Posts

Dakar-1979-Team-GUZZIweb

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.

10974642_ 1539339063007379_7905461164653206624_o

Claudio Towers MotoGuzzi T.A. P. 750 1988

There are few pictures of Claudio Towers and its prototype Moto Guzzi 750 T.A. P. the 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).

Torri-1991

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

1379535_ 10202247470658296 _ 255974762 _ n

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

7733994756_ab381a6e47_k

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.