Posts by Category: Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi January 14, 2015 posted by

Guzzi Racers: Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US

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As we have posted before, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles.  However most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago.  Guzzi has made the occasional attempt to recognize and even revisit their racing history and this post is about two of these efforts, a 1993 Guzzi Daytona available in the US and an uber-rare 2004 MGS-01 for sale in Japan.

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1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on ebay

First is a 1993 Guzzi Daytona located in the states. We have posted a few of these here on RSBFS but for those unfamiliar with the Daytona edition, in the mid 1980's an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using a Moto Guzzi.  Witnner's Guzzi efforts resulted in wins in both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship and Wittner eventually went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi.  One result of his efforts was the Guzzi Daytona edition, which had an updated engine that was in a new spine frame based on Dr. John’s race bike design, including a monoshock under the seat and Brembo four-pot calipers with 300mm dual discs (two-pot/260mm rear) provided stopping power.  The result was a significantly improved ride over other Guzzis of the era, with power available whenever you open the throttle.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here.

While the Daytona was a big move forward for Guzzi, it was still essentially a big Guzzi, more of an homage to Wittner's Guzzi racing success than a pure racer.  As reviewers noted;

The Moto Guzzi Daytona isn't a real race-replica, it is instead more of an homage, a traditionalist’s GT-class machine. It excels everywhere by not doing anything wrong; the suspension offers a good balance of compliance and control. Mid-corner throttle changes have almost no consequence whatsoever on the chassis. Whacking open the throttle while leaned over makes the rear end squat slightly, just like a chain-drive bike which is amazing considering the shaft drive.

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The buyer includes a fair amount of info about the bike, including the following:

  • Single owner since new
  • Everything on the bike is stock including the Stage 2 Moto Guzzi upgrade kit.
  • The original tires were on the bike, but were just replaced out of safety concerns.
  • All of the fluids have been just changed by the owner and a new battery installed.
  • Mileage is listed at a low 7,126 kilometers/4,427 miles

Overall the condition looks to be very good except for some surface rust on the rear rotor which is probably due to climate and what appears to be an aftermarket exhaust.  It is interesting to note that like other US buyers of the Daytona, the buyer wasn't happy with DOT mandated changes and had the dealer convert the headlight to the European specs which included the head light assembly and upper fairing.

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Okay, now usually in these posts this is where I post the "so whats it worth part?"  The Daytona isn't a bad bike in any way, is always popular among people who like good engineering and want something that isn't a torture to ride.   Prices for these seem to vary between 8,000-11,000 USD depending on condition.  These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.

But what if you wanted a true Guzzi race machine?  Well there was an actual short-lived effort by Moto Guzzi to produce a true race machine.  Moto Guzzi was acquired by the Aprilia motorcycle company in 1999 (Editors note: along with my beloved Laverda) and Aprilia was at this time working hard on large displacement bikes including their RSV Mille.  It was during this period that Moto Guzzi produced the uber-rare and non-street going MGS-01 pictured here.

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2004 Moto Guzzi MGS-01 for sale in Japan on goobike

The MGS-01 (Moto Guzzi Sport model number one) was intended to be the future of Moto Guzzi. It was fast, beautiful, exclusive, expensive, basically you typical piece of Italian exotica. A detailed explanation of the MGS-01 can be read here but to suffice to say that when bike was introduced it caused a sensation.  Sadly, only 150 of the MGS-01 managed to make it out the door before new owners of Aprilia the Piaggio group shut down production in 2005 to focus on more profitable ventures.  Efforts continue to keep the idea alive via the Millepercento group but those aren't official Guzzi products.

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This particular MGS-01 is located in Japan and there is almost no info provided about the bike other than a few pictures.   Perhaps a RSBFS reader located in Japan could get more info for us.  Asking price of 42,000 USD is actually in line with the few that have been posted on RSBFS before. With only 150 of these being built and some undoubtedly being used as true race bikes, the chances of acquiring one of these will probably only decline going forward so serious collectors should take note.

In conclusion, while from a styling standpoint its hard to believe only 11 years separated the 1993 Daytona and the 1994 MGS-01, they are both modern motorcycles and each one has their own type of appeal.  I suppose the Daytona would be easier to own and enjoy while the MGS-01 is certainly a true piece of unobtanium.  Perhaps some lucky Moto Guzzi fan will be able to acquire them both and enjoy the Daytona as a regular ride and the MGS-01 as living room art.

