The Rodsmith Motorcycles Moto Guzzi customs

What do you get when “Punk Rock” character and an obsession for hand-shaped metal meet Italian biking tradition just north of Chicago? Now add a dash of Australian flair and straightforwardness and what you have are the exceptional Moto Guzzi based creations of Rodsmith Motorcycles.

The glint of hand polished aluminium, a true hallmark of many of his creations, would probably make you think otherwise, but Craig Rodsmith has never been scared to get hands dirty working on bike engines and frames. At just 12 years of age, back in Australia, he began to tinker with his first bike and since the ’70s his wrenches and his radical styling have sculpted the lines of cars, bikes and even aeroplanes, but even more importantly for us, also those of a number of Moto Guzzi-based “masterpieces” that have exited from his workshop in Lake County, Illinois.

Craig likes to point out that « none of my bikes will ever be the same as all the others ». Thus are born café racers, bobbers and choppers thanks to his talent and the manic attention to detail that he puts into every phase of his solitary work. “Solitary” yes, but only up to a certain point: Craig is an eclectic character, a real volcano on Facebook and YouTube where, with his spontaneous and down to earth style, he loves to entertain his fans by telling them how his work is progressing.

So we followed him step by step through lengthy polishing sessions and curses as he worked on some of his latest Moto Guzzi-based creations. “Margerie” is undoubtedly the most gleaming and eye-catching of all; under its perfect dustbin racer-style aluminium body panels hides a ’69 Moto Guzzi Eldorado that would probably never have dreamt of getting the turbocharger treatment and then landing up under the spotlight at countless bike shows, such as the Hand Built Motorcycle Show in Austin, Texas.