Return of the Cafe Racers - The Phoenix – South Garage Guzzi Bellagio

The Phoenix – South Garage Guzzi Bellagio

This story first appeared in Spanish magazine ‘Revival of the Machine

When Mandello del Lario set out to build a muscle bike in 2010 they got the dynamics right, but the styling failed to follow suit. As such the Moto Guzzi Bellagio passed through the market without making so much as a ripple. Recognising the Bellagio’s shortcomings South Garage embraced the challenge it presented. The resulting creation is a superb new motorcycle reborn from the Bellagio’s ashes, which South Garage have called the ‘Fenice’ (Phoenix).

Moto Guzzi Bellagio cafe racer

The biggest problem South Garage identified with the Bellagio was the disproportionate geometry of its bodywork and seat. So, by applying their skills in custom fabrication, they completely revised the look of this 2010 Bellagio. The handmade aluminum fuel tank adopts a classic Moto Guzzi design and wears a black, pale gold and silver (brushed alloy) paint scheme. To finish it off is a bespoke aluminum filler cap, cast alloy South Garage badges and ghosted ‘Fenice’ graphics. The rear end was also drastically redesigned to complement the fuel tank. The single piece rear cowl and side panels have been laid in carbon fiber and support the bikes understated Alcantara saddle.

In the same way a woman uses jewelry to enhance her beauty South Garage has trimmed the Fenice with touches of gold. Swedish firm Öhlins supplied the bikes new front forks and mono rear shock which has been fitted with a custom bracket to hold its external preload adjuster. Although the Bellagio already wore spoked rims, South Garage don’t do things by halves, so the Fenice now rolls on 17 inch Kineo carbon fiber rims that have been wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Red Race III rubber. Luxurious modifications continue with the fitment of Brembo calipers, reservoirs and floating discs.

Moto Guzzi Bellagio cafe racer

To complement their silver paint-scheme and continue their weight saving approach South Garage have fit the Fenice with a long list of custom alloy components. Rizoma supplied the levers, mirrors, bar end indicators, fluid reservoirs and frame plugs while build partners FG Racing milled the foot pegs, head covers, triple clamps and rear fender support. The unique headlight, also made in conjunction with FG Racing, deserves a special mention. Its CNC machined housing containing a xenon bulb flanked by LED indicators and is held together by an outer ring that secures the glass lens in place using 12 stainless steel screws. To then carry this look up onto the dash South Garage also created a custom alloy bracket to house the Chrono-Classic Motogadget dial.

Moto Guzzi Bellagio cafe racer

In comparison to the bikes dramatic styling revisions the 940cc, 90-degree v-twin appears much the same. The obvious changes include the fitment of a complete Spark exhaust system, independent high-flow filters and one-piece rocker covers to replace the unappealing factory items. On the inside, however, things are drastically different. Hidden away beneath the fuel tank are Dynatech coils which are controlled by a Rapidbike control unit. Inside the engines cases are lightened camshafts and a monodisc clutch installed to improve torque delivery to the rear wheel. Combine all that with a set of high compression pistons and lightly worked valves and heads and the result is a respectable 95bhp at the wheel. That’s an impressive 20hp jump from the factory engine figure.

The result of their hard work is a motorcycle that South Garage feel is much more suited to the Moto Guzzi name. With superb styling and higher performance, the Bellagio has been reborn, what a shame it couldn’t have been done this well the first time around!

Moto Guzzi Bellagio cafe racer Moto Guzzi Bellagio cafe racer
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