It’s been a busy year
Moto Guzzi must have been paying attention because they recently commissioned Hugo to customize their V9 Bobber as part of their ‘Pro-Build’ program.
Untitled Motorcycles have an unusual cross-continent split: Hugo runs the San Francisco workshop, and Adam Kay the original London setup. They’ve been around since 2010, and feature regularly on EXIF and in the original bible of the modern custom scene, The Ride.
Hugo started by stripping the V9 Bobber down to the running chassis—frame, motor, and wheels—to see what lay underneath the panels.
“The V9 has a lovely Tonti-style tubular frame,” he says. “The rear of the frame, where it supports the engine, suggested the outline of a racing number plate. That’s where the idea for a fat-wheeled flat tracker started.”
“I decided to customize the Bobber version because I like the fat-wheel look, and I wanted to retain the original 16” cast alloy wheels. The shaft drive also makes swapping the rear end tricky.”
Hugo mistakenly thought it’d be easy to find cool 16″ rubber. After three weeks of searching, he finally located a set of Heidenau K66 all-weather tires. “They’re actually scooter tires, but rated to 112mph and 639 pounds—so they’re adequately spec’d for the bike.”
Identical 140/70-16 tires are fitted both front and rear, and are interchangeable—in keeping with the flat track theme.
Hugo has cleaned up the V9’s frame, removing redundant brackets for the stock battery, airbox, and ABS. He’s also moved the rear suspension mounts forward an inch to accommodate longer Hagon 420mm (16.5″) shocks, and added a custom rear hoop to continue the flow of the frame and create a seat bump stop.
The Guzzi’s air-cooled 853cc motor is engineered for torque so it’s well suited to dirt. “I really liked the idea of creating a tension between the large transverse v-twin motor and a small body perched on top,” he says.
Hugo designed a chopped-down, super-slim monobody that contrasts with the width of the V-twin cylinders. It’s inspired by the 1960s Hanna-Barbera character Magilla Gorilla—a large ape with a tiny hat—and takes cues from the lines of the Guzzi’s frame.
Help came from Nate Diepenbroek, a fabricator near UMC’s San Francisco workshop. “Nate and I worked together on the UMC-038 Hyper Scrambler, and we have a good working relationship,” says Hugo. “I create the design and the rough buck—usually from cardboard, foam and bondo—and then Nate and I work together, to translate it into metal.”
Diepenbroek used the original tank tunnel but ended up moving the side-mounted fuel pump, to keep the slim fuel tank design. A dry break receiver on top of the tank completes the flat track race look.
The fuel tank and seat blend together into a seamless monobody design topped with a narrow, vinyl-upholstered seat that matches the grey stripe on top of the tank.
Aluminum heat shields, designed as part of the monobody, protect the rider’s legs from the exhaust. It’s a custom stainless steel system that runs over the top of the cylinders and inside the rear of the frame. Perforated exhaust tips mimic the heat shield’s hole pattern.
The removable shields, built entirely by hand, were a task in themselves. “There are 438 holes. Each one was punched, piloted, drilled and reamed before being filed, sanded, sandblasted, and finally vapor blasted. That’s about 2,200 operations,” says Hugo.
The engine, fortunately, required no work. “I’ve always had a soft spot for the iconic Guzzi v-twin and the V9 motor is beautifully made, so I left it in factory spec and finish.”
All the mechanical and control elements are finished in textures of black, to create a visual separation from the incredible paintwork: “It’s a bespoke color mix from Kandy Kolor, laid down by Jay at motojrefinish,” Hugo reveals. “It has an extraordinary flip-flop quality. The color constantly shifts from metallic yellow to metallic green.”
“I really wanted to specify a color that’s both modern and also uniquely ‘Guzzi.’ That led to the iconic 1971 V7 Sport with the metallic ‘Verde Legnano’ lime green tank and red ‘Telaio Rosso’ frame.”
Hugo originally intended to copy that combination, but then changed his mind and decided to use green for the body and the frame. The bright red is now on the underside of the frame, and on the kicked up rear—where it integrates with a custom LED brake/blinker array designed with Motobox.
