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Moto Guzzi V11 by Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Scott in Café Racer. 25 comments


Words by Martin Hodgson.

Moto Guzzi is one of Continental Europe’s classic brands and even more so when you think of Café Racers, making it one of the perfect manufacturers to choose when deciding what bike to base a custom build. But then you go and pick one of their heaviest bikes, all covered in plastic, weighing a gargantuan 500lbs and with an enormously long wheelbase. It seems you like a challenge, one that the boys of Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche in Rome were more than up for!


The Moto Guzzi V11 is an unusual creature, from the visual appearance you would assume it was meant to be a canyon carving light weight, but the specifications reveal the enormous weight, ergonomics and freight train like V-twin to be more of a highway roadster. But the EEM team of Dopz, Schizzo and Massimé saw the potential and as Dopz explains “We believed on what was under those plastics and under those heavy lines to bring out the classic style of a Guzzi bike; to make it a real Guzzi-racer.”


There was a very deliberate plan in the build, strip as much of the unnecessary weight out of the bike while making the most of the mechanical components, even celebrating their mass. With this in mind EEM started at the rear of the bike showing off the unique elements of the shaft drive. A new rear subframe was fabricated to allow for negative space to enhance the mechanicals while the muffler was made particularly small for the bike so as not to impede the machine like vista. The seat is an old hand made Guzzi racer unit the boys found at a local market, with plenty of work to get it just right without taking away any of its character and maintaining a view to the rear shock.


Reduced weight meant a more sporty front end could be utilised and when in Rome… well how could you possibly go past the beauty and performance of a Ducati 998 set of forks, Showa internals and Ducati stopping power, bellísimo! The one problem with such a Ducati setup is the fairly large fluid reservoirs that would normally be hidden behind fairings. But EEM don’t just build, they fabricate and with genius innovation they incorporated both the brake and clutch fluid reservoirs into the top triple tree and devised a system to ensure enough fluid was held so the bike could be ridden hard, “it’s a bike not a steady piece of art!”


At this point you’re probably scratching your head about the tank and just where it comes from, I know I was. Knowing it clearly wasn’t the original, as hard as I tried I just couldn’t think which fellow Italian had lent its metal. That’s because this tank not only comes from the Suzuki factory in the land of the rising sun it has been heavily modified to slim it down and improve the sideline profiles. But there was a problem, unlike the Guzzi item there was no internal fuel pump, not a big issue for the skilled men at EEM who fabricated an external system you’ll probably never see. The same treatment was given to the normally complex Guzzi oil system, whereas many builders simply block lines off or add filters, EEM instead improved the systems performance while reducing its bulk.


Then there are the details that really set this build apart, the stunning 1950’s Falcone Sport headlight that retains its worn feel but perfectly houses a digital dash. The exhaust that while new looks like it could have been salvaged from a much earlier time, the same worn metal look featuring on the valve covers, tank cap and the re-work subframe. All of which works in harmony with the 1970’s V7 Special white paint that gives this modern steed even more of a classic touch. While just to prove there is almost nothing they can’t do EEM made a set of 90’s Fiat turn signals look perfectly minimalistic and are the final touch in making the Guzzi road legal.


And if the whole build wasn’t magnificently Italian enough the Guzzi carries the name ‘Il Sorpasso’, from the 1962 cult classic film about two very different strangers sharing a road trip from Rome to Tuscany. It’s almost the perfect metaphor for EEM’s V11 build, a plain original bike, an outlandish idea and the collaboration to form something special; all result in a machine perfect for that dream Italian countryside ride.






[Photos by: F. Porrozzi]

  • Kosta


  • John Wanninger

    “How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzzi?” – Cake- Rock and Roll Lifestyle.

    Sorry. Had to.

    Beautiful machine

  • Spyker May

    I can unequivocally say there is no ugly air-cooled Moto Guzzi – only some heavier than others…

    There is however something that does befuddle me about air-cooled Guzzi’s (and some water-cooled for that matter, equally the BMW boxer motor, specifically the exhaust and air intake position.

    I think I can safely say that I grasp most things mechanical (PE), I can however not fathom why the exhaust port is in the front and the air-fuel-inlet port is at the rear. The arrangement necessitates a convoluted 180deg exhaust about-turn.

    Were the exhaust and inlet ports be reversed (from the standard as per the example in the leading article) – ie from the onset; iow designed that way around, then the exhaust can dispatch in a near straight line (even in a two-into-one for the performance benefits accordingly), the inlet port in the front can have an air-box in unobstructed ‘clean’ air. It just makes more sense. Even the water-cooled Guzzi’s will have the elements sitting in ‘cool’ air (as opposed to sitting between two very hot exhaust pipes).

    Granted, if the exhaust exits from the back of the cylinder heads then it will be ‘inside’ the legs of the rider and therefore requires heat shields – this is however not an insurmountable matter and one that is solved by many motorcycle makers.

    So here is my question: is there a reason the exhaust port is in the front and the inlet port at the rear – typically on Guzzi’s and BMW boxer motors?

    Is there a sound mechanical/technical consideration or is tradition the master here?

    Even if the exhaust port is at the bottom and the inlet port at the top – it would already be a vast improvement – for a start in cooling (as a greater cooling area will be facing displacing air).

    I would appreciate a response of those in the know – eg with a sound engineering background and/or solid experience.

    PS -Pipeburn: small error 4th paragraph – “when it Rome”; suspect it should be “when in Rome”.

