Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Game over

Don't say I didn't warn you: if you never went on the Motogiro, you've missed your chance. Dream Engine have pulled the plug on their event, and while it looks like the Club Terni will happen, the truck was cancelled and the insurance wranglings are still unresolved: people, be careful out there...

The Terni event existed for years before Ducati money and the international clientele came along, which is what has kept the lawyers so well fed in recent years. I suspect it will drift back to being an Italian event for Italians, and certainly more club based than the welcome-to-allcomers nature of the Dream Engine event. In reality Dream Engine have been hurt by the lack of sponsors following the global meltdown: if you're a local club you can find volunteers to put up arrows and find broken bikes: if you're even semi-commercial all that stuff has to be paid for, and unless you're all fluent in Italian someone bilingual has to be able to liaise if anything goes wrong. And then even my dual-nationality Italian teacher can't tell me what "have you the shims to set my swing arm play to zero end float?" is in Italian...

I wish the Terni people well, but must admit to getting a bit bored with riding down little lanes to circumnavigate cones in a car-park. Too often (but understandably) the route was chosen for the 175s, and although I bought the Sferica Gilera 175, in the end I chickened out of squeezing my 6 foot, 12 stone-and-counting body onto it for 200 mountainous miles a day. My ancient knees won't cope, and anyway I'd rather ride a bigger bike. I'd also like to see more of Italy's automotive history - Monza (before it's gone), the Guzzi factory (ditto) and I've ridden past more historic walled towns than I've actually seen. Dr Girlie Nice-Smile also complains (a rare event in itself) that the WAGs bus spends too much time hanging around for Wives-And-Girlfriends to see their other halves ride by, and not enough time shopping/eating ice cream/admiring the view

So maybe there's another way, a tour (which is all Giro means) that let's the riders enjoy roads that suit the bikes they'd like to ride, and tries to offer the holiday of a lifetime rather than a rush of stopwatches and arcane rules. I might even be prepared to help organise it...


  1. Can't agree on using a bigger bike than the original formula allowed for a "revocation" event like the GD'I. 200+ miles a day gives you an appreciation of the nature of the event when it ran. Having enjoyed 2 Giros on my 175 MSDS Parilla, endured the backache, bumache & clipon wrists I can say it was worth every ache & blister to ride an Italian machine of the period in such an event. Having always been a "bikes start at 500cc" guy I found just as much fun dicing on these tiddlers at 60mph as I've ever had on a 1000cc. I regret the DE Giros passing but it got a bit too corporate & glitzy for my tastes & failed to take its place as the motorcycling equivalent of the Mille Miglia or Targa Florio. It became somewhere for journos on a freeby to ponce about on Bantams & take the P whilst the paying enthusiasts with the "right" machinery thought "why bother?". If you want to do a sightseeing / shopping tour of Italy I believe Shearings already have it sorted :o) Mike

  2. Agree with 'mike'. It all got too corporate for its own good and the more Italian it becomes again the better. Try the Giro di Toscana for something genuinely authentic.

  3. Mike's right (except about the MM - I know of fab and appropriate cars denied entry because some rich tart's bought his way in with an original entrant) but the Club Terni event's just that: a club event. And their lawyers have succeeded in stopping anyone trying to step it up a notch. But Journos? Absolutely: Ben's a lovely guy, but a Bantam should never have been let in, regardless of the commercial value to the event

  4. I must also agree with Mike! The best thing about the giro is/was the honor it bestows on the proper size and period machines. There are plenty of other events for touring or bigger bikes. Personally, I always thought the Terni club was excellent, and considered dreamengine the "hotel manager". Note Ducati has announced sponsorship of the Terni event, so I think the Motogiro d"italia still lives! And frankly, Terni seams to have always been the ones to proper honor the proper motogiro bikes.

  5. Well thats what happens when people back a hotel orientated event. Biker events should be run by bikers.

  6. Michael Morgan31 May 2011 at 19:12

    I've never really understood riding around the countryside on a tiddler. I know that it used to be done post-war when that's all that there was…but come on! Pretending that you are some motorcycle racer from the "good old days" is unsafe and really not very much fun. I've done my time on little bikes…even done some riding in the middle of the night..even on unreliable old bikes, but put it all together and you are just showing off for each other. The little bikes are beautiful and they should be ridden occasionally in the sunlight…for an hour or so…photographed extensively…but ridden all day in dodgy circumstances is silly…and dangerous to the riders and the bikes..

    As someone has suggested, ride bigger bikes..on tours..at reasonable speeds…staying and reasonably priced inns…that makes a lot more sense.

  7. Michael, as you said you dont understand it.
    I ride the big ones and small ones and have fun on them both, thats what its all about