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DAKAR 1986 | Graziano Rossi's moto guzzi test 750

Ed: dutiful thought for those who provided us with this article, Pietro Manganoni is the true soul of Moto Guzzi at Dakar, as well as Bergamasco doc in the trenches at this hard time for his city and we all. Thank you.

Graziano Rossi test
Although the photos of this test will not be exceptional, fault of the gloomy and dark day, the opportunity to try the Guzzi today 750 Paris-Dakar is too gluttonous to send her back to who knows when. After more than 30 years the Guzzi re-enacts an "official" racing bike: this is a historic event and the just going up there has me a little’ Excited, how I should try it out for a Grand Prix. Instead I just have to go for a ride to the sea, to guide it on a bottom that looks like the desert, which will be the field of action, next January, of this all terrain that we hope will be the first step towards a great commitment, a great return to the sport of the house of Mandello Lario. For the next Paris-Dakar la Guzzi has prepared three mo-tos that will be led by two French. Drobeck and Rigon, and from the Italian Torri. The entire organization of the race is entrusted to the team of the importer French.

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IN SELLA – I go up to try the trim and I have a surprise: the saddle is exaggeratedly high and I can't touch it on the ground except leaning on one side; I go down to set in motion: the starter is pedal and fortunately the position of the lever is low and easily accessible. In fact, he leaves now; I leave the clutch slowly with the first and I run him a little’ behind, then, when he took some’ speed, I jump over him! It's the most comfortable way to go! Later, when it was disassembled, I found that the saddle has 10-15 cm of padding and I think you could leave it alone 5 to be able to climb more comfortably and not have to ask for help whenever you have to stop. Once you've left, Guzzi discovers his cards and they are truly remarkable. Red-02I start pulling more and running even on the soft sand, curve-back flat, strong and sideways, pulling the gears, to brake hard, to start again with a low gear, to jump on an artificial bump prepared for the occasion with an axle stolen from a hibernation boat near them.

FULL-TEST MANEUVER – Two features seem exceptional to me, and they're very important: handling and couple. This bike, although at first glance it is of "immense" size, surprises by the ease with which it bends and straightens, also going very slowly, thanks to a really low center of gravity and a low weight: 165 kg dry weight. In the sudden jump Guzzi performs decidedly well proving to be very well balanced as weights. I didn't really think, with a mo-to of this aspect, to drive as with a normal Enduro. Then the couple: it's true that the engine doesn't have much stretch, but with any gear, in any condition, the strength of the first 3-4000 laps is exciting! Even the narrow drift, you should do in the second, it doesn't even create problems to do it in the third or fourth. Also the engine I'm testing already has a lot of miles of testing and is quite spoofed, when it's time to leave for Dakar he'll be much fitter!

SO MUCH MORE COUPLE It doesn't turn very high because the compression ratio was brought by 10:1 in 9:1 to have a lot of torque and especially because the engine does not suffer from gasoline with octane po-chi that you can find along the way. The maximum achievable speed is 170 km/h and the two ohlins shocks with 130 mm stroke, allowing a hike of 270 mm and the Fork Marzocchi to be 42 mm with external adjustment 280 mm travel, they manage to give the bike precision and stability even when in the fourth or fifth full we come across endorses or bumps that we had not seen.

THE ENGINE – Of 750 cc is a four valve that develops 60 CV to 7100 RPM, is equipped with a radiator for oil cooling and the carburetors are Dell'Orto 30 mm with shooting pumps; full tanks, 38 liters the normal plus an extra one under the saddle from 12 liters, Autonomy is of 600 km. The gearbox 5 gears is very accurate and well-related and the cardano transmission does not give any problem for driving, no tears even in the most exasperated changes. It is to be of great advantage not to have the chain, who in constant contact with the sand needs a lot of maintenance and is still in danger of breaking. The brakes are Brembo: a floating disc 270 front and one pierced by 250 at the rear. The tires are Michelin Desert, 17 thumbs behind and 21 Before, with the "bib-mousse", instead of normal inner tubes, which are full rubber sausages mounted inside the tires to avoid punctures. The instrumentation com-takes the counter – Odometer, The Oil Light, the "trip-master" and the equipment to slide the "road-book". Instead the compass is not on the bike but it is the riders who bring it. Well, I'll make one last tirad, one last jump and it's already almost dark. I think this Guzzi has a lot of potential, can be among the protagonists of the African adventure and give great satisfaction to those who wanted it! Mr. Davison, responsible for Moto Guzzi, said he hopes for an honorable debut, maybe to end up in the first 10 and maybe, but he didn't say that, to rediscover what the name Guzzi meant in racing 30 years ago! G.r.

