A hyper - caffeinated Guzzi Le Mans
Moto Guzzi is back in the news: the new 850cc V9 Bobber and Roamer will be launched at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next week.
They’re essentially classic roadsters, but that’s no bad thing—and we’re big fans. But if you want a raw, sporty machine like the Guzzis of the 70s and 80s, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Hamburg, Germany, to be precise.
That’s where you’ll find Axel Budde of Kaffeemaschine, the man behind the resto-mods that make even hardened Guzzisti go weak at the knees.
This incredible Le Mans Mk III is Axel’s seventeenth build, and destined for the garage of Marcel Hunter—who lives several thousand feet above sea level in Colorado, USA.
“Marcel’s a very relaxed and sympathetic guy,” says Axel. “He left the design up to me, but we agreed on a vintage Jaguar blue color scheme—and brown leather.”
The hand-made bodywork and alloy parts are jaw-droppingly beautiful, but the less obvious story is under the hood. “Marcel wanted a powerful engine, so I chose the V11,” says Axel.
The stock V11 is a 1064cc V-twin with plenty of grunt and 91 horses. For most builders, this would be ample—but Axel has always been a bit of a power junkie. And Marcel needs all the power he can get, given the rarified air of his home.
So we’ve now got a balanced crank, a hotter cam, bigger valves and ported heads. A pair of 40mm Dell’Orto carbs and an electronic ignition system take advantage of the new hardware, and the matt black exhaust system is hand-made.
There’s a new oil cooler (hooked up to a high flow pump) to keep temperatures down, and the driveline is tightened up with a lightweight flywheel and an uprated clutch. The transmission and shaft drive system have been completely rebuilt.
Axel has subtlety tweaked the Le Mans frame to accommodate the V11 motor, and finished it in black powder. Even more discreet is the new wiring loom, and the Motogadget Chronoclassic instrument.
Modified vintage Magura clip-ons house the indicators, and are finished off with lovely handmade leather grips.
Machine #17 rides on Morad wheels shod with grippy Bridgestone Battlax tyres. The Le Mans was a good-handling bike in its day, but Axel has updated the forks with new internals and installed new shocks.
The bike now tips the scales at a lithe 182 kilos—a little less than the current Moto Guzzi V7. But to be on the safe side, the brake system has been replaced by all-new components and stainless lines. The only original parts are the two front calipers, which are stock Le Mans Mk III.
We’re itching to see what Moto Guzzi comes up with next week at the Milan show. But will it be as desirable or evocative as this Le Mans? Let’s wait and see …
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