Last winter I bought a 1999 Moto Guzzi EV 1100 California with the intent to build a sidecar rig. Today I celebrated spring by taking it on its maiden voyage (in my ownership, that is). Still without the sidecar attached – but what a ride it is!
Even though I owned a Moto Guzzi California 1400 for a couple of years, I have never been too keen on cruisers. However, late last year I sold my trusty winter comrade, a Moto Guzzi 850 T5 with a Watsonian sidecar, to a buddy who had crashed his own sidecar rig a couple of weeks earlier. My T5, after serving as a winter rig for more than a decade, was up for a major overhaul, and my buddy was more than happy to take the job as long as he could buy my rig.
Me on my 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 (top) and my trusty winter rig,
a Moto Guzzi 850 T5 with a Watsonian sidecar (under).
Hence, I needed to start looking for suitable objects to build a new sidecar – and there it was: A nice, blue 1999 EV 1100 California, available at a very good price. So I bought it, and started looking for a sidecar which I could attach to it. I ended up with an old Dnepr tub which will need some refurbishing, but all in all it might become a good rig.
Today was a marvellously splendid and sunny day. One of those days you just cannot stay indoors. So after servicing my wife’s Moto Guzzi Breva 750, I took my “new” California for its maiden voyage. And lo and behold! It is actually a very capable motorcycle! It is pulling strongly (which will make it ideal for sidecar pulling), and is rather comfy. I actually enjoyed my little trip in the spring sun to such a degree that I will take the Cali for another spin tomorrow on my way to work.
Who would have thought that?
Tags: 1400, bike, bikes, california, cruiser, EV1100, guzzi, moto, moto guzzi, motorcycles, norway, spring, T5
So we’ve been through the New Year’s Rally 1st weekend in January and the venerable Primus Rally the last full weekend of February. Now it’s time to plan for this summer’s escape!
From this year’s New Year’s Rally, 1st full weekend of January. It was cool, and I debuted on my new Yamaha Tricity scooter with studded tires on a winter rally. Worked a treat!
This summer I will do all of Norway. Top to bottom. But in two legs: First, I’m having a bunch of biker friends from Finland coming over in July. My wife and I are spending ten days with this excellent crew. It’s their third time riding in Norway, and I’ve rigged a route – The Social South Bike Tour, Norway 2017 – for us. It’ll take us to Trollstigen and Geiranger (of course), Olden, Hardanger, Road 13 down towards Stavanger, Suleskard mountain road including the Lysebotn serpentines, Dalen, ending the trip near Oslo. It’ll be a hoot, especially since a couple of my Guzzi friends in the West are considering throwing us a barbequeue party to remember, with pit roasted suckle pig and plenty of home brewed ale (so maybe we will not remember after all…). But I cannot reveal the whole thing here – in case some of my Finnish friends reads this.
The Svartisen Glacier in Nordland county. I took this pic last year while guiding a bunch of Finns to Lofoten along the Coastal Road 17.
The second leg is with my 81 year old mum. We have since long planned a 14 day long trip from Finnmark far north, where she lives, all the way down south with her riding in the tub of my sidecar. Her recent osteoporosis scans forced us to alter those plans, however, so we’ll take the car. It’s a convertible, though, so we will get wind in our hair anyway!
So start planning, people! There are miles and miles of splendid roads and fantastic scenery awaiting you here in Norway. And a trip here doesn’t have to break your bank.
Categories: Misc, Uncategorized, Winter rides
Tags: adventure, bikes, camping, landscape, moto, motorcycle, motorcycles, norway, spring, winter, yamaha
The Guzzisti of Eastern Norway had to have a test run of the rally equipment before the Big Italian Spring Rally later in May. So they spent a weekend in a garage.
The Norwegian Moto Guzzi Club has several branches, covering different geographical areas. In the South East, the local Guzzi branch is named “Østenfjeldske Foroverlænede Guzzisters Forening”. This name is practically impossible to translate, but it goes in the direction of “The Forwardly Inclined Guzzi Riders East of the Mountains”. It makes your espresso go cold even before you’re half way through pronouncing the name…
Anyway: In only a couple of weeks, the riders of Italian bikes – predominantly Guzzis – will have their annual spring rally at Røldal in the West. The Guzzisti of the East couldn’t wait that long, apparently, because they threw a get-together in the garage of members Berit and Tor the other weekend. Tents were erected on the lawn outside Berit and Tor’s house, barbeques were lit, beer consumed and Guzzis discussed throughout the whole weekend. It was for all practical purposes a test run before the Great Rally. Here is a pick of the bikes that were there – quite a few belonging to the very garage in which the party took place.
This original Guzzi Stornello 125 Scrambler is up for some careful restoration to get it running again.
Rain didn’t matter as the garage was turned into a rally cave for the occasion for some of the participants. Yes – it’s a garage of proper size.
This sweet sidecar rig, a Guzzi V11 and Mobec sidecar, is owned by Lars and is the envy of many Norwegian Guzzisti.
We camped on the lawn and had a barbeque just outside Berit and Tor’s house.
The Guzzi S3 is a rare sight. One of the few around was here.
Another sweet sidecar rig, with a 1000 Le Mans engine and Hedingham sidecar.
Il Presidente Bjørn (left), while Lars signals that there is something missing in this picture.
The Guzzi V35/65TT was an attempt from the Mandello engineers to make a dual sport back in the ’80s. Not too successful, but popular among Guzzisti. Of course.
It’s a Guzzi bastard, looks dubious, and goes like hell. Eigil knows his way around engines.
Beside a commuter Kawasaki 500, my Yamaha was the only non-Italian bike at the scene.