Some people like to start their day with a big hit of caffeine to get going, others head straight for the gym, personally, I hit the snooze button at least ten times. But a rare few have a very good reason to jump out of bed, get suited up and embrace the morning commute. Open the garage and it radiates like the sunrise, flip the starter and the rumble of the big twin clears the last of the sleep from your eyes and as you pull away from the first set of lights the endless freight train of torque has you beaming from ear to ear. This is just the first moments of your day when you own a Moto Guzzi built by their customising kin, Officine Rossopuro. Known as Hadria, she’s a 2010 Moto Guzzi Bellagio 940, built to serve your everyday needs and guaranteed to please.
From his workshop on Italy’s Adriatic coast, Filippo Barbacane is the man who makes your Guzzi dreams come true. From classic cool transformations to modern marvels, full one-off customs to daily ridden beasts, he can tailor a solution to meet any need. “The name Hadria derives from the name of an ancient Roman city from which the Adriatic Sea, the sea of my land, took its name. I started customizing this model many years ago, considering it one of the most underrated of the brand,” he explains. It’s easy to see why, thumping twin, Tonti derived frame, good fuelling with non-intrusive electronics and that smooth shaft-driven single sided swingarm.
“My idea was not to upset the bike at a riding level but to be able to create a model to use every day and on every occasion, a versatile bike!” Filippo explains. But as is the way, even an everyday bike is far from standard when it rolls out of the OR garage. This, of course, meant it would receive his signature one-off alloy bodywork, but before that could commence the bike had to be prepped to receive it. The big stock tank is not Guzzi’s finest bit of work and looks out of place on the smaller of the company’s cruisers. Underneath, however, you discover they’ve used all that room to store the electrics, so this was all simplified and re-routed.
With the design process underway, Filippo describes some of the difficulties he had to overcome to get to the final drawing. “The challenge was to try to raise the entire line of the bike but without deeply modifying the frame, moreover the tank had to have a slimline, but at the same time with good fuel range and that would allow me to reassemble the large fuel pump.” To achieve this the aluminium sheet has a double step up before it reaches its highest point, while the sides give some muscle, they then slim down to allow the rider to tuck in with a beautiful set of knee dents matched to the seating position.
The rest of the bodywork is built to match, the front fender a practical piece that draws the eye to the small alloy front cowl that in its simplicity gives the bike a smoother, more flowing feel. The plastic is removed from the sides and Filippo hammered into shape his frame fitting side covers with the company logo. Before the rear gets ultra-practical, “The saddle is single-seater and has a cover for the frame at the rear which acts as a luggage rack but which can be easily removed to mount an aluminium top box kit for long journeys.”
But whether you’re on that long trip with a tent strapped to the box, or blasting on the back roads for an hour, the suspension needs to be brought up to speed. Out go the conventional front forks and their less than precise ride and in their place go a set of massive 50mm Marzocchi’s with their radial mounts for the brake calipers. But they’re not a bolt-on affair, requiring a custom set of triple trees that were designed in house and then machined from ultra light, but seriously strong Ergal 7075 alloy. While the radial mounts mean superior braking from Brembo Serie Oro calipers and 320 mm Serie Oro discs.
“The bike has also been raised in the rear with new suspension, this has made it very agile and also suitable for sealed roads or simple dirt roads.” To give the Guzzi that ability the wheels also required a change and the unsprung weight is reduced at the same time. Both the rims and the hubs are aluminium, laced together with stainless steel spokes before being wrapped up in Pirelli MT60 rubber; 5.5×17 and 3.5×18 up front. To put the rider in complete control and give a comfortable ride, the bars have been switched to a pair from LSL and Filippo’s own design of footrests are bolted on, as well as a new Cardan bar also machined from 7075.
Wanting to strip out more weight, down significantly with the heavy use of aluminium, a lithium battery was fitted and the big chunky steel exhaust was replaced with “one made to measure and designed by Mass Exhaust.” Now when you twist the throttle you get the thunderous sound to match the shake, rattle and roll that only a big transverse v-twin can offer. The paint was the final piece, but even here the polished alloy is allowed to shine through. “From the hybrid custom from which it derives, a completely different bike has come out that demonstrates the great potential that this model has to be able to build very different bikes.” The master of the Moto Guzzi has thrown down the gauntlet, who will pick it up?