The Ludwig Oak: A charming Italian all-rounder…
The Nevada Classic 750 was Moto Guzzi’s take on a lighter weight cruiser, featuring a 744cc version of the company’s iconic air-cooled transverse V-twin. While it only boasted 48 horsepower, the bike made a great all-rounder, impressing reviewers with its snappiness, light weight, and inimitable Guzzi charm. Said Cruiser magazine in 2009:
“First and foremost, the Nevada 750 is light, agile and quick — three adjectives you probably don’t associate with cruisers. But there’s substance too. The Nevada uses the fuel-injected 90 degree v-twin and shaft final drive from the sporty-standard Breva 750 introduced last year [and] weighs in at a mere 406 pounds, practically a skateboard compared to Triumph’s 800 lb Rocket III.”
Enter Riccardo Casarini of Ludwig Tekne, who grew up restoring vintage race cars in his family’s workshop in the Oltrepò Pavese region of northwest Italy and went on to a philosophy degree with a thesis on the “aesthetics of speed.” Later, he worked in the Poblenou district of Barcelona, which has the highest concentration of custom garages in Catalonia, and founded his workshop upon his return to Italy.
Previously, we featured a Triumph Speed Triple cafe racer and Honda XL600 scrambler he built. Now Riccardo is back with this Moto Guzzi Nevada 750. The design brief called for a bike that could double as a daily commuter and weekend adventurer:
“A bike for daily use, which could get you to work, avoiding traffic easily, but also be able to tackle light trails and dirt roads when it comes to traveling outside the city.”
While the bike’s fuel injection system has been praised by riders and reviewers, it complicated the design process. Riccardo couldn’t simply switch fuel tanks. In the end, he built a new tank on top of the stock tunnel and internal pump, achieving a sharper, more angular look.
The rear subframe was shortened, mounted with a handmade seat, and a pair of specially-built Oram rear socks replace the stockers. Gone is the factory bike’s abundance of chrome trim, replaced with brushed aluminum and matte black. The exhaust is a custom system TIG-welded in inox steel, and the intake houses a freer-flowing K&N unit. What’s more, the bike has been dyno-tuned, the ECU remapped for better throttle response and a longer, more consistent torque curve.
Nicknamed the “Ludwig Oak,” this custom Guzzi strikes us a practical, well-rounded machine with plenty of Italian charm.
Moto Guzzi Nevada 750 Custom: In the Builder’s Words
This special was made on the basis of a Nevada Classic 750 i.e. (2008), the latest version of the Moto Guzzi super classic model, produced since 1992. For this project it was necessary to combine the advantages of a scrambler with a sober aesthetic; creating a bike for daily use, which could get you to work, avoiding traffic easily, but also be able to tackle light trails and dirt roads when it comes to traveling outside the city.
The main complication in this case is the injection system with its submersible pump, which partially constrains the internal/external volumes of the tank. We discarded the option of an external pump (to prevent possible overheating and consequent breakdowns). It was decided to rebuild the new shape of the tank while keeping the tunnel and the flange intact as standard, so as not to compromise the reliability of the system. The original rounded lines have therefore given way to sharper and more cut shapes.
Also the entire rear section has been modified. On the subframe, now shorter, is mounted a handmade seat with VTR base and key-lock release.
All the headlights are LED, Chaft brand, while the controls are those of the series, mounted on a 22″ high-curved handlebar with crossbar. Most of the details vary from brushed aluminium to matte black, thus renouncing the abundance of standard chrome plating.
The main modifications, however, are the mechanical ones. The rear shock absorbers were replaced with a pair of adjustable Oram units custom-built for the project.
The bike now has sintered Brembo brake pads, a 2-into-1 exhaust with handcrafted connection (built in inox steel and TIG-welded, maintaining the catalyst) coupled to a Virex X-Cone silencer (homologated), a K&N washable air filter panel, and, finally, the ECU has been tuned on the dyno, adjusting the torque curve to improve the throttle response and “consistency” of the power delivery from the twin cylinder Guzzi.