Tuesday, 27 November 2012

More from Cannes

Ahh, sunshine. Had forgotten what it looked like

Out on the tiles with Daniele and Alberto from Anima Guzzista. I was already knackered by midnight, and felt a bit underdressed in plaid shirt and boots for the ritzy nightspot they started to queue up for, so I slinked off to bed

Big, big 100mm-plus piston from the California

We ate lunch in a quayside restaurant in St Tropez, having ridden the bikes there. Only on picking up my helmet from the floor where I'd put it did I realise the floor was covered in sand. Wacky!

I've never been to a place so dripping in money but with so little subtlety. I had a walk around as the sun was out on Friday evening, and looked in a shop window at a pair of trousers - only 3,500 euros to you sir! The hotel had a permanent line of Ferraris, Porsches and Hummers parked outside. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Guzzi Cali 1400 launch 'official' pics

Some 'official' photos from the launch. The Clifornia 1400 is big, very big, but it still handles sweetly round the bends. Dollops of torque, plentiful power, high quality build.

Full review, opinion and more photos in Issue Five of the magazine, on sale 10th January 2013

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Boffin Dodgers Motorcycle Club

I've nicked this post wholesale from my brother's blog at Greasy Kulture as it made me laugh to read it again, and see the photo again, and certainly not much has changed since - still dodging boffins, stil got the same bike. I used to work at Victory Motorcycles in Camden Town, and on one trip on my Guz to buy Triumph spares from Ted at MCS, got wiped out, knocked unconscious and ended up on a trolley in Whipps Cross Hospital, London E11

"In the early nineties, a group of us used to ride around together and meet up for events like the Pioneer Run. The group was loosely centred on Victory Motorcycles (which was located in one of the arches in The Stables market in Camden Town back then) and Raoul, the Kiwi mechanic there.

We were a motley bunch, riding everything from souped-up MZs to Triumphs, Guzzis to BSAs. (I was definitely the odd one out on a Shovel.) But everywhere we stopped, we'd be plagued by rivet counters –"Oh yes, I had one of these, but not with the later aluminium spigot, which I think you'll find is incorrect..." – who would descend upon us like Harpies. After a while, we started creating avoidance tactics, like suddenly and quickly all walking off simultaneously in different directions without a word the moment a Frank Thomas-booted boffin approached one of our bikes.

The Boffin Dodgers were born.

My brother Adam created this montage after the Pioneer Run in '94."

Good memories.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

ITALIAN MOTOR off to cane the California 1400 in Cannes

We're off later this week to test the new Moto Guzzi 1400 in Cannes, South of France, and we'll have a full review, opinion and exclusive photos in Issue Five of the magazine. It's a model of bike that I would never buy myself, principally because I simply don't buy new bikes, but its looks have grown on me gradually.

Last time we tested two-wheelers in 'sunny' Cannes, it poured with French rain non-stop and temperatures were on the bitter side, but the big posh bath made up for it.

I'm fascinated to see how this 1400cc Guzzi motor really performs, and how far the 'California' model has progressed since when my 1976 T3 California was released.

Just hope the weather will be a bit more like in the photo above this time round.

If you have any specific questions about the new Cali that you want me to ask the Piaggio men in suits, or details you want photographing, or fat tyres you want kicking, now's your chance...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Borranis are back!

Now, I don't know if Borrani alloy rims for classic Italian bikes even ever went away , but I remember enquiring about them over 20 years ago while I lived in Italy, and was told they only made car wheels.
Judging by the eye-watering prices of decent used Borranis on Ebay, it seems they did disappear for some time.

Anyway, now it seems they're back with Borranis for bikes. We were sent these very nice photos from their press office, so here they are. There don't seem to be any details yet on their very nice website at: http://www.ruoteborrani.com but we'll keep an eye on what will be offered, and more importantly, how much. Mmm, maybe a nice new set on the Le Mans 2 special?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

New California 1400 - also in white!!

This bike is growing on us - also in white - bit of a tart's handbag, but strangely alluring too - the El Dorado version!

Remember, you saw it first at ITALIAN MOTOR magazine!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monday, 12 November 2012

November fly swatting

Managed to get a couple of hours out on the 750 yesterday - and had forgotten how good it is to get out and ride. What beautiful day it was - wintery, dirty roads but clear blue skies. I never realised there were so many insects out in November - the big headlamp took out a fair few of them.