The new road-going Enduro on test on the roads in Sardinia: the feelings experienced from riding a bike fitted with semi-active suspension


The South of Sardinia is such an enchanting place to visit by motorbike that even cloudy, rainy days like the ones we had during the presentation of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 to the press seemed less grey. Our test route started from the splendid Golf Resort "Is Molas", an oasis of green just a stone's throw from one of the most beautiful coasts on the island.

The road that joins Pula and Teulada features a fabulous series of curves that just beg to be enjoyed to the full. The tarmac ribbon stretches well beyond what your eye can see and splits the horizon in two: to the right, red rocks and to the left, the rough sea. The contrast seems to make the raindrops that quickly slide off your visor seem that much lighter. You realise that you're in the right place with the right bike. When a ray of sun bursts out from behind the black clouds, it almost seems to be pointing the road to your destination.
Then and only then do you realise how lucky you are. There's nowhere else you'd rather be, and you long for the tarmac ribbon to rewind so that you can feel it all again just one more time. A bike like the Caponord 1200 can create such feelings time after time, over any type of road. It is docile when you want to admire the scenery, comfortable when you want to tour, and, like all Aprilias, very fast and efficient when you want to set the blood racing. How many souls does the Aprilia Caponord 1200 have? Lots, and all as different as the roads you meet from day to day. One bike for any type of road, whether you're alone or have a passenger; one bike for travelling light or fully laden: one bike that can automatically adjust the suspension set-up to match the road, the riding style or the load being carried, thanks to the sophisticated ADD semi-active suspension pack fitted as standard on the Travel Pack version.
You don't have to make allowances for the type of road or your riding style. The system does it for you, making real time adjustments to differing requirements. All the rider has to do is ride.
Get on the saddle, turn on the ignition, ride a hundred yards and you'll instantly know you've got everything under control. The Caponord 1200 is by far one of the most confidence inspiring motorbikes in its category. The tapered saddle isn't so high as to make it difficult to manhandle the bike with the engine off, as can happen when you have to "paddle" to get out of a tight parking space. This sort of thing is important, because practicality in everyday use is all too often overlooked. Just notice also how easy it is to raise the bike onto the main stand.
The Caponord 1200 is also easy on the road. From the very first bend, you'll have complete control of the front end, giving you the right feeling with the bike so as to push it to the limits. Accurate cornering, speed through bends, great stability at high speed, good handling characteristics when changing direction, and good ground clearance for fun and solid braking. The Caponord 1200 boasts a sports-based frame - as you would rightly expect from an Aprilia. In other words, the high performance DNA that makes all Aprilias stand out from the rest, courses through the blood of this bike too.
Yet here we are talking about the only bike in the Aprilia range dedicated to touring. This means that the suspension isn't too stiff but actually filters out all those bumps and ruts on the road, ensuring the comfort that tourers demand. The bike also offers excellent rider protection while not being overly huge, and the upright relaxed riding position is always just right, whatever the occasion.

There is always more than enough power, but only if you want it. This means that if you want to ride in a high gear at low revs, the changes made to the 90° V twin engine let you go smoothly at a snail's pace; but if you want to open her up, the 1200 can unleash immense torque at medium revs to provide excellent acceleration. You can also change the power output from three mapping settings, but in all honesty, the Touring setting is so fluid, with no hint of jerking when you open or close the throttle, and the engine is so quick to respond, that this setting alone seems exactly right for anything you could ever need.
You'll often open her up even when you don't need to, just to hear the growl from the exhaust. The bike responds immediately on straight and twisty roads, and will carry you from one bend to the next with just the slightest twist of the throttle thanks to the traction control system, which you won't even feel cut in when you get a bit carried away. This is a perfect example of an electronic system that will please even those purists who love riding "by the seat of their pants".
The ATC, ABS, ride by wire and ADD systems fitted to the Caponord 1200 take away none of the pleasure of riding fast, and in reality make it safer and actually more efficient. Even the "coolest" rider will be grinning behind his visor as the exhausts growl. It is the perfect soundtrack for a bit of fun.



