Sunday, 28 November 2010

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Is it a fetish? Part One

It's already a thrill getting bikes featured in the magazine on Chris's Bike Exif website, but then I got an email from Caroline at Vitesse Moto who had seen the mag mentioned on Exif and liked it. "We make boots", she wrote, "would you like to try some?". Well, of course I would, being pretty broke most of the time, and also having a thing for boots, of all kinds (I don't wear shoes). Seeing as currently there's no product review page in the mag, this seemed like an honest offer, and I could offer nothing in return.

They arrived, the ones I had chosen - brown, and more like work boots rather than black motorcycling boots. Beautiful - in fact I put them straight on and wore them out to meet friends in a pub for a drink. They're the kind of boots that I'll chuck on when I don't want to wear full leathers, or to just jump on my ratty old Guzzi California for a ride locally. Thank you Caroline and John, I'll let you know how I get on with them.

Check out Vitesse Moto here

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Novegro mostra scambio/swap meet/autojumble

Dorian emailed us after getting back from Novegro, one of Italy's biggest mostra scambio events - 

Hi Adam.
"Novegro as a bit wet and miserable this time. Apart from some sun on Friday afternoon (it's always worth getting there early as most of the serious trading happens before it's open to the public), it was WET, WET, WET!
No luck with a MV kickstart I'm afraid, in fact there wasn't much good stuff around at all. Prices are going up all the time and I was flying anyway, so not able to carry much.
The MV 125 Monoalbero engine was a nice find, but at 15.000 Euros it was staying put!
All the best, Dorian"

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Wow that's damned neat neat neat

This is the incredibly ordered wiring on John W's Guzzi Cafe' Racer - wish I could be that tidy

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Left a!! No you missed idiot...right a!!

Frera made good money building bikes for the Italian army during World War One. 
Read more about Frera (heard of them?) in Issue One of the magazine

Monday, 15 November 2010

As it left the factory in '48

I have what is probably an unhealthy obsession about unrestored bikes. Here's one of the best I've ridden and enjoyed, Dorian's 1948 MV 125 - a rare four speed version with a chain primary drive motor that runs backwards! It has MV 125 brush-painted by hand on the front mudguard crest. I can't help wondering - who painted that on? What was his name? What did he have for lunch that day in 1948?

Read more about Dorian's brace of untouched MV strokers in Issue Two. Listen to the 125 startup here:

Thursday, 11 November 2010

200 Miglia di Imola

About 20 years ago, I found two copies of this cheaply printed and badly-made but fantastic book about the 1972 Imola 200 mile race at an autojumble in Italy, can't even remember where I was. Published not long after the event, the inspirational and gritty period photography illustrates the Imola race in a light different to the one that has been rose-tinted and mythicalised by corporate Ducati particularly in the last 15 years (yes, there were other bikes racing apart from Ducatis...), and its layout and typography makes this one of my favourite books about motorcycling and its history in Italy. Read about the bike which won Imola 1972 in Issue Two of the mag which you can buy here:

Sunday, 7 November 2010


I was a confused 10 year old in June 1977. I remember distinctly jumping around to Billy Ocean's 'Red Light Spells Danger' one moment then pogoing (taught by my brother) at the Pistols' banned by the BBC single 'God Save The Queen' the next, at a Silver Jubilee street party up at my folks' friends near Manchester. Good times as a kid..

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Ducati V8

This is amazing. Google translates the German tech spec as this: 
- V8 engine for the chassis Ducati 900 Bj.92
- 44mm bore 56mm stroke 868cc
- Crank system (flat plane) with main and rod (patent publication March 2010)
- 2 valves (E 27mm 27 ° / 33 ° 23mm A)
- Camshaft drive belt between the outer cylinders

This is a clever man - find him here: