Custom motorcycles are, for the most part, a selfish pursuit. We take perfectly good motorcycles and customize them—not because we particularly need to, but simply because we want them to look prettier, ride better, or just suit our tastes more.
But Sofi Tsingos (GT-Moto) and Alicia Elfving (MotoLady), are using their skills to actually make a difference. Collaborating under the moniker ‘GT-Moto Lady,’ they’ve built this slick MV Agusta Brutale 800—not for top bragging rights at the next group ride, but so that they can raffle it off for charity.
The two first met when Alicia did a feature on Sofi, and the custom 1977 Honda CB550 that she built with her dad, George. From then till now, their friendship has blossomed.
“Ever since the day I met Sofi in the desert of California, I have loved this woman,” says Alicia. “She is inspiring, talented, patient, smart, and makes me laugh so hard I cry. Short phone chats would often turn into hour or longer talks and brainstorm sessions.”
“One day we were talking about the next GT-Moto charity build, and my subtleness could be compared to the force of being hit by a Mack truck; ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could build a bike for charity together this year?!’ Next thing you know, we were plotting and planning which modern bike, in a perfect world, we’d want to chop up.”
With each lady in a different state, the build became a long-distance project. Alicia took responsibility for sourcing parts, promotion and planning, and helped Sofi sketch out the entire design when the bike was first torn down. Sofi took on the more hands-on tasks.
Both are passionate about the fight against cancer, so they picked St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (who have a very active cancer research facility) as their beneficiary. All that was left was to choose a modern bike to chop up.
It wasn’t long before the ladies had a 2014-model MV Agusta Brutale 800 to work with. It’s a pretty incredible machine right out the box, so the decision was made to leave the base bike alone, and focus on revising the styling with all-new bodywork. So this Brutale is still running a stock chassis—including the suspension and brakes—and its original airbox, exhaust system and mapping.
“I’ve ridden the MV Brutale series on track, and they perform like a dream,” says Alicia. “The bike is an amazing machine to begin with, and we didn’t want the winner of the raffle to deal with ‘custom bike pains’ from heavy modifications.”
“The ECU and everything else would’ve needed to be flashed with a different exhaust, among other things. With the different ride modes et al., we decided it best to leave it alone.”
Sofi adds that there are very real budget issues to consider: “The money is split two ways: there is the cost of the actual parts for the bike (I donate all of my labor), and what is left over goes to the sick children. The more money I spend on adding parts, the less goes to the children.”
“I cannot pay out of pocket for the whole build, that’s why we also rely on sponsors. I could not get an exhaust donated, and the last thing I am going to do is buy one and take away from the ultimate goal… which is to raise money. Whoever wins the bike will be able to put whatever exhaust they want on it!”Read More...
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