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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.