Mandello del Lario meets the Springfield Mile: Moto Guzzi V9 Tracker
Heritage, history, origins—sometimes to take a really cool leap forward, you have to take a thoughtful look back. That’s exactly what Motovida of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada did when creating its Moto Guzzi V9 -based Tracker. They re-imagined the Moto Guzzi V9 as an 850cc V-twin, shaft-driven boomer for the flat track, but remaining street legal.
In recent years, MotoVida’s Chief Creative Officer Brent Giesbrecht developed a strong affinity for flat track racing. With the left-turn-only style of flat track racing bikes for configuration inspiration and other styling cues drawn from the 1970s, Giesbrecht and the MotoVida shop melded those influences into their 2017 Moto Guzzi V9—based Tracker.
The Matty Paziuk paint job was inspired by an advertisement for a 1976 Ford Econoline van, while the black and white contrasting houndstooth and piping for the Naugahyde seat design was done by Dan’s Place Custom Interiors based on the interior of a late 1970s Camaro.
Gone are the stock cast aluminum alloy wheels replaced with more period-correct polished aluminum rims laced to Moto Guzzi Nevada hubs and the stock shaft final drive retained. Monashee Manufacturing created a mating adapter to correctly space the rear hub. The stock front and rear 16” street tires are replaced with 18-inch rear and 19- inch front Avon Trailrider tires. The Brembo calipers and stainless steel drilled discs were retained.
The stock twin rear shocks were replaced with Bitubo shock absorbers with a twelve-setting spring preload adjustment in rebound and compression. The conventional stock front forks were retained.
The stock V9’s 90° transverse air- and oil-cooled 850cc v-twin engine with aluminum cylinder heads, cylinders, pistons, and one-piece Marelli electronic injection system is retained, but it’s plain that the motor has a lot less bike to propel than the stock 199kg (438.7 lb.) machine. That said, performance may take a bump up thanks to custom headers designed by Roger Goldammer mated to SuperTrapp mufflers.
The hand-built tank is notched to accommodate the engine’s cylinder heads and keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Likewise, the tail, seat, headlight assembly and headstock number plate are all hand-fabricated. The stock headlight unit is replaced by a pair of LED lights that peer through openings in the front number plate. Smaller, lighter fenders replaced the stock units. Safer turns and lane changes are facilitated by Rizoma bar end turn signals.
The stock ALS steel twin tube cradle chassis was largely unchanged, but the passenger pegs are gone and the front peg mounts were relocated six inches aft. Flatter, wider handlebars and more dirt-oriented grips were mounted.
MotoVida says creation of the Tracker took a little over four months from concept designs to completion. They point out that the V9 Tracker “is a fun bike that goes faster, handles better, pops with color and is, ultimately, a combination of Italian quality and style with good old North American dirt track fun. In Brent’s words, it’s a ‘pairing of Chianti and 7-Up.’”
Photos credit: Darren Hull