Posts by Category: Ghezzi-Brian

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Ghezzi-Brian August 30, 2022 posted by

Italians Gone Wild – 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore

Image 1 - 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore Supertwin

2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore

As petty as it may be, one of the most satisfying in the world is to see is the big guy lose. All the shiny tools and big trailers can only get you so far and that’s why every once in a while, the little guy is able to break through and take the top step. This type of story isn’t exclusive to motorsports but boy has motorsports been privy to some of the most romantic examples. Britten and Buell are two of my personal favorite stories but that’s not to take any credit away from all the enthusiasts who have done the same thing with custom builds, club races, top speed runs, etc.

Today we have a chapter of a similar story that is set in Italy starring Guiseppe Ghezzi and Brian Saturno. What’s it about?  An enthusiast who loved to toil around Northern Italy on Guzzis and decided his machine had so much more to give. It’s hard to say what exactly happened in the makeshift factory where these were built but one thing led to another and the duo ended up racing their V11-derived race bike in the Italian 1996 SuperTwins Championship. Not only did they compete but the ragtag outfit managed to take home the championship in a field littered with established BMWs and Ducatis. After topping the 1996 championship Ghezzi and Brian continued producing “trackified” Guzzis for a rather small niche of riders who lusted for a race-spec Moto Guzzi. One of those models is our RSBFS find for the day: a 2003 Ghezzi-Brian Folgore.

Image 2 - 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore Supertwin

One of the things that allows the little guys to create some crazy fast bikes is that they aren’t limited by the constraints of being one the big guys. Red tape, investors, accountants, and so on and so forth. Without any of these things holding them back, Ghezzi-Brian was able to create an out-of-the-box design that accommodated the horizontal V-twin setup that Guzzis are famous for.

The V-twin in question today is 1,056 cc powerplant out of the V11 that pumps out ~90hp and ~80 lb/ft of torque. That’s very quick for 2003 and is still quick today.

Image 21 - 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore Supertwin

There’s certainly a lot to look at here. One of the interesting aspects of this bike is the airbox. As seen in the picture, the intakes connect to the frame which also functions as a big airbox to help the 2 cylinders breathe. One of the keys to producing high hp twins is a huge airbox. Look at any Buell and you’ll see the airbox is quite large as well. The front brake is also a rim-mounted design which eliminates the need for a second rotor/caliper and reduces the unsprung mass over the front wheel.

The orientation of the engine also allows the multi-function steel frame to stay low and drop right through the center of the V and connect to the airbox. The exhaust side is connected to a Bub exhaust which is absolutely critical to bring any V-twin to life. An aluminum gas tank sits on top but is of course covered by the one-piece fiberglass tank and seat which adds visual length and sleekness to the design.

Image 181 - 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore Supertwin

One thing that’s undeniable with the Ghezzi-Brians is the pursuit of performance. Not many stones were left unturned with these bikes. A Moto Guzzi V-twin will certainly have some inherent flaws that will make it perform below its Japanese counterparts but at the end of the day, the creators of this machine built exactly what they wanted. That’s the brilliant thing about these small outfits: they build what they want and by taking a different line than those in front, they get ahead even if it’s only for a brief moment.

This bike was listed on BaT in October 2020 and that listing mentions the seller acquired the bike in 2008. It was bid to $12,500 but did not sell and it seems that the seller is trying his luck again on Ebay. It’s estimated that 100 of these were produced and roughly 25 made it stateside so transactions are far and few in between. It’ll be tough to find a price point especially with the madness today but it’s certainly worth more that $12,500. At the time of writing, the bid is at $8,100 with 6 days to go.

-Norm

Italians Gone Wild – 2003 Moto Guzzi Ghezzi-Brian Folgore
Ghezzi-Brian January 19, 2022 posted by

As Rare As They Come: 2002 Moto Guzzi GHEZZI-BRIAN FOLGORE

Ghezzi-Brian is on of those amazing motorcycle stories that combines engineering ambition and raw talent into a winning product.  Always on the cutting edge and pushing the boundaries, the company started with a simple goal, to win races.  In 1996 they won enough to claim the Italian SuperTwin Championship.  In 1998 they started selling everything from components to fully built bikes to anyone that wanted to ride the ultimate Moto Guzzi powered motorcycle.  The efforts of Ghezzi-Brian lead to the birth of what many see as one of the most desirable Italian bikes, the Moto Guzzi MGS-01.  The company is still very active and continues to push what is possible out of these wonderful machines.

The example today is claimed to be one of 2 Folgore in the United States.  Other sources have made a similar claim, and some digging around for past listings has not turned up any other examples.  The Folgore featured some lighter wheels and other small but meaningful improvements on an already exotic motorcycle.  Some of the best braking and suspension components were used to ensure this package lived up to the expectations of offering extreme performance on the road and track.  Overall the bike weighs 55 pounds less then the V11 that donated it’s engine.

