By Ali Latimer - 21 Apr 14
Officine08 are made up of 4 friends, Simone and Danilo, who run their eshop which is focused on vintage and cafe racer motorcycle parts, and then there’s Tullio and Michael, the mechanics and metal workers. They’re based in Italy and this is their first official build; and what a build it is; especially for a first. The donor is a humble 1982 Suzuki GS450, it belongs to Simone’s girlfriend Francesca (what a lucky lady). She had a vision and knew the lines the bike needed to follow and the guys were instantly on board. Everything on this build has been done in-house by Officine08 and the build took a whopping 600 hours. The stunning seat unit/tank was made from 17 pieces of 2mm Aluminium and was masterfully TIG welded together. It’s been brush finished; not even clear coated. The sub frame has been completely remade to carry those lines that Francesca wanted and to allow for the mono shock conversion; which also required the swing arm to be reinforced with a trellis frame. That all-in-one seat unit/tank looks absolutely stunning, we’re so glad they fabricated a number and indicator holder over the back wheel; it would have been a crime to attach it to that work of art. The exhaust system was also built from scratch and now flows under the frame, we imagine there’s more TIG welding hidden under the exhaust wrap. The silencers are angled up for an aggressive stance that aligns nicely with the rear sets. There’s a few lovely little details on this bike, the touches of red on the rear shock and plug caps, the 08 casing plaque, the brown leather grips and the low profile nubuck seat. The deep dash bucket ensures no ugly wires, ignition barrel and speedometer casings can spoil the overall look and we just love the little start button discreetly placed at the end of the warning light line up. A classic bottom mount headlight nestles neatly between the upside down forks from an Aprilia RS125; they will undoubtedly make for a smoother ride. Along with the forks she stole a set of 17” rims that are shod with some sticky Avon rubber, these have also allowed for a rear disc brake to be fitted. The front mudguard looks great, long enough to do its job and short enough not to stand out. The bike has been made to perfectly fit Francesca’s frame; so it’s a bit small for the average size chap, but we’re told she enjoys riding it so much that we doubt anyone else would get a go anyway. The build was done for the 2014 Verona Motorcycle Expo, the guys say it was a bit of a challenge, especially the monocoque, but they are over the moon with the final result; so they should be, especially for a 1st official build. Next up for them is a Moto Guzzi V11; it’s been commissioned already and is under way. It will be treated to a handmade subframe, exhaust pipes, a single seat with hidden pillion seat, handmade fenders and much much more... we honestly can’t wait to see it! Thanks to Michael at Officine08 for sharing this stunning GS450 with us here in the shed, to see what they’re up to, check out their Facebook Page or their Website.