-Marty

Guzzi Racers:  Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US
Moto Guzzi December 14, 2014 posted by

Gentleman’s Express: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L side

Moto Guzzi is famous for manufacturing quirky, long-legged sports machines like this Daytona RS. The Daytona featured Guzzi’s 992cc four-valve, SOHC engine that was also found in the bizarrely-styled Centauro. Fans fast Moto Guzzi’s from the 1990’s are probably most familiar with the Sport 1100, the lower-spec, lower-cost version of this machine that was fitted with the bigger two-valve pushrod motor. The fuel-injected engine had a higher, 9,000rpm rev-limit as shown on the white-faced tach but the powerband reportedly featured a frustrating flat-spot at 5,000rpm, right where you’d expect to find yourself on the road. This flat-spot was exacerbated by the standard, not-particularly-slick Guzzi five-speed gearbox that made it difficult to simply ride around the problem.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS Dash

While the frame and chassis were big improvements compared to earlier Moto Guzzis, by the late 90’s, the rapid pace of sportbike evolution had left them in the dust and the Daytona was too heavy, too clunky, and too slow to keep up with the new kids on the block. Ducati’s sadomasochistic sex appeal and cornering poise allowed it to compete against the Japanese but, compared to its direct rivals, the Daytona RS was really a “slow, old bus.”

With stable handling, good brakes, high-end suspension components, and a generally epic engine, it wasn’t a total loss though. Dripping with character and blessed with a booming exhaust, the Daytona RS was more of a GT and less of a raw sportbike. A flawed masterpiece for sunny morning rides through the canyons while you hold the bike a gear low to keep the revs ahead of that annoying flat-spot, riding a bike that makes you feel special.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side Engine

This Daytona isn’t perfect, but looks to be well cared-for example and includes some interesting features, and the fact that it needs a bit of cosmetic attention wouldn’t bother me, as it’d be a chance to go back to a more traditional eagle logo on the tank. While the bike originally was available with a passenger pad and pillion pegs, this bike’s solo tail is possibly for the best: passenger accommodations were supposedly very poor...

The bike features head-guards, although I’ve never seen this particular, abbreviated style before. On two-valve Guzzis, these actually do more to protect the spark plug leads than the heads themselves, allowing victims of low-speed crashes to get back on the road running on both cylinders. The four-valve engine’s plugs are more recessed, but the guards should still protect the heads themselves in a crash.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L Termi

The sound of any uncorked Guzzi twin is truly epic, and the genuine Termignoni pipes fitted should give this Daytona the ability to shatter windows from blocks away.

I’m curious about those front brakes: they look like six-piston calipers. The bike was originally equipped with the standard package of Goldline four-piston Brembos common to many Italian bikes of the era, although the Italians are notorious for fitting non-standard bits partway through a production run, so perhaps these are original?

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS FI Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1536 original miles, clean title with paper work, I was told by a collector that only 308 were made. The bike is in very nice condition, runs extremely strong, but will need to be repainted due to the fact it was dropped over in the back of a truck and has some scratches and 2 indentations in the tank. The turn signal are tucked under the tail fairing, but are still there. This is the solo seat version with a dual Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust system. The motorcycle has just been serviced and will be getting new fork seals before this auction is over.

There are two days left on the auction with no takers yet at the $6,000 starting bid. While the $12,000 Buy It Now price might seem steep for a 90’s Guzzi, this bike shouldn’t be confused with its more common two-valve sibling: the Daytona RS is really the ultimate incarnation of the spine-framed Guzzis. Although this example has a few minor cosmetic issues, the low miles and general quality of the bike make it a tempting place to start if you’re looking to complete your collection with one of the best-looking Guzzis of the era.

-tad

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side

Moto Guzzi October 10, 2014 posted by

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side

The story of Guzzi’s 1100 Sport is a bit like the story of Judas Priest and Tim “Ripper” Owens, but with motorcycles. It’s the story of an unlikely amateur being asked to join the big boys on stage, and in this case the "unlikely amateur" was former-dentist-turned-endurance-racing-guru Dr. John Wittner.