From The Seller’s Listing:

2002 Moto Guzzi GHEZZI-BRIAN FOLGORE, 2002 Ghezzi Brian Moto Guzzi Folgore One of two imported to the US. One owner. OZ magnesium wheels with perimeter brakes.  Stock MG V11 engine and 5 speed gearbox means its reliable and easy to service.

OZ magnesium wheels with perimeter brakes, Ohlins shock, Bitubo exhaust.  Stock MG V11 engine and 5 speed gearbox means its reliable and easy to service. CA title. ” The Super Twin is built around an air-cooled 1,064cc V-twin from the V11 Sport that’s had its flywheel balanced, and a new full exhaust added. The 87hp mill acts as a stressed member of the mono-beam chassis that houses the airbox and oil-tank. Connected to the race-developed frame are adjustable 41mm inverted Paioli forks up front and an Ohlins (or Bitubo according to some sources) monoshock. The race-replica’s giant 420mm perimeter discs — which are attached to the rim and not the hub — and dual-piston calipers help slow the 427lb (dry) machine — 55lbs less than the unfaired V11 Sport — from its claimed 140mph top-speed.” Google it for more details. Very unique.

When most think of perimeter brake rotors, they think of Buell, but Ghezzi explored the concept for a while as well.  Shock arrangement and frame design are also rather unique and really tell a story of unbridled engineering.  There is a sense that these were never meant for mass production or to suit a well rounded owner, these are focused and purpose built.  What makes this proposition even more appealing is the relatively low service costs.  This is now powered by some MotoGP race engine that needs pistons every other oil change.  The V11 Moto Guzzi engine is know for being reliable and easy to work on.

The bike is being offered by Pro Italia for $29,999.  Data is almost nonexistent for pricing, and while that sum is not insignificant a buyer would struggle to find a rarer or more interesting Italian exotic for that price point.   With something this rare it is hard to imagine another chance to add something like this to a collection, but if the opportunity passes there is always some of the original press documentation we could sit, read and enjoy.

 

As Rare As They Come:  2002 Moto Guzzi GHEZZI-BRIAN FOLGORE
Ghezzi-Brian March 16, 2020 posted by

Gorgeous Guzzi: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin for Sale

The Daytona/Sport 1100i were very entertaining machines, with plenty of grunt from the nearly 1100cc v-twin, matched with quality suspension and brakes. Unfortunately, they were also burdened with shaft drive and nearly 100 extra pounds of weight, compared to other Italian sportbikes of the era. So basically a charismatic engine in an overweight package. Sadly, Colin Chapman wasn’t available to help out, but Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruno Saturno, two halves of the Ghezzi-Brian team, stepped up to build the lightweight, but very pricey Supertwin that cost nearly $15,000 in 2001 money.

There’s a lot of clever engineering going on here, and the completed machine supposedly weighed in at nearly 70lbs less than a Daytona or Sport 1100i. The bike certainly looks lighter and more agile than a Sport 1100i, although I feel like the colors on this example date the bike a bit. Perimeter brakes similar to Buell’s ZTL or “zero tortional load” system supposedly reduce unsprung weight up front and look really trick, the frame channels air through to the airbox below the rear shock, and a redesigned rear suspension helped to reduce the torque reaction of the shaft drive.

I have an old “all Italian” issue of Bike magazine that features one of my favorite comparison tests of all time: an Aprilia RS250 versus a Ducati 748 versus a Bimota YB9 versus a Moto Guzzi Daytona RS. Obviously, the “big old bus” Guzzi didn’t fare well in such light-footed company, but their big, longitudinally-mounted v-twin could still be entertaining slotted into something like this Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin. And this wasn’t the end of the line for Ghezzi and Guzzi: in the Supertwin you can see the kernel of ideas later used in the stunning MGS-01.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian 1064cc Supertwin for Sale

Frame no. FP1239

As Roland Brown of Motorcyclist puts it:

“I’m carving through a series of immaculately surfaced bends in the hills near Lecco in northern Italy, aboard a stunning new V-twin whose jutting cylinders, grunty power and off-beat exhaust could only come from Moto Guzzi.

“The Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario is only a short ride from here, but this bike isn’t the first dramatic result of Guzzi’s recent acquisition by Aprilia. This is the Supertwin 1100, now being hand-built in small numbers by Ghezzi & Brian, a specialist firm from the nearby village of Perego.

“As you ride it, carving through the twisties, the aural clues don’t match the experience. The grunty power and off-beat exhaust could only come from Moto Guzzi. But this isn’t just a Guzzi from the Mandello del Lario factory, this is the Supertwin, a hand-built, low production superbike from Ghezzi-Brian, the specialist firm from the nearby village of Perego.