    • Fantome_NR

      The front of the cylinder gets more cooling, the exhaust side gets hotter than the intake side. Have you not noticed that almost all motorcycle engines are designed this way?

      • Spyker May

        Fair enough – but,

        – Water cooling should have it covered (in retrospect perhaps noting air cooling was misguided).

        – The typical Harley V-Twin type motor has one (rear) cylinder with the exhaust post at the rear – so there is an exception that is fairly common.

        – The exhaust port at the bottom (inlet top), with larger cooling fins (for air cooled), should still be an overall improvement (almost everything in mechanical design is a compromise).

        • DoubleAron

          I think this is typical of most motorcycles not just Guzzi’s and BMW’s. All the vertical twins and Inline 4’s have carbs in the back and exhaust up front. I would assume most motorcycle come stock with with an airbox for filtration and to meet emission standards. There is simply more room at the rear of the motorcycle for this. The length of the exhaust and backpressure it creates also has an impact on the engine performance. Shortening this length doesn’t always increase power.

          • Spyker May

            Thank you. But I am not sure we are there yet.

            E.g. – you can make the exhaust shorter and then reduce the inside diameter and get the same “effect”. Scavenging can be achieved in many ways – length is hardly the definitive measure.

          • DoubleAron

            My main point was where to place the airbox.

          • Spyker May

            ‘Airbox’ per sé not a minimum requirement – filtration yes.

          • DoubleAron

            Sure pod filters would fit on the front, if intake and exhaust where switched, and I have seen a Boxer with this mod (hopefuly, any puddles can be avoided). I was trying to reason all bikes were stock at some point, and that stock bike (built in the past 30 years) had a large airbox (for emissions and re-circulating unburnt fuel) that had to be incorporated into the design of the bike. Its probably some completely different reason but that’s what make sense to me… Anyways, this build is beautiful, and i really enjoyed the tank and headlight.

          • Spyker May

            Mmmmm – as predicted… I requested an informed opinion on the layout from a clean sheet design.

          • Jim James

            Depends on the bike. Check out recent Yamaha YZeds, they did have some cooling issues and needed a spiral exhaust to obtain the required exhaust length.

          • Spyker May

            Tx Jim.

            1. I am not aware of crippling cooling issues with the 4-stroke YZ’s (“Zeds” – can I assume you are not from the Sates… ;-)). They certainly survived as such into production.

            2. The intent was not a debate on exhaust design, a complex, but separate subject. So very, very, briefly:

            The scavenging of the cylinder cavity via transients is the subject of wave science and covers the amplitude and velocity of waves (among others) to optimise the extraction of exhaust gasses – from various places (including other pipes in multi-cylinders). It is not the stomping ground of the ‘Monday morning footballer’. The wave needs time and space to do its job – so pipe length is ONE variable.

            In short: There could be a thousand reasons why Yamaha decided to make the exhaust the way it did on the late model YZ and unless you were part of the key design (team), speculating (even based on media reports/articles that is at best 2nd hand info from somebody at Yamaha who presented a brief retort), is just that, speculating.

            The YZ is a single cylinder transverse crankshaft layout with cylinder mounted in the y-axis (upwards). There may well be too little space behind (as per the late model YZ design).

            BUT and a big one… Everything in design (mechanical more so) is a compromise – you gain something by sacrificing something else. The top design finds the optimum balance. Hats off to Yamaha for dispatching the “box” to the dustbin.

            The ‘debate’ here (I am desperately trying to remain topical; plus its getting a bit long in the tooth – so time to sign off on it) is about the longitudinally mounted crank motor types, with cylinders parking at the far end and plenty of natural space for pipe length, without it going all ‘Anaconda’.

          • Fantome_NR

            This is a clear example of typical online verbal diarrhea.

          • Neville Smithy

            Absolutely nothing you have posted regarding this bike makes any sense, engineering wise. Like zero, ziltch and zippo.

          • Grendel Medlord

            I didn’t read through this but it addresses your question and may have an answer:

  • yamahappy

    I love the front half of this bike, but it seems like the rear kind of loses the plot a bit. The sharp angle on the bottom of the seat cowl and the gaping expanse below bother me for some reason.

  • Seth

    This one took my breath away. Can’t take my eyes off of it. From the brushed aluminum, the speedo in the headlight, the hidden turn signals- it all works for me. I predict this one lands in the top ten for 2015.

  • Reid

    Short tail section, long wheelbase is the long hood, short decklid of the motorcycle world. That is to say, it looks awesome.

  • Darrick B

    One of those bikes you could spend hours studying, looking for all of the small details that went into the build. Well done.

  • This is a very beautiful piece of mechanical jewelry that has the added benefit that it can be ridden as well as looked at.

  • Richard Worsham

    The details are fantastic, but the stance of this build is really what sets it apart. Really well done.

  • darren636

    That swinging arm

    No. Just no.

  • Neville Smithy

    I think that subframes support is the cheapest and weakest I’ve ever seen come out of a ‘pro shop’. Nyuk-nyuk.

  • “The Moto Guzzi V11 is an unusual creature, from the visual appearance
    you would assume it was meant to be a canyon carving light weight, but
    the specifications reveal the enormous weight, ergonomics and freight
    train like V-twin to be more of a highway roadster. ”

    The V11 Sport does great in the fun roads. I’ve had no problems tearing them up with fellow riders on Aprilia, Ducati, MV Agusta etc. All in the hands of capable riders. So, there you have it…you don’t ride specs.

    “a plain original bike” …? – wrong ’em boyo