Glemseck 101 is an annual highlight in the motorcycle world, a three-day celebration of speed that takes place at the legendary Solitude racetrack in southern Germany. Built in 1935 near Schloss Solitude (Castle Solitude), the track has played host to such two-wheeled racing luminaries as Ernst Degner, John Surtees, and Mike Hailwood.
Glemseck 101 keeps the spirit of the track alive, hosting 1/8-mile motorcycle drag races down the main straight on a range of custom-built machines. Over the years, we’ve featured several of these purpose-built European sprint racers on BikeBound. Today, we’re thrilled to debut the new racer from of our favorite builders, Bandisca — the Bucharest-based workshop run by husband/wife duo Alf and Mihaela, along with their small family of hard-working shop cats.
Known as “The White Horse,” this sprint racer is based on a 1983 Moto Guzzi V50, built to run in Glemseck’s “Classic Racer Class.” This class only allows bikes up to 1985, and excludes forced induction, nitrous oxide, fuel injection conversions, etc. The aim here is traditional, naturally-aspirated tuning.
The bike itself was a birthday gift from a friend of the shop, Dragos Manta — what a friend to have! The bike had been at the shop for several years as Drago tried to find time to restore it. Says Alf:
“Then in 2020, on my birthday, he dropped by the shop and gave me an envelope…. ‘This is your b-day gift,’ he said. Inside was the Moto Guzzi paperwork! He said he decided to give me the bike because he would like to save it and nobody else but us could do it.”
Alf got the bike running, but it was another year before Mihaela had a vision for the build:
“Mihaela told me we should build a sprint bike to race in the Glemseck 101 sprints.”
The team set out to transform the staid Guzzi V-twin into a monster, using ported V50 Monza heads, a modified cam, and forged pistons in the original cylinders. A pair of Dellorto PHBH28 carbs (with some secret tuning sauce applied) feed the beast through DNA high-flow pods, and an Electronik Sache ignition system allows them to choose from different advance settings, rev limits, and so on.
Meanwhile, Mihaela designed a set of lightweight minimalist bodywork, with a fiberglass tank and aluminum tail section, and a suite of Motogadget goodies keeps the bike road legal — a requirement in the Classic Racer class. The result is one mean Guzzi, more than worthy of the White Horse name:
“The stock engine gives 52 HP with a 7500 rpm redline on a 160-kg dry bike. Our optimal setting is giving us 72 HP with the ignition cut at 8500 rpm…but our bike weighs only 116-kg dry, and this sounds pretty insane.”
We can’t wait to see how it runs at Glemseck! Below, Alf gives us the full story on the build!
“The White Horse” Sprint Racer: In the Builder’s Words…
The history of this bike started several years ago when our friend and collaborator Dragos Manta came to the shop with a very crap and incomplete Moto Guzzi V50 he bought with the idea of making something with it… Dragos is a petrolhead and bike collector; he usually has one or two in our shop. The bike stayed at our place for several years ’cause he never found time enough for doing the project. Then in 2020, on my birthday, he dropped by the shop and gave me an envelope…
“This is your b-day gift,” he said. Inside was the Moto Guzzi paperwork! He said he decided to give me the bike because he would like to save it and nobody else but us could do it.
Clearly the bike needed to be transformed into something special, and clearly we couldn’t build it for sale but to add to our personal collection. First we got it running and updated the technical inspection and paperwork. After that almost one more year passed until Mihaela told me we should build a sprint bike to race in the Glemseck 101 sprints.
In October last year we started to work on it seriously. Seven months passed until we finished it in April this year — a lot of work and challenges, but the result is incredibly awesome.
From the technical point of view, we decided first of all to rebuild and tune up the engine; the engine actually was in good condition and the bike ran fine, but as we needed more power, we decided to overhaul it. Almost everything is new inside: bearings, shells, pistons, gaskets, seals. Some components were really difficult to find, but we were lucky we work with Stein-Dinse, who are true finders of rare parts for Italian bikes, so we got all we needed.
The engine tuning would be traditional, because we are building this bike for the Classic Racer Class of the Glemseck sprints, where they only allow bikes up to 1985 with tuning confined to the possibilities of their era, so no turbos, no NOS, no FI conversions…just traditional tuning.
We are using two ported V50 Monza cylinder heads with a “touched” camshaft on top of the original nikasil cylinders, with new forged pistons and rings, fed by a pair of Dellorto PHBH28 carbs with some tuning tricks applied to them, breathing through a pair of DNA high flow pods, all exhausted by two independent shorty direct pipes, where we put two removable dB killers for homologation reasons (another requirement of the Classic Racer Class is the bike should be registered and road legal).
All setup is commanded by an Electronik Sache ignition system, which allows us to choose different advance setups via the Ignition Control box program, and to set up the ignition cut as high as we want.
These small-block Guzzis are fire. They are light, and the stock engine gives 52 HP with a 7500 rpm redline on a 160-kg dry bike. Our optimal setting is giving us 72 HP with the ignition cut at 8500 rpm…but our bike weighs only 116-kg dry, and this sounds pretty insane.
The lighter result is mainly due to the minimal bodywork designed by Mihaela; we are using a very thin fiberglass tank (some people could identify its origin 😊) with a custom aluminum tail section (several faulty attempts until I was able to do what Mihaela designed 😊) and a minimal front fairing.
The original frame is almost untouched, but we repositioned the Tarozzi footpegs and controls to the rear, seeking the right sprint position in combination with a pair of also Tarozzi offset clip-on bars.
With all these modifications, we needed to stop the bike and obviously the stock brake system was not enough. A full rebuild of the front calipers with original Brembo parts and a new rear Brembo caliper was in order, commanded by a brand new rear master cylinder and a front short travel racing radial master cylinder also from Brembo. Also, the clutch is now hydraulic, actuated via a Brembo racing radial master cylinder.
On to electrics, to achieve legality we trusted again a Motogadget Mo.Unit using Kellerman mini turn signals and tail lights and a pair of Highsider very small headlights placed over the fairing in an endurance style.
A Daytona Velona Speedo and Tacho that gives us the basic info of the ride.
There are a lot of additional details but we will let you explore the pics. The first test with the bike confirmed it is a hell, and the result made us so happy, we don’t know if people will agree it is our best build till now, but for sure will be so controversial. We hope you enjoy it!
Follow the Builder
- Web: www.bandisca.ro
- Instagram: @bandisca.ro
- Facebook: Bandisca
Photo credit: Mihaela Lopez
I almost bought a Guzzi V50 back in the mid 90s, I wish I had done the deal