I got this as a stock bikeStock Bike Stock bikes are readily available for purchase with all specifications for that model being exactly the same. No modifications are done and no additional parts are added. When a stock bike is specially order with additional features it becomes a factory bike. around ten years ago as my daily “commute to London bike”. The Guzzi is a great mile muncher, sitting happily at 80mph no fuss all day every day, which was ideal for the 100 mile each-way trip.
Then fatefully one night overtaking a truck on a downhill section I threw it into the front of a BMW coming the other way, ripping the front end clean off the car and the Guzzi. The handlebars ended up in a tree, one forkleg either side of the road and me escaping with only a busted finger. So in the best ‘chop what you got’ tradition, decided this was its time.
I took the only salvageable parts – back wheel, transmissionTransmission The system of gears and chains by which power is transmitted from the engine to the driving wheel. and engine, to Butler at HARDUPCHOPPERS in Sussex, England. Butler specializes in metric custom frames and made this bespoke for me (he also did a Suzuki GS850 frame for me but that’s a different story). I grafted on a set of Husqvarna USD forks in a set of slab yokes made by a “friend of a friend” and then dragged the rolling frame back to my den in Devon.
After a looong conversation with Maz and the girlz at Mazchopz in Weston super mare in Somerset, I changed the front wheel to a 21 inch spoked wheel laced by Talon engineering in Somerset to the Husqy hub and brake rotor. The Electronics and fuel injectors all got fried or smashed in the crash, so I decided to go the carbCarb Abbreviation for carburettor. route using Dell’Orto’s pf164’s and a Ducati ignitionIgnition The way the fuel is ignited inside the engine. This is normally archieved by a spark from a spark-plug. pack. Maz kindly made sure all this worked as it should and also off-set the engine and transmission slightly to clear the rear tyre I had chosen. While she was at it, she built the side stand, knuckle- duster sissy bar and one-off handlebars. The old Sporty’ tank was one I had hanging around (as you do) and my mate Chopper and I put that and the back mudguard (fender) in place before it all went off to powder coating c/o Micky Morgan in Devon.
Micky also started on the gearGear The set of toothed parts, such as wheels, disks and chains, that mesh with the teeths in similar, but different-sized parts in order to transmitt force and motion between rotating shafts. Gears control the number of revolutions per minute and hence the force. & brake levers which were later fettled by Maz. She also added in the headlight & Maltese crossCross Extreme motorcycles designed for driving in rough terrain or on cross tracks. (iron cross) rear light and fi nished off a few other odds and ends.
The seat was made by Chopper and features the ‘California Love’ logo and Bear, called bear because my ‘er indoors’ – the ever suffering Laraine, who had the patience of a saint as I dragged this through three counties, numerous barns & workshops, to sit with my mates as we put this together, she reckons it sounds like a grumbling bear… then it went back to Maz who with her ace sparky Gwynnie put the electrics together & finally made it all go bang!
Since then Malcy’ built the aluminium oil tank (in the original the oil breathes into the frame and at rest drips back). He also built the beautiful stainless straight through pipes.
From stock bike, through near total disaster to full custom ride – I am blessed with great friends eh?
- FABRICATION: MOTO GUZZI
- YEAR AND MAKE: 2003
- MODEL: CALIFORNIA EV
- ASSEMBLY BY: NEIL, MAZCHOPZ, CHOPPER
- TIME: 2/3 YEARS
- CHROMING: V LITTLE
- YEAR: 2003
- MODEL: CALIFORNIA EV
- IGNITION: DUCATI
- DISPLACEMENTDisplacement The volume through which the piston travels during a single stroke of an engine. This term is sometimes also used for the total volume displaced by all engine pistons. The displacement is measured inn cubic centimeteres (ccm).: 1100
- CARB: DELLORTO PF46
- AIR CLEANER: K&N
- PIPES: STAINLESS BY MALC BRAY
- MODIFICATIONS: SHORTENED PROP SHAFT
- YEAR: 2003
- SHIFTING: FOOT
- PAINTER: RATTLE CAN BLACK
- YEAR: 2003 (COUGH)
- BUILDER: HARDUPCHOPPERS – ONE OFF BY GRAHAM BUTLER
- TYPE: HARDTAIL
- OTHER: BESPOKE
- BARS: MAZCHOPZ
- FENDERS: FRONT NONE REAR: CHOPPER
- HEADLIGHT: CHINESE
- TAILLIGHT: MALTESE CROSS
- SPEEDO: CHINESE
- ELECTRICS: GWYNNIE VIA MAZCHOPZ
- GAS TANK: O/S MUSTANG
- OIL TANK: ALUMINUM BY MALC BRAYGWYNNIE VIA MAZCHOPZ
- OIL SYSTEM: MODIFIED MOTO GUZZI
- SEAT: BY CHOPPER
- TYPE: HUSQVARNA MOTOCROSS
- BUILDER: NEIL
- SIZE: 21”
- HUB: HUSQVARNA
- RIM: MOTOCROSS GOLD
- SIZE: 16”
- HUB: MOTO GUZZI
- RIM: REAR: MOTO GUZZI
- TIRES: AVONS
- BRAKES: BREMBO
By Neil ‘Ben’ Benbow
The Horse BC Issue #181$7.99