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Motorcycle Classics at Motogiro America - Day 1 and 2

by Richard Backus

Tags: Motogiro, Motogiro America, Moto Guzzi,


The Motorcycle Classics entry in the Motogiro America: a 1966 Moto Guzzi Stornello 125 

The first-ever Motogiro America kicked off on Sunday, July 13, and our man Dave Miller, with support from Moto Guzzi and riding a 1966 Moto Guzzi 125cc Stornello in the Super Sports Class, made it to the start – but just barely. “Everything was good before we left. We got down here, and as luck would have it I’m number three out of the gate. It starts at 9am, which means I leave at 9:01 every day. The start was 12 minutes away, so I go to start the bike and it won’t start, so I push it, figuring it’s a fouled plug. Nope. So I push it back to the truck and determine it’s the carb, and I pull the carb apart in the parking lot. I wiped the carb off, found some problems with the float and needle, put it back together and it starts and runs decent. I ended up hot-footing it through town, and made it to the start 14 minutes late, which isn’t bad for overhauling a carburetor. So being late, that’s a penalty, but that couldn’t be helped. I hauled ass. I was really pushing the little Guzzi, and it was flawless after that,” Dave reports.

Day 1 had participants lining up on Cannery Row Ave. in Monterey, Calif., before heading off to nearby Laguna Seca Raceway, where everyone got to make a lap of the track. “That was a thrill. I’ve been to a couple of races at Laguna Seca over the years, but going around it is like … I don’t know how to describe it. It almost brought me to tears. I was somewhat of a racer in the early part of my life, and I always wished I could have made it racing. The thrill of getting on a big circuit for one lap, if nothing else that made the whole trip for me,” Dave says. After that, it was on to the official route and 130 miles of back roads running inland of California’s Central Coast.

Day 2 saw riders rolling on another 161 miles, with no problems to report from Dave and the little Stornello. “We went to Gonzales for lunch, and the Rotary Club put on lunch for us. Barbeque, sodas, it was really first class, just a wonderful, hospitable group of people,” Dave says. Dave reports he’s doing okay on time, but doesn’t exactly have his timing down. “At the end of each section you time out, and then go through an agility test, and a lot of these guys who do this stuff regularly really have their act together, where I’m counting my way through, ‘One Mississippi, Two Mississippi …” But this is my first time through and I’m trying to learn through all of it.” Since he’s not killing the points, Dave decided to lighten up one of the agility tests by going through trials-style, stopping and balancing the Stornello. “I was just playing the crowd, and they liked it,” Dave says.

That bring us to today, Tuesday, July 15. We’ll post another update tomorrow or Thursday, so check back. – Richard Backus