Thursday, 24 December 2015
We wish all of our long suffering subscribers, contributors, people who have bought a magazine, a poster or a sign that hve helped us keep going, and anyone who has let us ride or drive an Italian motorcycle or car this year a very Happy Christmas, and a peaceful New Year, and happy and healthy 20126.
Issue 8 is almost done now and should be out sometime in the New Year, watch this space!
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Very sad news this morning to hear of the death of Arturo Magni, at the age of 90, and they were 90 years absolutely packed with energy, inspiration, passion and innovation.
Magni was a mechanic, engineer, race team head and incredible technical innovator for MV Agusta for decades. His loyalty to MV Agusta must have been one of the significant factors for the fact that what was really a small manufacturer managed to innovatte and buld startling machines for so long. Then with son Giovanni, Arturo Magni continued to work with MV Agusta engines, build his own frames, and employ his expertise in designing sublime motorcycles using a variety of engines up until he could no longer continue to work.
Our sympathies go to the Magni family, and to MV Agusta too.
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Styling wise, there seems to be a real mish-mash of elements of the long running Guzzi Nevada, bits of Triumph Bonneveille, and flashes of inspiration from the old Kawasaki Z series of bikes. It's all firmly aimed at younger buyers who of course Moto Guzzi need to attract, hence the (dare I say it) 'hipster' or 'lifestyle' style of the photography. If I see another shot of young bearded geezers pushing bikes though, I'll go insane...
The bikes look nice enough, and with Guzzi now (finally) in possession of a thick catalogue of accessories to attract buyers who want to go down the personalisation route, they should sell okay, if the sales success of the V7 and V7 2 bikes is anything to go by.
But I still wonder whether that these bikes may be still, for many potential Guzzi buyers, too little, too late. After speaking with Miguel Galluzzi earlier on in the year, I was under the impression (because he gives little away) that Guzzi had something with more capacity and more power up its sleeve to be presented at EICMA this November. 850cc and a very little more power is not a big difference to the V7 models already in the Guzzi range - are these Euro 4 compliant V9 machines destined to replace the V7 bikes in the near future? And though the styling is fresh, it tags on to the hipster/custom/build a bike/lifestyle scene that has been round for a few years now, and seemed like it was on the wane somewhat - so have Guzzi come into the market with these bikes just a bit too late? The fact is still that there are many current Guzzi owners, and potential owners, that are STILL wanting to see a 1000cc engined Moto Guzzi roadster and/or sports bike, and can't understand why isn't being made. Answer being, Moto Guzzi need to sell bikes like the V7/V9 to survive, for now.
Hopefully we'll get to try the V9 at some point soon, and no doubt it looks like it will be a good-handling roadster built and constructed to a high level of finish.
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Ahead of the big EICMA show in Milan next week, there have been some shots of the new Moto Guzzi 'leaked' online. Having chatted to Miguel Galluzzi at length back on the Audace/Eldorado launch last May, so far it's a bit underwhelming. Time will tell....
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Been ages since we posted, apologies, been busy doing Issue 8.
But - check out this beautiful little film sabout Giovanni Burlando, one of those racers that never made much a name outside of their area of Italy, but whose life and exploits are just as fascinating as Agosotini's, Rossi's or any other racer.
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Yeah, you know by now that we're Guzzi fans, so it's always a special pleasure to return to Mandello del Lario - there's just something so romantic about its location, and the way the factory survives from year on year. On this occasion, Moto Guzzi were launching their two latest models to be based around the 1400cc motor and chassis first used in the California, which we reviewed back in Issue 5. In truth, the Eldorado and Audace aren't really new models because they're been around for a year now having debuted at bike shows last year, but what did seem new this time round was Piaggio/Moto Guzzi's determination to actually support their bikes with actual proper products that punters can go out and buy. It's been years that most people have been saying why don't Guzzi just get their act together, and do like Harley-Davidson, Triumph etc, and actually, they seem to be on the right road now.
I managed to have a good 20 minute chat in Italian with Miguel Galluzzi, Piaggio's very well known Head of Design, and he reckons that Moto Guzzi has a 10 year plan, and they are just over half way through that plan. I asked him again, having asked during their press presentation, about whether Guzzi were going to introduce a 1000 cc bike that would have the looks and lines of the best selling V7 range, but with more power. "Everyone wants more power all the time," he laughed. "The V7 has plenty for what most people want. But yes, we are working on something - you will see something new at the EICMA show this year." Some German wag journo who overheard reckoned that soon, with Euro directives, the big Guzzis could end up being water cooled - I think unlikely, but we'll have to see.
