Last summer, we tracked down four of the world's top motorcycle builders who have a passion for the Moto Guzzi brand, and launched the V9 Custom Builder Project.
Choosing Australian native Craig Rodsmith was a no-brainer. Rodsmith, owner of Rodsmith Motorcycles in Lake County, a town just north of Chicago, was already known by Eagle Brand fans for his shiny dustbin racer, a customized 1969 Ambassador.
The man, who is also known for customizing World War II fighter jets, completed his V9 Custom Builder Project in café racer style, bringing mounds of additional appeal to the already beloved platform.
Before the build, Rodsmith said “When I was first asked to do this build I immediately knew where I wanted to go with it; a traditional 'retro' cafe racer on a modern platform. Having grown up road racing, I have a thing for GP/production race bike styling and Italian machinery!”
This thoughts followed Rodsmith throughout his build of the Moto Guzzi V9, and things got crazy. Mostly everything was crafted by hand, including the aluminum gas tank, bodywork, tank, seat, front fender and side covers. But Rodsmith isn’t only about aesthetics; he craves serious power, also, and this led to the additional of a turbocharger. Yes, the V9's 90° transverse air-and oil-cooled 850cc V-twin engine is turbocharged, the Garrett T15 a beautiful addition to the already beautiful exhaust that Rodsmith built.
Next, Rodsmith detabbed and stripped the frame before powder coating it "anodized" red. He then added Marzocchi inverted front fork with radial Brembo calipers; stripped all the black-powder coating from the engine; and polished the valve covers and timing cover. Also added were rear set footrests, stainless braided brake lines, a custom headlight bracket, and of course custom wire-spoked wheels.
For added taste, the wiring was hidden, and the switchgear was crafted out of metal. And that gas tank...the hand-pounded tank features a deep teardrop indentation that creates some seriously smooth lines.
The outcome? Just take a look at the photos. This is for sure one of our favorite V9 builds. Well done Rodsmith; we're already anticipating your next Moto Guzzi build!
Rodsmith Turbo Moto Guzzi V9 Custom Specs:
● Model: 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
● Engine: 865cc air-cooled transverse V-twin with Garrett T15 turbocharger
● Air Intake: Aluminum intake plenum by Rodsmith
● Exhaust: Custom stainless steel system by Rodsmith
● Transmission: OEM, six-speed
● Fuel Tank: Hand-crafted aluminum by Rodsmith
● Frame: OEM, detabbed and powdercoated
● Front Fork: Inverted 50mm Marzocchi
● Shocks: Custom by Supershox
● Brakes F/R: Dual 320mm floating rotors, 4-piston Brembo calipers/single 260mm rotor, 2-piston Brembo caliper
● Wheels, Aluminum Excel rims with stainless spokes and Rodsmith-modified OEM hubs, 17 x 3.5 front; 17 x 5 rear
● Tires, F/R: Pirelli Diablo Corsa, 120/70-R17 / 160/60-R17
● Handgrips: Aluminum and leather
● Headlight: OEM
● Taillight: LED
● Rear Sets: Slipstream Cycle Works
● Turn Signals: Speed of Cheese Racing
● Seat: Perforated leather upholstery stitched by JBseatz
Photo credit: Grant Schwingle