Moto Guzi on Cycle World Radio

Cycle World Radio interviewed one of our favorite guzzisti, Steve Rossi, as well as the Brand Manager for the US, Rick Panettieri.  He discusses the factory shutdown last December as well as the new model line in wonderful detail.  I have new respect for Rick, he seems to really “get it” with the Guzzi brand.  Here’s the link to the broadcast:

http://feeds.radioamerica.org/CycleWorld/SHOWS/CycleWorld_Hr1.mp3

Steve Natt, the host, spent some time on a new Griso before going to air, and he talks about his experiences with it. I get a kick out of the amount of time they talk about the heads banging knees.  Just hasn’t happened to me on any of the Guzzis I’ve ridden, and they spend time talking about the torque impulses in turns.  Hmm…  I never notice the torque moving me around in the turns.  They do a very admirable job of explaining who the Guzzi Rider is, and what they are about.

There is also a nice quick blurb about the V7 Classic.  It’s now the best-selling Guzzi this year, with all Guzzi sales up 11%.  Nice news that.

Backup Bike Continued

Well, I have the ST2 on Craigslist.  The drama in my mind with respect to my “backup bike” continues.  I’ve been looking at the usual Guzzi suspects, the 1000s, SP, Brevas — even a V7 Sport or a Lodola.  The fact is, how and where I ride has changed dramatically since I moved to Chicago — gone are the 1000 mi weeks, week after week.  My commute is only about 15 miles round trip, and even with things closer here, there’s just no way that I’m going to rack up the miles that I had previously, which I don’t know if it is good or bad, it just is what it is.

One of the things that has been tickling me of late is the maxi-scoot.  The Eldo is just a great bike.  I love riding it, love everything about it.  Sheer joy on my face while I’m on it, so I’m imagining what another bike looks like parked next to it, and trying to play forward what the use for the second bike would be as the “new to me” wears off and I get up in the morning and decide what to ride that day.

I love the Piaggio Maxi-Scoots.  They’ve made me a better overall rider.  They are a serious blast to run around in, and are just as relaxing and utilitarian as anything I have ever been on, and just plain fun.

So I’m still ruminating and want to seek comments and opinions from anyone that cares.   Here’s my poll:

Feel free to chime in with a comment, too!  Thanks!

The Backup Bike.

I’m an avid reader and sometimes responder to the “Wild Guzzi” forums — one of the truly fun forums for Guzzi enthusiasts.  Thank God for my MacIntosh Mail client — I just add the RSS feed from the forums and can sift through them at my leisure.

A post came up recently asking people to name their “backup bikes” — it turned out that the average was three bikes total.  My response was:

“Ducati ST2.  It gets ridden about as much as the Eldorado, but I’m thinking about selling it and getting a 1200 Sport or Griso or maybe even a Paul Smart 1000 or???    Dunno.  The ST2 is as reliable as a sewing machine, fast, comfortable, big bags and a blast to drive.  I’m just not that ‘into’ it.”

I received a message back from one of the other members —

Gosh Dan,  I thought you’d have a Cal Vintage instead of a Griso or Stelvio…….After reading your report on the Cal Vin, I was ready to take a test ride and trade my Quota in.  I must of took you wrong, huh? — The Kid”

It’s actually killing me.  I think the Cal Vintage is the best bike that Guzzi Makes, but I have an Eldorado now.  I sat and thought long and hard about parting with the Eldo, but I just can’t do it.  The Vintage and the Eldo serve similar functionality, so I can’t justify to my wife to have two bikes that do “roughly” the same thing.  I also loved the 1200 Sport — another insanely wonderful bike, so my problems increase dramatically in deciding which way to move.

I’m not a dual-sport guy.  I’m actually having trouble getting “into” the looks of the Stelvio — I think the current range of dual-sports, led by KTM are the most butt-ugly bikes I’ve ever seen — the Stelvio isn’t really ugly, kind of like the Ducati Multistrada isn’t ugly, they both “challenge” my sense of what a bike is supposed to look like.  Still, I’ve talked to so many people that say the Stelvio is a truly great bike (like my Duc buddies rave about Multistradas) that it’s on my list to Review.

