Guzzi-Based Greatness – 2001 Ghezzi-Brian SuperTwin 1100

In Italy, Sport by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

Post Listing Update: This Ghezzi-Brian did not get any interest with the BIN of $30,000.

Last week Abhi featured a beautiful 2004 Moto Guzzi MGS-01, and as exotic and rare as it is, it’s got nothing on the machine it was derived from. Ghezzi-Brian is a company you’ve probably never heard of before. The boutique Italian outfit specializes in producing high-performance Moto Guzzi-based/powered sport bikes. Interestingly, the story of GB starts with an American dentist and race-enthusiast by the name of Dr. John Wittner (better known simply by “Dr. John”). In the 1980s the weekend endurance racer nabbed a handful of championship titles (’84 and ’85 US Endurance Championship, ’87 Pro Twin Series, and most famously, the ’88 Daytona) aboard modified Guzzis.

The suits at Moto Guzzi couldn’t help but take notice of Dr. John’s feats, leading to an offer from Alejandro de Tomaso for the American to head to Italy to assist in the development of a new super bike. Using Dr. John’s heavily modified Le Mans racer, Guzzi’s engineers developed what later became the Daytona 1000. The OHV pushrod four-valve twin would then set the stage for what came next.

Around the turn of the millennium, the higher-ups at Guzzi green-lit a new design center known as the “Style Laboratory”. The idea was to attract talented designers and engineers fresh out of school to work on Guzzi-based projects and concepts. Eventually the keys to the project were handed to a small team of designers headed up by Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruno “Brian” Saturno. With support from the Mandello factory, the two Guzzi gurus got to work, picking up where Dr. John had left off.

In 1995 the two founded Ghezzi-Brian, just a year before one of their machines would win an impressive nine of the thirty-two races it entered in the ’96 Italian SuperTwin Championship. Using their title-winning machine from ’96, GB further developed a road-going version of the Guzzi Supertwin that became the SuperTwin 1100. Spring-boarding off the success of its competition machine, GB started producing a limited run of road-going versions of the super twin.

The ST is built around an air-cooled 1,064cc V-twin from the V11 Sport that’s had its flywheel balanced, and a new full exhaust added. The 87hp mill acts as a stressed member of the mono-beam chassis that houses the airbox and oil-tank. Connected to the race-developed frame are adjustable 41mm inverted Paioli forks up front and an Ohlins (or Bitubo according to some sources) monoshock in the rear, with the bike riding on forged aluminum Marchesini wheels. The race-replica’s giant 420mm perimeter discs — which are attached to the rim and not the hub — and dual-piston calipers help slow the 427lb (dry) machine — 55lbs less than the unfaired V11 Sport — from its claimed 140mph top-speed.

Each example is handmade, with GB producing around one bike a week, allowing for stellar quality control — an area that has reportedly never been Guzzi’s forte. When new, each Supertwin 1100 sold for $15,000, though values have risen quite a bit. One downside to the model is the fact it employs the five-speed gearbox from the Moto Guzzi California rather than the six-speed unit from the V11 — supposedly due to Guzzi outright refusing to supply GB with the six-speed.

In 2002 Brian and Giuseppe got the ball rolling on the development of their next project which was an evolution of the ST1100. By Summer of that same year a trio of increasingly refined prototypes were churned out, the last of which was shown to the son of founder and at that time director of Aprilia, (who owned Moto Guzzi) Ivano Beggio (who continued working at the company until his death in March of 2018).

The proto got Beggio’s nod of approval and thus the GB super sport — which was originally dubbed the “Tech” — became an official Moto Guzzi project which was renamed the MGS-01, short for Moto Guzzi Sport, with the “01” referring to the it being the brand’s first bona fide sport machine. Thanks to the official involvement from Guzzi, an array of quality off-the-shelf parts were at the team’s disposal, leading the MGS-01 to receiving lightweight OZ rims, Brembo braking hardware.

The MGS’s mill was a hopped-up, 1,125cc, air-cooled longiniduanl, OHC, eight-valve (four per) V-twin derived from the 992cc Daytona platform. Changes to the stock engine included Cosworth pistons, and an axle with a bully replaced the camshaft normally found just above the crankshaft. The pair of camshafts were drawn by a set of toothed belts squeezed next to the heads, while each cylinder’s (which were ceramic-lined) valves were actuated by dual rocker shafts and four arms. The sporty V-twin also featured Webber-Marelli fuel-injection and a carbon fiber air-box. The model also utilized a six-speed gearbox and dual, dry plate clutch based on the V11’s powertrain.

But back to the ST1.1K. With the limited numbers in which they were produced, these GB examples are extremely rare — even more so in the US. According to the seller of this 2001 example, there are less than half-a-dozen examples in the States, one of which is at the Barber Motorsports Museum. The seller says this example is in great condition, with roughly 10.5K miles on the odo (though the odo actually reads 17,004 because it’s in KMs). A Shorai Li-Ion battery was also recently added, and the brakes have reportedly gotten some attention as well.

The ad does admit that this example was laid down at some point while at low-speed on its left side, and dropped a separate time on the right side, though the second time happened when stopped. The aforementioned accidents have left this otherwise mostly-clean example with a cracked rear-left cowling, plus the ad mentions other “various scuffs and scratches from normal use”. Either way, this is one seriously rare, seriously cool example. I personally prefer Ghezzi-Brian’s more recent models (at least in terms of appearance), but as a fan of the MGS-01, it’s hard not to love this one.

In addition to all the photos, the seller also created a walk-around and fire-up video you can watch on YouTube:

You can find this 2001 Ghezzi-Brian SuperTwin 1100 (VIN: ZA9STW0001YG51010) for sale in Greenville, South Carolina with a BIN price of $30,000