Collaborations are an inevitable part of the custom scene’s rapid growth and permeation of the mainstream, the perfect marketing platform for brands looking to promote their products to an existing audience and suggest to a new customer base that wearing a particular garment will gain approval from the cool tribe.
The collab word might be saturating somewhat at the moment but if the result is decent looking motorcycles we won’t complain just yet.
Vanguard clothing from The Netherlands go to great lengths to build proper bikes for their campaigns rather than just print some fancy stickers. Their V8 Racer based on a 1400cc Moto Guzzi California was a tremendous homage to the ear splitting dustbin fairing racers campaigned by from 1955 to 1957, sketched by Ganet Design and brought to life by Dutch custom shop Numbnuts Motorcycles. To celebrate 50 years of the Guzzi V7, Vanguard produced a riding jean and again commissioned Mr Ganet himself, Ulfert Janssen, to design a bike.
This time Wrench Kings were given the task of bringing the renders to life and built this handsome café racer. The synergy between the blue denim and the bike’s colour scheme is obvious and the guys from Wrench Kings, also Dutch, are fastidious craftsmen preferring to work on new bikes so as to a achieve a better-then-factory level of finish which aligns with Vanguard’s slick range.
The motor is stock but let loose slightly by a single K&N filter and stainless 2-into-1 exhaust, which is now free from the restrictive catalytic converter and overly baffled silencers. The single under tail replacement was made by local outfit WiMoto using sheets of stainless, rolled and TiG welded. Should sound pretty sweet.
The Guzzi designers have done a decent job with the original tank so that was kept, with the addition of a Monza cap, and the shape mimicked with an off-the-shelf tail and seat unit, which of course didn’t fit so had to be modified. A similar story up front, the fairing was chopped and sliced to enable the lowered clipons to fit and turn fully without fouling the rider’s hands. The subframe didn’t escape the angle grinder either, shortened to accept the new exhaust system and tail. A pair of adjustable YSS shocks prop the whole lot up.
There wasn’t any space left for the battery so that’s been banished below the transmission and powers an all-new wiring harness and Motogadget M-unit system.
The Shinko 270 tyres are a welcome break from the now cliched Firestones yet maintain that simple, bulbous sidewall look so synonymous with modern day café racers.
Faithful to Ulfert Janssen’s original render, the Wrench Kings have done themselves proud and built not only a smart marketing tool for Vanguard but a decent bike that should still ride pretty well too.