Magni Filo Rosso

The Filo Rosso, or the Red Line, is the symbolic thread that has always run through Magni’s work, starting with his learning from Piero Remor in the early 1950s, to being the all-round inspiration behind MV Agusta’s multiple world championships, and then going on with son Giovanni to create hand-built machines with individuality, handling prowess and charisma.

This one is no different. Ok, so it looks like an MV race bike you may say. Yes, but that’s not a bad thing, is it? And this one is powered by the MV Agusta Brutale’s rev-happy 798cc triple cylinder motor that needs a 13.000rpm red line.

Not often we want to just jump on a bike we’ve been sent pics of and just ride the bollocks off it, but this is one of those occasions. Bravo, Magni!

Taming the Ducati Cucciolo

In Issue 6 of the mag, we published a great article that was contributed by Dave our mate from Australia all about his Ducati Cucciolos. Dave has since sent us a video clip that gives the impression of what it’s like to ride one of these machines at speed – and it’s a bit scary. Ignore the sketchy soundtrack and imagine what it’s like to sit on an old pushbike, with pushbike brakes and tyres, and a small Italian motor lashed onto the frame tube, and go as fast as you can. In fact, we reckon the wind noise is covering up Dave’s screams of terror as he bowls along at an impressive turn of speed considering he’s a big Aussie bloke!

The full article on Dave’s passion for the Ducati Cucciolo and in particular its fascinating place as a sales success in Australia is in Issue Six. Not got a copy? Buy it here: http://italianmotor.bigcartel.com/category/magazines

Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble

 What an idea! Buy up a historic but mothballed RAF base, then turn it into a motoring heritage destination for cars, bikes and planes – brilliant! We’re lucky that ITALIAN MOTOR H.Q. seems to be close to so many fascinating and excellent places and events of petrolhead pleasure, and today was great – old planes mixing it with Ford Capris, Yank cars, old bikes, historic and important Bentleys, Porsches, and Jags, old blokes dressed as Home Guard, steam engines, old biplanes, engines, bacon rolls, and other very pleasurable stuff. The RAF architecture is fascinating and the before and after restorations of the countless sheds, hangars and engine fitting rooms are incredible and beautiful. Even the toilet blocks are retro! The owners should be congratulated on their vision, and it’s easy to see that it’ll become a premier motoring destination in the UK. 


Today will be just the first of many visits for us, no doubt. In fact, we’d love to set up H.Q. here too.
Enjoy the photos of just a small selection of what was there this morning.

Lovely ’56 Triumph Speed Twin with original paint

Used to use the Routemasters all the time

Huge bomber hangar – now used for classic vehicle storage

This thing landed while I was standing there

Dad’s Army: “Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler?”

Old bomb shelter

Purple Haze… in my mind

Beautiful Mk.1 Zephyr rag top

Lovely old Ford Capri. Two a penny when I was a kid..

After…

Before…

Loved this stripped back Terrot – a real gem

These ‘tools’ are made from chocolate. Amazing!

Patina!

More patina!

Check their website here: Bicester Heritage



Kop Hill Climb 2014

Every year for the last five years I have done my day job and turned up to cover the Kop Hill Climb, which is a fantastic event, and very local to me. Like a small, friendly and less manic Goodwood Revival, it surprises every year with the wonderful mix of bikes, cars and machinery that turns up, either to run up the the hill, or display in the paddock (or both..). Here’s a small selection of some of my shots to give you a flavour. All photography © ITALIAN MOTOR magazine. More on Kop Hill here.




Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 2500 mi Review

I purchased my V7Classic from Rose Farm Classics on August 8 of this year.  About 8th I passed through my first 2500 miles as the weather in Chicago begins to close out the 2009 Riding Season.  I think I could have cranked another 1000 miles out of the bike this year, but family and work prevented my riding on the Labor Day weekend and all day last week.  We can probably blame precipitation for a few more lost days.  That’s the way it is, balancing good riding days with happily accepted family responsibilities and work.

It's colder than it looks. Motionless at 44°.
It’s colder than it looks. Motionless at 44°.

Continue reading Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 2500 mi Review

Michigan Moto Guzzi Rally Live with the V7 Classic

3:31– packing up, getting ready to leave soon. Too many delays trying to get out of town. I haven’t chosen a route yet. Guess I’ll just wing it, take 94 to the 31, head north and see if I meet up with some other folks.

4:19. On the road. Goodbye pic

6:30- Sawyer, Michigan, for water at a T/A truckstop

8:30-Holland. Got gas-42mpg. Pretty steady 80 mph cruise. Saw a little faster. Decided to take the “easy” way up through Grand Rapids. Checked the mileage to Interlochen, looks like I was about 100 off of my estimate for distance. Don’t know if I’ll make the rally tonight, the Sun’s down.

9:50-Checked into the Holiday Inn in Big Rapids. Temperature had dropped into the 50’s. Saw a couple of ex-deer on the roadside as well. Time change makes it actually an hour later. Beer and burger. I’ll hit the sack and get an early start for tomorrow morning. Continue reading Michigan Moto Guzzi Rally Live with the V7 Classic

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — Second Week and 800 Miles on the Clock

This is the second review of my ongoing ownership of a 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. For the first part of the review, click here.

My second week of ownership of my V7 started with a rain day on a Saturday.  It rained so hard that I decided that I wasn’t going to ride until Sunday, where I would make a nice loop going to the Full Moon Cafe on Highway 41, then riding up to the Sly Fox Inn in Wheaton, Wisconsin before taking a bunch of back roads to my home in Oak Park.

