Putting together a magazine like ITALIAN MOTOR on your own can be a lonely process, and sometimes you can lose sight of why you do it - it certainly ain't for the money - as there is none...
Then you get a few emails, an exchange of words, some photos, and you're back on track. The last few weeks, while struggling to find the time to put Issue Five together, I've seen photos of at least three bikes that have made me so excited again about what's out there, and Guy Lewis's Daytona 1225 Project Berserker is one of them - not just because it's going to be an amazing bike, but it strikes an emotional chord because it was also originally raced by my good friend Gyles Fairclough (pictured above with the Daytona as he raced it). Gyles and I had met through my little Guzzi 750 website (here) back in 1999, and we sold each other parts, bikes and were generally good mates. Gyles had a natural racing talent that had to come out, and he started racing in UK series Thunderbikes. Tragically, he died after an accident at Cadwell on a track day in 2008 - and is still missed sorely by all who knew him.
Gyles was a great Yorkshireman with a wicked sense of humour, and will be looking down and approving completely of what his fellow Yorkshireman Guy is doing to his old Daytona - and it's brilliant the bike has been kept in the 'family' as it were. Guy's last project was his very tasty Guzzi Jackal-based cafe' racer (pictured above), so Project Berserker will be just as nicely put together. We'll be featuring the bike when completed in the magazine, so won't give away the whole story now, but here's some detail in the meantime from Guy:
"I had heard that Gyles's Daytona RS race bike was for sale - it was a rolling chassis together with a big box of bits, including spare fairings, race tyres etc. The frame had already been modified by Bruce Rawsthorne to the same dimensions as the original Raceco bike, and when I went to see it I could visibly see how short the altered wheelbase was - about 2 inches shorter than stock I believe. I decided to buy it, and Bruce agreed to build the motor and finish the bike. I bought a pair of refurbished Dymags from Bruce, and decided to go with lightweight race bodywork from the same moulds as the Raceco bike, preferring the looks of the original Daytona to the RS. The bike is nearing completion now- engine parts for the 1225cc conversion have been sourced from Raceco and we are just waiting for an uprated oil pump which has been ordered through Joe Caruso and should be on its way from Germany. Heads have been flowed, big valves fitted and the fast C cams retained so it should be a fast motor.Bruce reckons on close to 130bhp at the wheel. There was a pair of K Tech fork springs in the box of bits with the bike, and the WP rear shock will be resprung for my 15 stone..."
It's going to be a monster, and Guy has promised us a ride when it's done - can't wait - and of course, we'll be poring over every detail for a future feature in the magazine. Gyles would have loved it!