Monday, June 13, 2011


BRINGING A BABY HOME to where a sibling has rule of the roost, or arriving one day with that adorable puppy when Fido was formerly number one, brings to mind questions of second-class citizenship for those we love.

Please click on any photo to enlarge.
One day, almost by accident, I found myself enraptured. Seen first in a showroom and later fawned over on the Internet, late at night, then during working hours. Damned Internet! Damn all of its temptation!

“It will be mine. It must be mine,” were words unspoken.

Then spoken. From every angle, the 2007 Moto Guzzi 1100 “Breva” is a visual masterpiece.

In profile, it is easy to see that she drips with Italian design. Fluid. Curvaceous. Perhaps slightly understated. Her exhaust note? Like an Aria.

Riding partner Sam suggests the name and it sticks. Aria will be a wonderful addition to the family.

Not all my children seem to think so. The venerable and stout BMW GSA – who’d just eclipsed 18,000 miles near the second anniversary of her purchase, eyed Aria with a great deal of suspicion.

Perhaps it was Aria's slim overallness. Interesting, to me, how designers took that "Vee" concept and mirrored it throughout the bike from this vantage point.

Perhaps it was the smooth, firm nature of her… well… on BMWs they call these “jugs.” I guess I can understand some slight pangs of jealousy.

However, the GSA doesn’t look bad himself. He is rugged, dependable, sure-footed and loyal. Swiss Army knives should be so versatile. I decide that if one bike is to have a name, so shall the other. Hereinafter this shall be “the Horse.” Maybe that will help.

Aria (r) and "the Horse." Yes, this family photo was posed. It took several shots to get both to behave.  "Quit horsing around, Horse," I had to say more than once as the light faded.  But Horse didn't know his new name yet.

This more candid shoe-top view shows that they have many similarities. Perhaps their relationship will grow.


My interest in Italian iron was kindled a couple of years back when I had the opportunity to ride my daughter’s S2R Ducati from the repair shop in San Rafael to her home in Healdsburg. Rather than taking the direct route, I opted for State Route 1, stopping for a photo op just above Jenner.

I determined I would take that same route on the Beemer to again enjoy one of the world’s greatest highways and to mentally compare Italian style with German precision.

One can only imagine what might be on the short to-do list for Aria.

© 2011
Church of the Open Road Press.

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