“I have always wanted to design and build something unique, powerful, light , functional in a classic look. Choppers, bobbers and sport bikes are very cool bu, I did not want to build from an existing engine/trans/frame package” says Jeff Gundlach from Raven Motorcycles. Jeff had dreamed to build this bike 15 years ago but it took him until last year to start designing it on paper. Objective: a unique classic looking bike to be a daily rider, not too stereotypical of any brand and of course offering great performance. The super bike of 1971 that was never built?
Jeff tried quite a few sketches until he decided for the one corresponding to the result you see here. Drawings were done with a 25-degree rake, a 58″ wheelbase, a high mounted motor for ground clearance and the minimum of parts necessary to make it perform. Simple, light, fast and stable without any needless parts hung on to cover things up. No fluff. everything has a purpose…
Because he road raced Moto Guzzis (and Nortons) with AHMRA for 12 years with good standings and what he calls “a lot of stupid fun”, Jeff picked a classic 1971 Guzzi 750 motor and a 1969 Norton drivetrain (sprocket is on the left and takes a 530 chain) as the foundation of his new classic. “I did not want to build a better Guzzi. I wanted to use the best V=Twin in my motorcycle” explains Jeff. The modular frame is totally his design using good guidance from Tony Foal’s frame design book. His project got started by building everything out of wood (much easier to address modifications with wood than steel…) The 71 Guzzi 750 Ambo-stock motor is used as a stress member and offers the benefit of a very light (3 lbs) flywheel.
The wheels (18″ dressed in Avon), drums swingarm, brakes, forks and steering stem are 1968 Honda 350 parts because of their quality, look, and because widely available at a very reasonable price. Power comes from a Lucas alternator and digital regulator. Jeff hand made almost all other parts, including frame, fuel tank, seat, exhaust system and muffler, handlebar, headlight and speedo mounts, chain guard and taillight.
Jeff Grundlach will accept to duplicate only 5 units of this Raven model (starting at $25,000 + available options) and is already working on a new Single Cylinder project that you should see next year on the show tour. Raven Motorcycles. 828-230-6939. (photography copyright Onno Wieringaby for AMD World Championship, courtesy Cyril Huze )