Gannet Moto Guzzi V9 – “Back to the Roots”

  • The Moto Guzzi V7 III and V9 line-ups are the obvious starting point for customizing.

  • This Gannet custom bike started as a Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer.

  • The builders aimed for a minimalist traditional racer style motorcycle.


One look at the Moto Guzzi V7 III and V9 ranges and your instinct will tell you that they are meant to be customized. Take for example this Gannet Moto Guzzi V9, which started out as a 2016 V9 Roamer ol’ school cruiser. Please click on the link below for our review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone and Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer Test & Review

Designed by Ulfert Janssen of Gannet Design along with Stefan Fuhrer of Fuhrer Moto, the pair sought to create a pure racer, by reducing the bike to its essentials, with some retro elements thrown in.

But first, a small introduction.

Stefan Fuhrer was the former mechanic for Dominique Aegerter (current Moto2 rider) and Tom Luthi (current MotoGP rider). It was Fuhrer who wrenched for Luthi when the latter became the 125cc GP Champion in 2005. Since his workshop is just 100m from Gannet, it was easy for both teams to communicate. Fuhrer and his team had the race experience and precise engineering skills.

Janssen started the project with some loose sketches around the 853cc Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer for a forward leaning café racer.

Janssen said, “First I worked on the stance and changed the frame angle from slanted backward into a forward leaning angle. I cleaned up the architecture and made a major diet of all the unnecessary parts. I designed a new strong retro racing tail section and new exhaust system as a signature which sweeps along the bike like a swoosh.”


“Once the overall direction was settled, I made detailed design renderings which we used as the base for the building process. I first modeled the racer’s new tail section out of hard foam to find the good proportions and it was then used as a template for the metal work,” he continued.

Artisan Bruno Bertschy shaped the aluminium tailsection was shaped entirely by hand. A new sub-frame had to be designed and built for a higher seating position, in order to put the rider in a racing prone. A thin brown kilted seat was then added to match the Biltwell handlebar grips.

Going fully ol’ skool as in what Gannet calls “back to the roots”, the fuel injection system was ditched for carburettors and this was a tremendous challenge. The wheel sensor track (also called the transmitter wheel) had to be adjusted for a different gearing, besides the electronics such as ignition, sensors such as those for the throttle and crank position had to be reworked. The intake air tubes were racing inspired.

The prominent round sweep of the exhaust pipes contributes to a strong visual impact and enhances the fast-forward dynamic of the bike even at a standstill. The twin pipes were bent and welded to smoothly blend into two Leo Vince GP Pro trumpets. They give off a distinctive exhaust note from the Moto Guzzi 90o V-Twin when approaching. You can click on this link to hear the bike:

A custom motorcycle looks as good as its finishing. In this case, Walter Oberli created a special combination of scrubbed and high-gloss shine. The tank looks rough from afar but is actually smooth when viewed up close. The tailsection and details were painted in a soft gradation of blue. Besides those, the cylinder heads and aluminium protection heads were also given the same blue. It was what Gannet termed as “Rhapsody in Blue.”

The frame’s lower portion was remade, cleaned up and CNC Racing (who supplies the Pramac MotoGP team) rearsets were installed for racier ergonomics. The gearshifter was modified to fit the Moto Guzzi’s gearing setup.

On the chassis front, the Öhlins forks were fitted with a shortened front fender. The forks were held to the bike with an IMA racing triple clamp and attached to via a custom headstock. ABM Fahrzeugtechnik sponsored the clip-ons and Synto Evo brake/clutch levers in silver, blue and black to fit the color scheme of the bike. Jetprime all-black racing control buttons round out the details of a race bike.

As for other items, Highsider sponsored the lighting system, while the gauges were supported by Daytona (Paaschburg & Wunderlich) that were then attached to custom-made brackets. Motogadget supplied the electrical components such as m-lock for keyless starting, handlebar-end turnsignals, m-blaze and m-unit for the control box.

Kineo specially made the 18″ front spoke wheel to fit the new fork travel of 210mm. The rear is also a 18″ Kineo spoke wheel which was fitted with aluminum cover plates. Rear shocks are two Öhlins Blackline.

Stefan Fuhrer surmised the build, “What I like best about this custom build is the coherence of the whole bike, where from the front wheel to the rear wheel the smooth transition from one component to the next passes through. It was important for me and Ulfert that we solve and adapt the individual components in such a way that they give a coherent overall picture.”

Ulfert Janssen: “What’s special about this conversion is that it’s a reduced and minimalist design at first glance, but at a second glance you can see many custom parts and special details. These remain discreetly in the background to give a pure and strong first impression. However, if you dive into the bike, you can discover the sophistication in detail. Special thanks as well to Bruno Bertschy (metal work) and Walter Oberli (paint) for their contribution and fine work.”

This bike will be at The Reunion in Monza, Wheels & Waves and Glemseck 101 among others.