“This was an opportunity to push the boundaries” says Motobox’s Josh Alvarez, who also built the DTRA-style front number plate. It’s got integrated turn signals and a pair of 500 lumen LED spotlights that perform as hi/lo-beams.
Up front, there’s a full array of custom controls, including switchgear by Posh Factory, wired inside clip-on bars. “They’re modified Suzuki GSX-R handlebars, mount upside down and backwards, paired with Oury grips and Magura HC1 radial masters,” Hugo explains.
The stock top bracket was retained, but modified with a prominent start button replacing the original ignition block—and a tiny Motogadget LED display machined into the top surface. A Motogadget m.unit operates a keyless RFID module built into the seat.
It’s a less-is-more approach, which has been applied to the whole build. (“I’m a huge proponent of Lotus boss Colin Chapman’s mantra ‘simplify and add lightness’,” says Hugo.)
The pared-down, minimalist vibe makes this Guzzi V9 almost unrecognizable from the showroom bike. That seems to be typical of Hugo’s style, judging by his earlier Ducati Hyper Scrambler build.
Hugo’s recently received a commission from Ducati USA, and a joint USA/UK project with Triumph is in the pipeline: “Adam and I are going to be building two custom Triumphs—one in San Francisco and one on London—but not telling each other what we’re doing. It’ll be an in-house competition!”
Untitled Motorcycles’ Fat Tracker is on the Moto Guzzi stand at the International Motorcycle Show at Long Beach California this weekend Friday 17th to Sunday 19th November.
Untitled Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Erik Jutras | Moto Guzzi USA
Length: 203cm / 80″
Width: 71cm / 28″
Height: 104cm / 41″
Seat: 78cm / 31″
Weight: 174kg / 383lbs
Fuel: 9.8 litres / 2.6 gallons
Custom-designed, hand-fabricated steel monobody
OEM fuel pump
Custom seat, upholstered in grip vinyl, UMC tag
Dry break racing fuel filler cap
Kustom Kolor ‘Verde Legnano’ candy paint, custom graphics
FRAME & SUSPENSION
Moto Guzzi V9 frame, modified and braced
Hagon 420-80STR Boxer shocks, 80mm travel
Moto Guzzi V7 Marzocchi forks, 130mm travel
Moto Guzzi 4.00 x 16″ cast aluminum rear wheel, shaft drive
single 320mm floating front disc with Brembo 4-pot caliper
Moto Guzzi 3.50 x 16″ cast aluminum front wheel
260mm rear disc and Brembo 2-pot caliper
140/70-16 Heidenau K66 tires front and rear
853cc air-cooled 90º transverse V-twin motor, shaft drive
Custom 16GA stainless steel exhaust system, perforated tips
Titanium exhaust wrap
Custom fabricated brushed aluminium heat shields
Moto Guzzi V9 top bracket, modified
Suzuki GSXR clip-on bars, modified
Posh Factory switches, internal wiring
Magura HC1 brake and clutch radial masters
Goodridge Sniper brake and clutch lines
Race start button, integrated into top bracket
Motogadget Motoscope Mini LED display, machined into top bracket
Agostini rearsets, anodised to match frame
Motogadget m-Lock keyless RFID ignition, integrated into seat
Antigravity XPS SC-1 lithium ion battery
Magneti Marelli MIU-G3 single-body EFI unit with filter pod
O2 sensors removed
Motobox custom-built LED tail light array with integrated turn signals
Motobox custom-built illuminated headlight panel with integrated turn signals
Twin Vision X Mini-Solo 500 lumen hi/lo spotlights
THANKS TO Patrick Flynn, Piaggio USA | Jessica Raya | Nate, Diepenbroek Fabrications | Simon Waterfall | Emil Lindstrom, E’SE Engineering | Peter, Magura USA | Jay Abate, motojrefinish | Josh Alvarez, Motobox | Turk, Turk’s Shop | Sean & John, Goodridge USA | Dan Acker, Acker Leatherworks | Victor Wilkens | Felicia, Heidenau USA | Chad, Sudco Int’l | Stefan, Radical Guzzi | Dana, SPD Exhausts | Hagon Suspension | Elliot, Champion Powdercoaters
This post first appeared on Cafe Racer, Scrambler And Custom Motorcycles | Bike EXIF, please read the originial post: here