Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche was born in Rome in a cold February of 2011 by three passionate lovers of elaborations Andrea “Dopz”, Leonardo “Leo”, Giuliano “Schizzo” who joined their twenty years of passion for building motorcycles, modifications and customisations.
Now EEM is a small community of creatives and fans of vintage motorcycles.
Emporio believes in the reuse of old motorcycle parts, and in inventing new and fascinating ways of mounting them on two-wheelers.
It does not matter whether it is custom, sporty, enduro or simply an 80s 4-cylinder.
For them, the beloved two-wheeler is a philosophy of life and work, a small mantra to recite the night before falling asleep to dream of other new creations, other new possibilities of assembling a motorcycle.
We had an excellent opportunity to talk to the Founder – Lead Designer & Builder, Dopz of Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche.
BMW R50 Solo
1.How did Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche start?
Andrea: Emporio Started in 2011, in a tiny garage and we are three persons addicted to bike, travel, DIY and mechanics.
2. What does Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche stand for?
Andrea: Emporio means “a typical place where everything is sold”, in English it is used as the Latin word Emporium, and it was the sign over the door of the first place we rent.
So we added, “Elaborazioni Meccaniche” that means mechanical works to evoke a classic approach to the engine and metal thing in general.
BMW R1100R Titano
3. Do let us know about your current projects/work?
Andrea: I’m working on a Guzzi T5, an AMF Harley (called Spaghetti Harley) 175Sx (2 strokes), an Harley Davidson 1200 HLX 1989and sadly on a customer’s BMW r100 bike the crashed months ago (fortunately with no consequences).
The T5 Guzzi will be an extraordinary classic-future style cafe racer (Emporio typical style).
I’m building it for a small clothing company called “Daje Company”, the AMF is a resto-mod work type. The Harley is a classic custom where I’m working on electric parts with few details.
Ducati Darmah 900 Crono
4. How is your process of building bikes?
Andrea: There are five essential steps that I follow to build the bikes.
a. Visualize: The most critical thing is I try to visualize what my client wants.
b.Requirements Gathering: I hear my client’s requirements very keenly, how they describe their dream bike.
c.Research: Later I request them to show me bikes or cars that they love; no matter if the pics are related or not to the project, it’s just a research phase.
d.Empathy: The goal is to empathize with his or her vision.
e.Drawing/Rendering: The last step is I draw, or I make a mood board for real inspiration. During the building process, I normally take a lot of photos and some checkpoints to make sure I’m going in the right direction and if the bike fits the owners (position of the body, foot, etc.) vision.
Moto Guzzi V7 Electro
5. How do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the competitors?
Andrea: Not sure. However, it is the clients who select me as he or she gets inspired by my ideas.
And the most important thing is my clients like what I do. Emporio does not follow trends, but we are inspiration balanced with technical requirements and usability.
We work on super classic bikes, future sportbikes, low budget small bikes, electric wheelchair too! I almost love to mix a lot of things. That’s how I feel we are separate from the rest of the competition.
Moto Guzzi V11 Sorpasso
6. What do you like most about motorcycles?
Andrea: As a rider, the smell when you ride. As bike builder the challenge that each bike brings.
7. Which is the most challenging build/bike that you had to build?
Andrea: Emporio took part in a famous Italian tv series called “Lords of the Bike” Season.1 sponsored by Guzzi to promote V7 and the V9 (not yet on the market at that time).
They asked us to build a bike, challenging another garage, with little money and in 15 days!! The challenge was also to create the following motorcycle theme.
I used to build a bike as a “scrambler” as a “racer” or similar.
To create a bike on themes “Bike for a Gentlemen” and “For a Rockstar”, was quite an extraordinary experience.
Honda Dominator Primo Bown
The challenge, as I said, was to beat another garage that was building the same bike with the same rules and theme.
It was extraordinary but super funny trying to think “How a gentleman bike is? Classic? Small? Big? And for a Rockstar?
Which is the line, the design? And what makes it unique enough to win the battle against the other garage?
The gentleman bike, for example, used the classic gentleman walking stick as engine key. The gentleman put the stick on the side of the bike, and it had gesture activation on the bike! No key required.
Honda Transalp Cobra
Not very useful but very funny to design and build and very good to do a show on a tv showing our creativity and skills.
We were declared final winners in two competitions!
8. What according to you is most important while building the motorcycle, is it the idea or the design?
Andrea: I guess not necessarily you have to invent something too strange or new. Sometimes the details make the difference. But the essential thing that every component gets balanced as per my taste.
The bike has to be sensual, and with something, you discover using it. Of course, everything is guided by the budget because everything depends on how many hours you put on the project.
9. Typically what is the time frame of building a bike?
Andrea: 2-3 months.
10. Electric or Standard/ Combustion engine motorcycles which do you prefer?
Andrea: Electric has advantages, and you can have a piece of the art approach, more free hands.
With an endothermic, you have more things to think about (air, fuel, heating-cooling, oil and more ) it’s more challenging as you have more constraints, more variables. I would love to build an electric bike, but then I need more free hands.
11. What are your thoughts about electric bikes?
Andrea: Electric bikes are perfect for the city and commuting. The most exciting things are the dynamic changes because theoretically a bunch of nerd bikers in a garage can have an idea and can compete at the same level as a big brand.
It’s all about technology, and the technology is at hand. However, I cannot build an endothermic engine by myself!
12. Are you open to build an electric bike? As electric is the trend these days?
Andrea: Yes, of course, no problem with it. I do not think it’s a trend. It’s an opportunity.
Electric bikes are perfect for the city. Not for the long trip not for the battery problems but for issues you can have and where you cannot put a hand on it! That’s why I travel with an old 2 valves BMW. I’m sure 90% I can fix it!
13. Do you export your work?
Andrea: Only in Europe but 99% of Emporio’s market, is in Italy. Sometimes I also build the metal logos or triple tree. However, that’s not on my priority list.
14. Do let us know your future plans?
Andrea: One of my goals is to open a large garage in the country; let’s see how it goes. Now I am working as a designer for a company based in Milan (Emporio is Rome based).
However, due to this, I am not able to dedicate enough time in the garage, but then I like this new challenge.
15. Let us know one thing that you still want to build?
Andrea: Just one? Mmmm I’ll say a turbo bike as I have never built one!
Do we teach Italians on how to build motorcycles? The simple answer is ” NO “.