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Why a Moto Guzzi? moreover, why a V11 anyway? curious? nostalgic? are you odd? just an opportunity? no? what then?


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  • 1 month later...

I never liked the look of Guzzi’s when I was a teenager riding Yamaha & Suzuki two stroke twins & triples in the 80’s & 90’s, I used to think the proportions were all wrong on Guzzi’s of that vintage. That was until one day I saw a Daytona parked in a car park, I had to go over & take a closer look, “wow” I thought “ that’s a Moto Guzzi,.. they can get it right.!” I loved the muscular stance of it & walked away pretty impressed. A few years later I was looking for a bike & was intent on a Ducati 1098, although after a test ride I thought, “I’ll lose my licence on this for sure”. A few days later I spied a Coppa Italia in the window of a local Guzzi dealer, I had to go & check it out. I was quite smitten but unable to afford it, the dealer did however have a 2004 Cafe Sport for sale which I could afford, I took it for a test ride & loved it, I thought then & still think now that there is no better sounding motorcycle, particularly with the cat removed & some nice pipes fitted. Mine has a mistral crossover & nice pair of Australian made Staintunes, & imho it sounds like a symphony!. I’ve owned it for the last thirteen years & the more I ride it the more I love it, dropping it deep into a bend scraping my boot off the road & opening it right up on the exit is just the best..

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50 minutes ago, Eamonn said:

I never liked the look of Guzzi’s when I was a teenager riding Yamaha & Suzuki two stroke twins & triples in the 80’s & 90’s, I used to think the proportions were all wrong on Guzzi’s of that vintage. That was until one day I saw a Daytona parked in a car park, I had to go over & take a closer look, “wow” I thought “ that’s a Moto Guzzi,.. they can get it right.!” I loved the muscular stance of it & walked away pretty impressed. A few years later I was looking for a bike & was intent on a Ducati 1098, although after a test ride I thought, “I’ll lose my licence on this for sure”. A few days later I spied a Coppa Italia in the window of a local Guzzi dealer, I had to go & check it out. I was quite smitten but unable to afford it, the dealer did however have a 2004 Cafe Sport for sale which I could afford, I took it for a test ride & loved it, I thought then & still think now that there is no better sounding motorcycle, particularly with the cat removed & some nice pipes fitted. Mine has a mistral crossover & nice pair of Australian made Staintunes, & imho it sounds like a symphony!. I’ve owned it for the last thirteen years & the more I ride it the more I love it, dropping it deep into a bend scraping my boot off the road & opening it right up on the exit is just the best..

:thumbsup: That, and 1000 more words . . .

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Firstly it turns out to be the perfect mix of mechanical beauty and, what I personally consider, a somewhat ‘functional oddness’, for a fellow like me. Also it was part of a slow attitude shift. I’d like to think I was leaning into some much needed wisdom, but realistically I was tired of the constant risk exposure of fast street riding. The worn out knee puck style of street riding.

 I remember seeing a 1000S in the parking lot at a racetrack in 1993 and falling in love. I still have the photo of it stashed away somewhere. Then in the pits there was a Guzzi racebike. Square barrel as well, and it was tiny, red and the motor looked huge. Dominating. I have several pics of that too. The engines just look fantastic, especially the square barrels. But, I was still too into repli racers to commit to buying one. Fast forward to 2002. At a closed dealership in North Carolina, on a Sunday, I look in the window and see a blackframe V11 Sport. I knew I’d have one. It was just way too cool looking! It took a few years, but I found a slightly tired 2000 Silver V11 Sport. I loved it. In 4 years of riding and wrenching it never disappointed me. For me, riding it at an 80% or less pace was magical, especially if I got it right, carrying some good corner speed and using that upper midrange torque coming off the turns. Dive-bombing into the turns, hard on the brakes, and flicking it in just doesn’t suit the bike (to me). Even with the correct springs for my weight, and Ohlins shock. Too be honest, when I tried to ride it over about 90% it just progressively scared the shit out of me! Plenty of warning. Could be the nature of the red frames, but I think I would like it less if it was utterly confidence inspiring at 90 mph through a slightly bumpy sweeper with my knee on the ground. For the record, I never tried to get my knee down on my Guzzi. You folks that have deserve some sort of award. Or you need to be locked up for your own safety! Thankfully I have lived long enough to finally be too old to try it.
 What makes me happiest to report is that my black 2000 speaks to me in the same ways. It’s already well sorted, thanks to the previous owners. 

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  • 1 year later...

It's a long story...

My first road bike was a Suzuki GSX 250 E. Japanese reliabilty, but not all that exciting. Whilst I was still riding that, I saw a V 50 Monza, and was stunned at how good it looked.

My second bike in Melbourne was a 1976 Z 900. I loved it. Beautiful, comprimised handling, and a great motor. I developed the attitude with that bike, that I'd rather have something that required riding skills than something that anyone can be resonably fast on.

I have a clear memory from that time of seeing someone ride past through a long, sweeping curve on a Guzzi, probably a Le Mans or Le Mans II, and thinking "that sounds great".

