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‘81 Moto Guzzi V35 – Ireful Motorcycles


Posted on January 12, 2017 by Andrew in Brat. 11 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

When you’ve plied your trade in the paddock of the Italian Superbike Championship you’d expect your garage would house one of the litre bikes that call the grid home. From the glorious Ducati Panigale to the technology tour de force that is the new Yamaha R1 there is no shortage of choice. But for 25-year-old Dario Denichilo of Milan, Italy, he’s gone in the complete opposite direction.

A Moto Guzzi fan he chose to ignore their modern stable of steeds that start at a minimum of 750cc and 200kg in weight and instead chose the little Guzzi that could. But after an accident on his 1983 Moto Guzzi V35 he decided not only to keep the ugly duckling of the marque but transform it into the custom creation laid out before your eyes as the very first build of his new venture, Ireful Motorcycles.

Dario started his professional career in the motorcycle industry at the tender age of 14 and graduated from wrenching on scooters all the way to the glamour of the Superbike paddock. Along the way he’s spent time working in his father’s shop as a coach builder and spent a year in Australia doing metal work and car assembly. Now possessing the full gamut of skills at just 25 years of age he decided it was time to open up a business of his own. So rather than throw away the accident damaged V35 he knew he could make a mark but creating an incredible brat machine from one of the least desirable bikes around.

“The inspiration was to create a really special bike on an economical and ugly base like the Guzzi V35.” So to do it properly and fully assess the accident damage the bike was stripped back until there was nothing left but a bare frame. This should come as no surprise from a man who has worked in both coach building and in the race paddock, nothing is done by halves.

The detachable tubular duplex cradle frame has been smoothed out and de-tabbed for the cleanest possible look. The rear section of the frame has been cut off with a new up-kicked hoop seamlessly welded in place. Knowing he was going for a minimalist look the frame becomes a crucial visual component and has been sprayed an eye-catching silver.

Determined to keep the bike entirely road legal, fitting fenders front and rear had to be done. But ensuring they do nothing to take away from the lines he was creating Dario threw away the stock parts and made his own. Each is hand rolled from 2mm aluminium sheet to create a pair that are both tyre hugging and vintage in look.

Dario then made the mounts and took inspiration from more classic Guzzi’s of days gone by to rid the bike of any of its ’80s angularity. The rear guards support also acts as a number plate holder and has been positioned so that the large Italian license plate isn’t sticking out like a sore thumb.

The fuel tank is a master class in everything that Dario has learned about metal work from his father. The ugly squared off lines and heavy creases that were a feature of Moto Guzzi at the time are gone and are replaced by beautifully simple, flowing lines.

The bottom section has been lifted up which allows the frame rail to run uninterrupted from front to back as one clean horizontal line. While the paint work is a mix of raw metal and glistening deep red with his new company’s logo laid down the side in gold.

Adding more vintage appeal is the machined filler cap and the old school leather strap. But the big dose of leather work comes in the form of the incredible seat crafted by LR Leather. It’s the only big job that Dario had done outside his own shop, although the design is all his own.

The two-up brat seat is brilliantly stitched together with a mix of flowing lines and diamond pattern that create a finish of pure luxury. The grips are the final piece of leather to be used, neatly wrapped from perforated hide the brass end caps were machined in-house by Dario.

Which brings us nicely to another of his incredible skills, Dario can machine parts from just about any metal you care to name. With the bar ends done the next item to be turned was the footpegs and controls, which give both rider and pillion a brassy place to rest their feet. Still working with the yellow alloy made of copper and zinc if you look closely you’ll notice that many of the brake fittings and bolt tops are also custom machined items.

Which brings us nicely to another of his incredible skills, Dario can machine parts from just about any metal you care to name. With the bar ends done the next item to be turned was the footpegs and controls, which give both rider and pillion a brassy place to rest their feet. Still working with the yellow alloy made of copper and zinc if you look closely you’ll notice that many of the brake fittings and bolt tops are also custom machined items.

