At the moment we have quite a catholic selection of interesting bikes in the workshop. (Note: that’s catholic with a small C.) I’ll be posting regularly about all of them over the coming months. Roadsters, tourers, off-roaders; big twins and singles, large and small; bikes from every decade from the 1930s to the ’80s: there really should be something for everyone, as these brief details show.
Laverda 2TR, 250cc (1976) – none were ever officially imported to the UK and ours has recently been used to win gold medals in MCC long-distance trials by it’s previous owner. If you thought Laverda only made those gorgeous, chunky four strokes then you are in for a treat. Ours is superbly original and complete, but currently stripped and being checked over in preparation for this year’s Lands End Trial (you can follow progress in the blog). So here’s a period promotional photo to whet your appetite for when she’s all in one piece again.
Moto Guzzi Spada Royale, 1000cc (1979) Guzzi’s very effective answer to BMW’s dominance of the mile-munching class – like a cross between an RS and an RT. This one is the 1979 Earls Court Show bike, still with just 12,000 miles on the clock, most of them put there by my late friend Giovanni Ongaro as he travelled periodically from his home in Cornwall to visit family near Milan. The Royale was a UK-only limited edition.
Moto Guzzi Le Mans II, 850cc (1981) - previously scrumptious in silver and satin black, presently dressed as a T3 (so that we could travel two-up to Barcelona last summer), but about to undergo the cafe racer make-over its high spec motor, Raceco gearbox and Maxton suspension really deserve.
Gilera Giubileo Extra, 175cc (1962) – these are such sweet and fruity little bikes, and this one is going to be returned to its delicious, original Gilera factory livery. You can see pictures of it in its current sorry state on the blog. But here’s a more heart-warming illustration from the factory parts book.
Moto Guzzi Lodola, 175cc (1957) – the bike that broke with Guzzi’s traditional flat single engine configuration. This is one of the first Lodolas, from early in 1957, and has the lovely, punchy OHC motor. For my money these early 175s also have much sweeter lines than the later bikes with their more bulbous tanks. Very nice.
Moto Guzzi Sport 15, 500cc (1931-39) – a fantastically original example of this rare and fascinating machine. The first Guzzi to wear a saddle tank; side-valve on the inlet, overhead on the exhaust; 3-speed, hand change. In amazing condition after almost 80 years of regular use. More pictures coming soon, now the weather has improved (briefly).
Moto Guzzi SuperAlce, 500cc (1946-57) – the Italian army’s SuperMoose! Another highly original machine with almost all its period detail intact. There are those who think these the classic old-school tourer par excellence, especially two-up. The detailed pictures (coming soon) will tell all.
Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Ballabio, 1100cc (2004) – sadly now SOLD but I will still be posting about it because it’s a regular visitor and the V11 Sport is such a characterful and under-rated tool that it deserves many a day in the sun.
Too many Guzzis for your taste? Sorry about that. It won’t always be so. But can you really have too many Guzzis? Well, you learn a new thing every day.