THERE’S A 2008 MOTO GUZZI BREVA SPORT – brand new – sitting at the Guzzi dealer in Elk Grove, California. (Note – all salespeople of this fabled Italian marque are taught to somehow place a ‘t’ sound in the word Guzzi – making it “GOOT-see” not “GOOZ-ee.” This practice make us lookie-loos feel like neophytes if we let it.) Moto Guzzi has been building motorcycles on the shores of Lake Como in Mandello del Lario, Northern Italy, since 1921. (BMW started in ’22.) Guzzi uses a drive shaft to connect a transverse mounted 90-degree “v” twin engine in a frame. Two wheels are applied and somehow they come up with more than the sum of the parts. Italians do this a lot.
THAT’S WHERE THE RATIONALIZATION ENTERS. Readers know that my BMW R1200GS Adventure is considered by many both in and out of the moto-press as the best motorcycle on the planet. It is a comfortable tourer, a competent sporting machine and it does not shy away from gravel roads or the trackless reaches of the most remote places on earth. I like mine a lot. It is as reliable as a Swiss watch, as loyal as a pound puppy and the service I’ve received from my local BMW store has always been top notch, if a bit pricy at times. But many suggest that BMW service is pricy no matter where you go. Something about the excellence of German engineering and the similar excellence one might expect when service is rendered. So, no complaints, just realization about the price of admission. Still, the Guzzi costs less to maintain – or so I’ve read. That would be rationalization number 1.
Third might come the riding experience. The GSA does everything very, very well, including protecting the rider from the wind. The Breva won’t address a forest service road and it clearly won’t keep all the wind away, but among the essences of motorcycling is the freedom associated with the wind in one’s face. Think James Dean, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper. Think Egan and McQueen. Think “On Any Sunday.”
|As the Dude Abides|
Church of the Open Road Press