Los Angeles: the launch of the Moto Guzzi California 1400

A smart event organized for the new Moto Guzzi flagship launch in States.
Wide was there to let you know how it went

After Cannes and Barcelona, the Moto Guzzi California 1400 has finally arrived in Los Angeles, the city where its exceptional career took off in 1969. Here the Italian twin-cylinder is also known as Ambassador and Eldorado. This was a ruse thought up by the Moto Guzzi importer at that time (Berliner) to differentiate the V7 750 and V850 Californias intended for the American market, so as to avoid any jealousy with the other fifty states of the USA. While this might seem like a throwback from history, it is the California, whether under the name of Eldorado or Ambassador, that all bikers here, even the youngest, know and love.
We saw how much they adore them first hand at the party for the launch of the new California 1400 range which took place on 5 April at the R&R Gallery in Los Angeles. For a couple of hours, this ancient building from the 1920s, once a jeans factory and now a local underground site for art & entertainment, housed a huge crowd of enthusiasts bewitched by the new Moto Guzzi flagship model. This was exhibited alongside its forebears, the Eldorado and Ambassador, which were also on shown in original LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) livery along with a Stornello and the whole range of the modern V7.

5 April 2013 - R& R Gallery - 929 East 2nd Street LA: the party
The setting was a typical Moto Guzzi scene from the 70s, and the guests could also admire works of art by Grant Ray. The Californian artist created giant murals inspired by the concept that Moto Guzzi was a key player in the evolution of the motorcycle in American culture as celebrated by certain famous films like The Wild One, The Defiant Ones and the violent Coffy.
With this as his basic premise, Grant Ray depicted Lee Marvin riding a California 1400. and reinterpreted the flight of Noah Callen and Tony Curtis by applying Moto Guzzi V twin cylinders on the heads of the two actors.
The Afro-American actress Pam Grier, the star of Coffy, was given similar treatment, with Grant Ray depicting her like in the poster for the film, with a rifle in hand ready to take revenge for the murder of her sister by overdose. These pictures aroused great interest among the guests, many of whom had arrived by motorbike and who almost unwittingly created a catwalk of motorbikes, jackets and helmets in pure low riding style.
Among those who didn't pass unobserved was the director and producer of road movies, David Alexanian, aboard a Moto Guzzi T4, accompanied by the actress Taylor Estevens. We also had the Cycle Garden team on fabulous Ambassadors and LAPD Eldorados, not to mention Todd Egan of the MGOC (Moto Guzzi Owners Club), who showed off his super accessorised Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX.
There were also many journalists present who closely marked an amused Miguel Galluzzi and his staff colleagues from the Piaggio Group Americas, led by Miguel Martinez. The menu was as cosmopolitan as the guests: a courageous mix of Mexican tapas washed down with prosecco and real Italian coffee. This too is California style.


After the “Losangelina” night, there was another event in California, at Santa Monica Beach, for the press launch of the new MG range, with test drives to Malibu

From Los Angeles to Santa Monica, from presentation party to test drives, everything was ready for the day dedicated to the American press. A fleet of twelve Moto Guzzi California 1400s stood gleaming outside the Loews Hotel waiting for the members of the press invited to the event. These journalists were from the best-known papers and magazines in this sector, such as Motorcyclist, Motorcycle Daily, Road Bike and Motorcycle.com.
News of the launch of the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 also created great interest with the influential LA Times and Forbes, and with men's magazines such as Complex.com, MadeMan.com and AskMen.com, not to mention Playboy. In all there were twenty-four journalists at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica Beach. They were split into two groups, one for the morning test sessions and the other for the afternoon.

