The mainstream of Japanese custom bike building has a very specific look—largely created by the hugely influential Tokyo builder Brat Style. And the bikes themselves tend to be quite specific too, mostly based on Yamaha SRs and XS650s, the Kawasaki W650, and Harley-Davidson Sportsters. So it’s very unusual to see this style applied to a European marque. But that’s what the Dutch builder Rno Cycles has just done with this Moto Guzzi V50.
Rno is run by Arno Overweel, and is based in the small, low-lying town of Culemborg. The starting point was a 1985 V50 Monza, with the electric start removed and a kickstarter retro-fitted. Overweel upgraded the stock 24mm Dell’Orto carbs to 28mm items, and fitted them with K&N filters and custom intakes. The stainless exhaust is also custom, running straight under the seat and terminated with a shortened Supertrapp muffler.
Overweel chopped the rear section of the frame, and at the front, replaced the stock suspension with 50mm upside down forks from a Cagiva Mito. The bars are from a Yamaha Grizzly ATV, believe it or not, and fitted with Yamaha R1 controls. The clearest link back to the Brat Style look is the tank, lifted from a Harley-Davidson Sportster and adapted to fit with modified mounting points and a relocated petcock. The result is distinctive, well thought out and one of a kind. I wonder what the Japanese would make of this? [Images by Floris Velthuis. Thanks to Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles for the tip.]