BMW Motorrad Spezial

Moto Guzzi V7 custom

Moto Guzzi V7
Ritmo Sereno’s work is nothing less than automotive art. The latest special edition to roll out of the Tokyo workshop is this lovely custom Moto Guzzi V7 — based on a US-spec Ambassador imported into Japan and then torn down and rebuilt to Ritmo’s customary high standards.

There’s also a raft of enhancements to make the V7 even more desirable. The mods include a lightened flywheel, Keihin CR carburetion, K&N air filters and (what appears to be) the alternator from a small car. The 750cc V-twin is hooked up to a 5-speed Le Mans gearbox; a custom stainless steel/aluminum exhaust system extracts the maximum power from the motor. Ritmo has also fitted sharp-looking black Excel rims and 300mm AP floating disc brakes at the front.

Moto Guzzi V7
The brake and gear linkages are hand-fabricated, developed from those on the vintage Guzzi racer campaigned by Ritmo CEO Shiro Nakajima. Moving the speedo down to the lefthand side of the fuel tank has cleaned up the front end, while an LED taillight tidies up the rear.

Moto Guzzi V7
The most visible modification is the solo seat, which can be supplemented by a passenger pad that takes a minute to fit (see photo below). It helps make the bike eminently usable: as Nakajima comments, “Even with custom bikes, spoiling the usability and driving creates a bad bike.”

To get an insight into Ritmo Sereno’s production process, head over here.

Moto Guzzi V7
Moto Guzzi V7
Moto Guzzi V7

  • Wow, this is gorgeous. Really impressive how clean and well appointed it is.

    • Bcormalisjr

      Dont like the seat at all

  • Llamacide

    Attn all so called “Custom Motorcycle” builders: Please stop putting bicycle seats on motorcycles….. Thank you!

  • Ben McC

    Looks great with that pillion pad, I’d be leaving it permanently attached.

  • Kerry

    That seat is the same size as any old time Bates seat.

    Terrific piece of work. Just love the Ambassador.

  • George

    nice bike but that seat is just disgusting, it looks a bit like a dogs doodoo.

  • elven

    Strange mix of old and new.

    • Kumo

      Yep. For example it has massive dual brake discs in one end and a drum brake in the other.

  • The Japanese builders have a way of capturing a look of timeless yet understated elegance that eludes most (but not all) Western builders. Whether it is from a restraint of principal color, subdued and organic highlight colors, conservative mechanical changes, period-correct tire sizes, all of those details create an end result that would have fit in fifty years ago and will look current fifty years from now.

    Builders take note of three things: the seat style, color, and add-on are pure genius, the bracketry alone has more design skill than many other complete bikes. The led taillight integration is the benchmark of how to integrate technology in a classic chassis. The balance of shiny and matte silver is almost mathematically precise, the amount of contrast increasing from one end of the bike to the other, to the point of differentiating the fenders and balancing the black headlight nacelle.

    Do we have a candidate for the 2012 calendar?

    • elven

      Sorry, but the brackets for the single pot front calipers are very amateur.The idea of 1960’s style mixed with modern stuff just doesn’t work for me. Why cheap tin 1960’s switches alongside y2000 clutch and brake levers ?
      The modern 2 into 1 looks odd with the 1960’s tank and tail and a 1940’s seat; those modern back shox are odd, likewise the LED lights and indicators.
      Old or new please, the mix just don’t work for me.
      One or the other please.

      • elven

        OOPS!!!!!, I’m going to be called a HATER for having an opinion!
        It looks like it would be a good ride though. :)

        • Don’t worry, elven, it’s not the first time you don’t “get” a bike, and likely not the last. ;-)

          Okay, i do agree with you on one thing – the brake caliper brackets should have been painted black also, then they’d just disappear into the hub. They’re not “amateurish”, they are just basic. Not much more you can do when the adapter is a metal plate.

          • LMII

            i’d call it minimalistic! this is pure and doesn’t need to be a sophisticated piece of artwork.

          • elven

            Easy to go to the breakers yard to find a decent caliper that’s a close fit rather than use old single-pot calipers with flat plate brackets on modern floating discs……and the brakes would be better too….
            but, as I said:…….. It looks like it would be a good ride though. :)
            and that’s the main thing for me.

