Every now and then, we profile a bike designed for a builder’s own use: It’s always interesting to see what happens when there’s no brief. But I don’t think we’ve ever shown a bike that a builder has designed for his infant child to ride in the distant future.
Axel Budde of Kaffeemaschine has built this Moto Guzzi with his daughter Tilly in mind. She’s not yet three years old, so he’s thinking ahead at least 15 years.
The only original parts on KM 19, says Hamburg-based Budde, are the rubber carburetor flanges. Every other component has been modified or improved in some way, right down to the fasteners.
“KM 19 started with a double duplex brake from a V7 850,” says Budde. “I liked the idea of building a relaxed, all-day ride for myself, using that brake in the front—and a rear drum brake from an 850T, so that the horizontal fins are exactly the same front and back.”
Yes, it’s an obsessive level of detail, but it’s also why Budde is one of the world’s top Moto Guzzi specialists. And although the brakes look original at first glance, it’s a setup never used by the Mandello factory. Not surprisingly, Budde reports that it took “a big effort.”
The frame from an 850T, heavily modified. After a complete stripdown, Budde has modified the rear section, and attached new brackets for electrics and body parts. He’s also used the top tube as an engine breather—in the same way as later Le Mans models. “My intention was to achieve a very clean and sober look,” he tells us.
The engine and transmission look better than new. They’re from a 1000 SP tourer, and completely rebuilt. “I widened the intakes to fit 36mm Dell’Ortos,” says Budde. “It’s also got a lighter clutch/flywheel. The rear drive is a rebuilt 850T unit, and the swingarm is from a Le Mans Mk 3.”
The finish on these parts is just right—not too glossy or ‘restored,’ but looking like they’ve just come out of the box. The cast valve/generator covers are especially classy.
The fork is a rebuilt Le Mans Mk II unit, with new dampers and tubes. Budde had to modify the internals of the drum brake and mill new supports to get everything to fit, since the fork is narrower than the V7 unit.
New Fournales shocks suspend the rear, and the 18-inch rims are from San Remo. The vintage-style rubber is Heidenau.
The cabling to the rear brake is completely hidden, requiring more frame mods and one-off foot controls. Wherever there is new tubing, it’s steel—pressed by hand with a self-made tool at the ends, to achieve a low-key nostalgic look.
The handlebar setup is definitely attention grabbing, though. “The idea came to me by accident, when I was bending tubes for clip-ons,” says Budde. “It’s a fully-welded unit with the electric cables running inside.”
For a minimalist look, Budde has hidden the brake distributor (two cables from the brakes, one to the lever) inside the headlight bowl. The bowl is is a replica of an old Kreidler part, and suits the bike perfectly.
There are no handlebar switches; instead, push buttons are controlled by a Motogadget m-Unit. The knob on the top yoke is the main switch, and there´s also a hidden ignition key underneath the seat.
The simple hybrid analog/digital instrument is from MMB, with a custom design by Kaffeemaschine. Budde has wired the rest of the electrics too, fitting an electronic ignition system for modern-day reliability.
The rear light is a one off, made out of an old bicycle headlight. It’s hiding an LED insert behind the lens from an old Bates rear light.
The exhaust system, seat and tank are also custom made. It’s a smoother and more curvaceous tank than you normally see on Guzzis, and Budde will be offering fiberglass repros for sale via his website soon.
And the color? “When I told my daughter that this is the bike I would give to her to one day, she insisted it had to be blue!” says Budde. After a long search, he discovered a vintage Volvo blue—adding a touch of cool Swedish style to this otherwise very Italian machine.
We doubt that young Tilly fully appreciates the skill and craftsmanship that her father has put into this Guzzi build. But in a few years’ time, it’ll make one helluva present.
Let’s just hope that there’s still gas in the pumps in 2035 or thereabouts.