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Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
Can a motorcycle ever be classified as a piece of art? The debate is endless, and there’s no right or wrong answer. For some, there is art to be found in the pure functionality of a race bike. For others, the pinnacle of creative skill and imagination is a build from Orange County Choppers.

Many cars have been appropriated for artistic purposes—from the BMW Art Car project to Janis Joplin’s painted Porsche 356. The art-meets-motorcycle club is much smaller, but its membership has just expanded with this Moto Guzzi V7 from the British designer Tom Dixon (below left) and the Italian American bike builder Stefano Venier (right).

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
‘Tomoto’ is an official project supported by the Mandello del Lario factory: It’s a fascinating one-off prototype that is not for sale, and will not be replicated.

Dixon got involved because he’s a longtime fan of the marque: “I’ve had the same Moto Guzzi for 27 years, and it was time for a new one,” he says. “I’ve always tinkered with motorbikes. They were always kind of vintage or collapsing, and I learnt to weld on the basis that I was going to fix a bike.”

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
To get the show on the road, Dixon hooked up with renowned Guzzi builder Stefano Venier of Venier Motorcycles, who flits between his workshops in New York and Pordenone, a four-hour ride east of the Moto Guzzi factory.

“Tom had the vision of building a concept vehicle using simple and raw aluminum,” says Venier, “but it was very complex on the fabricating and building side.” Venier is famed for his immaculate Moto Guzzi resto-mods, and translated Dixon’s ideas into metal.

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
He’s given Tomoto a hand-made aluminum tank and side panels, plus lightweight wheel covers laser-cut using one of Dixon’s signature designs.

The headlight is also adapted from one of Dixon’s most famous products—the ‘Fin’ pendant light—and modified to work as a motorcycle light with high and low beam.

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
It’s the exhaust system that is most intriguing from a technical point of view, though. The headers are not fixed pipes: they’re high-temperature flexible tubing, terminated with simple cylindrical mufflers, made by the Sicilian specialist Mass to Dixon’s specs.

The tires are also unusual, sporting a distinctive leaf tread pattern designed by Dixon and molded into rubber by Pirelli.

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
The beautifully finished seat looks extremely plush, but sets itself apart from the crowd with oblique black stitching. It’s resting on an aluminum seat pan that incorporates a very discreet LED taillight, hooked up to an electrical loom with a smattering of Motogadget components.

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
The finishing touch is dripping hot pink ink from a marker pen on the bare aluminum tank—reading ‘Guzzi’ on one side, and ‘Tomoto’ on the other. It’s a contrast to the metallic precision of the rest of the bike, and indeed, the highly finished logo work you normally find on a high-end build.

Tomoto: The Tom Dixon x Venier Moto Guzzi V7
“Tomoto isn’t the usual ‘build’ from a customizer,” says Venier. “It’s more of a vision—a unique art piece from an icon of the design world who wanted to express his love for Moto Guzzi and the motorcycle world.”

The V7 has already been displayed at Milan design week, and later this year will hit the design show circuit as a travelling exhibit. We’re not sure if it qualifies as art, but it’s certainly thought-provoking. And hopefully it’ll inspire other leading designers to follow in Tom Dixon’s footsteps, and reveal more intriguing ways to style a motorcycle.

Tom Dixon | Venier Customs | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Federica Carlet, Donatello Trevisiol and Gabriele Viganò.