by: Mick Walker
Hardcover: 192 pages
Dimensions (in mm): 16 x 253 x 197
Publisher: Crowood Press (2005)
List Price: $34.95 (£19.95)
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Here’s yet another Mick Walker Moto Guzzi book, this time covering a detailed history of the racing history of the marque.
Walker was one of the leading Moto Guzzi motorcycle dealers and the official Moto Guzzi parts distributor in the U.K. This background knowledge has given him a unique insight into the marque.
This is an interesting book that combines a detailed look at the various Moto Guzzi racing motorcycles with the racers and the evolution of the brand, right up to the fantastic-looking Clarke racing Guzzi with its very custom aluminum frame and monoshock rear. Earlier versions of this bike were campaigned in the 1990’s in a joint venture with Raceco. By 1997, the bike was making 140bhp and won every race it competed in.
But the history starts way back at the beginning of Moto Guzzi, with the now famous story of Carlo Guzzi, Giorgio Parodi and Giovanni Ravelli, the three friends whose fantasies during the horrors of WWI came true when they started the company.
It was Parodi who first entertained the idea of racing as a way to publicize the brand. Moto Guzzi won their first race only a month later, in the famous Targa Florio, which was even much more of an endurance run back then, considering the state of motorcycle engineering. It wasn’t long before Moto Guzzi and racing were synonymous.
There aren’t a heck of a lot of photos in this book that haven’t been seen before, but the book narrates the Moto Guzzi racing history in a logical order and combines the photos with information about the bikes and the racing in a way that makes for an interesting and comfortable read.
Some would say that you’d have to be an extremely serious Moto Guzzi aficionado to delve into this much detail about Guzzi racing history, but even if you don’t own one (I don’t), it’s a fascinating look at the evolution of one of the most famous motorcycle brands in existence.
This is a fine book that would make a wonderful gift for the Guzzisti in your life.
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