Moto Guzzi California 1100

...few words from the Moto Guzzi owner:

My adventure with motorcycles began when my grandfather gave me a light green mini motorbike. It was a life-turning moment for me and something that made me feel special. Already then, I was very much drawn to personalize this small moped, of course everything was done using whatever materials were available to me, so I applied stickers, wraps, painted lettering on the tires, trimmed the fenders.

In the following years the passion developed with more motorcycles, i.e., Simson, Yamaha and Honda the crowning moment of which being when I finally parked a Harley Davidson in my garage.

For a few years I've been watching how motorcycles are customized all over the world, and already then, I knew that I would like to build such a motorcycle, but the possibilities and number of available places in Poland were limited. I could not make up my mind, and I wanted this project to be unique, stunning design-wise but also in terms of technical solutions. I wanted it to be professionally executed by a team of professionals.

I once read that there is a place in Wrocław that is quickly gaining recognition because of the projects it puts out of its garage.

When I arrived at their doorstep, I met the team, Grzegorz, Michał and I knew that this is a place full of passion, professionalism — and this is how we’ll build a brilliant project.

We talked a lot about the technical possibilities, aspects of working with older motorcycles, what should be included in such a project and where it needs to be included to make it unique in every way possible.

We agreed that we want to choose a motorcycle that will be an excellent base and will be unique, and here it is — the Moto Guzzi California 1100.

After scouting the market, we found a model worthy of our project and it began.

Design, analysis, discussions, disagreements.

Was it worth it?

For all intents and purposes, the design was great, but it was the execution that knocked me off my feet. Perfection and pure design in every element. The motorcycle impresses with its light, simple, yet detailed design, as well as with the technical solutions.

If we can call someone an artist it is undoubtedly the crew of Unikat Motorworks.

Could you expect anything more?

No.

Work done by UNIKAT

Moto Guzzi

The motorcycle has been completely restored and rebuilt, with only the wheels, the beautiful engine and part of the frame remaining from the original... Such a dramatic rebuild required a massive amount of time and UNIQUE skills — after all UNIKAT is Polish for unique. The scope of the modifications done, which were done under the watchful eyes by Tomasz (mechanic) and Grzegorz (designer) in consultation with the charismatic owner Paweł, is presented below.

  • In order to achieve the perfect look and beautiful lines of the café racer, we completely changed the geometry and design of the original frame. This required us to shorten the front suspension and use new rear shocks from Bitubo, for which we made new mounts. To complete the look, two fairings (front and rear) were made from scratch by Tomasz.
  • The use of a new accessory fuel tank was also linked to the modification of the frame by making new mounts. Since this Moto Guzzi model features a fuel injection system, we had to use an external pressure regulator and redo the whole fuel system.
  • Using a custom pressure regulator mentioned above, we were able to modify the intake and exhaust system. We completely ditched the factory air-box in favor of a pair of K&N performance cone fitters. We replaced the original exhaust with minimalist slash cut tail pipes, which combined with the Guzzi V-twin produce a unique sound! 
  • As befits a true flesh-and-blood café racer, we had to decide to install clip-on handlebars. The new handlebars along with completely changed frame geometry forced us to relocate the rider's footpegs. As the original ones were completely unusable, we decided to use a set from a sports bike straight with a racing pedigree.
  • We also replaced all the switches on the handlebars. The intention was a clean and minimalistic design, so we installed the buttons and turn signals in the handlebars grip from Motogadget. A new Motoscope Tiny speedometer, an LED headlamp concealed in the fairing, and a full LED rear lamp required the creation of a nearly new wiring harness, powered by a battery that currently sits under the swingarm in a box we designed.
  • The engine, including the transmission, has not only undergone a thorough overhaul and tuning, but most importantly has undergone a complete repaint.     
  • Wheels from the legendary Borrani company in which we installed thicker stainless-steel spokes.
  • New tires
  • Most of the parts have been polished or mirror-finished, including the wheels, front and rear suspension, valve covers, exhaust system, handlebars, triple clamps and swingarm, as well as a number of other small components. All bolts were re-galvanized or were replaced with new ones.
  • The bodywork, front and rear fairing were perfectly painted by Marcin, creating a coherent whole with polished and chrome-plated elements. 
  • The entire project was finished off with a warm touch of leather elements, such as the upholstery on the seat, the construction of which was made by us from scratch, and hand-wrapped handles.
ManufacturerMoto Guzzi
ModelCalifornia V1100
Capacity1100
Year of build2001
EngineAir cooled, 4 storke, V-Twin longitudinally, OHV, 2 valves per cylinder
Max power74 KM przy 6400 obr./min.