Even the throttle adjusters are made from the alloy, while the fuel lines are a mix of hand bent copper and brass fittings. But this is just the warm up act before the real craftsmanship begins because Dario wasn’t done there. From a variety of alloys he has also custom crafted the intake manifolds, the beautiful velocity stacks and a number of the carburettor parts to give the engine some vintage flavour. Finally to complete the look even the master cylinder cap was made in-house on the lathe and you start to wonder if Dario couldn’t just turn out an entire bike literally from scratch.

The now vintage look Dell’Orto carbies feed the little 350cc V-Twin Moto Guzzi engine that was designed at the time to fill a gap in Italy’s licensing regulations. While most engines from the marque are known for their low-end torque, the little cousin three fiddy will rev up with the best sports bikes of the time, horsepower peaking at over 8000rpm. To give the bike the sound track to match the revs a set of stainless headers run rearward from each cylinder to reverse cone mufflers. While completing the aesthetic the entire engine has been treated to a mix of paint and polish to drastically transforms it’s once budget appearance.

One of the rules Dario has when it comes to bike building, “I always build the electrical system from the ground up.” Not only is it done to ensure the neatest of systems using the best known parts available it was also a good idea on a Guzzi known for its very Italian electrics. Starting with a tiny lithium battery the wiring itself is entirely hidden, running through the frame and bars. The headlight and taillight are distinctly classic pieces to fit the design of the bike while the turn signals are modern LED’s in the smallest of sizes to be hidden in plain sight.

A new set of tracker bars reduce the rise of the stock items by a couple of inches. They hold the all new switchgear that completes the new electrical system with quality levers finishing out the job. But grabbing a handful of front brake is not the only way to apply pressure to the twin disc front setup. The V35 utilises a unique braking system that means when you press the foot brake one of the front discs joins the rear in slowing you down. The front suspension is totally rebuilt stock units adjusted for the stance Dario was after while out back a set of progressive rate springs over shocks replace the dodgy factory parts.

Quite literally wrapping up the build are a set of new tyres front and rear, a modern take on an old classic and this Guzzi has an almost 1950’s style and appearance. Sadly Dario won’t be enjoying the build himself for long as the bike is now up for sale. But dry your eyes quickly as the funds are going to be ploughed straight back into his new Ireful Motorcycles venture. And when you can build custom bikes this good from a crashed ’80s budget banger, the future looks very bright for our Milanese friend with more tricks up his sleeve than a Penn and Teller show.

[Ireful Motorcycles: Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Dario Denichilo]








  • John in Pollock

    I love it. At first, I didn’t think I was going to- but I do. Those carbs are so damn sexy. Awesome work, and clean enough to lick anywhere without soiling your tongue.

  • pegs could use a few knurls

  • Duke Fan

    Nice very nice!

  • Interesting how the space under the seat works with that kind of top frame line and the overall length of the v-twin donk. Nice.

  • the watcher

    Top notch workmanship. But for the life of me (and yes, I did read the article!) I still can’t think of a single good reason to build this. Congratulations, a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but I still wouldn’t be seen dead on it.

    • brownroundtown

      What do you mean ol’ boy? What reason does one need? Is making a silk purse from a sow’s ear not justification enough?

  • guvnor67

    Beauty! The only nit-pick to my weary eyes is maybe the seat could be an inch or two shorter (I realise It’s a two-up), but, this is one nice Guzzi !

  • Len Farquharson

    Sweet machine; very cheeky! It’s always great to see a photograph of the creator or rider on his or her machine to give context. Two excellent Guzzis in two days; great start to 2017!

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Absolutely glorious!

  • Damn sweet build, tasty enough to inspire us to give the V35 another look! watch this space….

  • jlgace

    The good bikes get better the more you look at them. This is one of them. It’s difficult not to appreciate the skill and effort in this bike and I look forward to seeing more stuff from this guy.