Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Back to Mandello - Moto Guzzi Eldorado and Audace launch

Yeah, you know by now that we're Guzzi fans, so it's always a special pleasure to return to Mandello del Lario - there's just something so romantic about its location, and the way the factory survives from year on year. On this occasion, Moto Guzzi were launching their two latest models to be based around the 1400cc motor and chassis first used in the California, which we reviewed back in Issue 5. In truth, the Eldorado and Audace aren't really new models because they're been around for a year now having debuted at bike shows last year, but what did seem new this time round was Piaggio/Moto Guzzi's determination to actually support their bikes with actual proper products that punters can go out and buy. It's been years that most people have been saying why don't Guzzi just get their act together, and do like Harley-Davidson, Triumph etc, and actually, they seem to be on the right road now.

I managed to have a good 20 minute chat in Italian with Miguel Galluzzi, Piaggio's very well known Head of Design, and he reckons that Moto Guzzi has a 10 year plan, and they are just over half way through that plan. I asked him again, having asked during their press presentation, about whether Guzzi were going to introduce a 1000 cc bike that would have the looks and lines of the best selling V7 range, but with more power. "Everyone wants more power all the time," he laughed. "The V7 has plenty for what most people want. But yes, we are working on something - you will see something new at the EICMA show this year." Some German wag journo who overheard reckoned that soon, with Euro directives, the big Guzzis could end up being water cooled - I think unlikely, but we'll have to see.

The bikes themselves were fun to ride - full feature coming up in Issue 6 - though the stretch to the Audace bars is a bit of a stretch too far for me to be comfortable for long. However, quality, character and inate Guzzi qualities are all there in spades.

Funniest moment of the launch for me was when a fellow journo I'd never met previously accused me of being a 'hipster'. Ha, funny I thought, considering I've looked the same for 30 years, and being a North Londoner, used to avoid Shoreditch like the plague 'cos it was a shithole. Maybe he was just jealous of my Ramones tee shirt, bought in Tesco. Or couldn't grow a beard like mine.

Anyway, Guzzi now have a plethora of stuff to buy if you want to spend the money, and there is a huge, very nicely put together catalogue of swag now available to browse through.

Full review of the Eldorado and Audace coming up in Issue 8 of ITALIAN MOTOR.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

For sale - 1957 Moto Guzzi Lodola cammy 175 - unrestored, UK registered, runs well!

I need to sell my 1957 Moto Guzzi Lodola 175. It is the overhead camshaft 175 model. It is UK registered and road legal. MOT not required as pre-1960 historic motorcycle, no road tax required for same reason. Looks great, sounds great and being a 175 is eligible for the Moto Giro event in Italy.

I bought it a couple of years ago from a good friend who lives in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy, and is in unrestored 'barn find' condition but runs well condition, with lots of patina. You either like this type of condition, or you prefer shiny and restored. My friend was asked to sell it by an acquaintance whose father the bike belonged to. He died years ago, and the bike sat unused in garage. I have a photocopy of the original PI (Pisa) Italian number plate. No other history is known of the bike.

I have done the usual recommission to it - serviced it etc. - changed the oil, oil filters, checked tappets, points, ignition timing etc, lubricated cables, rebuilt the carburettor, added new fuel lines. The front brake has new brake shoes. Oil filter cleaned, oil changed. New rocker cover gasket, new plug etc. New battery. I put on a brand new seat cover which I bought from Italy as the original was sadly beyond use. New inner tubes. Both tyres are Michelins and have plenty of tread. New rear brake switch added as the 175 didn't have one originally! Wiring checked and repairs made where necessary. New bulbs etc. Gears, clutch, work fine, it brakes ok in a 1950s style. There is a dent in the tank that looks very old, and looks like it has been filled, please see pic. Handles nicely, the forks and shocks are fine and work much better than the ones on my old 235cc Lodola. Speedo doesn't work, may just be the cable.

I've had Lodolas for over 20 years, and they're robust, fun bikes to ride, and easy to maintain, even when they're not restored to the hilt like most of them are nowadays. On this bike, Luigi put the tank decals on almost 60 yeara ago, and they're still there - who am I to remove them??

More pics here: More photos here!
See it start up and run here: 1957 Moto Guzzi 175 startup YouTube clip

It's up on Ebay currently as an ad withn asking price of £2750 but that is a starting place - I am open to offers! 

Email in the first instance with any other questions and a number to - and I'll get back to you. Happy to facilitate shipping/transport to the rest of the UK or world if required.