Tuesday, 26 August 2014
It's back to work day, it's pissing down with rain outside, Italian motorcycles are far from our mind, so that means time for a tune to blow away the cobwebs with one of the best punk mashups we've ever heard...
Saturday, 2 August 2014
Earlier this week we got the chance to take advantage of the fantastic weather and spend a day riding and shooting two 1970s Italian 750cc 'superbikes' - my Guzzi 750 S3 along with my friend Dorian's round case Ducati 750 Sport. Both bikes were built in 1975, and it was fascinating to compare them - it'll be a future feature in the magazine.
We couldn't resist having a brief Lafranconi v Conti revfest, before the farmer whose field we had stopped at turned up with his shotgun. Turn up loud and enjoy some heavy sound..
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
If you read the blog or the mag, you'll know that I have a thing for Moto Guzzis, and one in particular, my 1975 750 S3 which I bought about 23 years ago. But even my patience and loyalty has been tested severely and to the limit for the past few months by a niggling problem that has meant the bike running on two cylinders one moment, dropping onto one, not starting properly - basically, rendering the bike unuseable, and if i can't use it I don't really see the point of it sitting around. Problem is, I've always worked on my own bikes, and I also don't have the available cash to drop it off with someone and say "fix it no matter what the cost".
Anyway, without going into tedious detail, it's had over the last few months a new battery, new points, new coils, carbs rebuilt, new plugs and caps, new condensors, new HT leads, coils substituted, loads of wiring repairs and connectors replaced, compression and valves checked, ignition timing checked (and double-checked by Paul at Corsa Italiana) - so the only next possible step is to rewire the bike from scratch.
But - by last week, after lots of time over the weeks spent by myself, and friends, trying to sort the issues, it was finally running well enough to be taken for its annual MOT test, and a 40 minute ride after the MOT (which it passed, no problem at all...) showed that the bike seems (touch wood etc.) to be running 95% perfectly, which is great compared to it not running at all. There is STILL a glitch somewhere which I can feel, but it accelerates well, so for now, I am just going to try and ride it, put some miles on the clock, and try to ignore the feeling I have (and have never had before) that the Guzzi is now a little unreliable.
I get my bikes MOT tested down at Dave Rogers Motorcycles, which is a 15 minute ride through beautiful Chiltern scenery from my place, and it's always a pleasure to go to Dave's - in fact, we're very lucky round here to have a bike shop run by such a nice guy and who loves old and unusual stuff. In fact, every time I go, there's always a mixed bag of motorcycles outside his shop. Here are a few photos of what was there the other day, including a 'barn find' BMW R75/5 that someone has bought at auction and wants it put back on the road (last used 1980, check the road tax), a nice BSA bobber type thing, Dave's own BMW off-road outfit and his nice red GS, and of course, you couldn't you ask for more than a three-wheeler Robin Reliant full of old motorcycle parts or an ancient Staffie Terrier shop hound. See photos below....
If you're in the Buckinghamshire (UK) area and run an older bike, it's worth seeking Dave out for MOTs and servicing. He doesn't advertise (doesn't need to), so his details are as follows:
Dave Rogers Motorcycles, tel: 01844 346998 - http://southbucks.net/wpbdp_listing/d-c-rogers/
Friday, 4 July 2014
Saturday, 14 June 2014
We'll post anything of interest up on the while we're out there. In the meantime, "a presto!"
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Well, we had an idea a year ago as well as earlier this year (despite official denials) that the Scrambler name was going to be used again for a Ducati motorcycle, and now it's official. Ducati have released a 'teaser' video in anticipation we would assume of a launch at the EICMA show this year, and the bike going on sale next year.
With the media seemingly aimed at a young/hipster/trendy/surfing(?)market, the Scrambler will probably sell pretty well, though don't know where a shot of someone standing half-naked in jogging pants comes into it. Their PR stuff says "Ducati decided to give its Bologna factory employees a surprise treat as they arrived for work on Monday, 9 June, with a private viewing of the prototype Scrambler. Setting a characteristic ambience for the new model, workers arrived to discover music and a beach atmosphere with surfboards, street food and a big yellow container in which they were able view the new model undercover."
Anyway, it's quite exciting after all this preamble to it being announced officially, hope we get a chance to test it, and we'll let you know what it's actually like to ride, and not just how cool it might look.
See what the original single cylinder Ducati Scrambler looked like - we tested one a couple of years back, and will feature the test in the magazine soon: Ducati Scrambler.
Moto Guzzi - are you watching?