This week it’s all about Italy—with a stunning Benelli replica, a killer BMW R nineT by LuisMoto and a monstrous custom Ducati from XTR Pepo. Andiamo!
Moto Guzzi 1000SP by Fratelli Brambilla Finding the perfect balance between form and function is a moving target. As consumer tastes and trends change, so does the focus of men and women wrenching behind garage doors. Thankfully, amongst true enthusiasts performance remains an all-important trait.
That goes double when you come from a family steeped in racing tradition. Roberto and Carlo Brambilla, sons of former Formula 1 ace Vittorio, have taken what they learned from dear old dad and turned it into a business. This 1979 Moto Guzzi 1000SP is their showpiece.
The unmatched bodywork may irk some, but keep in mind that every bit of ‘form’ has been crafted for performance ‘function.’ So things are as light as they can be. The fairing and tail are fiberglass and the tank is a hand formed alloy unit. Titanium is used everywhere throughout the internals. Hell, the Fratelli Brambilla even shaved 1.5 kgs from the Goose’s crankshaft before boring out the engine out to 975cc and rebuilding it to a race-worthy 115 hp. They’re so focused on performance, Roberto and Carlos even crafted an alloy catch tank to soak up oil coughed up during heavy revving. [More]
1968 Benelli 250 replica More restoration than custom, this 1968 Benelli 250 recently sold at the Classic Driver auction in Zurich. At first glimpse you’d figure it would command a pretty penny—it is an absolute stunner—but you’d be wrong. The hammer dropped for an entirely reasonable $13,000 (USD).
We don’t have any info on the hands responsible, but we do know a few tidbits behind the build. Working from vintage race photography, this replica was pieced together from a combination of new and vintage parts.
Most impressive is the fact that the new bits were reproduced using some of Benelli’s original molds, including that exquisite fairing and sculpted and scalloped tank. More than just some pretty kit, the two-stroke 250 was completely torn down and rebuilt to full race spec.
Bonhams currently has another replica 250 available on its site but I dare say it pales in comparison to this blue beauty. Apologies to all who may have had the cash and inclination on not bringing this to your attention sooner. [More]
BMW R nineT by LuisMoto We’re of many minds concerning the R nineT around here. Wes is a big fan of the Scrambler while I’m more partial to the Roadster’s original charms. Despite these differences, we both agree it makes a perfect base for a talented builder.
And Luis Bertelli is a talented builder indeed. Working out of his Italian shop, Bertelli wanted to pay homage to the Tuscan Hill Climb with his latest Beemer build. Since the historic race began in Saline, Luis has named his lightened and loaded R nineT after that city. Of course, being race inspired, the changes are more than just cosmetic: We’re told that nearly 50 kilos have been stripped from the original roadster. Most of the credit for that diet goes to Luis’ use of lightweight handcrafted, aluminum bodywork, and a swap to Alpina rims. The subframe also shrunk in size and the airbox has been binned as well, helping to drop a further pound or two. While I love the new exhaust set-up, my favorite touch is the front fairing—and the double-kidney style grill that has adorned 4-wheeled Bimmers since Christ was a boy. [More]
Ducati Monster by XTR Pepo I honestly don’t know how he does it. The number of bikes built by Pepo Rosell is staggering—but their quantity is rivaled by the quality. At this point, under the XTR Pepo banner, Rosell is unstoppable.
Case in point, Pata Negra. This heavily modified Ducati Monster (named after the finest of Spanish hams) pays homage to the Ducati TT1 and TT2. The Monster’s trellis frame takes center stage along with Pepo’s handiwork with the new subframe. The TT2 inspired bodywork—both front and rear—and brackets and fenders are all XTR originals. Some of the other parts, borrowed from other Ducs, needed the Rosell treatment as well. The tank came from a 749 before modding for fit and finish and the front forks originally called a SR4S home. In typical XTR fashion, the L-Twin has received the full monty of performance upgrades. The heads are ported and polished, high compression pistons have been fitted, and a lightweight flywheel has been bolted up before the signature Supermario exhaust finished things off.
Obviously there’s more at play than what we’ve highlighted here, so feel free to hop into Pepo’s rabbit hole with both feet. [More]
Walter Castrogiovanni’s ‘La Valchiria’ The Italian zeal for fluid design knows no bounds. While North America’s industrial designers are dreaming up futurescapes of glass and steel, a twenty-two year old from the University of Palermo has created a thing of true beauty: La Valchiria (The Valkyrie). Working from CAD, Walter Castrogiovanni has designed not only the frame, but also the bodywork, foot pegs and brake mounts—and those beefy girder forks.
His aim was to allow for any number of donor motors to be bolted in. Being a proud Italian, Walter of course looked to Bologna first, and installed a 600cc L-Twin from an old Monster. (The wheels were spec’d from a newer, larger Monster 695.) That snaking exhaust isn’t a Castrogiovanni original—it was fabricated by the experts at Silmotor International—but we’re willing to give him a pass. So did his professor: Walter graduated with Honors. [More]