Sunday, 28 August 2011

John W's stunning Moto Guzzi Cafe' racer - for sale!!

We featured John's beautiful Moto Guzzi Cafe' Racer in Issue Two of the magazine - he's now decided to sell it as he has other projects in the pipeline. We rode the bike and it goes as good as it looks. It's a hand-built work of art, and considering some of the dross you see on Ebay for sale for absurd prices, John's Guzzi looks like good value. All details on his Ebay ad here, or you can contact him via us at this blog too or at

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

ITALIAN MOTOR out and about

Got a busy couple of weekends coming up, dusting down our table, putting up our banners, making sarnies and packing flask - ooh lovely - we'll be at the International V Twin Rally this weekend at Fordingbridge, on the Saturday only, selling the mag and talking nonsense. All camping tickets will have been sold months ago but it's ok to roll up on the day and have a look at the bikes, and V twins of all types, not just Italian stuff. There's always Indians, Harleys, odd Brit from last year here

Then on the following Sunday 4th September, we'll be down at the Italian Car and Bike Day at Honington, Kent. Have a look here for photos from last year, which was fantastic. It'll be bigger this year, and I think it'll become a big Italian day for the future. There's also a country fair with animals, quaint English stuff like duck herding, ferret racing etc., good food, beer etc, so ideal if you want to (are forced to) take the whole family!! More details here:

Monday, 22 August 2011

More Mondial 175 barn find

Having posted the other day about my barn find Mondial 175, I then started to look at more photos of it and thought I'd post some up here. It's a pushrod 175 Superturismo, so not a glam OHC version, but it's still sporty looking and handsome all the same. The castings are just exquisite, and the lines of the bike from fuel tank to seat to bars to rear light are just perfect.

I actually want to keep the bike unrestored but get it running well. Look at the rusty Santa Rita good luck charm strapped to the top yoke. Or the original decal showing how many race wins Mondial achieved in 1957. And the sadly partly missing original dealer decal on the front mudguard, showing that the bike was supplied by Migliorini of Colle Val D'Elsa, which was 20 miles across the beautiful Tuscan hills from where I lived in Italy, and where the bike ended up in its final resting place. 

I don't think I am able to erase these things. What would you do??

Friday, 19 August 2011

Mondial barn find

This is how I found my Mondial 175 about 8 years ago. Jelly mould tank, original decals and the motor ran after me spending a little time on it. It's now in pieces awaiting my attention. One day I'll ride it.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

"I bought back MV Agusta for 3 euros"

It's very sad to note the death of Claudio Castiglioni early this morning in Varese. 
His recent re-purchase of MV Agusta back from Harley Davidson after just two years for a symbolic 3 euros payment was typical of his business style, nous and capability to be - as they say in Italian, azzeccato - able to make correct judgements.

Like most Italian industrialists, Castiglioni was a larger-than-life character, and though he had his detractors, he was giant in Italian motorcycles. I met him briefly a couple of times and he was kind and patient enough to listen to my London accent-tainted Italian questions full of bad grammar.

Cagiva 500 GP bike, Cagiva Elefant, Cagiva Mito (one of my favourites), Ducati 851, Ducati 916, Ducati Monster, MV Agusta F4, MV Agusta Brutale; just a few of the important motorcycles he was responsible for. Most importantly, he was a grandissimo appassionato with a genuine love for motorcycles. R.I.P.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

M1 accident emergency lane blocked

Came across this by chance. This guy is great, reasoning with intelligence with idiots. You also need some balls to do something like this. He should be on TV...

Friday, 12 August 2011

From the frame up - Egli inspired Ducati special

Chris Baglin sent me some pics of his Ducati special work in progress - look at that frame!

"Thought you may like to see a couple of pics of my project. It's kind of an Egli inspired bevel, my frame, swing arm, engine plates, yokes etc with Ohlins rear, WP front, 18" Dymags. The 900GTS engine will be fairly high spec though, crank has been done to race spec by Kamena in Germany with late SS rods, 10.5-1 Omega pistons and fast road cams, ported and polished with 40mm Dell' Orto's and Silent Hektik ignition, so should be good for about 75hp or so - should be cool when done, will be finished with Imola style tank and short fairing. Probably not to everyone's taste, what with the old and new, but something I have been wanting to do for a while now. Hope you like it."

I love it and it's definitely to my taste. In case you missed it, Chris fabricated the incredible frame and swinging arm himself. Mind you, he does work on vintage aircraft and racing cars. We hope to have a ride when it's done, though Chris warns us it'll be a while. We can wait!

Check out more of Chris' incredible welding work here

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Life's a riot

Amongst all the tragedy, destruction and shitty pointlessness of what's happened in the UK over the past few days, some positivity and humour can still be found. Mass groups of people wielding brooms have turned up to clear smashed-up streets. People standing together to protect their homes and livelihoods. And people doing silly things with Photoshop - us Brits are known for having humour in the face of adversity, and we certainly need it now. I just laughed out loud looking at these, and it took my mind off friends and old neighbours who have experienced the most terrifying hours of their lives for just a few minutes. More here

Monday, 8 August 2011

London's Burning

Not just the title of one of my favourite Clash songs (or should that be White Riot?), but the reality of what has gone on in Tottenham over the weekend. As a North Londoner born and bred, it's sad to see what's happened, though it's weird to see how age changes you - when the last riots happened in 1981/1985 I was all up for joining in. Now I just see it as destructive waste. Pleased I moved out a few years back.

Not interested in the why or the politics of it all but two photos that affected me personally (pics by The Sun):

1) PC World was cleared out by looters but they still left the 27 inch iMac. Pleased to see that the Rolls Royce of computers is still the tool of an enlightened few.

2) What the hell does my beloved Tottenham Hotspur football club have to do with it?? Leave it alone!!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

This Saturday - ITALIAN MOTOR at CORSA ITALIANA's open weekend

Piaggio UK asked if ITALIAN MOTOR magazine would like to come down this weekend to Corsa Italiana's open weekend at their new dealership, which we understand is now the biggest Guzzi shop in the UK. I said yes as Brian and Paul at Corsa are top geezers, they've supported the mag from the beginning with their advertising, and they also do things differently and tread their own path, which I like. They also happen to build lovely Guzzis - check a full feature on their bikes in Issue Two of the mag. The event is also raising money via donations for Help For Heroes.

Come along and say hello if you can - I'll be there on the Saturday, but not the Sunday. More details and address here:

SATURDAY 6th August 9am-5pm - SUNDAY 7th, August 10am-4pm

Charity event for Help for Heroes, Raffle, Auction and Donations for Tea, Coffees etc welcome. Demo rides available on Griso, Norge,Stelvio,V7 Classic,V7 Racer.Please call to book your test rideCome and try a new Moto Guzzi, you will be suprised..