Archive for the ‘motorcycle review’ Category

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — GOT ONE!

July 10, 2009

Piaggio USA delivered to me yesterday a brand-spanking new Moto Guzzi V7 Classic and it’s every bit as stylish and ass-kickingly cool as I remember. I’ve been lusting after one of these since I first saw the pics floating around the Internet. And, after saddling up on one at the Long Beach IMS stop, I started pestering the always capable Jeff Perlman over at Brandware (Piaggio’s PR agency) for a test ride. 


Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

What does this have to do with the business side of the industry? Not a whole lot, but it does point to Piaggio/Moto Guzzi’s efforts to widen its footprint here in the U.S. with a faithful remake of a much-loved model. Triumph cemented its rebirth with its lineup of modern Bonnevilles and more than one OEM has teased the two-wheel crowd with concept models that echo the very standard profile of motorcycles past. While the riding public may embrace each new trick and tweak of the modern-day motorcycle, there seems to be a spot in most moto-hearts for bikes that look, feel and ride simply like bikes.  

It’s been long slog getting Moto Guzzi reestablished here in America (same for Aprilia, but that’s a completely different story) but Piaggio is gaining ground with models such as the V7, the Griso, the Breva and the Stelvio. Still trying to figure out the market niche for the California Vintage as there several capable cruisers out there on the (soft and smushy) cruiser market. Perhaps it’s the same as with the V7 — the nostalgia crowd.

The L.A. Times Ain’t All Bad — Throttle Jockey’s Back

April 16, 2009

OK, that headline is a gratuitous jab at the one paper I read EVERY DAY. But when your relationship with your local read starts starts to get increasingly abusive, it’s hard to feel the love. But I soldier on, weathering the insults (like this and this) because I physically need the smudge of newsprint on my hands each morning.

And these days I can be proud yet again in the LAT for who should it bring back but Susannewest Carpenter, the paper’s resident Throttle Jockey. If you remember (or care to follow such things) Carpenter’s popular weekly column on motorcycles and motorcycling was discontinued in July 2008 (read here for a brief explanation and the resulting comments from mostly peeved readers).

Carpenter’s been writing stories for the paper’s other sections but returns to the two-wheeled world in the Up To Speed blog, which also features bits and pieces on transportation from Pulitzer-prize winner Dan Neil and some other Times’ staffers. While (more…)