English Guzzi Chop

English Guzzi Chop

I got this as a stock 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 nger. So in the best ‘chop what you got’ tradition, decided this was its time.

I took the only salvageable parts - back wheel, transmission 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 carb route using Dell’Orto’s pf164’s and a Ducati ignition 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 gear & brake levers which were later fettled by Maz. She also added in the headlight & Maltese cross (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?

                     
                     
                   
                     
                    
                   

Tech sheet

General 

FABRICATION: MOTO GUZZI 

YEAR AND MAKE: 2003 

MODEL: CALIFORNIA EV 

ASSEMBLY BY: NEIL, MAZCHOPZ, CHOPPER 

TIME: 2/3 YEARS 

CHROMING: V LITTLE 

Engine 

YEAR: 2003 

MODEL: CALIFORNIA EV 

IGNITION: DUCATI 

DISPLACEMENT: 1100 

CARB: DELLORTO PF46 

AIR CLEANER: K&N 

PIPES: STAINLESS BY MALC BRAY 

Transmission 

MODIFICATIONS: SHORTENED PROP SHAFT 

YEAR: 2003 

SHIFTING: FOOT 

Painting

PAINTER: RATTLE CAN BLACK 

Frame 

YEAR: 2003 (COUGH) 

BUILDER: HARDUPCHOPPERS - ONE OFF BY GRAHAM BUTLER 

TYPE: HARDTAIL 

OTHER: BESPOKE 

Accessories 

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 

Forks 

TYPE: HUSQVARNA MOTOCROSS 

BUILDER: NEIL 

Front Wheels 

SIZE: 21” 

HUB: HUSQVARNA 

RIM: MOTOCROSS GOLD 

Rear Wheels 

SIZE: 16” 

HUB: MOTO GUZZI 

RIM: REAR: MOTO GUZZI 

TIRES: AVONS 

BRAKES: BREMBO

By Neil ‘Ben’ Benbow


                                                                                                    Tags: 181, guzzi moto -


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