Vehicles | January 6, 2017 9:00 am

This Custom Airtail Makes Us Want to Join a Motorcycle Gang

Eat dust, Harleys! Just kidding, don't punch us.

The story goes that when he was 12 years old, Death Machines co-founder James Hilton’s uncle took him for a spin on his motorcycle and told him not to tell his dad.

To see what would happen — or maybe he was just a little punk — he told his pa. And to hear Hilton tell it, “going down like a bag of sh*t is what happened. ‘Motorcycles are death machines, Son,’ was the concluding advice.”

This advice fell straight upon deaf ears, thankfully. And 30 or so years later, Death Machines of London was born. “Sorry, Mr Hilton,” they lament. “But also, ‘Thanks!’ But also, ‘Sorry.’ But also ‘HAHAHA!’”

Their newest bespoke monster hails from a 1981 Moto Guzzi Airtail Lemans Mk II, here transformed into a minimalist demon. The donor bike was disassembled, blasted clean and rebuilt with a new crankshaft, heads and carbs. The Airtail was then polished up with 1940 Merlin Spitfire aviation warning lights and finished in a glossy Italian Red on the frame with Old English white on the front.

Very nice.

And Death Machines would like to point out, in case you were wondering, that they don’t make machines designed to actually cause death. They are designed to be safe through and through. Although they do offer a disclaimer that Death Machines is not “responsible for how you ride, or for how anyone else drives, or walks, or talks on their mobile while listening to music and crossing the road without looking.”

So, the safest thing to do is not ride at all.

But where’s the fun in that?