Today’s feature motorbike “Raven” is hand crafted by a visionary custom motorbike artist Jeff Gundlach of Raven MotoCycles. His mind-boggling custom build Raven features a combination of Moto Guzzi, Norton and Honda.
The idea was to build something unique, powerful, lightweight, functional and above all a classic looking time traveling machine.
According to Jeff Gundlach “Choppers, bobbers and sport bikes are very cool but, I did not want to build from an existing engine/trans/frame package. I started with a blank piece of paper and a head full of classic bikes. I have ridden Moto Guzzi’s and Norton’s for many years.
About 15 years ago I thought of the possibility of designing a bike using the Moto Guzzi engine and the Norton transmission. Sketches were made and it went to the back burner.”
The idea, which was born 15 years ago, was kept alive with passion and desire. Fast forward to 2 years ago, Jeff had learned the skills and had the tools to bring his idea into reality. The 15-year-old design went though a few changes to become the starting point.
According to Jeff “I first did scale drawings with a 25deg. stem and a 58″ wheelbase. I wanted the motor mounted high for ground clearance and quick handling and as light as I could make it. I also didn’t want to ruin the casings of the parts I used so I could use parts off the shelf.
The wheels, swingarm, brakes, forks and steering stem are a ‘68 Honda 350 parts. I used these because of the quality and the look- plus they are easy to find. And the sprocket is on the left and takes a 530 chain. I began the project by building everything out of wood, much easier to change wood than steel.
The engine is used as a stress member, being fastened by the top and bottom. The motor is a ‘71 750 Ambo-stock with a very light (3lb) flywheel. The transmission is a Norton 4 speed. The frame, tank and exhaust are hand built.
In North Carolina I can build up to 5 units per year without having manufacturing status. Believe me that will keep me mighty busy. It has been track tested, I took it to Robling Road racetrack and I’m very satisfied with its performance. It’s a good bike.”
Jeff Gundlach will be hand crafting each unit on demand with 3-size engine option 750, 850 or 1000c. The price tag for this beauty is set to be $25,000 for a brand new custom motorcycle. We are in love with this remarkable hand built machine, if this is what rolls out as the first built from Raven MotoCycles garage we can only imagine the second one! Hand crafted custom vintage bikes can’t get any better than this!
This bike was a competitor at the 2012 AMD World Championships of Custom bike building in the Freestyle Class finishing in 18th place.
For more images and details on this build please visit Raven MotoCycles