Wittner’s heavily-modified Guzzis were very successful in the mid-1980s, running endurance and ProTwins series events in the United States. Asked by Guzzi to develop a new top-of-the-range superbike that incorporated what he’d learned about engines and suspensions during his time in the trenches, Wittner’s Daytona featured the first use of Guzzi’s new-ish four-valve engine and spine-frame that proved a worthy successor to the Tonti-framed bikes that preceded it.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Side Rear

By the mid-90’s the bike was followed by the lower-spec, lower-priced Sport 1100 powered by Guzzi’s 1064cc two-valve engine that I’m going to insist is longitudinal, not transverse, since the crankshaft runs longitudinally. I don’t care what Wikipedia or Guzzi’s own website says.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Dash

Often criticized for being "agricultural", Guzzis can be an acquired taste: if you're used to clinical precision, you might hate this bike. And while shaft drive is durable and low-maintenance, it contributes to an overall heavy bike. The motor makes a respectable 90hp but, more importantly, a mountain of torque. Which is a good thing, since the gearbox has only 5 speeds and isn’t exactly famed for being pleasant to use…

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front and Rear

Best to just stick it in third or fourth and worry about clipping apexes. Excellent suspension components lend confidence and stability, if not agility, and top-of-the line period Brembos give solid, predictable stopping, although weight hampers the overall performance. The shaft-drive torque reaction is a little weird at first if you're not expecting it, but you quickly get used to the slightly asymmetrical  feeling in corners.

Get a Guzzi into a fast road groove and it can keep up with much lighter, higher-strung machines. With plenty of cornering clearance, stability, and long legs, the Sport 1100 is really more of a GT and less of a race-replica.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

Here is a very clean 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport. Comes with the original owner’s manual and a clean title ready to go.

The bike has just a little over 31000 miles on it, it is all checked over, and has a brand new battery, fuel pump and fluids. Very nice carbon fiber exhaust sounds excellent as well.

I was used to old Guzzi 850's before this one and man these 1100's are fun.  Very high performance oriented, this Guzzi even looks fast. A very good handling machine, tons of life left in her and the value will only increase. This bike is the fuel injected model and is very nice!

I am very busy with all of my vintage builds and have decided to let a pair of these modern 1100's go to someone who will enjoy them.

I love these bikes, and I love how the half-fairing shows off that hulking engine and transmission. Two-valve Guzzis are very tough bikes, and valve adjustments are a snap, with those cylinder heads sticking out in the breeze! As a bonus, those carbon cans should make a seriously stunning roar: Guzzi twins make a truly epic noise when uncorked. Unfortunately, this example does feature the US-spec headlight. I really love the 1100 Sport, but I’d be scrounging up a trapezoidal Euro unit as soon as possible if I had this in my garage.

Only problem I see here, aside from that headlight, is that Guzzi eagle on the tank: my buddy has a Guzzi, and people keep asking him "what kind of Harley is that?"

-tad

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side Rear

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100
Moto Guzzi July 14, 2014 posted by

Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec

In the face of increased competition its not really surprising that some motorcycle manufacturers are forced to focus on their strongest products and let their racing efforts "fall to the wayside".  Harley Davidson is probably the most well known brand to do this but on the Italian side, there is Moto Guzzi.  Moto Guzzi is actually the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and claims it has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles, 22 world records and 11 Tourist Trophies.  While most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago, in the mid 1980's an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using Moto Guzzis'.

Wittner may have been a dentist by trade but was an engineer at heart, and in the 80's he began modifying and racing a series of Moto Guzzi's in the American national endurance championship.  After his bikes won both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship, Wittner was made an offer he couldn’t refuse - to help Moto Guzzi develop a new world-beating superbike.  Wittner went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi and many of the ideas from his race bikes were incorporated into the next generation of Moto Guzzis, including the "Daytona".  (The Daytona was revealed at the 1989 Milan show but in typical Italian fashion it took until late 1991 to go into production).

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1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on eBay

While the Guzzi Daytona may look like someones attempt to merge a Ducati with a Boss Hoss, it was a significant technological change for the company.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here. Simply put the Daytona was the most powerful road-going Guzzi to that date, returning a top speed of 145mph and recently ranked by Guzzi fans as one of the top 3 most desired Guzzi models of the last 50 years.

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This particular Daytona looks exceptionally clean and well maintained and the seller has also done some euro-spec updates, including:

  • Stage B Termignoni headers
  • ECU chip and cans
  • A European fairing with built in crescent headlamp
  • White Veglia clocks/instruments
  • White wheels

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The seller indicates some other items included in the sale:

"will include the original shop manual, an oil filter, fuel filter, custom stand built for this bike by Freeman Cycles at time of delivery, and a key fob that says of all things “Moto Guzzi” without any happy faces or bottle openers. And an oil pan gasket I think.  There’s also a can of moly specifically to be added to the differential when servicing it. That crap is messy."

