This page is not an effort to blow my own horn on bikes I have owned but to show my history and experience with vintage Italian singles and twins.
My introduction to Italian motorcycles began in '84 with the purchase of a new Moto Guzzi V50111 from Jim Woods in Glendale, CA. As you can see it is not stock. I added a new paint design to the body work and the aftermarket Tracey fairing. The rear sets came from Arlette. Looking back I should have bought a Monza. This is the only pic I have. Check out my helmet.
I enjoyed the bike for a few years and sold it to a guy in Texas after I moved up to this 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. This bike really started me off.
I soon developed an interest in Ducati and got into singles. I found a 250 Scrambler and shortly after, a Diana. That led me to racing and building a street bike. Pictured below is my evolving narrow case street bitza 250.
Features include a ported 350 Desmo head with 32mm DO pumper carb, matching manifold, 250 cylinder and M3 piston, 750 Conti pipe, single sided, twin leading shoe Montesa front brake, Mark 3 tank, Benelli seat and alloy wheels. Ignition system is changed to electronic 12 volts and powered by the Monza DC system. This was not an easy task but it was well worth the effort.
I love Ducati twins too, especially the round case models. My first was a GT but later found a Sport which you see above. This shot of my brother and me was taken in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Ducati Revs America show in '94.
Pictured above and to the right is my 1959 Ducati 200 Motocross. This is a very unique bike and represents the beginning of Ducati's OHC off road bikes. Conical hubs, fenders, full cradle frame, front end and rear shocks are only found on this model. Notice the extended swing arm support, the non folding foot pegs and the carb's remote float bowl. It even came with the stock tire pump. Of course the body paint and seat are incorrect. I have located a proper seat and tail light. Mechanically the engine runs fine. There are few of these bikes around and I am fortunate to own it. Restoration is forthcoming.
Pictured above is my 1962 Benelli Motobi. This OHV 250 cc 4 speed is a beautiful bike in original condition.
Above is my 1974 GT. I have owned this bike for about 8 years. The bike came stock with Amal carbs, steel tank and side covers. The Veglia tach is electronic while the speedo is cable driven. I had the seat reupholstered. After a fresh valve job, I installed Sport pistons which made the bike stronger. I have changed handle bar configurations and have yet to come up with a seating position I am happy with. I prefer the narrower frame the Sports came with. Notice the emerald painted Scrab front brake caliper. I have since restored the bike with the original metallic, cherry red and black color scheme. The bike now resides in northern California.
Above is my 1962 Parilla 250 Wildcat Scrambler. The Wildcat was Parilla's production motocross racer. It is fitted with a magneto ignition and remote float Dellorto 29 mm SSI carb. These bikes are rare as they were very expensive when new. I found the bike in southern Arizona. It was owned by a former Harley Davidson Aermacchi flat track racer. I raced the Wild Cat for several years with AHRMA and AVDRA. With the racing reverse cone megaphone, the WC sounds like a roadracer. It revs really quick. Other than some wheel changes and normal upkeep, I have replaced a valve seat and piston. This bike always gets attention from those that know it and those that don't.
This shot was taken many years ago at a Steamboat Springs, CO race.
To the right is a rare sight. This is a 350 Seri Corsa 24 hour endurance racer from 1965. For a few years it sat in the Berlinner showroom next to the V4 Apolo before being sold. Originally it came with a steel tank and bed spring seat but this one has been updated with the later glass tank, seat and full fairing. It came with a sandcast springer head but replaced with a sandcast desmo head. The dual down tube frame is unique and can be considered the first wide case frame since the engine is mounted at both ends by 9 inch bolts. The engine cases and side covers are sand cast with external oil feed and drain lines to/from the head. The head pipe is firmly mounted to two studs coming out of the exhaust port sides. There are no bushings in this engine: only bearings of many sizes. The clutch is wet. The carb is a 35 mm SSI Dellorto with large remote float bowl. The wheels are 19 inch. The front brake is a massive double sided double leading shoe Grimeca. The rear is Grimeca single sided single leading shoe. The clutch is special, the primary gears are straight cut as well as the timing side bevel gears. The engine number is SC4.
