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Custom of the Week: ‘Moto Guzzi 1000 SP’ by Moto Studio




Miami based Moto Studio have shot another stunning Guzzi across Bike Shed’s bows.

This 1980 Moto Guzzi 1000SP might be the latest to roll off the bench but it was in fact the first to project undertaken by Bruce McQuiston, Moto Studio’s founder, five years ago.

“This was simply a pet project, an outlet for my sculpture background and motor-head mind set. One day I had been scrolling through my phone when a friend asked about the work in progress photos of the bike. One thing lead to another and Moto Studio was born. The problem was the customer builds went to the front of the line and the Tonti had to wait.”

Last summer there was a slight chink in the workload and Bruce found enough bench time to reignite the ‘Moto Lino’ project (Lino Tonti created the beautifully simple frames that Guzzi used for decades, even today the factory use Tonti derived architecture). During this time a client popped by the workshop and fell in love with old SP, insisting it was finished for him to own and enjoy.

An in vogue MK I Le Mans inspired custom could have been an easy route but Moto Studio bikes are a little more considered. Here the swingarm has been converted to a monoshock setup, cleaning-up the rear visually by burying the majority of the shock between the carbs and polished velocity stacks. The horizontal bone-line achieved by using the stock frame would also have resulted in an all too familiar looking bike. Instead Bruce chopped-out the subframe and replaced it with a raised, bolt-on section. The result is a contemporary and classy blend of past and present. A smattering of brass plated fasteners in crucial places add character to the monochrome finish.

The round barrel motor received more than just a simple rebuild too. The heads were ported and polished, then skimmed slightly to increase the compression ratio. Stock 28mm carbs have been replaced by 36mm Dellorto pumpers. The exhaust headers and carbon fibre reverse megas are Moto Studio’s own handiwork. Not a crazy race spec but a useable hike in performance to be enjoyed in the city as well as out on the open road. Charley Cole of Zydeco Racing in New York was called upon for a full gearbox and final drive rebuild, using NOS parts.

Keeping this performance in check is a complete front end from a later Ducati 900 SP. The Showa fully adjustable forks were re-valved by suspension gurus Racetech (if you need info on spring rates and valving for just about any bike, try the Racetech website). Stock 18″ wheels are already good looking and maintain the stance, so these were kept but treated to a fresh powdercoat and new Pirelli Sport Demon tyres.

The gorgeous fuel tank and seat are Moto Studio’s own design, as seen on previous builds. The matt finish looks charcoal from a distance but up close the carbon fibre weave is visible, accented by the aluminium knee and number panels. These aren’t stick-on but moulded into the final layer of carbon. The matching fuel cap and plate is machined from solid. The leather saddle running up and over the tail is another example of thoughtful design being exquisitely executed.

As you’d imagine there’s no room on a build of this calibre for shonky electrics, the old loom was binned. A full rewire utilising Motogadget’s system and micro switches is nearly entirely hidden, powered by a lithium battery housed in the tail.

It looks like I’ve missed the boat on getting hold of an affordable 1000SP to work on and I hope Bruce doesn’t regret letting this one go to a new home. Bruce, from where I’m sitting five years was worth the wait, another stunner. Please only sell the next one to a customer from their side of the pond so we can have a closer look.

This article first appeared on The Bike Shed; It’s republished here with permission.

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Custom of the Week: Ducati Leggero by Walt Siegl




FOR WALT SIEGL, performance and beauty go hand-in-hand. The bikes in his Ducati Leggero series are drop dead gorgeous, but they’re also light, quick and handle well. And that puts them in high demand.

This newest build was commissioned by Jamie Waters, one of the leading lights behind the REV’IT! and Rizoma brands in the USA. Jamie owns a significant collection of race bikes, European sports cars and American muscle cars, but they’re more than just show pieces: he regularly pilots his rare factory racers at AHRMA events.