These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.

Marty

Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec
Moto Guzzi June 20, 2014 posted by

Featured Listing: 1980 Moto Guzzi Lemans MK2 available in San Francisco

1980 Moto Guzzi Lemans for sale

If you've been salivating over the V7 Sport offered by Piston and Chain, you now have a choice of great looking Guzzis offered by them! This bike is clearly not all original but looks like a very sharp and like most, we prefer the round headlight over the square unit that came on the MK2.

1980 Moto Guzzi Lemans for sale on eBay

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We'd like to once again thank Michael at Piston & Chain for purchasing a Featured Listing. Good luck to buyers and seller!

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from the seller:

This bike has full Italian pedigree having been freshly imported to the States.

The LeMans was designed to be Guzzi’s sporting standard bearer in the late 1970’s big bore bike wars. The famous Tonti frame was so effective, Guzzi used it well into the modern era: it allowed the motor to be set very low for good handling and aggressive looks, and detachable lower frame rails made major maintenance relatively straightforward for such a compact machine.

Mechanically the bike is sound. Battery is fresh, engine starts easily and runs well.

Cosmetically, the bike is clean as shown in the photos. There is no “road rash” on the motorcyle, The pipes are unscratched , There is no rust on pipes or on the bike. All rubber components are intact and there is no rubber rot.

Tires are fresh, no cracking, I believe they are near-new.

In short, this is a clean, honest, never-abused, original, rare MK2 . These motorcycles have a reputation for incredible power and awesome sound .

This machine sounds like no other bike on the road. Runs good and pulls like a train. This bike deserves to be ridden not just admired , that’s where you come in !

These machines are currently the most undervalued of all the Italian Classics ...We have done all the hard work for you to make this bike available to ride and enjoy today .

Featured Listing:  1980 Moto Guzzi Lemans MK2 available in San Francisco
Moto Guzzi June 17, 2014 posted by

Planet of Boom: 1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

In spite of their pedigree and style, these Guzzis are odd ducks. Or “geese,” I guess. They’re not really sportbikes: way too heavy, and a bit clunky. And they’re not really designed for comfort, so they’re not really touring, or even sport-touring machines, unless you start modifying them with HeliBars and Corbin seats.

Back when Guzzi’s line of sportbikes was conceived, their air-cooled, shaft drive configuration worked on both road and track, but the game has moved on, and Guzzi’s glacial technological development has relegated them to backmarkers in the sportbike game. Actually, since their absorption into the Piaggio Group, they’re sort of out of that game entirely.

1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for sale on eBay

1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Side Front

Although the clinical wail of a water-cooled four may be the Sound of Power, they're all a bit same-y, and that’s where the Guzzi’s traditional mechanical specifications pay off in spades: the clanking, throbbing engine and that longitudinal crankshaft, causing the bike to twitch right on the throttle. If you think it’s odd on the sidestand, imagine it on the move! It’s a bit disconcerting, the first time you feel it. You definitely get used to it, but that first moment of the bike rolling right slightly on the throttle has you thinking, “what the…?”

1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side Rear

The thundering, shuddering v-twin is something you won’t soon forget: the bike that hooked me on Italian twins wasn’t actually a Ducati, it was a Moto Guzzi Sport 1100. I was walking in Burbank years ago when a bright, red beast thundered by and I thought, “Ah ha. Now I get it.”

1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Dash

The original eBay listing can be seen here: 1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 It's a dealer listing and there's not much information there, other than fine print in Legalese, but there are plenty of very pretty pictures.

Interestingly, Guzzi adopted fuel injection pretty early on for their bikes, but this Sport 1100 still has carburetors and looks very classy in silver. I actually hate the rectangular headlight on these US-spec models: some markets got a trapezoidal lens that compliments the sleek half-fairing and, once you’ve seen one with the proper headlight, it’s hard to look at the front of these without cringing a bit.

1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Engine

Sport 1100s used quality suspension components and Brembo brakes, but they’re a bit on the heavy side, minimal spine frame and bodywork notwithstanding: that huge powertrain package is just kind of a heavy lump. But on a Sunday morning blast up the coast, riding at 7/10ths, grooving on the spread of torque, high on boom, this kind of bike makes plenty of sense: charisma over raw power, finesse over absolute limits.

-tad

1996 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Side

Planet of Boom:  1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale