Summon a Moto Guzzi into your mind and you tend to think of a large motorcycle with even bigger cylinders hanging out the side and something that’s carrying a bit of weight. So while they’ve played with small bikes and mopeds in the past, they have at their heart a big bike philosophy, hell they even built a V8 engine to go Grand Prix racing. But in amongst the bruisers have been some lightweight machines that deserve our attention, even more so when the JM Customs team from Scotland have waved their magic wand over one. Their latest build is this gorgeous 1984 Moto Guzzi V65 SP scrambler that is ready to rip it up on the Irish back roads.
“Our client Gary, owner of Follow Leisure in Belfast, Ireland reached out to us after seeing one of our previous builds, Betty, locally where he lives. Betty is a super sweet R80 scrambler that we built a couple of years ago, and for sure Gary wanted something similar for himself, to blast around the Irish back roads,” explains head honcho James Moir, who is joined by chief mechanic Graeme Findlay and an incredibly talented team. With Gary’s father in law having a sweet Guzzi collection, he was able to secure the stock V65 as the donor and send it to JM Customs HQ.
“The main objective here was to build a more modern styled scrambler as opposed to the retro-inspired bikes we have built previously,” James tells us. With the bike stripped down the boys attacked the frame, cutting off the rear behind the tank mounts and the lower section at the master cylinder. The new subframe is simply a work of art, the up-kick in true scrambler style and the twin rails merging as one to box in the side covers giving a feast for the eyes. Then, “we started back and forth about the idea of two lower rails which ran parallel. As we fabricated the lower tubes and fixed them it just really made sense.”
With a set of shock mounts welded into place the powder coat, all done in-house, was laid down on the frame in a slick looking matte black textured finish. The aluminium side covers are the perfect addition with a burnt bronze ceramic coat providing the contrast in the three grilled out slots. Inside the space between them is a full aluminium battery and electronics compartment, providing an ultra neat way of hiding the wiring. With a “rear cover plate that sits up snug under the seat, filling in the last space behind the battery box. Emblazoned with the ‘No Guzz – No Glory’ decal.”
Knowing the less than attractive stock tank was never going to be part of the equation, the team found a solution in the form of a reproduction Honda CB250 unit. With the right modifications made to the front mount, the rear is raised up three inches, the fuel tap moved to the front of the tank to clear the carbs, and some extra metal work done to get it all looking just right. For colour they picked “a gloss black, that has a dark grey to white fade from the front. Once I (James) laid up the gloss black, our in-house airbrush artist Aaron De La Haye painted in the fade which follows the lines of the tank.” With Hurley Custom Seats putting together the perfect match, a scrambler seat with plenty of style.
The ever distinctive Guzzi engine has been given a whole new lease on life, stripped down and painted in a combination of matte black and burnt bronze Cerakote. The top end was pulled down and new valves, seals, and gaskets fitted, as well as a new set of rings. Before the final drive got the same treatment too. The carbs also come in for a rebuild, get the matching paintwork and then the guys at DNA filters sent over a set of their goods with the JM Customs logo included for a neat touch. The exhaust is stunning, a fully fabricated set of pipes that use just the initial part of the stock headers, snaking rearward to finish in a neat end can.
The full system was finished in a Springfield grey ceramic coat to match the front of the tank and the guys even did the collars in the burnt bronze. Onto the suspension and the rebuilt front forks feature a set of custom caps from Fastec Racing with Schrader valves to dial in each side. The rear gets adjustable YSS units, so the bike can be adjusted to suit the owner. Braking is also brought up to par with rebuilt calipers, HEL Performance lines and everything powder coated to perfection. The wheels too are coated in burnt bronze, given new bearings, and then wrapped up in the ever-popular Heidenau K60 rubber.
Finally, the crew could turn their attention to the electronics package and a new regulator/rectifier allows the loom to be slimmed down. There’s a Velona 2 Guage by Daytona, a G-Box Control and handlebar module by Axel Joost, switchgear from their friends at Motone Customs, a GPS speedo module, and some tiny Nano by Koso turn signals. An aftermarket LED headlight and mounts completes the lighting, while a Motogadget m-Lock keyless ignition is neatly hidden behind a side cover and a push to start button hidden underneath the seat on the left-hand side. It’s a busy place at JM Customs, providing mechanical and service work, paint and powder coat, but when they turn their attention to a full bike build, the ever growing team of talent shows of their skill and creativity in the best possible way, delivering another kick-ass custom from Scotland’s finest.
[ JM Customs | Instagram | Photography by Oliver Young ]