Saturday, 31 December 2011

Gilera Saturno Cross

Spotted on an Italian website, claiming to be a genuine Gilera Saturno 500 Cross (as seen in Benzina #004 originally one of just four ex-fiamme oro spec bikes delivered to the Ministry of Interior. These post '54 bikes differs from the first series with oval (not round) swingarm, different triple clamp mountings, exhaust pipe and seat. Restored in 1985, since then this Saturno has sat in a private collection bar a few outings to exhibitions. The price is said to be "challenging...but not absurd." In other words, if you have to ask... Still a thing of rare beauty, and incredibly undervalued outside Italy

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Love this, shamelessly pinched from Cafe Sport blog - a home brewed double-overhead cam Ducati single. The Italians seem to delight in this sort of thing: in Benzina #004 the Gilera Saturno piece mentioned how every Italian biker seems to have a workshop capable of turning the pushrod single into a DOHC racer. Makes a refreshing change from the Brits obsession with the 100 point-perfect restorations that (for me) scar the Stafford shows.

Not that this seems to trouble the blogosphere - most seem to be asking (when they can steer away from the economy) who rides through winter anymore? Well, down in Devon with the in-laws for Christmas what should turn up on Sidmouth seafront? A Diavel, and two-up at that. Did I have a camera?, but well done that man (or woman) for dashing the clich├ęs and making my day

Friday, 23 December 2011

It wasn't me...

It wasn't me, it was Ducati: my earlier post doubting their first ever desmo racer not only won its first race, but that rider Degli Antonio lapped the entire field was based on research prompted by a book (quoted on the Ducati website!) saying the win was mere seconds. Thanks to Swedish subscriber Anders I got in touch with the guy (pictured) who the book said came second - he didn't, he DNF'd and the "lapped the whole field" tale is true. Full story in Benzina #7, which I'm now miles behind with (largely due to chasing up this story!) but will get out late January...I hope. This also explains (along with Dr Girlie Nice-Smile's flu)why I didn't send any cards or post here for a fortnight. Sorry and Happy Christmas to all

twowheels+: Piaggio Vespa Pole Position Trophy

Courtesy twowheels+: Piaggio Vespa Pole Position Trophy: Scuderia Vespa Svedese - and yes, that's Alain Prost. Brilliant...

Monday, 12 December 2011

The utimate Mono MV

So we get monoalbero monocilindrico (single cam, single cylinder) - here's the logical conclusion: just one wheel on your MV Agusta - una MV mono ruota

Friday, 9 December 2011

MV Agusta alternatives

Winter - the season of workshops and getting projects done. So given the MV 350 isn't standard, maybe the deviation from originality should be embraced. Most of the necessary bits could be provided by Disco-volante and it would stop all the geeks who love to point out variations from factory spec. Looks like a Giro racer, too. Bet Remo Venturi never had people coming up and saying, "oh, look double-overhead cams: that's not right, is it? Should have push-rods like my mate's 75 Turismo"...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Perfect present (to yourself)

Perfect presents or the finishing touch to the garage, sitting room or outside loo: A3 (about 42cmx30cm) canvas prints with gallery wrap (the pic goes round the edge of the frame - so the first image appears cropped viewed head on when you see the real thing - see the alternative images). You can buy HERE

1968 TT and all that

Here's a newly unearthed film of the 1968 TT. Only 7 minutes, bit blury and the soundtrack sounds like you're running an old spool film with the Hill Street Blues music on in the background. But I think I spotted Ago, Read, Ivy, Robb, Cooper and Paso: that's why they called it a golden era.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The truth sometimes hurts

One of the Ducati legend set-pieces is that their first ever desmo racer (a 125 single) not only won its first race at the Swedish GP, but that rider Degli Antonio lapped the entire field. Always sounded odd to me (even though, ahem, the tale was repeated in Benzina #004 - sorry) especially when I realised how long and fast the circuit was (Hedemora). Then I found out the race favourite was the Swedish champion on another Ducati desmo, who came second to track novice Degli Antonio...

So with guidance from Alan Cathcart (currently in sunny LA - clearly I need to be a bit more ambitious) I think the win was mere seconds. A few more sources to check, and if you know the definitive answer please say. Otherwise the full story will be in Benzina #007, out January(ish). In the meantime these pics are of the 1953 Senior GP at Hedemora and other 125 desmos racing in 1958

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Red alert

Seen these? Lovely aren't they? Just been stolen from a secure garage in South West London. Maybe a professional job using a van as one bike had no rear shock. They're probably already in bits, because some parts are especially trick and make the bikes easy to spot. So pleaseclick here for details and keep a look out: £5,000 reward on the table. After a week of people waving the Red Flag and banging on about sticking together hopefully there's no need to point out that if nobody bought stuff under dodgy circumstances there'd be much less thievery...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

2012 starts here

Those of us wondering about an alternative Italian expedition to the Motogiro have been waiting for this - confirmation that Ducati will run another World Ducati Week(end?) in 2012. With that date in the diary, the serious planning for next year's riding can commence

WDW will run Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 June at Misano circuit, and should bring together 60,000 Duke fans from around the world. It's sure to follow the tried and tested formula of race track events, shows, top riders, competitions and music (Italian rock, mind...) combined with the atmosphere created by thousands of (mainly red) motorcycles. Won't clash with the TT, because that's pencilled in for May 28 to June 8.

As the event’s massive attendance invades the entire Riviera Romagnola, Ducati has ensured the cooperation and the Province of Rimini, Misano, Republic of San Marino and more. It'll be fab - more at (see what they did with that URL?)