This is Moto Guzzi’s 90th year (at least for another couple weeks), and it was nearly a year ago that my good friend Melissa MacCaull, Senior Marketing Manager at Piaggio, asked me to write a blog in celebration of this milestone. As some may know though, my home burned to the ground on Dec 23, 2010, and recovering from that has dominated most of my attention in 2011. However, having finally moved into our new house on Thanksgiving Day, I can turn my focus to some of the many things I have let slide thru the course of this year. A side benefit of this delay is that I also added another Moto Guzzi to my collection, so I have even more to blog about!
In truth, I have historically been a BMW guy. They’re somewhat out of the ordinary, incredibly reliable and have a long, rich history. I really didn’t know that much about Moto Guzzi until I had the opportunity to visit the factory and museum in Mandello del Lario to shoot a segment for the TV show Corbin’s Ride On in 2006.
I was blown away! The place was absolutely dripping with history, being the site of Moto Guzzi production since their beginning in 1921; two years earlier than BMW! The museum was really impressive too, chronicling a long history of innovation and craftsmanship.
I became hooked on Guzzis tho when I went from the factory down to Catania, Sicily where there was a Breva 1100 waiting for me. There was also a Nevada 750 for my son, Sam, and a Griso for my friend and motorcycle photojournalist, Neale Bayly. We rode Sicily for four days and shot an episode of Trippin’ on Two Wheels. During this time I really grew to love the sound and feel of these bikes; and this from a Beemer guy!
There are actually a lot of similarities between Beemers and Guzzis, but while BMW’s claim to fame is rooted in German left-brained precision, Guzzis really seem to have a soul and the V-twin engine is akin to a beating heart. I knew I had to have one, and I started my search as soon as I got back to the States.