Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 3600 miles and the season is ending

December 2 was the last day I rode.  I went out to the patio on December 6th, and, after 3600mi, I think the season is close to over.

Time to make room in the garage after 4 months and 3600 miles

What can I say? It’s been awesome. I checked the oil, and not a drop has been used. Cold starts? Pretty much history after the last ECU Mapping upgrade in October. Made 4 500 mile days. One weekend was over 1000 mi. The bike just hums. Continue reading

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Moto Guzzi California Vintage – Day 5 – The Mental Health Day.

This is the fifth in a series of articles about living with and riding a California Vintage from Moto Guzzi.  The previous one is here.

Beautiful day, well-worn leather jacket, full tank of gas.  Buddy, let's ride.

Beautiful day, well-worn leather jacket, full tank of gas.

Some work days are better than others…

I found myself halfway to Santa Barbara from my Northridge home, off Seaward Avenue at the Starbucks where I normally stopped and had a cup of coffee before continuing up the coast.  Some friends that I met in the morning were talking about their day, and I was sitting there thinking that I really didn’t want to go to work, but I knew if I went home, I would be painting, sawing or otherwise saddled with the responsibilities involved in fatherhood, matrimony or the restoration of a mid-century modern home that had already worn out my favorite table saw.

I’m sitting here smelling the ocean breeze, thinking about the ride up north to Santa Barbara and cranky about the fact that I had to turn the California Vintage back to the company in the next day.  This sucks.  I really have come to enjoy this bike and I wanted to take a couple more rides on a favorite stretch…

DUH.  Time for a Mental Health Day.

I said goodbye to my friends and decided to head south and get down to the PCH, and ride until I felt the need to be responsible again.  Would that get me to Ventura?  Who knows, maybe San Diego!  So the journey starts, on the perfect bike for this occasion, the Moto Guzzi California Vintage, with me at home on this wonderful machine and riding down the 101, taking Rice Road South with a full tank of gas, headed to the beach. Continue reading

Getting another Bike… Guzzi, or?

I’m looking at my second bike — wanted a Norge but wife said don’t spend so much money (limit’s around 6500ish).

So I don’t wear the eldo out, this bike would be ridden about 6-800 miles per week for the next 9 months or so, then this would drop by 75% to about 200mi when I move close to my work. It’s gotta be dead-nuts reliable (at least by some warped standard that says my Eldo is close to that), and I’d like to be able to have a great bike to get through traffic in.

for those of you that went to the AZ rally and others, Jim at EPS has an ’02 Scura with LeMans full fairing, risers on the bars and Bags that look like two moving vans bolted to the bike ( but beautifully integrated). It has 10K miles.

02 Scura

Then, there’s BJ’s LeMans. I just love the look of this bike, but unfortunately I just don’t know enough to say that I could put big miles on it for nine months. Ed Milich says I’d be like one of Jerry’s kids if I rode it everyday, and cringed at the thought of “geezering it up” by putting on risers, bars and bags. It has 41K miles and Beej says it is solid. Gotta believe him. Here it is:

1986 Moto Guzzi Le Mans IV

It’s for sale to anyone — come with a check made out to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for $4K and you ride it off AND “write it off”. (There. Now you know, and if you want to buy it before I get off my brain and make a decision, all power to you, no hard feelings whatsoever.)

Then there’s an ST2 with low miles and adult owned for $6500.

I did consider many of the Oriental bikes and BMWs, but I’m just not going to want them after 9 months, and I hate selling stuff. Plus, I already have knowledge about Guzzi Maintenance, and Ducs don’t scare me, because I have a support network if I really, really need it. Prefer the Goose, though.

Oh yeah.  Another acquaintance has a very nice SPIII in Montana.  Price is great but I need to find a way to get it to here.  Ride sounds good, but my new job really doesn’t give me the time off I need, and the plane tickets to middle-of-nowhere Montana can be dear.  Still — Here’s a pic:

1000 SPIII in Montana

So I’ve been ruminatin’ and ruminatin’. I’m soliciting opinions because I need more input and I just don’t have the domain knowledge yet to really make a great decision.

