death machines of london has traded engineering-convenience, again, for the pioneering of unruly parts. the ‘moto guzzi lemans MKII airforce’ is a tip of the iron hat to post-war innovation, and a sweaty salute of hard-work to the great aviator himself: world war veteran/moto guzzi founder, giovanni ravelli (1887 – 1919).


all images courtesy of death machines of london

 

 

death machines of london’s ‘airforce’ began, as beautiful custom bikes often do, near the end of a past life — corroding post-collision in southern italy. this was back when the bike was still a 1982 moto guzzi lemans MKII. now, after asking over and over, ‘what would giovanni do,’ with every decision, death machines of london has fostered the long lost descendant of ravelli into something entirely different.

 

 

perhaps they share the same soul for radical innovation as the aviator, perhaps not; the restoration was not an easy one. ‘a custom in-house headstock was manufactured, increasing the rake from 3 degrees to 30. the original swing arm was swapped for a heavily modified moto guzzi california swinging arm, which was braced and coupled to a mono shock cantilevered system. the frame and front wheel were then coated in our custom airforce grey, mixed specifically for this project…the spedometer has been redesigned and precision ether in nickel, silver and brass, with dimmable radial illumination.’

 

 

the rims: aluminum. wheels: modified california hubs. the tires: period firestones. the bespoke rear suspension unit is an aviation-inspired, and the 300mm rotors were designed entirely in-house. all of the controls on the airforce are custom-made. all of them: including grips, clips, tubes, internal throttle, and an inverse lever (soon to be available for purchase). overall, the moto guzzi faced death for 111 days, and on the 112th day, was reborn. now, it is truly a giovanni-inspired restoration.

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

death machines of london

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