Thursday, 27 December 2012
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
Friday, 21 December 2012
Benzina#6) the twin filler fuel tank quickly became a single filler. Ducati don't even have records of this era, but only a few hundred of the 350s were made, and far less 450s. They make a roundcase 750SS look common, and the fact the fakers have left them alone tells how rare they are.
Yet you can own one - £16,000 from Made in Italy Motorcycles. With the far more commonplace Tartarini-styled yellow-peril 450 Desmo making £10k, (799 built) that almost looks reasonable
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Thanks to Peter Tunas for this; must be the 1978 post-TT: as Pat Slinn (who ws part of the team) says "Before the race the Ducati was a long wheel based out of date slow machine, then Mike proceeded to give a lesson to all the so called fast men in how to race a motor cycle!"
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Moto Guzzi have also done well with the revised V7, some model sales up 13%. Hopefully the new California will bring the world's oldest motorcycle factory (in continuous production since 1921) back to the prominence it deserves
Saturday, 8 December 2012
Click here for more info
Benzina #6) and the UK's armed forces - in fact the black and tan officers' glove are identical to those seen on military parade grounds. Supersoft leather not only makes them comfy and warm, but remarkably sensitive; perfect around gloves for the discerning signore. The driving gloves are even nicer, and actually make great cycling mitts if you can bring yourself to chop off the fingertips, but not really up to motocycle use, although that doesn't seem to trouble the young lady above. Make a great present for the man who has (nearly) everything; I mean the gloves, not the young lady...Discover more by clicking here.
As would a bundle of Benzina one to four; we actually had more of these printed than later editions (#7 is all but gone, and #10 isn't far behind); so as a special offer all four of 1 to 4 posted to a UK address are just £25, or for a bit more we will of course post to the US/rest of the world or Europe. Merry Christmas!
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Just back from a meeting at the UK's National Motorcycle Museum ; what meeting? Well, hopefully Benzina will be back bigger and better in 2013. The museum? Hmmm: lots of bikes, some very nice but little thought given to presentation, and the word "patina" doesn't seem to be part of the curator's lexicon. But it is great to have a national motorcycle museum, so mustn't grumble.
This is what caught my eye - the Healey; an updated Ariel Square four offered in the 1970s from the ashes of the great British bike industry (deceased). Brainchild of Tim Healey (and his brother, if memory serves) it was tested by the press under the banner "1000cc for £1000" - by this point a z900 was over £1500, and a Laverda Jota another grand. And there's the connection. When the Slater brothers invented the Jota they arranged for the tweaked 3Cs they were based on to arrive in the UK without exhausts - along with Tim, the Slaters developed a new 3into 2 pipe that Tim Healey made and the Slaters fitted. Full story's in issue 3 of Benzina
Monday, 3 December 2012
This is the Guzzi wind tunnel complete with Le Mans II and various V-twins at the factory test track back in the 70s. Groovy baby. Story goes that the Guzzi wind tunnel (like many) was only used at night because it used so much power the grid couldn't supply enough electricty if there were other significant demands. Bzzz, click. Spare Luigi a few lira for the meter...
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Corsa Italiana had one of the new Guzzi California's on show today - this is Benzina subscriber Dave Brown trying it for size. He has a lovely 1970s T3 Cali and we'll try and set up a Jimmy Saville style test (as in now/then, now/then) in the Spring. In the meantime even cynical old testers are coming back from the launch in Cannes highly impressed with the big Guzzi. Building on the success of the V7 and Griso, it finally looks like Guzzi are back from the brink, and doing what they do best. Hopefully the new 1400cc engine can find its way into a Griso.
In the meantime an original "loop-frame" California is below; these were styled in Italy, and painted black and white for export to US police departments. Demand was such that Guzzi offered a "Police Model" for general sale, soon dubbed California. The new Cali really was designed in California, which tells you who Piaggio (Guzzi's owner) are expecting (hoping?) to buy it.