It’s a nice loop to make.   The route involved a ride up the 294 towards Milwaukee and then dropping off at Deerfield road for the rest of the ride North on Highway 41.  After hanging out with the other 50-60 riders that show up there on Sundays, I planned a trip up to the Sly Fox where Vintage riders meet for Brunch and tire kicking.  Then the ride home involves skirting the lakes along the Wisconsin/Illinois border and then dropping down into Arlington for a jaunt down the 355/290 and home.  I think it’s about 200 miles or so.

I’ve ridden the bike just close to 800 miles now.    Continue reading Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — Second Week and 800 Miles on the Clock

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic Owner's Review — The First Week and Before

And so it was, upon the demise of my 1200 Sport and State Farm Insurance completely taking care of me, I took a hard look at what and how I would be riding over the next couple of years.  The 1200 was a great bike and I fully expected to replace it.  I purchased it because I wanted it for the long distance tours I had planned to get to this year and the next few.

I realized that my new job and just-outside-the-city lifestyle really meant that for the next couple of years, 99+ percent of my riding would be within a 150mi radius, with many, many days of riding through the streets of Chicago at 30-ish miles per hour.  This is not the venue, mission or best possible circumstances with which to operate a 1200 Sport.  This mustang needs road.  I need a bike that is a better choice for these distances, light on its feet and able to make me grin while I tackle the third-world roads of Chicago and surrounding cities.

You already figured that I’m getting a Guzzi?  Well I looked hard at the Ducati 1000GT, the Triumph Bonneville and even considered a maxi-scoot.  I hit the forums and asked more and more about the V7C.  The more I heard from the people that actually owned it, the more I started warming up to the idea.  Finally, I read a Wall Street Journal Comparison of the Bonneville, Sportster and V7 Classic.

Me and my new V7 Classic 8.11.09
Me and my new V7 Classic 8.11.09

So I now own one  Continue reading Moto Guzzi V7 Classic Owner's Review — The First Week and Before

My Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is no More…

July 19, 2009

It was a typical Wednesday as I left work just after 6 at WMS. My Birthday was coming up and I was wondering what Sheila had arranged for it, as we make a big deal out of birthdays in our house.  I was traveling one of my usual routes home.  I have about 6 routes that I take on a random basis.  I think  it’s safer to ride this way because you don’t get complacent at intersections and other traffic hazards.

I was about a mile away from my office in heavy traffic; I had just turned southbound on Kedzie, just above the Belmont intersection.  Traffic in the northbound lane was bumper-to-bumper.  A silver car was peeking its nose out, trying to turn out from School Street and into my lane. I chopped the throttle and covered my brake.  Just like that it darted out in front of me.  I hit the brakes but it was too late.  There was no place to go, so I added more rear brake and went sideways, laying the bike down and separating from it cleanly. Continue reading My Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is no More…

Scoot vs Guzzi as a First Bike?

I’m a fan of your blog, from north of the border in cheesehead country. We’re about the same age, though I obviously started the family a little earlier, as my daughters are now 17 and 20.

And, given that, I’m now thinking about getting a 2-wheel vehicle for which I’m not the motor. I’ve be riding bicycles thousands of miles a year for 30 years. I’ve had the itch to get a motorcycle since I was, oh, 12 or so, when my brother had a Yamaha 60. Put it on hold while I either didn’t have the money or had young kids to think of. Now that I have money and pretty-much-grown kids, the motorized 2-wheeler itch is like a bad case of poison ivy.

My tastes run very classical – air cooled twins, round headlights. I’m very small – 5’6, 120 pounds. My riding will mostly be my 10-mile commute to downtown Milwaukee from the north shore, along Lake Drive, but I also plan to get out into the Wisconsin countryside to explore a little farther than I can typically get in a morning of cycling. Ever been to Holy Hill? The roads around it are to die for. I also have in mind riding out to Minnesota, where my older daughter is at college, once in a while.

So, I’m thinking the Vespa gts 250 (or new 300) would be great for commuting, the Breva 750 ideal for fun rides and travel, and maybe the Piaggio BV250 is the compromise.

The x-factor here is that my wife is adamantly opposed to the whole notion. She has a pretty deep, emotional, irrational association with motorcycles, and has stated flat-out she’ll never go near one. On our honeymoon we had a very good time ripping around Nice, France, on a scooter, so I’m not quite sure what happened over the last 23 years. Anyway, it’s possible that a scooter will be less traumatic, and on the motorcycle side, a V7 Classic will prompt less of a visceral response from its classic styling.

I’ve ridden the V7 Classic, Breva 750, and GTS250, and like them all. I like the Breva a little better than the V7, but obviously there’s little to distinguish between them. It’s obvious the scooter is the better commuter. But there’s also the image factor of pulling into the garage at work. The motorcycle has a huge advantage there, I won’t lie.

So, I’m looking for your thoughts on whether you think I’m on the right track, or am I missing something crucial?

Well Ted! Let’s look at the factors involved:

  • You live in Wisconsin and will store the bike in winter.
  • You haven’t really ridden a motorcycle before.  Fooled around, but haven’t gotten a license, etc.
  • You like the classic, retro look.
  • You’re not a huge guy
  • You have a 10 mile commute.
  • You want to ride in the country, possibly make a Minnesota trip, etc.
  • Your wife is not really into the whole thing whatsoever.
  • You’ve ridden Guzzis and Vespas
  • Your friends are gonna put a mark on you whether you ride a scoot or a bike.

I actually have some suggestions that will help you discover which one you might want to go with.  I’ve got my favorites here, but I’m going to go “pro-con” and let you decide. Continue reading Scoot vs Guzzi as a First Bike?