I do love a Guzzi, especially a racy one. I’ve hankered after a round barrelled 850 Le Mans or 1000SP for years, and have gushed about Axel Budde’s exquisite work (Kaffeemaschine) since I can remember, but this bulbous beast by Italian outfit Ruote Fiere has me all flustered – it’s flipping fabulous!
Starting out as a 1984 Le Mans III, Ruote Fiere’s founder, Davide Caforio, set about blending classic style with a beefier endurance racing vibe. The eagle eyed will have spotted that this is a larger, ‘square barrel’ motor, with shaved cooling fins to replicated the earlier powerplants. Here an 83mm bore and 74mm stroke add up to 1100cc, hence the perfectly girthy stainless exhaust system.
A brace of Dell’Orto PHM 40mm carbs dump in the fuel and a Silent Hektik electronic, high output ignition system housed behind a specially made Mandello Racing timing case convert benzine to momentum, and the all important Guzzi soundtrack. A lighter, 3.2kg flywheel and Ram Racing machined clutch improves initial pick-up and reduces inertia at the 9,000 RPM red line. A bespoke aluminium oil cooler keeps the temps in check, and with the anodised aeroquip fittings looks fast too.
Lino Tonti’s revered chassis hasn’t escaped Davide’s go faster desires either. The headstock is repositioned at a steeper 24 degrees (28 stock) for what must surely be a very flighty turn-in. The front of the engine is lifted slightly and the frame tubes beefed-up to cope with the extra loads expected. The puny 35mm conventional fork from the stock Le Mans is gone, in its place is a chunky 45mm Marzocchi unit, held by billet triple clamps. A rotary Öhlins steering damper smoothes the feedback to the CNC’d and black anodised clipons. Out back the shocks were made by off-road car specialists Oram, using Öhlins internals to produce this gorgeous pair of suspenders. The swingarm is from a Le Mans IV to allow for the 150 section rear tyre.
The alloy three-spoke wheels are by Italian specialists EPM, part of Magni – if you don’t know them you need to put the kettle on and fire up the Google. The race look rubber is from Bridgestone’s Battlax range. The brakes though are Davide’s handiwork. The 320mm semi-floating front discs are held by carriers CNC’d from 7075 alloy and the rear runs a single 240mm version of the same setup. Brembo 4-pot calipers from a Ducati Multistrada and a Brembo radial master cylinder retard the front while a Ducati 1098 caliper and Goldline master cylinder with rose-jointed torque arm sorts the rear. The machined rearsets are also from Davide’s skilled hand.
All these go faster bits would be nothing without a purposeful body. The one piece seat unit and tank cover are a composite, from a mould shaped by Davide. The aluminium bellypan serves to cloak the Guzzi’s undercarriage and awkward looking deep sump. Behind which is a void perfect for hiding the Leo Vince silencer, which leaves the rear of the bike unencumbered by pipework. The air intake and battery box covers are also fabricated from sheet aluminium. The bikini fairing was lifted from a Le Mans MK1, and the additional spot light, in my opinion, is splendid.
A handful of fasteners are all that’s required to remove the unibody to reveal the ally fuel cell beneath, which will offer a decent range thanks to the relatively generous proportions. A Bimota fuel cap and breather crown the job, remaining in place while the body is lifted. Throttle cables and wiring is also hidden beneath for a super tidy overall look, and the electrical gubbins are buried out of sight behind the ally side panels.
Davide made a full Motogadget compatible wiring harness, powered by a lithium battery and high output alternator. The cockpit is as performance focussed as the rest of the bike, with a Domino quick action throttle and race-spec switchgear mounted to the high-end clipons. Centre stage is Motogadget’s excellent and classy looking Chronoclassic all-in-one speedo unit.
This is definitely a place I’d like to spend some time.
But perhaps the best thing about all of this is that Davide is making the long trip from Monza to the UK for the Bike Shed London 2019 show. Monza, of course, how could he be based there and build something other than glorious track focussed machines – Meraviglioso!!