I ruminated for months before picking out a Guzzi to return to biking with, and I spent probably as much time picking out the “right” Eldo.  I’ll spend at least a few more months picking something else out — Since I’m new to Chicago, I’m really trying to understand how my riding habits, style and distances will change and pursue the bike to fit that role.  Guzzi’s got a ton of great bikes for different missions — I just need to get my arms around that. And yes, my ST2 is a tremendous bike, but it’s just a “friend with benefits” and not “someone I want to marry”.

If I had to pick only one bike from Guzzi — getting rid of the Eldo, and even throwing in some of the “great” older rides — I’d still pick the Cal Vintage.  It’s the best bike Guzzi’s [i]ever[/i] produced for the mission it’s intended to fulfill — an all around big bore bike that can handle city and highway, cruise with the hogs and then dust them in the twisties.  It’s safe, reliable and in surprisingly nimble in all conditions.

Oh hell, now I’m thinking about getting one again.  Damn you Guzzikid!

Gonna miss Wilfred…

I took the Eldo over to Mark at Moto Guzzi Classics before I moved out of California to get “everything” done to it. It was running crappy, needed new mufflers and I wanted to get a few odds and ends done so I could have a wonderful riding season when it began in Chicago. I didn’t want to have to deal with fixing the bike here along with the house purchase, move, etc.

Mark fixed everything including some bone-headed errors like loop rockers in T-3 heads (almost ate the pushrods, I SWEAR that I thought they were Tonti rockers!). He rebuilt my rebuilt carbs and took out all the O-rings that I didn’t need, straightened my bars that I didn’t realize were crooked, put on some shiny new Macs, and service the bike completely.

Sean and Mark had a few laughs over the heads that I had purchased — I don’t think that there were 10 decent threads on them, and some were SAE. I spent more on those heads than I would have if I had just manned-up and bought some performance ones straight off  his shelf. 

Live and learn. I’m gonna miss you, Wilfred.

How Old is the Average Guzzi Rider?

 

There’s been a lot of activity on the Wild Goose Chase forums about riders and their respective ages.  I thought I’d put a poll out and see what my readers are doing.  I’m going first — 47.

The poll is closed, but here are the results of a total pool of 124 participants:

here

  age group votes %  
41-55 53 42.74%
55+ 42 33.87%
31 – 40 24 19.35%
21 – 30 5 4.03%
< 21 0 0%
  total:  124    

A Trip to Rose Farm Classics

Jim Barron of Rose Farm Classics
Jim Barron of Rose Farm Classics

Just a few weeks after my arrival in Chicago, I received an email invitation from Jim Barron, owner of Rose Farm Classics, one of the Moto Guzzi Dealers in the Chicago area.

Man, I needed some conversation. Being away from “home”, and my family two time zones away there is practically nothing really to break the monotony when I’m not working.  Any activity that didn’t involve watching TV, eating, drinking or dealing with real estate agents was more than welcome.  Dudes with Moto Guzzis, wrenches, compressors and associated “man-bling” and the accompanying manspeak is definitely needed.

I decided that as soon I got a break in the action and needed a Guzzi fix, I’d make the trek out to Woodstock, and see what his operation was all about.  After surfing his website, I got the true Guzzisti vibe– a real show room with a wide selection of new bikes, a full service department and a real clean operation.  Now, I just knew I was going to like him.

Continue reading A Trip to Rose Farm Classics

2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

Pictures of the 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic.  Enjoy.

It’s here on the ground in the US. I’ve sat on it and can’t wait to ride it. It looks like a great “return to cycling” bike, a phenomenal city bike and definitely a beautiful retro treatment.

My only worry is there are quite a few left-over Brevas — the 750’s in an earlier year will be less expensive but not as cool looking, but the 1100/1200s will only be a few thousand more and you get a whole lotta ponies for only 3-4K more.

Still, I’ve got faith in the V7C. It is such a nice package, competitively priced to the Bonnie and Sportster, and a very nice alternative to the Ducati 1000GT, which will definitely out-perform it on paper, but I’d like to compare it with respect to living with it for some time.

I look forward to some time with a V7C soon!