New custom motorcycles pop up every day. The quality as well as the design of many builds is skyrocketing towards astonishing levels. If you take a stroll at events such as the Wheels & Waves or Glemseck 101, you’ll see fabulous bikes in such quantities no one would have dared to dream of years ago. Custom workshops try to surpass each other and just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes around with a new two-wheeled marvel.
But how’s that? Sure, the new custom bike scene is growing at a fast pace while numerous media channels feature new bikes from every far-flung corner of the earth. This, in combination with large companies trying to get their share by supporting projects to bear their brand name, brings out the message to a larger audience. But I think it’s more a question of who this new people involved in bikeprojects are and where they actually come from than simply the fact that so many new people adhere to the scene.
Some time ago, custom bikes where mostly built by talented mechanics, mastering many manufacturing techniques but sometimes lacking a bit of an eye for aesthetics. Now, if you build custom bikes, it’s not like you have to match the color of your socks to your bike, but over the past few years one can observe a steady increase of perfectly harmonious bikes. Apparently, there are more and more people involved who know perfectly well how to combine different elements in order to get a perfectly balanced result.
Ulfert Janssen can be described as one of these people. The native German studied design in Pasadena, California and worked for more than ten years in Renault’s design department in Barcelona. Ulfert recently settled in Switzerland where he founded Gannet Design, a company designing cars, bikes as well as products for the lifestyle and luxury market. But a quick look at Gannet Design’s website reveals what Ulfert Janssen seems to be most passionate about.
Alongside exceptional designs for MV Agustas, BMW R-nine T’s or many other bikes, one can see that various projects by well-known workshops such as Walzwerk Racing or Amsterdam’s Numbnut Motorcycles are based on Ulfert Janssen’s designs. Some of you might remember Walzwerk Racing’s Café Racer based on a Ducati Scrambler, Numbnut Motorcycles’ Yamaha Yard Built XJR 1300 or their famous TW Steel Watches XV 950 causing quite a stir at the beginning of the year.
That’s why Numbnut chose to build their latest bike, in collaboration with Vanguard Clothing, based on another design by Ulfert Janssen. The result is a rolling homage to Moto Guzzi’s legendary V8 Racer from the fifties. The 500ccm racing bike, equipped with a transversally installed V8 engine, was considered a technical masterpiece developing 79hp in 1957 with a top speed of 275km/h.
Based on a recent 1400 Moto Guzzi Eldorado, Ulfert Jansen and Numbnut Motorcycles created a spectacular bike. With its green eggshell-fairing, this bike is a distinct reminiscence to its historic predecessor. The collaboration with lifestyle and clothing label Vanguard led to neat details such as the number plate being fixed with the same rivets as their new, aptly named V8 Racer jeans. Further, an embossed logo and special stitching on the seat point to the collaboration with Vanguard.
I think it’s safe to say that bikes like the Vanguard Moto Guzzi V8 prove that cooperation between different parties, each one of them specialized in its own field, can lead to fabulous results and enrich the scene of custom motorcycles.
I recommend you to take a detour to Gannet Design’s WEBSITE or FACEBOOK page. Have a look at the designs as well as the completed bikes and you’ll see that nowadays, true passion for motorcycles is not exclusively lived in oil-stained workshops anymore.