My Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is no More…

July 19, 2009

It was a typical Wednesday as I left work just after 6 at WMS. My Birthday was coming up and I was wondering what Sheila had arranged for it, as we make a big deal out of birthdays in our house.  I was traveling one of my usual routes home.  I have about 6 routes that I take on a random basis.  I think  it’s safer to ride this way because you don’t get complacent at intersections and other traffic hazards.

I was about a mile away from my office in heavy traffic; I had just turned southbound on Kedzie, just above the Belmont intersection.  Traffic in the northbound lane was bumper-to-bumper.  A silver car was peeking its nose out, trying to turn out from School Street and into my lane. I chopped the throttle and covered my brake.  Just like that it darted out in front of me.  I hit the brakes but it was too late.  There was no place to go, so I added more rear brake and went sideways, laying the bike down and separating from it cleanly. Continue reading

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Gonna miss Wilfred…

I took the Eldo over to Mark at Moto Guzzi Classics before I moved out of California to get “everything” done to it. It was running crappy, needed new mufflers and I wanted to get a few odds and ends done so I could have a wonderful riding season when it began in Chicago. I didn’t want to have to deal with fixing the bike here along with the house purchase, move, etc.

Mark fixed everything including some bone-headed errors like loop rockers in T-3 heads (almost ate the pushrods, I SWEAR that I thought they were Tonti rockers!). He rebuilt my rebuilt carbs and took out all the O-rings that I didn’t need, straightened my bars that I didn’t realize were crooked, put on some shiny new Macs, and service the bike completely.

Sean and Mark had a few laughs over the heads that I had purchased — I don’t think that there were 10 decent threads on them, and some were SAE. I spent more on those heads than I would have if I had just manned-up and bought some performance ones straight off  his shelf. 

Live and learn. I’m gonna miss you, Wilfred.

Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport – Day 8 – Why should I buy a Guzzi?

This is the eighth in a series of posts about the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport.  The previous posting is here

1000 Miles, 8 days riding:  Do I still like the Breva 1200?

The Breva 1200 Sport, just north of Ventura off the 101, Sunset.

The Breva 1200 Sport, just north of Ventura off the 101, Sunset.

Yes.  Yes I do.  I lost a full day of riding when it rained, and two more when my wife told me to paint the house.  Still managed to get a few miles in though.  The average day of riding put me at about 200 miles each, and I felt like I really got a good idea about what it would be like to live with a Breva over the long-term.

So often one sees a bike advertised or reviewed by a magazine, then goes to their nearest dealer for a trip around the block.  The papers are out on the salesman’s desk at that point, and if you liked what you felt and the deal is right, then you buy.  But what influences really get you to “pull the trigger”?

Continue reading

Moto Guzzi Breva – Day 6 – I Get Knocked down, but I get up Again…

This is the sixth in a series of posts about life with the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport.  The previous post is here.

On Day 1 I wrote about my ride up from the Moto Guzzi Press Bike Parking area to my work in Santa Barbara and back home.  The posting covered the characteristics of the bike and my first encounters with heavy traffic.  What I didn’t write about was the BMW 5-series that changed lanes in front of me, causing a low-speed high-side onto the pavement.

There I was, on Los Angeles Avenue in Moorpark, inching between lanes at a red light.  I saw a BMW jerk like he was going to change lanes or cut me off, so I grabbed a handful of brake and began to slow to a crawl, taking advantage of the Guzzi’s incredible low-speed characteristics.  At that very moment a half-space opened up for the Beemer and he just jerked into it, causing me to panic stop. I was over on the paint stripe with less-than optimal tires — I stopped the bike — the rear wheel skidded and I went high-side over to the right.  A guy in a pickup stopped to help me get up.  The BMW was gone by the time I had my wits about me. I don’t know if he had done it on purpose or not, and nobody got a license number.

Just in case anyone is curious, a cager purposely turning into someone on a bike that is splitting lanes in California wil be charged with Attempted Murder/Assault with a Deadly Weapon. If you do this and get caught, you can probably plead it down, but you’re going to be out thousands of dollars in the process.  

I walked over to the bike, Continue reading