“Moto Guzzi is one of the oldest and most storied motorcycle manufacturers in existence, but they’ve drifted pretty far from their sporting roots, owing to their purchase by Piaggio, a move that has kept them afloat, but forever relegated to building vintage-styled and cruisers to prevent them competing with more sports-oriented bikes from sister-company Aprilia. Really though, the downward slide began long before that, as Guzzi just couldn’t keep pace with the ruthless development of modern sportbikes from Japan. Luckily, there’ve been a few bright spots along the way, like this Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin that point out just how much life is still left in Moto Guzzi’s v-twin.

“Produced by Giuseppe Ghezzi and Bruno Saturno this is a race-replica designed around Ghezzi’s successful racing machine, the Supertwin features quality suspension at both ends and clever engineering designed to reduce weight. The slim bodywork reveals the iconic longitudinal v-twin and contrasts nicely with the hulking mechanicals. The huge perimeter front brakes look incredibly trick on the OZ Racing wheels and should offer up excellent stopping power to go with the increased straight-line performance that comes mostly from a huge weight reduction: the Supertwin weighs in at a claimed 427lbs dry, down 55lbs from the largely stock V11 Sport that donates its engine. Power is a modest 91hp but the 1064cc motor puts out impressive torque to match the amazing soundtrack. 

“Ghezzi’s frame is based on a steel spine and uses the motor as a stressed member, but that’s where the similarities end. The Supertwin spine doubles not as the oil tank but as the airbox, taking in air under the tank to feed the intakes that run back from those jutting cylinders.  There’s plenty of clever engineering rearward, too, where a multiadjustable Bitubo shock lies horizontally and is worked by a rising-rate linkage. In Guzzi fashion the Supertwin’s box-section steel swingarm incorporates a parallelogram arrangement to cancel torque reaction.  But this bike’s real innovation is up front, where its multiadjustable, inverted Paioli fork holds a 17-inch wheel whose twin discs are a massive 420mm in diameter and are fixed to the rim rather than the hub. The entire system, incorporating four-piston calipers biting on thin discs that are fully floating to allow for heat expansion, has been developed by local firm Braking.”

The bike offered is presented in truly excellent condition throughout with the gentle patina of a sparingly used, but meticulously kept near 20-year-old machine. The odometer reads an original 7,500 kms from new, most of which were enjoyed earlier in its life, as it has been on static display in three prominent private California collections for the last half of its existence.

The bike is offered in a Bill of Sale, but I can assist with titling. Please contact me.

For additional photos and details, please visit Classic Avenue.

The $24,900 asking price is a lot of cash for a Guzzi-powered special with pushrods and two valves per cylinder. In the plus column, 90hp should provide plenty of poke in the relatively light machine, the design is extremely exotic, and Guzzi engines are very durable and easy to service. Unfortunately, the bodywork is nearly unobtainable, and I’m not sure where you’d pick up a set of those perimeter brake discs, or a replacement wheel if you ding a rim.

-tad

Gorgeous Guzzi: 2001 Ghezzi-Brian Supertwin for Sale
Ghezzi-Brian February 11, 2018 posted by

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia

In operation just since 1995, Ghezzi-Brian has capitalized on Moto Guzzi’s long history beginning with the SuperTwin race bike.  Their naked-sport Furia served fans of the brand with a lighter street package which just happened to be a looker as well.

2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia for sale on eBay

For ’02 the Furia used Moto-Guzzi’s oversquare 1064cc engine, with 87 hp, 5-speed transmission and shaft drive.  The backbone frame from Moto-Guzzi is updated with Paioli forks and G-B’s own monoshock swingarm.  The front end has a Buell-esque rim-diameter disk brake, and the muffler is crafted to echo the silhouette of the oil pan.

Coming out of Virginia, this Ghezzi-Brian has under 6,000 miles and looks complete and undamaged.  The owner states that this particular bike is a pre-production machine, perhaps it was the importer’s demo to entice dealers.  From the eBay auction:

-Exotic Italian design, totally stock from Moto Guzzi 1100cc shaft drivetrain
-Lightweight components: naked sport frame, perimeter front rotor, Ohlins shock, carbon fender, hand welded fuel tank & muffler, projector beam headlights
-This 2002 Furia was the prototype & the first model in the U.S. (production began in 2003)
-Velocity Motorcycles received this Furia & one Sport Twin

A long runner in the bespoke European segment, the Furia is still in Ghezzi-Brian’s catalogue, and is even available as a kit for an owner to modify their own Guzzi.  The fuel-injected drivetrain and strong chassis are known quantities and a good choice for a custom.  Ghezzi-Brian motorcycles have undeniable rarity, and some neat low-volume touches.  Just the thing for a Guzzi fan with exceedingly good taste.

-donn

 

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia