Sunday, 25 September 2011

Issue Four off to the printers - and we're off too..

Finally Issue Four has been completed and has gone to the printers, but we're off too for some rest until late next week. We'll hopefully start posting out copies to subscribers the week after that - see you then!!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I just can't get it

These are shots sent to me by the MV Agusta press office. They're of the new MV Agusta Brutale R 1090.

Now I bet that it's an awesome (to quote our US cousins) motorcycle to ride with 144bhp on tap, and I'm sure if I had one parked outside the house, I'd be mighty proud.

But looking at it, it leaves me completely cold  MV says it has 'unique design.

It looks a mess. It reminds me of a Honda Hornet. Is this wrong?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Moto Guzzi at 90: rumours in the sauna

The 90th anniversary bash has just taken place, and it appears that there have been announcements here and there about a new factory being built at the Mandello site with the old one being retained as a tourist attraction. Someone also spotted a photo playing as part of a presentation at an impromptu sauna session on the shores of the wonderful Lake Como (!) with Colannino, Piaggio chairman, that showed the current 1200cc 8v motor (as in the Stelvio and Norge) shoehorned into a V7 racer/Classic type frame. So looks like they'll be doing what everyone has been asking for, bigger motors with the retro clothes (even though it was denied tome personally three years ago.)

Anyway,  with sales up 31% on last year, things are on the up for Guzzi which is a good thing - though it must also be said that many owners would want that some money was reinvested in sorting out their attitude to customers needing spares or service after they've purchased a new Guzzi. I sometimes get to go on some Guzzi launches so will report any substance when I'm next out there.

Looks like Leo got to Mandello on his supercharged 500cc Falcone, which we featured in Issue Three, despite its appetite for pistons. Good job Leo!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

My friend Paolo

This is my friend Paolo Cei of Livorno, hard at work at an autojumble/swapmeet/mostra scambio selling Lambretta bits and other stuff. He loves Mods (which is a shame as I'm more of a rocker..)

His fantastic Lambretta Li 150 special is in Issue Four, coming so so soon.....

Friday, 16 September 2011

More Mondial to tease Mick

Mick's a reader of the mag and is looking for a winter project. Well Mick, how about this Mondial 175 sat in a garage (in Italy)? Almost too good to restore. Problem is, I don't know if it's still there or not. Should have bought it when I had the chance. Blimey, it's lovely...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Ducati scrambling through Tuscany

My pal Ugo in 'my' corner of Tuscany rebuilt this 450 Scrambler and I rode it. Just wonderful. Decent weather always helps. I put together an article on it for 'The Classic Motorcycle' magazine but they recently published it in a crappy much cut-down effort recently so I'll stick it in the mag some point soon to give Ugo's skills, and a fine motorcycle from Ducati, some justice.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Riff Raff

I ain't no headbanger but....these four AC/DC albums are some of the best music I have. I've been travelling a lot for work the last few days and been listening with intent again.

Thanks John 'Cavie' Webster for telling me about them back in '83 and to bandmate Stan Stammers for confirming in '86 that it was ok to love AC/DC and still be a punk and not a 'banger..

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Mal's Guzzi 1100 cafe' racer for sale

Mal is selling his fantastic 1100 Guzzi special. Like John W's, this one has the right lines and proportions. Wish I had some spare cash. He says:

"Based on a Jackal 1100, Y reg, 33,000 miles on gearbox & rear drive but engine has only done 3,000 miles (fitted by Moto Corsa - Jackal was supplied by them).

Tank shop alloy body work, Moto Spezial adjustable clip ons. Maxton rear shocks. Keihan stainless big bore exhaust. Wheels built by Central Wheels - alloy black rims with stainless spokes. Powder coated hubs. Gel seat. Fitted with a brand new set of Brembo discs (twin front) pads just 3,000 miles ago. New clutch. Recent UJ & support bearing, head bearings & wheel bearings. Reluctant sale but I have a new project and could do with the space. Currently sorn'd. £3,500 ono"


More photos here

Email Malcolm if you're seriously interested here

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Solace - cavolfiore gratinato (cauliflower cheese)

Breaking rare motorcycle parts and crappy winter-type weather needed winter food and a nice glass or two of red last night. Hope the weather sorts itself out before my trip up to Aberdeen later this week...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Oh dear!

Oh dear! (as my daughter has started saying.)

Anyone out there got a front sprocket for a '56/'57 MV Agusta 175 AB??

Monday, 5 September 2011


Left the house at 6.30am to be at the Honington Car and Bike day yesterday. What a crap day. Mainly because the fine English weather pissed down rain for most of it. But even before it was raining, no one really turned up. Even the cars left early. "We only heard about it yesterday" a few people said. I had said I was going so went, though next time if there's any mention of rain in the forecast I just won't bother.

I could only be bothered to take two photos, one of Steve Harvie's great vintage Gilera leathers, and one of his rare Gilera Saturno 500 - lonely in a damp field.

There were some other bikers there, on various newer Guzzis and Ducatis. Probably only one of them bothered to walk the 20 feet over to where we had the mag stall, and my 750 S3 Guzzi, to have at least a look or have a chat. They preferred to look at each other's bikes.

I know the weather wasn't hot and sunny but what do you have to do to create a little interest to stir the apathy? A day to forget...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Arrivederci Gigia...

Our much-loved old Italian cat and faithful companion Gigia has left this mortal coil. Abandoned and left starving by her previous elderly owner, we took her in when living in Livorno in 2000, and she was probably already 8 or 9 years old. She already had a bit of a limp but was a real character and a feisty lady. She'd come and investigate and get her paws grubby while I'd be in the garage working on some old bike, or she'd come on the bed and lick your face and wake you up with her cat breath. She didn't like it when we fostered some kittens, also abandoned, but once they went to new homes, didn't resent us for it. She couldn't bothered with hunting - food, sleep and a warm bed was what made her happy.

She ended up living a life of luxury at my in-laws' house in Tuscany, and provided company for my wife's very elderly granny. She was loved by everyone. Eventually, old age and her bad leg took their toll, and the vet decided it was time for her to sleep.

My father-in-law has buried her in the garden in a suitably dramatic Italian plot, under the shade of a beautiful rose bush. She would have liked that.

Ciao Gigia, e arriverderci!!