A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event called Italians Do Them Better for “a day of Italian machines, good food, music and good vibes!” Here’s some of my highlights.
This marked a rare occasion where I showed up on time to an event (actually, I was early) because the organizers kindly asked if I’d bring my Bimota Tesi 3D to be one of the show bikes.
That wasn’t the only funny front end bike – someone also brought a stunning Vyrus 987 C3 4V. When released in 2010, it was claimed to be the world’s most powerful production motorcycle. That might be stretching the definition of production, but it makes 211 horsepower thanks to a supercharged Ducati 1098R (1198cc) engine and it weighs just 348 pounds dry! Another impressive number? The $91,700 MSRP.
The event was at Roland Sands Design in Long Beach, and they offered up free parking inside the facility for anyone riding in on an Italian bike. There were the usual suspects of modern superbikes, but I was also pleased to see a few oddballs, like this Moto Guzzi V35 Imola! This was introduced in 1977 alongside the V50 as Italy had new licensing and tax categories and you rarely see them in the US. Basic specifications include a 346cc V-Twin that produces 35 horsepower, a top speed of just under 100 miles per hour, and a wet weight of 395 pounds.
Why Roland Sands Design, you ask? Well, turns out that they’re renting out a portion of their shop to MV Agusta, who uses it as a West Coast HQ. One of the two brains behind the Italians Do Them Better was Jose Gallina of MV Agusta.
Parts of the show mirrored the parking lot – there were lots of Ducati superbikes. Here’s a photo from when I got my Bimota loaded up for display before the show started, but by the time the festivities had commenced there was a 851, 888, 916, 998, 999, and 1098, making it easy to see the evolution of Ducati V-Twin superbike styling.
If I was sharing this with Iconic Motorbike fans, I’d focus on the sport bikes. But those got plenty of attention from attendees, so here on Bike-urious I’m going to spend a little time sharing the older, odder stuff. One of the show bikes was something was a custom Guzzi SP III that I featured for sale last year. At the time I featured it, the bike was in Georgia. Looks like it’s made its way to the west coast!
Doffo Winery brought a gorgoues Ducati 175 Formula 3 – from what I can tell, less than 100 were built. Despite the small engine the price was significant: in the UK this cost more than Norton Manx 500 thanks to features like straight-cut gears, sandcast cases, a power bump to 16 hp, several minor tweaks for better handling and racing performance, and those fantastic brakes.
Another classic Ducati was this 350 Mark 3. It speaks highly to the caliber of this show (which was the first of hopefully many) that this wasn’t even a show entry, it was just ridden in by someone with good taste! I rode out to the event with a few buddies from Iconic – the Hypermotard in the background belongs to Daniel, our shop manager, and the Cagiva V-Raptor is a bike in inventory that we loaned to a client so he wouldn’t be shunned at the gate with his MT-10. The V-Raptor is actually for sale on our auction site now with no reserve…
A rare MV Agusta Germano sighting. Germano is Italian for “Mallard” – not the most eloquent name, but it definitely had a more distinctive style than the average moped of the time. MV was busy trying to make fast motorcycles at the time, so they worked with several other companies to supply parts for this built-to-a-price moped. Said price was cheap enough to move 4,508 units between 1964 and 1968.
I’ll end with what something so rare that I would have made it a Guess That Bike feature if I had some close-up images of it. I’ve only shared one other Monviso in the past – this one is said to be a Monviso 48 with a Sachs motor and two-speed transmission. The owner provides a little history in this Moped Army thread from when he acquired it last year out of the Doffo Winery collection.
The original motor and carb were toast so the owner put in a 60cc kit and a 17mm Bing clone. Want to hear how it sounds?
For a first event, Italians Do Them Better went great! I’ll let you know when the next one is, hope to see you there…