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Claudio Towers “Pink Panter”, from Dakar 1986 all & #8217; Australia

Returning from the ill-fated Dakar 1986, finished with a retired due to a problem with the swingarm of his Moto Guzzi, Claudio Towers do not lose d & #8217; soul and arranges for a new adventure.

The bike is updated with a headlight fairing aerodynamically, as tendency in those years, fully painted and entered in the following year's Australia Safari. Unfortunately l & #8217; Southern experience did not have much luck, culminated with a retreat because traffic accident with a pickup that caused the fracture of the pelvis of the poor Towers.

 

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Claudio Towers Dakar 1985

Claudio Towers to the Paris Dakar 1985, as you read from newspaper articles of the time the bike is MotoGuzzi Chad-1985by series, by changing only the drain and reservoir for the occasion, made by Acerbis in aluminium.
Claudio Towers sees Dim dream of reaching Dakar because its battery went to pieces and forced him to retire.
We must remember that on that occasion it self-funded, contributing to the payment of the bike and race registration participating without even a mechanic in tow, providing maintenance of the bike then the first person after each stage.

Curiosity: beyond the official bike of towers, were produced more 15 Baja red requests by the French importer,
While the streets of Mandello for some years around a replica built by mechanics Moto Guzzi experts in.

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Alain the great e its Dakar 1979

November 1978, Orly motocross field, near Paris a motorcycle is turning and is feeling with its V-twin engine and its impressive dimensions. It is a prototype, the TT500. Denis Bacholle, Director of Seudem, Moto Guzzi importer in France, he lent it to me for a few days to refine it. The bike has powerful, very stable, very robust and relatively easy to drive, even in muddy paths. Known for a problem, is the driveline which limits the travel of the rear suspension and forces you to keep the rear wheels aluminum alloy series – spoked hub conversion would be too expensive.

I started the enduro with a Pioneer Bones. In 1977 I have successfully participated in the Rallye 5-5 Abidjan-Nice by Jean-Claude Bertrand, on a Yamaha DT400 prepared by Gilles Comte. We join Cyril Neveu, Christian Rayer and… Thierry Sabine, you will lose in the Ténéré. Gilles wins the race.

Dakar 1979

The Moto Guzzi TT500 to Dakar 1979

He was announced as a Paris-Dakar, organized by the same Thierry Sabine, Creator:’ Enduro du Touquet. Denis Bacholle is a passionate man and the team is a true miracle, but on the day of departure five bikes are regularly lined up at the start and their pilots were ready – Martine Rénier, Eric Breton, Piatek, Bernard Rigoni..
Assistance is provided by two Toyota vehicles that have now reached retirement age.

The race begins and we in Algeria, stages of connection: the Guzzi are fighter aircraft! Officials from Honda and Yamaha, on their single begin to look with respect. Our bikes are the best in top speed and very stable. The consumption is under control, as expected. After Reggane, the return to reality is brutal. Rear alloy wheels don't hold up, they break. The 105 mm rear suspension travel on potholes and bumps do not forgive. Martine Rénier and Piatek they crash and injured leave the competition.

I also do I perform in a nice looping, and remedy a left wrist fracture. I decide to keep this incident to myself and continued the rally with one hand or nearly. I adjust the handlebars to avoid tiring too the pulse and I install a tire back onto the rim trail that will be less stressful for the circle. We reach Agadès and while sliding alongside Martine de Cortanze, I feel that the bike collapses in the sand. Despite reinforcements the frame broke at the height of the steering column. The same mishap later happen to Eric Breton. It's time to go home.

Le Grand 1980

Le Grand helped by Breton fumble on the rear wheel of the TT500

My mate Bernard Rigoni, the smiling motorcyclist from inseparable moral qualities and physical properties, will arrive in Dakar.
Jean-Patrick Capdevielle sings: "it's hard to be a hero / on this side of the planet ... ".

