BMW Motorrad Spezial

Marco Lugato Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi cafe racer
If there’s one class of bike that gets my motor running faster than any other, it’s a Moto Guzzi cafe racer. This machine comes courtesy of the Italian publication Special Mag—the bike is owned by Francesco Venturi, a young architect, and was built by Marco Lugato. The 1000 SP arrived in Lugato’s workshop disassembled in two boxes, which at least made the process of blueprinting the engine and sandblasting the frame easier. The bike is a mongrel, but in the best possible way: the rear frame was modified to accept the seat from a 1970 Laverda, with the bars coming from an Aprilia Tuono and the front fork from a Kawasaki ZX-6R. The muffler is a SuperTrapp, and the speedo is from a Harley-Davidson. Brembo’s top of the range Serie Oro brakes are matched to aluminum rims to reduce unsprung weight. To my eyes, the powder blue paintwork and tan leather seat are a perfect contrast with the blacked-out mechanicals. I’d be wary of the grip from the knobbly tires, but I bet this Guzzi is a blast to ride. [Many thanks to Dino Lodola and Roberto Brodolini of If you can read Italian, check out a PDF of the original article here.]

PS: If you like your two-wheelers unpowered as well as powered, take our sister site Cycle EXIF for a test ride.

Moto Guzzi cafe racer
Moto Guzzi cafe racer
Moto Guzzi cafe racer
Moto Guzzi cafe racer

  • joe momma

    ……….i getta go first two articles inna row…………………….??this is the twilight zone…….!

  • Simon Godden

    Needs a rear 3/4 shot for the full view.

  • Justin

    heck ya!

  • Guest

    It’s like a dual-sport cafe racer…

  • Lancehouston

    The bulkiness of those knobby tires compliments the bulk of the Guzzi engine.The black rims &
    mechanicals do compliment the tan seat & blue tank! There’s also a raw utilitarian feel going on
    with the MX side covers..Standard , simple , Nice!!

  • Steve

    This is a fine bike. It is not by any stretch of the the imagination a cafe racer. Cafe racers are not a state of mind; you cannot just hang this tag on any modded bike you can’t come up with a name for. Cafe racers have low bars, clipons or ace style. If you disagree you are wrong. Can I put it any more strongly without being deliberately offensive? PLEASE GET IT RIGHT

    • Several decades ago, yes, that was the definition of a cafe racer. Things have moved on.

      • elven

        Sorry, disagree. Cafe racer is a style on its own… anyone want to redefine Bobber ‘cos the idea is over 60 years old?

    • BoxerFanatic

      Other than not having a high-pipe for water crossing, it is much closer to a scrambler, than a Cafe Racer pared-down road racer.

      Scramblers can be every bit as much fun, but aren’t set up for ton-up on the street, but rather were earlier versions of what is now known as “dual-sport”, and descend somewhat from war-time bikes that had to deal with rubble and damage, and cross-country terrain off the road, not clean open roads for high speed, like a cafe racer street bike.

  • BoxerFanatic

    This is a nice looking road and light-terrain bike.

    There is just something right about this drivetrain layout that is right.

    I am not sure which is the better trade-off… the increased ground clearance and compact width of the Moto-Guzzis, or the inherent inertia benefits and balance, and increased cooling exposure of a BMW boxer.

    Either way, I really like longitudinal drive bikes that are not monstrously large.

  • BoxerFanatic

    I wonder if tank racks are coming back into fashion.

    That is kind of a cool one, and seems like a very utilitarian piece to lash carry-along parcels onto, or as a base for a tank-bag.

  • Sam Taylor

    What an unusual machine. I’m not exactly sure how to comment; I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a mix. Maybe I just need to say, I dig it.

  • Chris Gillham

    cafe racer, dual sport, scrambler, cruiser, supersport….who cares its feaking awesome! the paint, the parts bin build, the exhaust, the brakes and on and on are perfect for mine. love it.

    i really hope this build doesn’t get over shadowed by a petty cafe racer debate. it is what it is.

  • Badbike69

    Very nice mix of stiles. I think that this tyres are not for the road, just for photo session.

  • Eric J. A.

    I will agree with Steve above – this is a great looking bike, but it is not a cafe racer! To Mr. Hunter – just because trends and popular styles change does not mean the definition of a style changes with it.

    Keep up the great work on the site.

  • Martin

    I like the bike a lot. I’m just trying to figure out exactly what is supposed to end up on that rack on the tank. I’d like to see the rack in use as well. Something foreign. Strapped onto the rack there could help provide some scale for the viewers as well.

    • JT

      Six half liters of Peroni

  • Its a really sweet bike, I like it a lot but I’ve got to agree with steve and Eric, its not a cafe racer.

  • elven

    Cafe racers don’t have dirt-bike tyres, they would be behind the other Cafe racers with proper road tyres.

    • elven

      Looks more like a “Street Scrambler”.
      Very nice wharever it is; easy job to swap the tyres for proper ones.


    There are two problems I have with labeling this as a café racer: It always starts the same old argument over what a “real” café racer is, and when I saw the title yesterday of a Guzzi Café, I got excited. Sadly, after viewing, I thought: “Well, looks like a fun dirtbike” (although really well done one at that).

    BTW – “Cafe racer” is still in the keywords. :)

  • Fearmytwin

    Who the hell shot these photos? Learn how to balance your damn camera. Apologies if you only have one arm, but still terrible.

  • Lovin’ the paint job, and don’t mind the seat color this time. It seems to work on this bike. Lovely build and looks ready to ride. I’m not a huge front fender supporter, but with the knobby tires, I would want a fender since I would be inclined to drive this thing over islands, dirt, the center of the freeway and all kinds of other places I wouldn’t normally take a street bike.

  • MarkF

    I think this bike has its roots in the “competition” oriented dual purpose bikes like the CSR AJS/Matchless 650s, which were (in theory at least) capable in most forms of bike sport and also in hot bikes like the BSA A65 Firebird, Triumph TR6 and BSA A10 Spitfire – an honourable tradition.

    But yet again, a bike without a front mudguard! Not very practical… Can nobody design a workable front mudguard?

    Also not quite sure about the gift-wrapped downpipes, still each to their own. I think it’s a fine bike.

    However the tyres would be very useful on some of the crumbling roads we have in the UK.

  • Guest

    I have fianlly realized what I wnat to do when I grow-up: I want to be a member of the Cafe Racer Police. Anybody know where I can join this fine organization?