By Anthony van Someren - 27 Jun 13
Guzzis have been around as stripped-down cafe racers for decades, and there are some beauties out there, but this one is a little different. More timeless than retro and definitely built for speed and handling with some serious modification that you don't appreciate, till you dig a little deeper. The bike was built by Jasper Mulder, born and raised in "the Lowlands" as he describes it - aka Holland. He works in the marine construction business and is a long-time track day fanatic and speed freak, riding and racing Aprilias and two-strokes, but after a huge crash on the road he decided it was time to slow down a little. It's a familiar journey for many of us in The Bike Shed, and just like us, it led Jasper into the world of the cafe racer. He bought this Moto Guzzi Daytona without a test drive but as soon as he'd swung a leg over the bike and taken her for a spin he realised the bike needed a lot of improvement. The steering was slow, the brakes were crap and the bike was heavy, but the good news was he loved the engine. Jasper got together with a friend who had all the metalworking skills he needed and the project began in earnest. They chopped the headstock off the frame and re-attached it with a two degree steeper angle to sharpen up the handling. MV Augusta F4 forks and triple-tree were fitted with bespoke bottoms to fit Brembo radial calipers. The biggest problem they had to solve was aligning the rear wheel with wide tyres, so they cut an Aprilai RSV wheel in half and modified it to work with the shaft drive. Simple(!) Jasper also decided to ditch the fuel injection. There were too many boxes and wires, and he wanted a clean look, so it was all binned and replaced with a set of Mikuni HSR 42s, which not only look better but run more smoothly as well. The bike runs a special digital ignition system and the exhaust system is completely home built. The bike also has an interesting mix of donor parts: The oil temp pressure meter mounted in the tank is from an aeroplane. The headlight is from an Ural bought in Russia on Jasper's travels and the fly screen an old iridium visor from an Arai helmet. Despite all the hard work and fabrication the bike has been left looking raw and unfinished, with a used and abused look - leaving the engine to stand out and dominate the bike. Even the minimal paint is Rattle-can wrinkle finish. Jasper tells as that the bike is ridden knee-down and fast (so much for slowing down) - as these track side pics suggest. He goes on to say; "The sound is booming and deep, and everywhere it goes it draws a crowd, covered in brake dust and dead flies. (Sounds like the crowd needs a wash). I will never sell it, this bike is a part of me. There is only one. I've had requests to build something similar for others but I won't. Jasper is now working on a Voxan - which we'd love to see. He plans to ditch the FI for Keihins, add Ohlins forks, radial monobloc brakes and Marchesini forged wheels. The objective is to get the bike down to 165kg with 135 bhp, with retro looks using a combination of top-shelf parts with hand-beaten aluminium. Blimey! ...Bring it on Jasper.