Some bikes always seem to be customized in a certain way: Many of the CB750s and Bonnevilles we see are hard to tell apart.
João hails from Coimbra, Portugal, and runs his workshop after hours. This is the second Redonda build we’ve featured, after his amazing Metisse-inspired Husaberg, and we’re now wondering if it’s time he went pro.
This time around, João was in the mood for something Italian. So he sourced the Mille GT and got stuck in.
“I always liked Italian motorcycles,” he tells us. “I think they are different from all others.” (The Mille GT is certainly different, being a short-lived, late 80s hybrid of the T5 and California.)
“For me, an Italian motorcycle must have some fine lines, should have style, must be fast and invoke racing.”
Back in the day, the Mille GT’s 948cc engine was specc’d at 67 hp. Adequate, but hardly exciting—so João decided to remedy this.
He started by lightening up the flywheel and upgrading the distribution system with a more modern version. It hasn’t really squeezed any more horses out of the Guzzi, but it’s changed how it behaves: “Now the engine gets up to speed very quickly—like a real race bike.”
Further improvements include a new set of Keihin FCR40 carbs, and an external oil filter kit to facilitate maintenance. The exhaust system is custom—meticulously designed for optimal performance and to “create beautiful bass.”
The bike’s a little easier to ride now too, thanks to a Hebo hydraulic clutch. And João’s gone to the trouble of rewiring it with modern components—like a Motogadget m-Unit, Dyna III ignition, a lithium-ion battery, new coils, and a new alternator and rectifier.
The suspension’s all new, with upside-down Showa forks up front, and a pair of Öhlins shocks out back. João retained the stock rear disc brake, but upgraded the front with 6-piston calipers, a Nissin radial pump and two 330mm discs.
He’s kept the stock 18-inch wheels too, for a classic feel, but fitted Maxxis Promaxx Street rubber, a high-performance bias ply design.
João’s done well to take the Mille GT from rundown beater to daily runner, but he’s given it a dash of style too. The bodywork is intriguing and spacious—this is a ‘Grand Tourer,’ after all.
Up top is the original tank, modified for a racier effect, and fitted with dual filler caps as a nod to old endurance racers. New fenders at both ends complete the bodywork.
The front fairing/headlight combo is a little unconventional, but we still dig it. Behind it is a new speedo and a set of clip-ons.
The tailpiece is a one-off, made from fiberglass to match the tank’s proportions. Inspiration for the dual taillights came from Italian sports cars of the 80s.
The Moto Guzzi is sprinkled with lovely details, and wrapped up with sublime paint and pinstriping.
“The color scheme was inspired by the Moto Guzzi brand colors,” explains João, “but in different tones, in order to make the bike elegant and distinct.”
Elegant and distinct is right: this old Guzzi has all the right junk in all the right places. And these days, you can pick up a Mille GT for a couple of Gs—probably half the price of a decent Le Mans.
Now that’s got us thinking …