V MotorCycles The Mono of Doom
By Anthony van Someren - 13 Feb 14
It's another Honda Dominator street tracker, but you won't see too many quite like this one, built by Claudio Maffi, the man behind V Motor Cycles in Milan. The nx650 is a fairly modern platform in the new wave custom scene, and it's the combination of its reliable punchy 650cc single and the simple spine-frame and monoshock setup that is attracting builders to give them retro-looks to belie their up-to-date road manners... They look great if you simply dump the original plastic bodywork and fit a retro tank, but how about this single-sided swinger and USD forks? It's hard to believe it started out like this... The ambition in this build is explained when you discover a little more about Claudio. "I am 48 years old and I am a mechanical craftsman, I restore vintage Japanese bikes in my small workshop in Milan. I have been in the past an enduro racer and not having a support team, I took charge of my bike alone and prepared for the races also doing repairs directly in the paddock." Claudio is a one-man band, but his hands-on biking past means there's not much he can't do for himself. "I do not have employees, but I lean to craftsmen for work that I can not do individually, an upholsterer for saddles, a coachbuilder for the special paint jobs, some specialized workshops for the calibration of the dampers (shocks) or for the revision of the frames, the rest is done by me in my workshop." After a year of building bikes for a few customers through his solo workshop, V Motor Cycles, Claudio had a few interesting parts left lying around, so he decided to use them to build something for himself. A cheap NX650 presented itself and as Claudio was a big fan of the engine it became the base for his personal project. His plan was to reverse it's offroad manners and build a bike for the road. The donor is a 1992 model, and the build started with a complete engine overhaul, replacing the piston, valve & springs, main bearings, con-rod, etc. The frame has been modified to accommodate the scooped and tilted cafe seat from a 1970s racer, giving the bike an aggressive looking forward tilt but what you probably notice first is the chunky front-end and single-sided swingarm. The swinger was pinched from a 1992 Honda VFR750 while the front end comes from a 2006 Yamaha R1 which also donated the front rim and the rear shock. Front discs are top-notch 320mm Discacciati competition spec. The list of donated parts continues with a 5.5 ich rear rim from a 2000 VFR VTEC while the rear braking system is Nissin using a 220mm disc from a 2011 CBR1000. Braided hoses are aeronautical quality. This bike must stop like a BMX. While the running gear propels this early nineties bike into the future the tank whisks it back to the past as this comes from a 1970 CB500 Four which has been stripped back to the bare metal and left to corrode before being varnished over to preserve the patina, and finished off with a burgundy stripe. The complete exhaust system was designed and built by Claudio while K&N supplied the Air filter and carb kit. "The only detail that does not come from my workshop is the saddle made by Vito, a very skilled craftsman in Milan who manufactures saddles for horses, and is made in leather with snaps (poppers) for easy assembly and disassembly of the tail... I designed the logo, "V" from the name of my beloved Valentina ..." Claudio is a musician who plays bass, and it was this that inspired the nickname of the bike. "Thus was born the "Mono Of Doom", whose name comes from Jaco Pastorius, the greatest bass player in the world, who called his Fender Jazz bass, The Bass of Doom, which was lost after his untimely death in 1987. He also had a great trio, called The Trio Of Doom, with John McLaughlin on guitar and Tony Williams on drums." The Mono Of Doom: Single-cylinder, single-seater, single-mindedness. See more from Claudio and V Motor Cycles HERE. Claudio's next project is a scrambler based on a 1980 BMW R100, which we expect to be something equally special, and we look forward to sharing it on The Bike Shed soon.