          • Not to be argumentative, but I don’t understand what you’re getting at. The vintage single-pots work decently and keep the vintage look. What I believe was done here is that those are the original calipers, fitted to larger-diameter discs (which results in more brake torque with all other factors unchanged)… the brackets are simply spacing the calipers out further.

            Putting on newer 4-pots would look even more out of place. I think this was a good choice.

  • Zyon

    I actually like this motorcycle. I’d change the seat to black but the overall look is great.

  • Tonytiger29

    I love the look of this bike. I just have concern over the routing of the clutch cable and the seriously long speedo cable. They look too close to the exhaust sytem. I think they’d melt. Also the throttle cables make this drastic donward drop i find distracting to look at. Overall the bike is beautiful.

  • bryguy9

    I have said before, I don’t “get” Guzzi’s. But that bike is sex and more sexy sex. It just screams. “jump on and ride the hell out of me.” I am afraid to spoil the dream by asking how much?

    • Understanding Guzzis is simple; it’s a V-twin done correctly. If you’re going to air-cool an engine, it helps to actually have the cylinders in the airstream, not hidden behind a wheel or even one behind the other. Just like an air-cooled BMW boxer, same thing. A BMW boxer engine is just a 180° V-twin.

      • bryguy9

        RobL: I get putting the cylinders into the airstream. I even understand reasons for the transverse positioning of the cylinders and how those benefits are maximized in horizontally opposed engines. What I don’t get about guzzi’s is how much metal the engine design seems to incorporate, it appears to me to be a huge hunk of crankcase. Also also don’t get where to put my knees ;-). I am long in the inseam, so with the wrong footpeg placement, my knees are going to go right the cylinder heads sit.

        • I understand what you’re saying. I can’t say I’ve weighed one of these motors and compared it to any others, but I think as far as a V design goes, they’re as close to maximum efficiency as reasonable. I say this by comparing the MG design to the Honda V4 out of the ST1300; aside from the lack of fins (it’s water-cooled), it looks just like the MG motor but longer. Honda’s efficiency in engine design is legendary, making for a reasonable conclusion. But that’s all rough speculation, would be interesting to compare actual weights against a BMW boxer (both an air-cooled and newer oil-cooled), a sideways V-twin, and a parallel twin.

          I really get the seating position issue… I’m over 6’3″ myself, and many bikes are just too little. Modern Guzzi chassis look longer so you might not have as much of an issue. From a custom-building perspective, there is significant flexibility in seat and peg placement. BTDT.

        • Cafebmw

          i doubt your legs are that long. unless you are 48 inseam…

      • Cafebmw

        the guzzi is a v2, the bmw not. the bmw has a boxer engine, each con rod has is own crankshaft pin whereas on a v-engine(like the guzzi) 2 con rods share 1 pin. fundamentally different.

  • Dave Enfield

    Just lovely . Those little old switches , just the perfect touch .

  • Septic the Sceptic

    I like it.

  • KIK

    I would have used a front wheel the same size as the rear for balance,… and a motorcycle seat.

    • I think the wheels are the same size. Rear tire is taller.

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Sorry, but the rear end just looks unfinished to me, and puts too much of the visual weight frontwards.

    • mack-o-matik

      That is what hits me – disproportional front to endpart, you can see it on the 1st and last picture, when the pic is slightly taken in an angle. This engine might be too massive for such minimalistic rear end of bike, and the fact ritmo sereno used this leather tongue as a seat underlines the misproportion in a bad way. I’m glad to see that not every bike they make is a well balanced piece of art, that facts make them even more human to me – keeping on towards zen.

  • Harry Farquhar

    Apparently it’s been quite a while since many of you have ridden a bicycle. I think it’s great that it has something that approximates a seat and mufflers too! Anyway really nice looking bike but then I usually like the Guzzi’s.

