There is not much motorcycle manufacturers that have been around for a hundred years. Especially if you ignore brand revivals or foreign company takeovers.
Last year, Moto Guzzi celebrated a century of continuous motorcycle production. It was a surprisingly low-key affair, but at least one custom shop decided to mark the event – Gas & Oil Bespoke Motorcycles of the Czech Republic.
The Prague workshop is over 500 miles northeast of the Moto Guzzi factory in Mandello del Lario, but this SP1000-based machine is Italian at heart. Called “All Blue”, it highlights the 90-degree V-twin engine that the brand is famous for.
“All Blue is our idea of what a ‘100th anniversary Moto Guzzi’ should look like,” says store founder Matěj Sysel. “We received the commission from a client who is a huge Moto Guzzi fan.”
Gas & Oil started the procedure by dismantling the 948cc engine. It’s an old-school, air-cooled mill with just two valves per cylinder, but it delivers a decent 62 lb-ft of torque just after 5,000 rpm, and once idle it’s smooth and powerful.
After refurbishing and reassembling the engine, Matěj and his team repainted the crankcases and installed a pair of beautiful new Dell’Orto PHF carburettors with accelerator pumps.
The engine is now pressed into a restored and refinished frame from a California – a machine renowned for its good handling, despite its touring experience.
The rear of the frame has been carefully truncated to accommodate a classic cafe “hump,” but Gas & Oil has retained and restored the original California forks.
The hump behind the pristine tuck-and-roll leather seat is a classic, but not easily identifiable, Yamaha component. It is part of an SR gas tank, with a circular brake light built into the rear.
New YSS shocks maintain handling and are flanked by megaphone-style mufflers from Czech manufacturer Sharon. They are hooked up to custom stainless steel exhaust manifolds, which run under the Tarozzi footpegs.
The 18-inch alloy wheels have been treated to the same finish as the engine and are shod in Bridgestone Battlax BT46 rubber, a modern production tire with a vintage-style tread.
Brembo brakes are completely rebuilt, with new rotors included. “In addition to that, we used a Cerakote coating for the stirrups,” says Matěj. “It is very resistant to high temperatures, as well as to the chemical effects of brake fluid.”
The slightly heavy styling of the original SP1000 has been lightened with inspired construction. The tank is low and square, and started life as a Yamaha RD unit; it is now dominated by a fast-acting racing fuel intake on top.
Brilliant blue paint – a nod to Italian sport colors – extends to the bespoke bars, which have been outfitted with classic toggle switches in 3D-printed housings.
Directly ahead is a compact Motogadget MST Speedster analog gauge. The German outfit also supplied the mo.blaze bar-end turn signals, which are probably the most advanced elements of this otherwise ultra-classic build.
‘All Blue’ gets a big thumbs up from us because it sums up everything great about classic Guzzis, with the remarkable V-twin as its centerpiece. The custom scene may be embracing fancy technology at a breakneck pace… but builds like this prove there’s still a place for old-school cool.
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