Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Losing focus

Another month, another Bike magazine. What have Bauer done to turn this once proud Goliath into a mincing David? It's not even printed in focus this month - if I were an advertiser trying to flog those blurry bikes I'd refuse to pay

Why buy it? Er, it came free with Tesco's Clubcard. And now it also comes with a buyers' guide for those who don't know what bike they want. Consumer guides are fine for antiseptic ephemera like washing machines and TVs, but shouldn't a bike be something you just want, deep in your gut?

Case in point - the current Guzzi V7 Cafe; quite a looker (if you ignore the plastic sidepanels) and in urine yellow evocative of the 70s original. If you can't cope with the "will it work" voices that go with classic ownership it's a great bike. In fact it'd be a stylish way to run around and save the wear and tear on your classic for a summer's day.

But what do the tyre-warming heroes at Bike say? "Has very realistic 70s dynamic." Hmm, compared to what? In the early 70s the original V7 Sport was beating full blown, fully faired racers, especially in endurance events. The only mod was tyres in a special compound, but squeezed from the same moulds as the wartime Dondolino. No fairing, no tuning, and yes you could buy one and have a go yourself

So track day bores, enjoy your Bike. And if there's nobody to read the "how to ride at night" article to you, just remember to turn your lights on

Luciano Gazzola on his way to third in the '72 Monza 500km.

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