Southern California Hotrod Guzzis
by Ed Milich
Southern California is the home of hotrod culture. There's something about the twisty mountain roads, desert straightaways, and fastlane freeways that has always made SoCal gearheads crave performance and style in their vehicles. SoCal Guzzi riders are no exception. Here are a few examples of the cool custom hotrod Guzzis that litter the backroads between San Diego and Los Angeles.
Eric Hjeltness' V7 Sport
Since he's in the business of restoring Gullwing Mercedes and other exotica, you would expect Eric Hjeltness's own ride to be something special. It is.  Eric's highly stylized V7 sport features a handmade exhaust and seat and many custom machines pieces minted by Eric's own hands.
Fireman Bill Ross's SP1000
Bill picked up this already cafe'd SP1000 about a year ago. He recently added a custom bump stop seat, and an exhaust that he fabricated himself. Jim Knaup says that it reminds him of that Three Stooges episode where the Stooges are plumbers... Rumor has it that the engine was built using arcane Guzzi wizardry by a San Diego Guzzi guru named "Mr. Metalpants"...
The 850 Lemans Frankenbike "Road Warrior"
Where to begin, where to begin...Let's just say that nothing on this bike is stock. Every component has been touched by the performance faeries and this bike is simply the maximum lemans that you could ask for on the street. High compression, hotrodded motor, Marzocchi Strada front end, 120/70/17" tire on an Astralite front wheel, 140/80/18"tire on a Kosman widened rear wheel, braced swingarm, full floating front rotors with Brembo 4 piston calipers and 20mm master cylinder, ad infinitum. It roars, it handles, and it stops. A certain guzzipower editor has been known to chase (and sometimes catch) Aprillias on it at Willow Springs, and the bike is regularly spotted in the Malibu Canyons. This bike has even been through a 40MPH accident that left the rider with a compound fracture of the arm, and still it lives on. If you see it on the street, don't make eye contact!
Jeremy Kaplan's 850 Lemans
This cafe racer is quite familiar to me, because it used to be mine! Jeremy bought it and turned it into the retro racer that it is now, with the help of Mark Etheridge of Moto Guzzi Classics. Note the old school 40mm Dellortos carbs with
ticklers.
Mike Acebo's CX100
Mike wrings the crap out of this bike. I know- I've tried to keep up with him in the high speed sweepers. I shudder to think how fast he'd be going if he didn't have those skinny tires and points ignition holding him back!  What used to be a fairly stock CX100 is now nicely cafe'd bike with a mildly built engine. Nice bike!

Check out this video of a Hayabusa low-siding while trying to keep up with Mike on Glendora Mountain Road.
Sport1100i Streetfighter-The Toecutter (AKA Sean Fader)
Minimalist and compact are two words not normally associated with the Sport 1100, but they're exactly what Sean's bike is all about. This road warrior is equally at home on or off of the racetrack.
Red Lemans-Andrew Gray
This bike started out as a sleepy '81 CX100. After lots of powertrain work from Manfred Hecht and Amadeo Castelloni, Andrew's Guzzi more than qualifies for Lemans status. Andrew has been known to embarrass many a lesser rider in the canyons on this machine...usually with riding companion Kristina (here modeling the latest in Guzzi fashion) riding pillion. If this bike looks familiar, it may be- it appeared in the background of the Cycle World photo spread on the V11 Lemans when that bike was first released.