There’s also a nice, nice 1984 850 T5:

850 t5 (1984)

Lotsa choices.

 

Here’s a poll:

Back to Motorcycling Part 2 – The Nicest People Ride a Honda, but the Most Eclectic People Ride a Moto Guzzi!

This is the second in a series of articles about getting back into riding after a long hiatus. Part 1 of the series can be found here.

Moto Guzzi

There are a couple of reasons that I will positively own a Moto Guzzi, some practical, some whimsical, and a final emotional reason – Officer Floyd “Skip” Fink of the Arizona Department of 72 Moto Guzzi EldoradoPublic Safety. Skip Fink patrolled in the Globe-Miami area when I was a kid. He and his partner, Russ Fifer, used to ride their big Guzzi Eldorados all over town, and visited my Father’s Restaurant/Hotel almost every day for lunch or dinner.

I made sure I was there when they pulled up. Floyd would wrestle with me, tell me about his job and treat me like a little brother (I had bruises to prove it). I always had the utmost respect for him, and it influenced my opinion of law enforcement for my entire life. Big Guzzis were exotic anywhere, even though a quite a few law enforcement organizations used them. The general public at that time was enamored of the Honda 750 and later the even larger-displacement Kawasakis. I don’t think that anyone in my small town even knew that Italians made motorcycles, yet here they were; big, fast and tank-like. All style and a stamp of approval from Law Enforcement officials that were practically family. Continue reading

Back to Motorcycling Part 2 – The Nicest People Ride a Honda, but the Most Eclectic People Ride a Moto Guzzi!

This is the second in a series of articles about getting back into riding after a long hiatus. Part 1 of the series can be found here.

Moto Guzzi

There are a couple of reasons that I will positively own a Moto Guzzi, some practical, some whimsical, and a final emotional reason – Officer Floyd “Skip” Fink of the Arizona Department of 72 Moto Guzzi EldoradoPublic Safety. Skip Fink patrolled in the Globe-Miami area when I was a kid. He and his partner, Russ Fifer, used to ride their big Guzzi Eldorados all over town, and visited my Father’s Restaurant/Hotel almost every day for lunch or dinner.

I made sure I was there when they pulled up. Floyd would wrestle with me, tell me about his job and treat me like a little brother (I had bruises to prove it). I always had the utmost respect for him, and it influenced my opinion of law enforcement for my entire life. Big Guzzis were exotic anywhere, even though a quite a few law enforcement organizations used them. The general public at that time was enamored of the Honda 750 and later the even larger-displacement Kawasakis. I don’t think that anyone in my small town even knew that Italians made motorcycles, yet here they were; big, fast and tank-like. All style and a stamp of approval from Law Enforcement officials that were practically family. Continue reading

Getting back into Motorcycling: Embracing your Mid-Life Crisis — Part 1

So I’m 46 years old. I’ve been on hiatus from my “mechanical hobby”; restoring cars, for nearly three years. I’ve been doing this since I was 18, and sold off my last Citroen DS21, on January 18, 2005. On a self-enforced hiatus for two years, it’s been another year because the Ideal Ride that lurked in my head just never materialized.

Modern Triumph Bonneville

Enter “Test Pilot Bill” in Phoenix. I’ve known him for years through my wife, Sheila. He is possibly one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.

Last year by happenstance he showed me his newly acquired 2004 Triumph Bonneville that is absolutely perfect, low miles, and an H.G.-Welles-Time-Machine moment (I orginially attributed it to Orwell – forgive me!) with all the wonderful things about British bikes and none of their vices.

As I threw my leg over the Bonnie, something funny hit me. Kind of a “yeah… nice”. It fit not only my butt – it fit into my thoughts. Something deep inside me began eating away two of the four wheels that my Ideal Ride had always possessed. From that moment, I began to think of a motorcycle as The Thing to replace the Car Habit I had nurtured for more than 30 years.

I didn’t know if my search would result in a Triumph like Bill’s, but I knew that I would start on a journey of self-discovery and, as I write this, I couldn’t be more excited about anything I have ever undertaken.

Continue reading