Katsu Motorworks folds aluminum into origami-style bodywork.
Kenji “Katsu” Katsumoto went from customizing Harley-Davidsons to celebrated builder when he nabbed the Best Café Racer’ award for his custom Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Scura at Japan’s highly-popular Mooneyes show. Despite that overnight success, the Katsu Motorworks frontman stays hungry, pushing his projects to the brink of creativity. His latest creation was commissioned by a fan turned personal friend turned client and takes the Moto Guzzi Griso 1100 in a very different direction.
The customer wasn’t just a café racer and streetfighter fan, but he was also a self-proclaimed speed freak. With 87 horsepower and 65.6 lb-ft under the hood, the Goose is a far cry from fast in stock form. Katsu didn’t intend to fiddle with the engine internals, though, so the best way to gain speed was to reduce the Griso’s 505-pound dry weight.
The Fukuoka, Japan-based builder trimmed the rotund roadster down to its essence before building it back up again. This time, Katsu kept the silhouette slim and sleek, opting for origami-style aluminum bodywork and minimal embellishments. The client directed Katsu not to paint the body panels, which show off the builder’s beautiful hand-shaped metalwork. From the trapezoidal gas tank to the stinger-like tail section, that decision puts Katsu’s full creativity and craftsmanship on display.
The Mooneyes award winner couldn’t keep the project completely colorless, though, and instructed The House of Kolor to paint the frame and wheels in a rich candy burgundy hue. A fully-adjustable Griso 1200 inverted front end, Brembo calipers, Pro Brake discs, clip-ons, and sticky Michelin Power GP tires deliver the customer’s performance aspirations. Up front, the Motogadget dash and stacked dual headlights add function and flavor.
A stainless-steel exhaust system snakes around the port side of the build, leaving the longitudinal V-twin and shaft drive fully exposed on the starboard side. Moto Guzzi’s Griso 1100 may have been a rockin’ roadster in its day, but in the hands of Katsu, it’s one spruce Goose.