The bikes themselves were fun to ride - full feature coming up in Issue 6 - though the stretch to the Audace bars is a bit of a stretch too far for me to be comfortable for long. However, quality, character and inate Guzzi qualities are all there in spades.
Funniest moment of the launch for me was when a fellow journo I'd never met previously accused me of being a 'hipster'. Ha, funny I thought, considering I've looked the same for 30 years, and being a North Londoner, used to avoid Shoreditch like the plague 'cos it was a shithole. Maybe he was just jealous of my Ramones tee shirt, bought in Tesco. Or couldn't grow a beard like mine.
Anyway, Guzzi now have a plethora of stuff to buy if you want to spend the money, and there is a huge, very nicely put together catalogue of swag now available to browse through.
Full review of the Eldorado and Audace coming up in Issue 8 of ITALIAN MOTOR.
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
I need to sell my 1957 Moto Guzzi Lodola 175. It is the overhead camshaft 175 model. It is UK registered and road legal. MOT not required as pre-1960 historic motorcycle, no road tax required for same reason. Looks great, sounds great and being a 175 is eligible for the Moto Giro event in Italy.
I bought it a couple of years ago from a good friend who lives in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy, and is in unrestored 'barn find' condition but runs well condition, with lots of patina. You either like this type of condition, or you prefer shiny and restored. My friend was asked to sell it by an acquaintance whose father the bike belonged to. He died years ago, and the bike sat unused in garage. I have a photocopy of the original PI (Pisa) Italian number plate. No other history is known of the bike.
I have done the usual recommission to it - serviced it etc. - changed the oil, oil filters, checked tappets, points, ignition timing etc, lubricated cables, rebuilt the carburettor, added new fuel lines. The front brake has new brake shoes. Oil filter cleaned, oil changed. New rocker cover gasket, new plug etc. New battery. I put on a brand new seat cover which I bought from Italy as the original was sadly beyond use. New inner tubes. Both tyres are Michelins and have plenty of tread. New rear brake switch added as the 175 didn't have one originally! Wiring checked and repairs made where necessary. New bulbs etc. Gears, clutch, work fine, it brakes ok in a 1950s style. There is a dent in the tank that looks very old, and looks like it has been filled, please see pic. Handles nicely, the forks and shocks are fine and work much better than the ones on my old 235cc Lodola. Speedo doesn't work, may just be the cable.
I've had Lodolas for over 20 years, and they're robust, fun bikes to ride, and easy to maintain, even when they're not restored to the hilt like most of them are nowadays. On this bike, Luigi put the tank decals on almost 60 yeara ago, and they're still there - who am I to remove them??
More pics here: More photos here!
See it start up and run here: 1957 Moto Guzzi 175 startup YouTube clip
It's up on Ebay currently as an ad withn asking price of £2750 but that is a starting place - I am open to offers!
Email in the first instance with any other questions and a number to firstname.lastname@example.org - and I'll get back to you. Happy to facilitate shipping/transport to the rest of the UK or world if required.
Thursday, 9 July 2015
In a far corner of the historic Moto Guzzi factory outside courtyard at Mandello del Lario, just past the wind tunnel which is slowly rusting away, there is a battered door to a large workshop which is always locked. The old sign on the door with its rusty rivets, weathered surface and faded, peeling letters says 'Reparto Sperimentale', which means 'Experimental Department' in English. Who knows what might have been invented there over the years? The V8? The Le Mans 1? Who has worked in there - Carcano, Carlo Guzzi, Lino Tonti, Dr John Wittner, Bruno Scola?
We have reproduced that wonderful sign having seen it and desired it every time we've been to Mandello because we wanted one for our workshop door - and now you can too. We've kept the patina of the original sign faded by time and encapsulated it into hard-wearing vinyl and PVC. Perfect for your shed, garage, workshop, man cave, living room, toilet door, wherever...
More details about size, materials, cost and how to buy are all to be found in our IMM store, email us at email@example.com or click on the link here: