Think of a custom Moto Guzzi, and it’s invariably built in the ‘classic’ style: Timeless café racer lines, muted colors and bare metal. I’m a fan of that look, but it’s also refreshing to see someone take a completely different approach—and pull it off spectacularly.
This rapier-sharp V50 is called ‘Opal’ and comes from Arno Overweel, founder of Rno Cycles in Culemborg, The Netherlands. The styling is dominated by a bold, rising waistline that shows off the V-twin motor beautifully. The balance of the revised frame is so good that I’m hoping Moto Guzzi’s own designers are taking note.
The bike was commissioned by Goparts, a Dutch motorcycle accessory company, and Overweel designed many of the custom parts using CAD. He started with a 1982 V50 III, a bike that was popular in Europe but little known in the US. It has the small bore 490 cc motor with a five-speed transmission, but Overweel has changed the gearbox housing to the kick start ‘Nato’ type—so the electric starter (and its weight and paraphernalia) is gone.
Carburetion is 28mm Dell’Orto, mated to twin K&N filters, and the custom-fabricated exhaust is stainless steel under the wrapping. The suspension has been upgraded with new fork internals and a custom swing arm, ten centimeters longer than stock, hooked up to an HK Suspension monoshock.
The original 18” Moto Guzzi V50 wheels have held up well aesthetically, so they were refurbished and fitted with semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sporty tires. There’s a sprinkling of Rizoma parts throughout and local company Ben Oud’s Kustom Paints applied the immaculate paint.