  • Mule

    The front calipers are Lockheeds or Grimeca copies of Lockheeds and are plenty strong enough to match the power of this tugboat motor. I doubt it would go fast enough to overpower the brakes regardless. It appears to be a very tidy build and I agree on the comment on the tin switches which don’t look good on any bike ever. The seat just looks like something the owner /builder chose because thats his taste.
    Not mine and a brown seat looks good on very few bikes. This is not one. The shape is fine, but black wouldn’t grab your eye so radically to the seat or it’s shape. At least it ‘s not covered in “Mother of Barstool” like the last choice custom featured here!

    The look of this bike has Japanese custom written all over it. Meaning, there’s usually some really nice detail points that on their own look awesome, but when you step back 10 feet, there is a missing element, or too many elements or styles crashing into one another. The comments by “elven” are right on. “Old or new please, one or the other.”

    Also the first thing that hit me was the “Hanging” throttle cables, which have sort of an Easy Rider/Peter Fonda look to them which don’t go with the bike at all.

    Its a Hot Rod bike and there are no rules and this guy built it the way he thought it should look. It is what it is and I like the wheels and paint. The drooping, continual curve pipe is a Japanese touch as well which I don’t care for. Or maybe they just hang a little too low whch changes the side profile.

  • Lajanik

    The seat would look a lot better if it was a different colour, say black and grey. Wish I could hear this beauty guzzle up the air and bark it out the pipes.

  • the mash up of old and new can sometimes work but i think in this case it looks a little awkward. the wheels particularly look odd and i don’t get why the cables are so long and not routed closer to the frame (as already mentioned) and theres no doubt that a flat “bratstyle” seat would look more conventional if not a little boring. having said that the more i look at this bike the more i like it, id change the wheels and the cables and i think it would be perfect in its imperfections

  • Jacquie

    My favourite Goose customizer is at again. Making me fall in love all over again. The simple design and usage of OEM as well of own manufacture wins me over.

  • KIK

    put a saddle on a cow and call it a pony, truth is that this motorcycle does not lend itself to the minimalistic style they were looking to achieve, i respect that ritmo even tried. of course the front wheel( the metal part is called a rim, the rubber part a tire and both together are a wheel) should be at least the same size. my mom said i dont have to like everything i see.

    • Mule

      Your mom was right!

      • KIK

        after looking at the mule cycles site , i convinced my buddy to turn his sportster into a street tracker,

    • Rims are what the 16 year old racerboys buy, as in “Yo, I need some phat rims, dawg.” The assembly that holds a tire is a wheel, the tire is the tire. These terms commonly mean exactly what they mean so people do *not* have misunderstandings. When I do the calculations for the racers as to what wheels and tires they should use, precision in communication is critical.

      Other than that, I agree with you; the disparity in tire diameter does look slightly odd. Whether that was a style decision, or a limitation of immovable front fender mounting point is immaterial. Doubt it has any effect whatsoever on how this bike rides, it’s not like there are ABS sensors getting confused by differing wheel speeds.

      • KIK

        thank you for the lesson sir,really,. but i still think whatever is called needed to be bigger.

      • elven

        Rims are what you change if you want to keep the original hubs….

  • Anonymous

    The integration of LED taillights is the reference for how to integrate technology in a classic frame. Balance in shiny silver and matte is almost mathematically precise, the amount of contrast is up to the end of a cycle to another, as to differentiate the wings and rebalance the black headlamp nacelle.

    Motorcycle Parts

  • Draco

    It is a fascinating look, much different than what I am used to. Makes me think I should expand my motorcycle horizon.

  • vernon marsh

    Beautiful Guzzi but jeez, put a real seat on it.

  • iRivas

    This has to be the best Moto Guzzi, (or at least one of) I’ve ever seen. Great example of a great bike. Moto Guzzi has never been at the top of my list of bikes I would like to own, but I would gladly take this one.

  • Northwoods

    “Even with custom bikes, spoiling the usability and driving creates a bad bike.”

    Love the sentiment.

  • I am wondering about the seat, will it be comfortable to sit on something like that? It’s the first seat design I’ve seen that looks like that. It is pretty to look at and all I can say is that it is something out of the ordinary.

  • Lew

    I like it a lot. If I owned it I’d put a boring long black seat on it and at least zip tie some of the brake and throttle cables.