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BLUE RACER CULT. Gannet Design And The Wrench Kings Take On A Moto Guzzi V7

Posted on August 6, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer. 10 comments

Working on a bike project with a team of new people can be a hellish experience. Even simple things like picking paint colours or upholstering a seat can take up many hours while terms are defined and differing expectations are met. But for Switzerland’s Gannet Design and the Wrench Kings and Vanguard Clothes from the Netherlands, it really seems as if they were all freakishly, cultishly in sync. It’s the only explanation we can come up with for how such a superbly turned-out bike came out of such a diverse bunch of brains.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moto Guzzi V7, Vanguard is honouring the Italian brand, who they’ve been working with for many years, by building the Vanguard Moto Guzzi V7 Custom. The machine was imagined by Gannet Design of Switzerland, the same studio responsible for the Vanguard Moto Guzzi V8 from last year. But this time around, the design was built by the Wrench Kings of Bilthoven.

It seems the bike’s tricky design decisions were handled by the renown Ulfert Janssen at Gannet Design, making the rest of the build a not-so-simple matter of realising his amazing vision in metal. “After we agreed with the design in collaboration with Gannet and Vanguard Clothing, we started the build,” says Wrench’s ‘Take’. “As usual, we began by cutting the rear sub frame. It got disassembled, lowered and shortened. Next we commenced fitting the new front fairing and rear end. At this moment it was clear that the rear was going to be tricky because it wouldn’t fit”.

The pre-ordered rear end was around 5cm too short and way too small overall. “So, we decided to cut it and make a mold so we could make something new with the correct dimensions”. And as per the original Gannet design, the brake light is actually the Vanguard logo, which is cut out of the rear end. “We had multiple ideas about how to cut this but we finally chose to do it the authentic way – hand crafted”.

After finishing the rear, they moved on to the front fairing. “First off, we started by creating a mounting system for it. We saw that frustratingly, the new front fairing also wasn’t going to fit. It was too long, too high, too thick and the window wasn’t as per Ulf’s the design. In addition, the front fairing had to be hand modified to allow for the steering arc. But after much effort, we got there in the end”.

After nailing the most frustrating part of the build, the bike was sent to locals WiMoto for a custom RVS exhaust. “This is a hell of a job and you really need some experience with it. That’s why we chose to outsource this to a specialist like WiMoto,” says Take. By all reports, the exhaust is flawless and looks just like it came from the factory.

“The tank is original but, we needed to customise it so we could fit the Monza cap and attach the metal plates with the Vanguard logo to the bike. After this was all done, we started with the mock-up and everything fitted perfectly”. Thank heavens for small mercies.

Tank features a scuffed denim look

Next, they painted the rear, front and tank, while also giving the tank an unusual and distinctive look by sanding the freshly painted colors and covering it with a gloss layer. “The last part was the electricals. Here we made a new wiring loom and fitted an Motogadget M-unit”.

The finished bike looks remarkably similar to Ulf’s concept

And last but not least, the color scheme. “Most of the bolts are blue anodized in the color of the buttons of the V7 Vanguard Jeans. The pattern on the seat is also referenced in the jeans. There are so many details and they all have their own story to tell. All the components and small touches used in the jeans can be found referenced on the bike. We are very, very proud of the end result”.

[ Gannet Design | Wrench Kings | Vanguard Clothing ]

  • guvnor67

    Absolutely love the paint on this, and the seat looks great. Lots of attention to detail too. But (careful guvnor, careful) the tall sidewalls on the tyres make the proportions seem a bit cartoonish.

  • AB

    Interesting lack of comments. I came on here early this morning when there were no comments and though – lets see what the viewers think. Nothing apparently!

    I’ll have to say I’m really digging the tail piece and seat.

  • martin hodgson

    This is seriously well done, the whole theme of the bike flows seamlessly from front to back. And all the little details of blue, going that extra mile, the hand grips, screen, valve cover bolts and then fitting a Monza cap assembly. Its the little details that often take a machine to the next level.

    But most impressive is just how close the final result is to the original concept. I’ve drawn concepts and then built bikes that are so comically different its embarrassing lol but this thing is spot on and that gives future clients and Huge amount of confidence in what they’re going to get.

  • Zundap

    Well done, would look and handle much better with some decent rubber. I’m trying to figure out the mindset behind the tire choice?

  • David Irons

    I’ll agree, would have like the tire size discussed in the article. Nice looking, like the color.

    • retro

      I’ll certainly be glad when the current fascination for those freakin’ tires has run its course.
      I started riding in ’59, on a ‘Davidson 165 that coincidentally had Firestones on it.
      That little bike sure couldn’t generate enough go or whoa to overpower the tires, but that was then …. this is now!
      Otherwise a gorgeous machine. I’m particularly taken with the paint.

      • W.Wilkins

        Right on, so glad you posted! Retro is fine in design but not in purposefully poor performance.

  • the watcher

    Fabulous design and paint, wrong tyres for the bike. But none of that matters cos it’s just an advertising gimmick anyway. Boo, hiss!

  • Al

    Nice seat/tail shape.

  • Charlie

    In the third last photo, in the view from above, the tail has surprisingly poor finish, with scratches and marks all over. I know this is the most minute of nit-picks, but it makes me wonder how high-quality the rest of the build can be if that slipped through the cracks.
    The photo is also (weirldy) double-exposed over only the right hand side (again, weirdly) of the bike from a front view, the fourth image used in the article.

    I otherwise admire the quality and attention to detail on this bike, but that one photo is weirding me out so much I can’t see anything else.