Death Machines of London (DMOL), who has maybe the best name in the business, has recently unveiled their first build–this incredible Moto Guzzi Le Mans “airtail” cafe racer–and we’re so proud to showcase it here.
The company was founded in September 2015 by designer James Hilton and renowned motorcycle engineer Ray Petty, and the four-person crew includes Max Vanoni (engineering) and Justene Miller (management). Their mission:
“Create the machines we want to see but can’t find. They must run as good as they look and will always be photographed in full working order – never adjusted or have parts removed for a ‘better’ shot.”
Those words are music to our ears, and the team’s first build, this 1981 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk2, fulfills that mission in every way. The bike immediately leapt out at us with its minimalist lines, including the delugged frame and signature “airtail”–not to mention warning lights from a WWII-era Supermarine Spitfire! We’re suckers for WWII warbirds, and what an incredible tribute to the king interceptor of the Royal Air Force.
This bike was featured a few days ago on Bike EXIF, and while we normally try not to overlap with our favorite custom motorcycle blog, this build was too good to pass up. Below, James Hilton from DMOL gives us the full details on the build.
Moto Guzzi Airtail Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
(Our highlights in bold.)
The bike was created from a 1981 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk2. Inspired by Moto Guzzi racing heritage, this was an exercise in clutter reduction.
The entire motorcycle, engine and gearbox was completely disassembled and vapour-blasted prior to a forensic inspection of all original parts.
The original instrumentation has been completely restored and housed in a bespoke dash, incorporating aviation warning lights and main switch from a 1940 Supermarine Spitfire fighter.
The frame has been delugged and “Airtailed”–an idea proposed by the client–to provide a refined minimalism, ensuring all electrical components are hidden from view. The Airtail culminates in a Land Rover Defender tail light refitted with LED internals.
The completed 950cc engine features a polished, lightened and balanced crankshaft, in-house gas flowed cylinder heads and and all new valves. The motor now breathes through a pair of 40mm Dellorto carbs with accelerator pumps. A lightweight R.A.M. clutch and flywheel were also installed. The exhaust system is in-house with 1100 downpipes.
On the Tommaselli fully adjustable clip-ons, drastically reduced switchgear is made possible with our in-house custom loom utilising an M-Unit control box and Silent Hectik electronic ignition. Domino natural rubber grips provide the finishing touch.
The in-house made fibreglass fairing and fabricated tank features Italian Red gloss and satin finish Old English white paintwork, with a hand-painted Moto Guzzi emblem.
As with all DMOL builds to come, a precision-etched brass plaque on the back of the seat unit carries a build date and who the machine was made for.
About Death Machines of London:
Death Machines of London (DMOL) was founded in September 2015 by the designer James Hilton and renowned motorcycle engineer Ray Petty. The Moto Guzzi Airtail is our debut machine. Further machines are in production and due for release in May this year.
- Ray Petty (Engineering / founder)
- James Hilton (Design / founder)
- Max Vanoni (Engineering)
- Justene Miller (Management)
Oh yeah, and we sell awesome t-shirts with “Death Machines of London” on them. What’s not to like?!
As for the name, when James was twelve, his uncle took him on his first motorcycle ride. The uncle told him not to tell his Dad. So he told his Dad. This went down like a bag of shit (as the uncle knew it would), as “dad” clearly didn’t share his enthusiasm. “Motorcycles are death machines, son” was the advice. And so, thirty years (or so) later, we named our company after those completely ignored words of wisdom.
Follow the Builder
Follow Death Machines of London (DMOL):