He's right, Jean-Patrick, certainly we are not heroes, but the pioneers, anonymous and fans, what you definitely .... Toss in the Algerian desert, withstand sandstorms without GPS, at that time it was not so easy. The Moto Guzzi TT500 demonstrated the competitiveness of twins in rally-raid, without the inconvenience of the rear rim could do great things. This bike was outstanding in everyway. It was a great privilege to lead this Moto Guzzi.

And’ has also been a great privilege to have been members of this team, United States and enthusiastic. A thought for Denis Bacholle, gone too soon. Greetings from Bogota, Colombia, friends of the history of Paris Dakar.

Alain le Grand, Dakar 1979, bib. 85.

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Claudio Towers MotoGuzzi T.A. P. 750 1988

There are few pictures of Claudio Towers and its prototype of Moto Guzzi to Dakar 1988.

Already from the prologue of Paris had emerged the first difficulties caused by bad weather conditions that made the path a hellish trap of mud and rain.

Unfortunately Claudio's race will end during the second stage (the first on African soil). A curiosity that has been confided, the Tropicana, this by the name of the main sponsor, She is named for T.A. P. the acronym (but obviously in Bergamo) “Tutto a posto”, reassurance that faced the same Towers when he happened to fall.

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Claudio towers and his Moto Guzzi “Severe” the Dakar 1991

As for courage Claudio Towers wasn't kidding, Thirty-nine (in 1991 NDR.) Architect from Bergamo departed from Paris while riding a Guzzi himself fully designed. If you exclude the engine on his bike not retained much from the image template: the chassis was made of a thick aluminum beam with two triangular slab track in the heart of the swingarm, and the lower cradle that also acted as water tank.

On the frame made from VRP Towers he mounted a motor Guzzi 940 identical to that of the SP model but with the electronic fuel injection instead of Carburetors the cylinders upside down, with the drains backwards.

"But it was a mistake – He specified Towers – I did so to get the weights more centered, only in this way the waste coals too and became even hot. Among other things I mounted electronic fuel injection in California without changing the mapping because I had the time, and I had carburation problems. But I worked also on transmission: It was my final is the first Guzzi chain transmission, and I realized a bevel gear to remove the output shaft drive».

Even with a lot of work though the Strict, This is the official name, it weighed 207 kg: no small, but less and less of the Africa Twin. Towers had already planned to realize a new, lighter and with the motor from 750 cm, with that dispute the next Rallye des Pharaons. Because, means, did not change its intention to remain faithful to the Mandello Eagle.

With the twins lariane has already participated in four Dakar without carry to term no, and it decided not to give up.

"I cannot run with a Japanese I won't use Italian money to advertise to strangers. And then the Guzzi's legendary. To a Japanese would pass unnoticed, with a Guzzi is definitely something else, even if you happen to stop already the first day».

Exactly how much he: was walking in the first special, the Ghadames in I.d.r.i., and there came more to the field, probably picked up by truck fuck. No spare parts and assistance, not even attempted to repair her Severe. Maybe that year failed even to achieve its primary objective:

«Only start to get is an understatement, see Dakar can be a rewarding, but I don't care. My goal is to have fun, being able to entusiasmami for the things I see and test the solutions that I myself have studied».
That time lasted much too little to amuse him.

Source motosprint
Photos provided by
Clement Canino

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The debut of the Dakar 1979 There were also the Moto Guzzi!

The V50 TT was set up by the French Team SEUDEM, that was five and entrusted its drivers, four men and a woman: Bernard Rigoni #83, Alain Piatek #84, Alain Le Grand #85, Eric Breton #86 and Martine Renier #86. The bikes prepared for the inaugural Dakar had the engine and the transmission completely taken directly from the V50 series. Some parts of the frame in particular were strengthened in particular the V50 attacks the anchor points of the shocks on Wishbone.

The drains as from prototype passed between the two cylinders under the tank, trend that had to put away the collectors from bumps and scratches with stones or other (We can only imagine the temperatures that could reach the canister and gasoline!).

