The Raven. A Classic Built From Moto Guzzi, Norton & Honda Parts.

“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 )

13 Responses to “The Raven. A Classic Built From Moto Guzzi, Norton & Honda Parts.”

  1. 1 Brandon Oct 1st, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Not for everybody, but great effort.

  2. 2 aaron Oct 1st, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I like it. to me the point of a custom bike is to have something, you know, different from everybody else. the standard big twin is just too common to be unique without some serious re-engineering (I am a big fan of the goldammer supercharged single, for example. that motor was pretty common before he had his way with it.) this thing has the character of a v-twin, but bring it to daytona or sturgis and you’ll know you are on a bike far more unique than all the cookie cutter “customs” that tend to gather there.

  3. 3 Shifter Oct 1st, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    We need all kind of bikes and we don’t have enough contraptions like that.

  4. 4 ItsMePaul Oct 1st, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Finally someone is discovered that actually built something and didn’t use standard shit.
    Awesome piece of work.

  5. 5 Paul Aiken Oct 1st, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Scary cool. I like it. Not sure that is the right seat choice. Just my opinion.

  6. 6 GuitarSlinger Oct 1st, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    That is one pretty doggone cool motorcycle no matter you you look at it . Different albeit influenced by the past without being a pastiche of something classic . Some unique twists here and there . Tell you what . If it works as good as it looks this is one mighty fine custom mongrel if there ever was one :o)

  7. 7 Woody Oct 1st, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Love it! Puts the FUN back in function.

  8. 8 Reyn Mansson Oct 1st, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Something really special and creative here

  9. 9 nicker Oct 2nd, 2012 at 12:06 am

    “… I have always wanted to design and build something unique…”
    And he did….. And its cool.

    Just the way it once was and perhaps will be again(?).


  10. 10 Kiwished Oct 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 am

    If anyone has a copy of the British magazine, ‘Back Street heroe’s the November 1989 issue,

    check out the sideways guzzi chop, Far better put together,

    It goes to show some one has always been there and done that.


  11. 11 Red Oct 2nd, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I like this much more than the usual unrideable “boardtrack inspired” crap we see so often.

  12. 12 SIGFREED Oct 2nd, 2012 at 9:23 am

    It is a junkyard dog, arguably a good one, as such the bits of pedigree, nonetheless still one…

  13. 13 Ms. Mac Out Oct 2nd, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I am a Fabricator and I think the design is brilant . Also the part selection is well thought out . I would like to see a little better finish work on the fabricated parts . if you are looking fore the rat rod look well your there . the chopper bobber looks like a cafe style . I realy do like the bike ,post another pix when its done . It could be I just don’t get it .

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Cyril Huze