20 Feb 2011

Guzzi Guzzi (again)

At the risk of becoming boring, the day I published my short article and series of photographs of Moto Guzzi specials that I find both attractive and interesting for a sometime project, an article showing a rather horrible one appeared on the (otherwise excellent) daily bike site called Bike Exif. Here it is:

Now this thing (to me, obviously) has it all wrong. They call it a "café racer", but it has high bars and knobbly tyres. Ok so it is for off-road use? No way! Its exhaust goes under the engine, making it totally unsuitable even for going off a pavement (sidewalk) onto the street, let alone doing anything off-road. Also, on the practical side, the lack of a front mudguard is silly. On the aesthetic aspect of things, the colour of the seat is nasty, the number plate on the side is plain silly, but the rest is not so bad. Ok, nuff said...

What is very good about Bike Exif is that, with its almost daily offerings of very varied machines, always well photographed, it now provides links to two other bikes made either with a kindred spirit or around the same basic model. And this time I hit gold!

Take a look...

Mmmm, just love that. No silly tyres, plenty of oomph, and a feeling that this is built to be ridden fast. Let's have another pic...

Mmmm, I like that! And a bit of detail...

Not bad, even if I'm not so keen on this fashion for nappy-wrapping exhaust pipes. Now, if you care to go back to my quiz about which of the previously shown Guzzi specials I prefer http://morethanjustwine.blogspot.com/search/label/Motorbikes%20and%20other%20objects, you should be able to guess the answer now. The winning three are 2,4 and 6. The problem with 3, which isn't a bad effort otherwise, are those silly 1950's type tyres which surely don't grip well and the big one on the front must make the steering so heavy. Another silly fad in contemporary custom bike building. I told you I hate fashion.

Here we go with the winners. Now, anyone out there want to sponsor this project?


  1. Hey David,

    Happy to read we are quite closed… Yet I am surprised not to see the number 3 (have a look on your previous post): here is lots of style !
    What about your project ?

  2. I simply LOVE the white one but lament the absence of indicator lights. If you ever want to open-road-ride it, this fault could well cost your life! As for the tyres, they take me back to my time: old Metzelers or Conti, is it not ? Well, this being UK (see number plate), Avon might be a better guess. Nowadays, they are all “slick”.

  3. Olivier, the problem with number 3 is the fat front tyre, which makes the bike look a bit clumsy at the front end, and will surely not help it to steer. Otherwise it is a nice, funky-looking machine. It was built in Copenhagen by a bunch called Wrench Monkeys.
    As to my project, it will have to wait until the Commando is finished and, especially, some adequate funds. Want to sponsor?

    Luc, I tend to agree about indicator lights although I don't have them on my Norton. One can get neat little ones that go on the end of the handlebars and which are unintrusive. I am not an expert on tyres, but these could be Metzelers. I believe they work well. Yes this white wonder is a beauty. I believe the English owner had it built in Italy.

  4. Sorry, a silly anecdote again (true story), but I tend to love them: I remember a double bed in a blue bedroom, and the rising sunlight gently oozing through the translucid curtains ... (romantic setting, is it not?), coming from the horizon opposite the seaside. I also remember Paul’s voice on the radio:
    It must have been somewhere in ‘77 or ‘78 and it was the first time I heard it, awakening at the sound of a local short-wave radio station. Couldn’t make much of the words, though - little wonder. I guess the brand must have been ... Dunlop, this time.
    Less romantic note: this being a Belgian seaside resort, it must be obvious to all of you why the rising sun never appears ... over the waves.

  5. Between the Mull of Kintyre and the Mole of King Tyre my heart balances. No wonder you had to forge your sporran!

    The Mull of Kintyre is situated on the west coast of Scotland, but, being a peninsula, one could see the sun rising across the water above mainland Scotland.

    As we are talking about peni(n)s(ulas), it is worth mentioning that the British Board of Film Censors had a test, named the Mull of Kintyre test, to determine whether a scene in a film showing a penis would be allowed to be projected to the public. The principle was that if the angle of the penis was any closer to the vertical position than the piece of land known as the Mull of Kintyre with regards to the rest of Scotland, then the phallus was deemed to be in at least partial erection, and therefore should NOT be shown (take a look at a map of Scotland and all will be clear!).

    This "benchmark" was taken up by British television afterwards. It was apparently abandoned when the taboo was broken in 2003 by a series on BBC interestingly named "Under the knife with Miss Evans".

    I am sure than you will appreciate this useless piece of information, and agree with me that only the English (and perhaps some other islanders) can be both so practical and so hypocritical.

  6. Actually, ever since this first encounter, I went to the Mull several times, and enjoyed the wonderful view up there, stretching over Campbeltown (Ah, Springbank!!!) all the way to Arran and finally Ardrossan on the mainland on the East, Islay and the Paps of Jura to the West, and even further, the Hebrides and the Irish Sea. Last time, we had a “European” car (right hand drive) and radio-cassettes, with a recording of the tune, that was played out loud! Very good souvenir. Funny enough, my kids and their mum were not permitted access when they went ... because of a foot and mouth disease outbreak at that time.
    As for your test, may I suggest another name: Bollocks Kintyre!

  7. Dear Montse

    Looks like your test has worked! Plesae tell me more...

  8. Dear David,

    I just have tried thinking that it wouldn,t work but...les choses de la vie
    The test go through!!!
    Good night and to be continue...