I wrote up a list once, about 35 years ago, of all the bikes I had ridden. Some of the rides were very short, and some of the bikes very boring, but  I think I topped 100 different bikes. B)

Whilst I had the Z 900, I shared a house with a mate who had an 850 Le Mans III. Just as beautiful as the V 50 Monza. I was able to ride it a number of times. The clutch was heavy, I repeatedly banged my left knee on the the cylinder, and the seat was about as comfortable as a wooden plank. Riding it, I noticed how often people in cars at the traffic lights were staring at the bike in wonder. And then, outside of town after a series of curves at about 130km/h, how I had completely forgotten about the heavy clutch, the bruises on the left knee, and the unforgiving seat. I thought "ahhhh, that's what it's for...".

On top of that, when one blipped the throttle, it kicked to the side a bit. Like it was saying "come on, let's go". And it was deceptively fast. Sovereign, one could say.

Sometime after I moved to Munich in Germany, I saw a V35 Imola (looks identical to the V 50 Monza...) on the street just up from where I lived. I thought at the time "no, probably not enough power", but still thought it was beautiful. About 10 years later, a V35 Imola was the first Guzzi that I bought. It hadn't been ridden for around 19 years. I pulled it apart, cleaned it up, and got it registered. And loved it from the first moment on.

 

The V11 Le Mans was a considered decision. I had had a Kawasaki GTR 1000 for a number of years, but the reasons for having it were no longer all that relevant (long distances on the Autobahn on the way to a job with lots of luggage), and I was starting to think in terms of "if not now, when? It might be too late...". I'm still not convinced about the looks of the V11 (Blasphemy!!!), but the package looked good. I thought it might offer all the fascination of the the Le Mans III that my mate had back in the day, but work better. I was right. I loved it from the first minute I rode it.

In the meantime I have also acquired a low mileage Breva 750IE. A boring bike on paper, but I wanted something that was "new" enough, in as much as one can call a 20 year old bike "new", that it would just work without having to be constantly worrying about what might be about to break. I've done about 2,000 km. on it up to now, and I've become very fond of it. Ugly, although it's growing on me, but really nice to ride.

What fascinates me is that all three of them have the same character. The big blocks and the small blocks have practically nothing in common apart from the basic 90° twin configuration, but they still feel the same somehow.

I've still got a GTR 1000, but it will be sold sometime in the near future. I'm not sure that I wont miss having an in-line four, but I'm willing to take the chance. The Guzzis are staying. B)

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15 years ago I was really into the café scene, and fell upon the new Lignano Green Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic. I was already a huge fan of V twins after Sportster ownership. Plus, my family is Italian! Eventually I bought a 2010 V7 Café Classic in that green that I loved so much.

I had already built a 1963 Ford Falcon hotrod/custom, painted in a matte green so it felt like the V7 in this color was meant for me. Once in the garage, it was much loved, much used; still is.

Years later when buying a 1989 Honda GB500 (this exact one) to add to my collection (I had sold the first one I owned), the seller mentioned wanting to also part ways with his 2003 V11, in burgundy. One look and it had to come home with me too! What a nice addition to my V7. 

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It's funny how the Guzzi bug hits eh...

I clearly remember reading a road test comparison in Two Wheels mag about 1980 which featured a Mark 3 LeMans and although it didn't win the test it seemed to strike a cord with the testers and more importantly with me!

We never saw a single Moto Guzzi in ChCh ( NZ ) back then but I left NZ soon after and traveled for a few years and everytime I saw one it just seemed to reinforce the mystique!

I can't remember which Greek Island I was on but was waiting at the docks to board the local ferry to another Island whilst the cars rolled off.Then all of a sudden there was an almighty explosion followed very quickly by another and the sound oh the sound.... of two motor bikes in the by now empty hold warming up and getting ready to roll off the ship.I was mesmerised and thought what the bloody hell could be making this music when off rolled two German Mark 3 LeMans....!!

That cemented them in my Psyche for good.

It took a while to finally get my own Guzzi... but by God it's here to stay!

Cheers   

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Threads like this are awesome reads.  The following is a true story .....

My wife didn't want me to get a motorcycle after the kids came along.  Then, many years later, kids in college, I found out my brother in law got a Triumph Scrambler.  So I said, if Ned can have a bike, why can't I?  And she said, Ok how you going to pay for it?  And I countered with, I'll sell a few mausers.  And she said ok fewer guns, sounds good.  She thought I was bluffing.  I listed some of them, which quickly sold, my motorcycle fund grew, and started looking at craigslist but didn't really see anything I liked.  My neighbor told me my other neighbor was selling a bike, a moto guzzi ...  Took if for a ride.  And that was it.

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32 minutes ago, Steve S said:

Just bought this for the second time, I need treatment, this will be number 15🤷‍♂️IMG_4111.jpeg

Ah, yes, yes. Let's ask the other inmates on the ward if we are really and actually crazy...

:blink: :ph34r: B)

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1 minute ago, Steve S said:

I did all the carbon fibre upgrades on it then sold it??

cf side panels, front fender, belly pan and high level Mistrals , you just can’t find these bits anymore 

good taste x 15 😀

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