The Suicide Shifter Guzzi
Moto Guzzi V65C bobber suicide shifterby Lizard King Motorcycles • Origny-le-Sec • France
You don't see many Guzzis like this on the road.
It was love at first sight, since when Lizard King Motorcycles had started working on it, publishing the first work in progress image. We followed the incredible craftsmanship with interest and admiration. As you can see in these pictures, there is very little left of the original 1985 Moto Guzzi V65C. But it kept the spirit of freedom, which the eagle of Mandello del Lario has been transmitting for more than a century.
The feature that immediately catches the eye is the so-called suicide shifter, handcrafted by Lizard King. More popular in the USA than in Europe, it is one of the solutions that can take your custom motorcycle to the next level: #badasserylevel
It is certainly not as effective as the pedal shift, which is faster and more precise, but those who ride this type of bobber are looking for another type of emotion, totally different from who own standard motorcycles.
The term suicide shifter, or suicide clutch, is used to describe what in the 1940s was a normal manual gearbox, with lever positioned next to the tank, and pedal operated clutch. The first outlaw bobber and chopper manufacturers decided to remove the front brake. The aim was not only aesthetic but also to further lighten the bike. As you can imagine, run your bike without the front brake is not the best of safety, hence the term "suicide".
A brief historical introduction was a must. However, this is not the case of the V65 bobber built by Lizard King, which retained the front disc brake, pedal operated along with the rear one. While next to the left footboard, the pedal gear lever has disappeared, and there is not even the one to operate the clutch, as this suicide shifter is with hand clutch. The fact that the brake lever is not present on the handlebar makes this bobber extremely clean, and completely in line with the style of the suicide shifter.
This classic Italian twin exudes American style from every pore. There are numerous Harley-Davidson derivative parts, including the tank of a Sportster, modified to house the MMB speedometer, and equipped with a fuel sight gauge.
The bobber/café racer-style saddle was handcrafted from sheet metal, and upholstered in glittery blue leather. The electrical system and the battery are hidden under it, while the front has been designed to accommodate the trumpet air filter, positioned in a truly unusual way! The handlebar is also homemade, and features a double lever throttle grip.
The chromed and black painted parts contrast with a sparkling blue color, made even more cheerful by the old school-style patterned motifs on the tank, tail and headlight. A daring but successful aesthetic choice is to mount glittered grips and saddle. To complete the design of this Guzzi V65 we thought of the retro Avon MK2 tires, and the fishtail type exhausts, which look really great on this bobber!
We can only conclude this page by wishing Happy Birthday to Lizard King Motorcycles, which has just celebrated 10 years of fantastic customizations!
Toe to go!