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Aug 15th 2018, 09:09 PM   #1
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Moto Guzzi museum -- a fun visit

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Moto Guzzi museum located at its factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy. It's one of the beautiful little towns on the shore of Lake Como. The factory is still occupies the same building where Guzzi started business in 1919.

The museum is only open for an hour per day, from 3-4 p.m. on weekdays. On the day we visited there were were about 30 people standing in the sun on a 95 degree afternoon waiting to enter.

At 3 o'clock a security guard came out, lit cigarette dropping ash on his clipboard. Everybody had to sign a what I presume was a liability waiver (I don't read or speak Italian, so hope that doesn't come back to bite me at some point). We all trooped into the building to look at century's worth of amazing bikes. The Guzzi engineers did a lot to push motorcycle and racing technology forward, with the pinnacle probably being the 1955 Ottocilindri 500cc water-cooled V-8 motor made for the Grand Prix circuit. Each cylinder had a dedicated carburetor. It's a marvel of engineering. The Guzzi factory riders set a speed record of 172 mph that reportedly took 20 years to be equalled. It's really something to see. The bike was apparently deemed so dangerous that few racers wanted to try it.

While there I snapped a photo that Texasl might be interested in seeing -- it's Luigi's great grandfather, the 1928 GT Norge. 500cc flat single, 13 hp, top speed of 60 mph. Quite a bike for its day.

Italians love their bikes, and I'd really like to go back again and ride. Lots of twisty, fun roads. Every rider filters and lane splits. On two-lane roads the bikes seem to spend most of their time riding down the center line, and cars (including the oncoming traffic) ease left and right to make a little room. I asked our Italian host if car drivers resented the bikes passing them on every side and he replied "No, we all just wish we could do the same!" Everybody seemed to be pretty relaxed about it, and I didn't see any close calls. All in all, it looked fun.
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Moto Guzzi museum --  a fun visit-p1030775.jpg   Moto Guzzi museum --  a fun visit-p1030817.jpg   Moto Guzzi museum --  a fun visit-p1030815.jpg  
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