The fork was a magnesium with Marzocchi 240 mm stroke. The front wheel is an Akront, While, paradoxically, the latter one was to road model series alloy! Rear shocks were the Marzocchi gas 105 mm of travel. The tank was borrowed from model V7 Sport and had 30 liter capacity.

One Moto Guzzi, of the five matches he arrived in Dakar. Bernard Rigoni is the pilot that will be classified 48° on 74 come to the end, very good result considering that in the Edition 1979 the ranking auto-moto was unified.

Torri 1986

Claudio towers and the “Caporetto” Guzzi to Dakar 1986

Has not been lucky the Edition 1986 the Paris-Dakar Rally for team Guzzi. Parties driven by the enthusiasm of towers, that the past year had reached relatively smoothly Agadez before retiring, the franco-Italian army composed of three mini bike (led by Towers, Rafferty and Drobecq) two Pinzgauer and a truck, all sponsored by Neff and Total, He raised the white flag already in Tamanrasset, a decidedly lower than that achieved in 1985.

"Unfortunately we have had a number of drawbacks such as to force us to take a hard decision is the comment of: same Towers probably match bad universal joints. The fact is that the transmission shaft was very frequent, so I can say that in this Dakar was more the time I was still at the edge of the track on bikes».

Without this inconvenience would be competitive?

"Hard to say, What is certain is that the engine finally pushing strong. Even the chassis was improved significantly compared to that of the motorcycle driven by me in 1985, deserve this for asking the French importer whose enthusiasm had made sure that that was a little’ my personal obsession to become a real team and with companions such as Drobecq and Rigoni. To continue would have been too painful: the bike, gimbal break apart, fine. Because of poor location of us we left rather forward and we have seen how difficult it was for the opponents collect us. Then, Unfortunately, the driveline is incredible and points to us were kicked in long waits. After repair we'd pick, but we pulled so much to solicit the clutch just overreacting, so were other stops. Personally I considered demeaning the situation. The Guzzi is not a bike that can make up the rear in this way».

One of the bike is also destroyed, because?

«Rafferty wanted to continue starting in Assekrem special, fell, the motorcycle caught fire».

Despite this “Caporetto” We see that the team is still held together here in Niamey, How come?

"We do it for the sponsors in spite of everything we wish to introduce ourselves on the beach in Dakar to thank them in confidence. I think they realized that our liability is limited and that the team has done everything possible for that matter I think the intention is to continue because the Guzzi still has potential to exploit».

Source motosprint

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Moto Guzzi V75 1986

And’ the 1986 and at the start of the 8th edition of the Paris Dakar also involves a host of Moto Guzzi notoriously thick card, engine 4 valves of V75 and about 62 BHP made the bike of Mandello del Lario to achieve 170 km/h.

Official team followed by the French importer, the pilots were the Italian towers and the French Drobecq and Rigoni. The bike seemed to be having a good potential: You comportatò well in the prologue, but then he was plagued with reliability problems. In parin particular suffered from frequent transmission problems, especially the gimbal probably undermined by the kinematics of the suspension.

Moto Guzzi V65 TT of towers to Dakar 1985

Moto Guzzi V65 TT 1985

And’ but during the 1985 that a young architect from Bergamo named Torri looks to the ceo of Moto Guzzi, the rag. Davison, asking for a V65TT with the aim to join the world's toughest race. Davis is not enthusiastic about what, but eventually agrees, and because the Guzzi will officially, and because Torri is willing to share the costs of the adventure.

The bike was born and developed in the Mandello experiments andthe end looks a little to the V65 TT series. Long-throw suspensions, rugged chassis, engine preparation, tank capacity 50 liters made by skilled plumber in Mandello, solo seat are the elements of what will later be called V65 Baja, a motion by unusual history.

Provided for in a single copy, they will build 17, because the French importer demand 15. In fact, two of these bikes register with French drivers of the scuderia to the P-D 1986. The Baja will come one step away from mass production, and will also be presented at the salone in Milan 1985.

Unfortunately at the time of preparation of the prototype for the Dakar there were spoked wheels that could be found on the market to fit the final transmission of the V65, It was therefore decided to compete with the stock wheels, ending though to be the weak link of Moto Guzzi, they began to accuse spoke breakage due to lateral loads imposed by cardano in deep sand, forcing Towers to retire.