From Portugal comes this Moto Guzzi seventies-inspired transformation. Rua Machines is one of the most important builders in our neighboring country. They have developed a distinct style and amassed a portfolio dominated by classic Japanese motorcycles. For this build, we find Rua tackling an Italian cruiser with a fantastic outcome in both its aesthetics and the quality of its finish.
The Nevada 750 was a model in Moto Guzzi’s range that ran its course (’89 – ’03) without ever attracting much attention. It represented the Guzzi brand well but didn’t set out to break any new ground. The result is that today second-hand examples can be attained at very affordable prices, which is where this build began.
The Nevada’s laidback styling lent itself well to customization if Easy Rider cruisers are your thing, but Rua Machines were seeking to give the bike more of a ‘70s racing-inspired appearance. To achieve this they were forced to completely discard the Nevada’s bodywork and perform extensive modifications to the frame, especially out back. The entire subframe and seat are completely new. As a hat tip to Moto Guzzi’s racing history, the new framework imitates the lines of an old Lemans.
To give the Nevada its sporting character Rua have retrofitted a modified replica Avon dome upfront. The gas tank has been inherited from a Ducati 350 GT and fits perfectly amongst the custom bodywork. The tail, made by Rua Machines from scratch, is a fiberglass construction and was made short and flat for a racier line while taking into account the curves of their new fairing and fuel tank. When it came to choosing a paint color Rua Machines chose to stay true to their Italian theme. The Boreale green paint is the same hue used by Alfa Romeo on their Alfetta GT in the mid-eighties
With the bike bearing a much sportier appearance Rua had installed Bitubo shocks in the rear. The longer shock length has raised the rear end which both levels out the bikes stance and closes the steering angle for more direct steering. At the front, the stock forks have been updated with new internals and polished to a mirror finish and wheels are shod with Continental TKV rubber. The transformation to retro racer has radically changed the riding experience of this ex-highway cruiser. Rear set foot pegs from Tarozzi and a set of clip-on handlebars position its rider appropriately for more spirited riding on Portugal’s famous mountain roads.
The stand out modification to the Nevada’s 750cc v-twin is the custom stainless steel silencers located discreetly beneath the swingarm. Along with improving performance Rua have conscientiously ensured that their sound is also discreet to stress-free homologation. A single chrome covered K & N filter fulfills the role that was previously managed by a plastic box and opens up the frame to balance out the bulk of the engine block. To dress the engine appropriately the rocker covers and the alternator cover wear classically styled aftermarket covers.
Finishing touches come in the form of chrome-plated turn signals, a Motogadget dial, brown rubber grips and a single bar end mirror. The Rua Machines Moto Guzzi Nevada, named simply #8 is the perfect example of what can be achieved without having to resort to fitting expensive components or extreme reengineering.