori he tell a you what a you want . Capice ! You no wanna dis a bike . You wanna one a da betta Guzzi customs from a da Italy or a da Germans : or a maybe one a from dos Wrench a Monkees up north ! Not a dis a one . Capice ?

        • “They often fought. Who was the best Ferrari. Who looked more like-a the Ferrari. And there were even some non-Ferrari arguments.”

          • gone

            Methinks there’s a bit o’ “Slinger’ envy going on here Andrew ! :o)

          • Slinger!? Tony was the one who dropped the Cars quote…

  • revdub

    After spending some time looking at stock v35’s, I’m amazed at the transformation! Stock, they are about as ugly as they come. This is sleak and clean and looks great. Kudos to the builder.

  • Glocker

    I love that particualr style of tank on a Guzzi. I saw a custom V35 cruiser the other day that I wish I could have gotten a picture of. The color they used for the bike (silver) with the gold Guzzi logo and the work they did on it just looked perfect! And I’m not into cruisers! The bike above is beautiful in its simplicity. The tires are kinda of so so for me. On one hand, they look like overinflated balloons. But on the other hand, the vintage look looks good.

  • KrookStreetRacing

    Very pretty. Love the understated look of the bike. Well done. And with the [lack of] power of that medieval contraption in the middle, those tires are fine. Trust me.

  • gone

    Finally . TS and I disagree …. to a point . This Guzzi IMO is ……….. OK . Not the best custom Guzzi I’ve seen . Not the worst either . Just …… OK . Except ………………… ( y’all can see this one coming I’ll bet ) ……. for ……………………….. it having another of those ………. GORAM UNIMAGINATIVE BORING AS ________ LOAF of BREAD …. saddles !!!

    Seriously . Note to all custom builders ; Brioche’s are for the Table ….. NOT sitting on !

    ( At last I get to introduce the avatar here as well ; having finally joined Disqus … )

    • Welcome back GS. Your doppelganger was so nice and agreeable he was giving me the willies.

      • gone

        Bad form Manxman ! I likes what I likes and aint afraid to say so when I don’t !

        • I think we’re in agreement about a lot of things – Ferrari 250 SWB Berlinettas being one of them. Having a doppelganger isn’t so bad – somethimes mine is the only one I can really talk to .; ) So, let’s all four of us go for a ride sometime to the local pub – I’ll buy the first round. Tony can come along too, but he’ll have bring his alter ego.

          • gone

            Deal ! And oh yeah baby . The 250 SWB .

  • waynesb

    Damn way to rub it in Pipeburn – I missed out bidding on a V50 on trademe Friday night… Doh!

  • JimmyR14

    A bike like this could almost convert me to Moto Guzzi. I really like it. Obviously there are things I would have to change if I wanted to ride it around where I live without being hassled by people who know what’s good for me, but regardless, it’s a fine looking bike.

    BTW I wonder how many people who complain about these seats have actually ridden a bike with a seat like this? The seat on my bike has a bum stop (courtesy the fine folks at Pipeburn in fact!) but otherwise is about as thick as the one pictured above. I can ride the bike for hours and not have any problems at all.

  • arnold

    Perhaps to be featured in the new Ghost Rider movie?

    • gone

      They’re doing a sequel ? Eeesh . Thats too bad . One was more than enough IMHO

      • arnold

        Sorry GS, but it would be the third one. I understand that Nic Cage has issues with the IRS and needs the payday. For what its worth (fwiw, see I am capable of the 20 th century) I haven’t seen any of the films.

        • arnold

          Though I liked him in Dancing with Wolves. Oh damn, that was the other guy.

  • PGearbox

    Reminds me of a Moto guzzi version of the Rough Crafts Iron Guerilla.

  • nobby

    That bike rocks. Very clean, very nice.

  • Jeroen London

    Not so sure about the tank, maybe with someone on it? Allround a beauty!

  • iceblue

    I love the Guzzi SB’s – I own a few, amoung others a V35C – really nice when others appreciate their spirit and soul. Love to see the V75 when done. If it’s an 8V version, make sure the valve train is appropriately modified before flogging her.

  • tmcsp

    Very cool bike, and almost perfect. But it’s missing three things I think. 1 inch taller rear shocks would give it a super badass aggressive stance (and improve travel distance before that rear tire rubs the fender). It needs a cool little front fender. More to give the brake lines and speedo cable a place to live without rubbing the front wheel, but also for a smidgeon of dirt protection. Finally it with some good sticky rubber it would be a fantastic machine. Able to be ridden as hard as it looks.
    To me all motorcycles should be able to GO as well as they show. Otherwise it’s lost its purpose as a motorcycle.

  • KP

    The angles in the side covers, wheels, exhaust and frame don’t jive with the curvy tank. I think if it had a more geometric tank it would complete the look.

  • cruz

    Just great Guzzi.

  • c500

    Love those 90 Degree V Twins..

  • Great commuter!!! Top Rock-style!!!
    New V7 Stone looks about the same, but has better performance, lower consumption, fewer emissions, 22lt fuel-tank etc at a higher-Price!!!


    Nice bike.. how much can you or you willing to sale that bike?

  • primozz

    What are the dimensions on these tyres?

    Thanks, Primoz