Beautifully designed sports cars and motorcycles, football, heritage, cuisine, the Pope, the Sistine Chapel, Leanardo Da Vinci, the Colosseum, Valentino Rossi – are just a few of the people and items, that make the Italian national pride list. Rustom’s ‘Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber‘ custom might just be another thing to add to that list.
MOTO GUZZI V9 BOBBER CUSTOM, ‘VECCHIO CONIO’
This latest creation by Italian customisers Mattia Foroni, (FOFO) and Roberto Zecca (ZAC) of Rustom Motor Art Design, is unmistakably Italian and embodies the pride of the country, both past, present and future. Its party piece is a paint scheme that’s literally made of money. Welcome to ‘Vecchio Conio’ – “Old Money.”
Rustom’s Guzzi V9 Bobber is defined by a thick centre stripe made up of layers of Lira. The banknotes span from 2002, (when production of the Lira ended), back to 1921. That was the year Moto Guzzi was founded, by two ace pilots and their mechanic. This intrepid design is evocative of old Italy, while the modern guts of the V9 are a nod to its future.
“Italy is passing through a difficult financial period and this motorbike remembers the “golden age” of our country,….”
We asked ‘FOFO’, one half of the Rustom duo, how people have reacted to the bike’s unique finish.
“The banknote finish is a strong message to Italian people. Italy is passing through a difficult financial period and this motorbike remembers the ‘golden age’ of our country, it’s a nostalgic beautiful memory. At the same time, it’s a powerful message for young passionate guys like us, who still believe in our country and in made in Italy. The reaction is great, people really appreciate this paint.”
‘VECCHIO CONIO’ EMBODIES THE PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
Constant juxtaposition of old and new defines this bike. An LED projector headlight bears a visor like those found on vintage café racers. A pair of all-black forks come to rest on a modern alloy wheel, that wears a beefy whitewall tire. A Harley-esque front fender establishes the money motif and acts as a visual anchor.
Flat black pipes draw the eye rearward, past the characteristic Guzzi transverse twin-engine, to a substantial fender which obscures much of the back tire. The tapered tail imparts a sense of elegance and motion. And sure, that’s mostly found on custom lowriders with thumping American engines – yet, it looks right at home on this charming Italian cruiser.
The upper half of the Vecchio Conio is visually lighter; rider and passenger sit astride a slender leather seat, atop a pair of contemporary leather saddlebags. The headlight bucket protrudes boldly from the nose; only the handlebars and mirrors surpass it in height.
Gone is the Guzzi’s original fuel tank, replaced by a flatter, wider type, shouldering a wide stripe of bank notes. The bike’s name, the insignia of its makers and a nod to Moto Guzzi’s founding in 1921 adorn the panel.
Both tank and dash sport a bevvy of knobs and switches married with hand controls that are patently discreet.
With the speedometer positioned on the tank, the dash itself remains uncluttered. A slender flyscreen hides in plain sight, deflecting wind over an integrated ‘TomTom VIO‘. Live routes are displayed when the unit is paired with a smartphone and it can even alert the rider to upcoming speed cameras.
Characteristically, the Moto Guzzi V9 foregoes chain drive, in favour of shaft drive, which lends itself to immediate power delivery off the line. A two-level traction control system keeps everything under control in both dry and wet conditions.
Motive power comes from the air-cooled, fuel-injected, 853cc transverse twin joined to a six-speed transmission. Peak power and torque are 55hp and 46 lb.-ft and with an overall weight around 450 pounds, the ‘Vecchio Conio’, is not just a looker but is more than capable on its feet.
Few bikes evoke the heritage of their country-of-origin, so proudly as the ‘Vecchio Conio’. From its modern underpinnings to its unprecedented paint finish, this bike makes a statement like no other. Rustom tells us they’re building a Suzuki GSX1200 right now and we can’t wait to see what they’ve done with it.
- All images by Nicola Volpi