The Guzzi V7 Sport is a wonderfull bike. I purchased it with 24k on the clock and recently saw 69. It was the ultimate European sport tourer of it's day. Other than routine maintenance, I ported the heads while retaining the stock carbs. I have had the front brake pads replaced. I added a Piranha fairing. The Sport is lighter and quicker handling than a Le Mans but not as strong in motor and braking.
The shot above taken with Paul Smart at DRA in Las Vegas. What an honor!
My '74 Sport was a mess when I got it in 1987. High rise Bultaco clip on bars had been modified to fit the fork tubes. The glass tank was filled with cracks and the front half of the seat was removed and foam added for a passenger. I found a steel SS tank and SS seat. I removed the stock front disc and added a set of matching Brembo calipers, drilled discs and master brake cylinder. The rear cylinder rod came loose. The threads on the case supporting the oil filter were messed up. I had to split the cases and have a short, threaded sleeve welded in. In that process, I replaced all bearings and replaced the rods, needles and pins. I also replaced the pistons. After mounting an instrument cluster and fairing support from a Darmah SS, I installed a 900 SS fairing. The clipons are adjustable high rise Verlichi and make the ride more comfortable than the stock bars. Currently the heads are off as the cams are being restored. It is an on going project. I hope to be back on the bike soon.
Pictured above is my 1998 900SSFE number 139 out of 400 shipped to North America. This is my newest bike. FE stands for Final Edition. This was the last version of the 900 SS that was air cooled and had carburetors. The fairing is unique and both front and rear fenders are carbon fiber. The black panel and red stripe on the fairing and seat is not stock.This picture was taken in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.
Above is my 350 Sebring Scrambler. I raced it in AHRMA's Premier Heavyweight MX class for many years. I built the engine with a magneto. The head is ported to a 29 mm Dellorto carb. The valves are stock Scrambler size and are operated by shim type rockers. The cam is an orange/white race cam. The front end is 35 mm Ceriani. The front wheel is from a 450 RT. The rear section of the frame has been modified. The tank is from a Husky. The cam cover is an original "Gear Gazer". The seat is custom. The shocks are Works Performance. This bike is pretty light compared to a Goldstar or Matchless singles that I raced against.
My 350 Desmo roadracer has gone through a lot of changes over the years and these pics have the previous tank and combo. See Racing Pics for how it looks now. The frame is a slightly modified wide case Scrambler frame. The twin leading shoe front brake is off a later Aermacchi Sprint with Ferodo racing pads. The front end is 35 mm Ceriani racing. The engine has much done to it: enlarged valves with red racing desmo cam, head ported to custom made manifold and 35 mm Dellorto pumper carb. The head has been dual plugged. The crank has been lightened and balanced. The piston is a 11.5 to 1 made by Venolia. External oil drain and feed lines have been added. The exhaust is custom. Ignition is total loss. The oil pump and points drive gears have been lightened. The dry clutch is custom made by Frank Gianinni. This bike is much fun to race and is competitive in the 350 GP class. It is very stable at speed and builds power quickly.
To your left is my 250 roadracer on a trip back from a New Mexico race by a roadside attraction. I could not resist the metaphor.
Features on this bike include a shorter Monza Jr. frame. The swing arm pin is extended and supported on the diagonal rear frame tubes. The front wheel hub is standard Ducati but the brake backing plate is a highly modified Triumph T100 single sided twin leading shoe and works great. The front end is a modified 35 mm Ceriani MX with shorter fork tubes. The alloy tank comes from Ireland. The cast alloy seat comes from Cleveland. Work done to the non desmo engine includes a seriously ported head, lightened shim type rocker arms with thicker than standard hairpin valve springs. A custom made manifold is mated to a 34 mm Dellorto carb. The head is dual plugged. External oil drain lines have been added. The piston is 11.5 to 1 Venolia type. The crank has been lightened to the weight of a 200 cc unit. The clutch basket, clutch center and pressure plate have been lightened. Ignition can be either magneto or total loss. The oil pump and points drive gears have been lightened.
Because of the shorter frame, the bike is extremely nimble in tight turns but on fast straights, the front hydraulic steering damper is needed. The engine revs quickly and you have to back off at the 8500 redline or you will float the valves.