A Moto Guzzi Café Racer from Hardcore Division…
In 2001, Moto Guzzi introduced the V11 Sport Scura — a high-spec special edition of their “sportsbike par excellance.” It was a bit of a giant, weighing in at 487 pounds dry, but still capable of 12.2-second quarter mile runs and a top speed of 135 mph.
Not surprisingly, the engine was pure Guzzi — a transverse 90-degree V-twin whose basic designed had hardly changed since 1967.
“As amazing as it might sound, in dyno testing, the old dinosaur that is the current two-valve-per-cylinder, 1064 mill of the V11, churns out close to 80 rear wheel horsies, giving an even fight to BMW’s modern four valve per cylinder 1150cc unit. More than honorable for such an old lady and living proof of the basic virtue of Guzzi’s V-twin.” —Motorcycle.com
The Sport Scura’s engine was rated at 91 hp at the crank, and benefited from fuel injection, electronic ignition, and a six-speed gearbox.
Enter our friend Dario Di Mauro (@rustyvmotors) of Hardcore Division, builder of the Moto Guzzi T5 café racer we recently featured, who wondered if he could shoehorn that 1064cc V11 Scura engine into the chassis of an old ’83 California II — a bike that had just 65 hp from the factory:
“The bike was built because I am a gambler, and because someone with a more prestigious name told me it couldn’t be done…”
What’s more, Dario worked hard to make the bike handle the power well:
“The biggest challenge was to obtain modern handling starting from a frame that, however functional, is decidedly antiquated.”
To that end, he gave the bike multi-adjustable Marzocchi upside-down forks, longer / wider swingarm, 17-inch wheels, and upgraded rear shocks. His friends at Volcano Industry handled the saddle, while the stainless exhaust was built in collaboration with Mistral Special Parts. The result is “Wild Silver” — one of the cleanest, baddest Guzzis we’ve seen:
“Bestial engine torque and the elegance of a bullet.”
Below, we talk to Dario for the full details on the build.
V11 / California Café Racer: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The project stems from an old 1983 Guzzi California 2 chassis brought to the twenty-first century with the inclusion of a totally reconditioned engine from a 2003 Guzzi V11 “Scura” with electronic fuel ignition.
• Why was this bike built?
The bike was built because I am a gambler, and because someone with a more prestigious name told me it couldn’t be done… I don’t particularly like building motorcycles under commission, because this would inevitably limit my vision. Those I do inevitably sooner or later find an owner.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept of this bike starts from the desire to put the fantastic 90-degree V-twin at the center of attention (for me a real piece of design that would look good in the center of any living room). In fact, the bike has been reduced to the essentials, and even the same livery with two different shades of gray has been deliberately sought so as not to distract attention from the real protagonist!
The only concession to the color is the fantastic Alcantara saddle made by the friends of @volcanoindustry.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The custom works performed on the bike are innumerable. The biggest challenge was to obtain modern handling starting from a frame that, however functional, is decidedly antiquated. In addition to the evident adoption of a multi-adjustable Marzocchi upside-down fork, a longer and wider rear swingarm was fitted, capable of housing a 4-inch tubeless spoked rim with 160 tire. It was therefore necessary to adopt rear shock absorbers 39 cm high and modify the attachment to the frame. This, together with the use of 17-inch wheels, make the bike particularly responsive.
Particular attention has been paid to the details: the rear light support completely made of stainless steel, the supports for the tailpipes, the fantastic tailor-made exhaust made in collaboration with @mistral_special_parts (thanks for your patience Alex !!).
• Does the bike have a nickname?
The nickname of the bike is “Wild Silver”…. bestial engine torque and the elegance of a bullet.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
As soon as you get behind the wheel, you immediately realize the generosity of the engine, ready at any rpm, thanks to the electronic ignition of the fuel, which is extremely smooth in the delivery of power. But the most striking thing is the extreme handling!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The thing that made me most proud of this project is the handling which, combined with a fluid delivery engine, makes the bike usable in everyday use.