2015 MOTO GUZZI LEMANS CUSTOM
THIS MOTORCYCLE'S STORY
By Chris Lesser
Let's start with the custom Motogadget dash, because it says a lot.
The custom faceplate on this single gauge echoes industrial designers like Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs, who believed in concentrating only on essential aspects of an object, and not overburdening it with anything more.
Even the Bauhaus font used on for the two solitary reference numbers reinforces this ethos, with a mark at 4000rpm denoting the start of the power band, and another marking the end. It’s all that’s needed, and it’s punctuated with the only glimpse of color on the entire bike.
But most of what makes this motorcycle special is hard to see straightaway. The essential lines and knuckle-like motor shape have the same distinctive and striking look as the original LeMans. And that’s exactly the point.
Although there are no turn signals, the taillight remains. This was a very conscious decision because of what Boggia suggests is the most striking aspect of the whole design.
"It’s all about how the LeMans tank runs into the seat and into that particular taillight," he says. "That’s what the original designer spent so much care in creating. This isn’t a reinvention. There’s no chopping and rearranging, because the lines were right on these bikes to start out with. Period."
But underneath that classic iconic silhouette this bike is anything but a stock restoration. Take a close look and see that the lower rails of the frame have been eliminated entirely. It’s long been believed that these were redundant members of the famously rigid Tonti frames. Even still, the headstock was reinforced extra trusses were added to the frame for good measure.
Cradled in this over-built nest of girded steel is a 1000cc motor that’s been tweaked, ported and primed. Evenits timing chain has been upgraded—the function taken over by precision aluminum gears. Like Swiss watch making, on steroids.
Add it all up and this bike exudes pure power, even while at rest. Roll back the Tomaselli throttle and let it snap back. Here and feel the extra-heavyweight slides moving up and down inside the Dell’Orto carburetors, like the mouths of some great unseen fish mutedly snapping at the surface of a dark pool.
Then hit the starter button and roll the throttle back again and watch that black water roil and boil as the Guzzi fires up.
Give it gas and its custom reproduction factory race exhaust responds with an angry, unholy roar.
This bike has received many nicknames around the shop. Boggia’s working name for the bike was Appolonia, after the dark Italian beauty in the Godfather II. It’s also variously been called Hellsgate, for how it sounds, and Black Silk, for how it rides.
High performance ceramic bearings have been installed in the powder-coated original LeMans wheels, as well as in the U-Joint inside the driveshaft. But the real secret in this bike’s performance lies is its transmission—a critical ingredient in the overall recipe, says Boggia.
Upgraded suspension helps keep all that power glued to the road—with YSS rear shocks and a period-correct Ducati M1R front end with progressively wound springs.
“The LeMans factory racing close- ratio gearbox with straight-cut gears delivers max power when you really want it—on the meaty part of the torque and power band of a Guzzi.”
And it stops as good as it goes, thanks to twin 300 millimeter floating rotors, four-piston calipers and a massive radial master cylinder—all by Brembo.
- Lighted & balanced flywheel, pistons & rods
- Dual plugged
- Ported heads
- Raceco cam
- lightened flywheel
- Straight cut, close ratio gearbox, with shaved lower dogs for quick shifting. Specially prepared by Zydeco Racing
- Lower frame rails deleted and reinforced
- Brembo radial master cylinder
- Speigler brake lines
- Custom YSS shocks
- Ceramic Wheel & UJ Bearings
- Special heavy weight slides- for quick throttle action
- Velocity stacks
- Factory LM1 Race exhaust
- Agostini rear-sets
- Agostini breather box
- Moto gadget M Unit, M button & Dash
- Custom dash face: Designed by Matias Corea & Peter Boggia
- Dash fabricated by Seattle Speedometer
- M1R 41mm Forks
- 300mm Floating Brembo disks
- 4 piston Brembo calipers
- internal handlebar weights
- Reinforced swingarm
- Straight cut timing gears
- LSL headlight ears
- 7in Bosch headlight – with PIAA bulb
- Paint, & hand pinstriped spaced exactly like original Lemans 1
The process to prep the motor and trans as described below and when done correctly the finish is perfect and will last a very long time as it is seasoned.
- Pressure wash
- Wash in mineral spirits
- Soap & water
- Air dry
- Clean w gas – inside & out
- repeat twice
- Finish w 0000 steel wool and oil — (YES, I really do this.).
The bike’s custom wiring harness originates from a state- of-the-art German-made Motogadget M-Unit—a widget about the size of a pack of cigarettes that uses micro- processors and self-resetting fuses to streamline design and eliminate traditional relays. And that gauge with the custom faceplate? It’s also by Motogaget and in addition to serving as an analog tachometer it’ll allow the rider to toggle through multiple displays—speed, distance, rate of acceleration or deceleration, neutral status, oil pres- sure, and more.
And those cheesey red dice valve caps? “That’s just a nod that with all this high-minded design talk we can’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Boggia. “At the end of the day these are still just motorcycles.”
PHOTOS BY: RYAN HANDT
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A SPECIFIC
DUCATI, LAVERDA, MOTO GUZZI, MV AGUSTA FOR SALE
Every single bike I buy and sell, I personally go through—not someone else. I am the owner operator of my small business, and I take what I do very seriously. I work on the bikes, I ride the bikes.
If you are serious about buying a true collector piece from someone who not only has a passion for these bikes, but works on them, rides them, and collects them then call me. Jokingly people say to me, “these bikes don’t seem so rare as there are so many in your shop” well... I consider myself a custodian for these machines, they should go to people who will love, and appreciate them.