Emporio Elaborazioni V11
By Ross Sharp - 11 Feb 15
Donor choice is a personal thing, some prefer the tried and tested whilst others march confidently along a rarely trodden path. Some scream sacrilege if an angle grinder is wafted in the direction of Italian machinery but quite frankly, that's nostalgic poppycock. Moto Guzzi is as guilty as any manufacturer of taking existing models, putting them in fancy dress and offering the world a "new riding experience". The V11 was such a bike. That said, a 'Guzzi does posses a little something extra that no BMW or Rice Rocket will ever have. Like Sienna Miller in the film Layer Cake, you know she'll be trouble, expensive, high maintenance and unreliable; but who cares! This V11, "SORPASSO” by Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche was designed to pack a modern punch whilst attempting to maintain a degree of classical elegance. As is often the case these days, the rear end makes or breaks the look of a bike, so the guys focussed initial attention there, removing bulk and proudly displaying one of the Guzzi's key attributes, the near maintenance free shaft drive transmission. Moto Guzzi frames mostly feature a flat bone line front to back so subframe manipulation is limited. Whilst rooting around at a local market a racing tail unit was found, but it turned out to be slightly more work than anticipated to achieve a decent finish. Time had its wicked way with the fibreglass and it was well out of shape. Once repaired a modified Fiat tail light was grafted in and a seat pad upholstered in leather to suit. The motor was in good order and needed only a good service and a retune to run on the velocity stacks and open exhaust. The oil system received slightly more attention, enlarging internal oilways to increase efficiency and importantly allowing for the removal of some ugly external lines. The exhausts are underslung and understated visually but drum a deep baseline from the 1100cc twin. The front end has been beefed up with a set of Showa forks from a Ducati 998, held by modified triple clamps. If you check the photos of the top clamp you'll see fancy knurled reservoirs next to the fork legs. These carry the hydraulic fluid for the brake and clutch levers, further tidying the clutter which can sometimes spoil the view over the bars. A reworked Falcone headlight adds that classic touch but now houses modern bulbs, the speedo and switches; keeping the bars free from plastic nastiness. To match the triple clamps, tank cap and rocker covers, an antiqued finish has been applied. Out went the original fuel tank with its immersion pump and in with a much modded Suzuki unit. The sides have been slimmed down to reduce proportions and the pump mounted underneath, complete with a trick anodised pressure gauge. Super clean clipons with stock fluid reservoris removed and simple rubber button switchgear really enhance the simplistic feel. To make the most of this a new wiring loom was made, hiding as much as possible and miniaturising the oversized relays and connectors. Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche have succeeded in taking a bulbous, plastic clad monster and turning it into a good looking café racer with enough torque to peel Tarmac off the road beneath, whilst introducing an element of over engineering that is unnecessary but oh so desirable. For more, the Facebook page is here and a short clip of the motor's first fire up here. Thanks to F. Porrozzi for the photos.