That makes him the perfect client for Walt. “I’m thrilled that I could build this bike for Jamie,” says Walt from his New Hampshire workshop, “because I know he will ride it and enjoy it.”

Each Leggero is hand made to order with room for customization, but the building blocks are always the same. It starts with a Walt Siegl Motorcycles 4130 chromoly steel frame, created in-house and weighing just 15 pounds.

Walt slots in a two-valve Ducati motor, rebuilt and blueprinted by Bruce Meyers Performance. It’s then finished with top-shelf components, and custom Kevlar bodywork.

On this build, the donor motor came from a Monster 1100. It’s been blueprinted and bumped to 1125 cc with Mahle pistons, warmer cams, ported and flowed heads, and titanium valves. The carbs have been ditched in favour of the fuel injection system from a Hypermotard, and the bottom end has been lightened too.

Since Jamie’s pretty serious about actually riding the Leggero, he wanted top spec chassis and suspension components too. The lightweight chromoly Leggero frame is matched up to an aluminum subframe, and a Ducati S2R swing arm.

It would take days of careful study to spot all the details on this Ducati, so we’ll just run through the highlights. The custom-built, ceramic-coated stainless steel exhaust is stunning, right down to its carefully placed heat shields.

The cockpit’s pretty slick too, and includes a racy Motogadget tacho bearing the WSM logo. And there’s a sprinkling of carbon fiber and Rizoma bits, to drive the performance ethos home.

When it came to the final livery, Jamie’s hobby provided all the inspiration needed. “Jamie wanted to incorporate elements from the early muscle car era in my Leggero design,” says Walt, “which is decidedly European, if you will.”

So the white ceramic coating on the exhaust system references early Shelby Cobras, and the frame’s been nickel plated, as a nod to the 1960s and 70s.

The primary paint color was sampled from a car in Jamie’s collection. “Jamie has a 1968 Corvette in Laguna Blue,” says Walt. “For that series Corvette, it was a one-year color only—painted by Peach Pit Racing.”

Now we’re really jealous.

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on Bike Exif. It is republished here with permission.

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Idiot thieves steal electric manufacturers’ bike whilst they were on ‘theft tracking’ test!



Motorcycle manufacturer Zero had their own bikes, actually stolen – for real – during security testing.

Bike thieves are the worst.

Not literally – we’re pretty certain that there are some certain individuals on the world stage that could put a petty motorcycle thief into perspective – but they’re ‘up there’ on our list alongside people who use their mobile phones on speaker whilst sat on public transport and most of the contestants from TV’s Love Island.

Bike thieves are also pretty stupid. None more so than the ones who tried to make off with a couple of Zero electric motorcycles recently in London.

What made these thieves particularly stupid we here you cry? Well, how about trying to nick a couple of electric bike maker Zero’s actual bikes whilst they were undergoing actual theft-tracking device testing with British bike security firm Datatool?

“I have been testing the product for several months now”, said Zero UK’s manager Dale Robinson, “but the ultimate test came last week, when two of our bikes were stolen from the back of a van in the London area.

Ironically we had just been introducing the partnership with Datatool to our dealers at a conference the day before, but I hadn’t expected that we would have to put it to the test when I got up the next morning.”

Yep, you read that right. Literally the same night that Zero and Datatool had introduced their partnership at a dealer shindig, somebody thought it would be a good idea to take the battery-driven machines.

But did the freshly installed system actually work?

“I reported the theft at 8.00am and the data confirmed that the bike was stolen at 3.37am. Datatool collaborated with the Met Police’s stolen vehicle squad, and the bikes were tracked to within a metre of their actual location, under a tarpaulin in a timber yard.

The police extraction team commented that the information given to them, in the form of a pinpointed Google map and exact coordinates, was the most accurate they had received and I got a call to come and pick the bikes up a few hours later.”

Some people pay thousands for that kind of PR. All Zero and Datatool had to do was get drunk and leave a couple of bikes in a van on a London street overnight.


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