What’s the most common item to be modded first on a custom bike, would you say? The seat? The rubber? Maybe the ‘bars? Now consider what the most unlikely first thing to sink your teeth into might be. Actually, don’t bother, because Peter Boggia and the crew at Brooklyn’s Moto Borgotaro already have it figured out. It’s the tacho. And while the rest of us would be wrestling with greasy engines and skinned knuckles, Peter got all Swiss watchmaker on this Guzzi LeMans and followed the look right on through to the rest of this rather sweet-looking bike.
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!
Written by Ian Lee.
When a builder is passionate about the bike he is working on, you can see it in his work. Axel from Kaffeemaschine has almost reached a state of oneness with Moto Guzzi’s. This stunning build is one in a long line of Guzzi’s that were lucky enough to have received his touch. Given the name ‘Machine 14’, the bike has the stance and smooth lines of a classic cafe racer. When it comes to aesthetics, Axel usually chooses less is more. Built up from a stock Le Mans 3 donor bike, this is very much the machine you would find parked up outside the local Kaffeehaus – just after it clocked the Ton.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Building a custom motorcycle that does one thing well is an achievement in of itself, building a custom motorcycle that is capable of being three different bikes is exceptional, from a first time builder it is a Herculean effort. This Guzzi is an automotive piece of sculpture, built for breaking records on the salt flats and registered for the road, it’s three bikes in one and it completes each task with flawless perfection.
Some people are just destined to build bespoke motorcycles. Bruce McQuiston, owner of Moto Studio in Miami is one of those people. He has a background as a sculptor, race car driver and race car engineer – culminating in a perfect combination to build performance bikes that look great. After Bruce retired from car racing he discovered a love of motorbikes. His desire to build a bike for himself eventually morphed into building bikes for friends and then customers. McQuiston’s choice of motorcycles are classic Ducati’s and Moto Guzzi’s. “I admire many builders from around the world that work with other manufacturers,” explains McQuiston, “but for me, the bike needs to start with a soul.” So his latest build is this stunning 1995 Moto Guzzi 1100 called “Loca Moto” – and yes, this Italian has soul.
‘Trailer Queen’. We’ve all heard the phrase before. It implies that a bike has been customised to the point where it just can’t be ridden. Hell, if you believe some of the more mainstream motorcycle writers you’d think that just about any kind of personalisation or customisation somehow renders a bike freakishly unsuitable for anything bar a once-yearly wobble around the block. But in our minds, that’s the opposite of the truth. The fact is that the manufacturers are forced to make hundreds of ‘one size fits all’ decisions on every bike they make. Be it for budget, new rider or even regulatory considerations, there’s no way a mass-produced bike can be perfect for you unless you make it perfect yourself. And we’re pretty sure that this latest build from Spain’s Maccomotors is a perfect case-in-point.
There’s not many bike builders that would buy a brand new Moto Guzzi Griso just to cut it into pieces. But then there’s not many customizers that are as passionate about Guzzi’s as Stefan Bronold from Radical Guzzi. When it comes to building bikes, he really wants to put the “racer“ back into café racers. Everything on the bike is there for a reason and helps to achieve Stefan’s favourite word… performance.
You hear a lot about ‘barn finds’ in the custom bike game. In case you’ve been living at the bottom of an oily sump for the last 50 years, a barn find is exactly what it says on the tin; a bike you find abandoned in somebody’s barn and then rescue. But in a first for us, we’re happy to inform you that we think we’ve found something that will revolutionised the genre. Thanks to Wyoming’s Reed Merschat and his persistence, we’d like to introduce to the the ‘Freezer Find’. What is it, you ask? Why, it’s a bike you pick up when it’s owner takes a little trip to cool off in the state penitentiary.
Written by Ian Lee.
Custom bikes, bringing the world together one build at a time. Who would think that building a beautiful motorcycle would be of such a benefit to multiculturalism? Today’s feature bike is an Italian machine, modified in the style of the British, built by a German company for an American. With so many nationalities putting a bit into this bike, this Moto Guzzi Le Mans 3 went through a Hamburger maker to produce the smooth racer you see here today. In true Kaffee Maschine style, the workshop has come up with a bike featuring dynamic lines and a strong sporting stance – it’s just the sort of thing you could ride into a UN meeting.
The brief for the build was to produce a style that wouldn’t look out of place in the 60s, with modifications that are more current age. ‘Some muscles’ were also asked to be added to the bike during the process. The transmission and rear drive were assessed and modified accordingly, then it was time to work the engine.
You know what they say. “It’s the simple things in life that are often the best.” And nothing represents that more perfectly than today’s bike. It’s a beautifully simple, perfectly restrained Moto Guzzi from the land of the long white cloud, New Zealand. With not much more than a new seat and a perfect eye for clean lines, Michael Dobson from Raumati’s Two Cats Garage has helped this rather maxima Italian beast shed more than a few pounds and become the svelte, beautiful bike she somehow always should have been.