6 April 2013 - Loews Hotel - Santa Monica Beach - CA: prove su strada
It goes without saying that the sun shone brightly and, after a speech about technical matters, the first group set off for Malibu Canyon. We, on the other hand, went back into the Palisades Salon in the hotel to see and hear the presentation for the journalists who would be riding the California 1400 in the afternoon.
It began, as it properly should, with a talk by the head of the Piaggio Group Americas, Miguel Martinez, who outlined the very positive results obtained by Piaggio Americas over the past year. In this part of the world, the economic crisis seems like just a memory and, according to Martinez, Moto Guzzi, that has seventy-five dealerships in America, now has a motorcycle that best suits the needs of the sales network and customers alike. If Miguel's words were laced with optimism, it was because of the positive first results; while those of the other Miguel (Galluzzi), Director of the Piaggio Advanced Design Center Corporation in Pasadena, were flavoured with real passion.
Miguel Galluzzi touched the hearts of the gathered journalists and spoke of the new California 1400 with all the love of a father talking about his newborn son. His speech was followed by a long-lasting question time about the origins of style, technical choices, performance, the competition, and so on. All this confirms the great interest shown by the American (and Canadian) press in the new Moto Guzzi. When the discussion was just about finished, we decided to surprise them with the announcement that a well-known LA resident wanted to be the first to get his new California Custom: Ewan McGregor, a fantastic testimonial to the MG campaign. We showed his video, which was met with spontaneous applause. 'So that's that,' we thought. 'In a couple of hours we'll repeat the press session' - and that's what we did, getting even more applause the second time round. As ours was the second and last test session, we decided to follow a group of journalists on a Griso 8V belonging to one of the staff. We left Santa Monica headed for Malibu, and after a few sets of traffic lights we were already on Pacific Coast 1. Along the way we came across everything that is beautiful, new, different and exclusive and can be driven on a public road. We saw European 12-cylinder supercars, veteran cars, hybrids and electrics (!), American and British bikes, Italian and Japanese sports bikes. The list is endless.
Amidst this spectacle, our Moto Guzzi California 1400s were completely at home, perfect for dawdling along at 25 mph and awesome when accelerating to the maximum limit of 65 mph. Even riders who prefer to push hard loved winding through the twisty road along the Malibu Canyon, where our photo shoot began.
With helmets off, smiling faces spoke more eloquently than any interview. The Moto Guzzi California is truly a fabulous piece of machinery. As we headed back to the hotel following our convoy, we had the ocean on the right and the sun setting in front of our visors. We had that wonderful feeling of being in the right place at the right time. One of those rare moments in life, to be enjoyed to the full.
The Italian motorcycle is been included in the “Best of the Best” luxury Portfolio 2013 by the world’s leading luxury-lifestyle US magazine. It’s an international acknowledgment for the “Eagle brand”

Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom named “Best of the best cruiser motorcycle 2013” by the Robb Report Magazine

For the first time ever, a Moto Guzzi motorcycle has been crowned “Best of the Best″ by the Robb Report. The US magazine, for 37 years the world’s leading luxury-lifestyle magazine, has included the California 1400 Custom, the new motorbike just introduced by Moto Guzzi and produced in its Italian facility in Mandello del Lario, in its “Best of the Best” Luxury Portfolio for 2013.

Published in twelve international editions (USA, Europa, Middle-East, Asia), for 25 years every June the Robb Report presents its “Best of the Best” special issue, which, say the magazine’s publishers, is the “the culmination of an entire year’s search for the most extraordinary new products and services”. The issue spans premier-quality world production in various categories, like “Wheels”, “Journeys”, “Style”, “Leisure”, “Home” and “Wings & Water”.
In the 2013 “Best of the Best” issue, the Robb Report pays tribute to the technology, style and irresistible appeal of the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom, named as the top product in the “Cruiser Motorcycles” category. This is a new and extremely important acknowledgment for the great new bike from the “Eagle brand”, for which, beginning with the 2012 EICMA motor show in Milan, Moto Guzzi has organised a lengthy road show of media previews for hundreds of journalists in Cannes, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and, last month, marking the bike’s debut on the US market, Los Angeles.
Not only has the largest Moto Guzzi bike built to date won the plaudits of the critics – with extraordinary reviews from the general and trade press – it has also captured the heart of international movie star Ewan McGregor. The Scottish actor has agreed to act as the testimonial for the Moto Guzzi California 1400, and to be the “face” of a stunning advertising campaign for the California Touring and Custom models, shot on the coast and in the desert of Western Australia. Wide was there and, in the related article in this issue of our magazine, unveils the backstage.

Ewan McGrecor and Moto Guzzi California 1400

Ewan McGregor is the testimonial for the new Moto Guzzi California 1400. This is the first time that a Hollywood star of this calibre, one of the most beloved on the silver screen, has lent his face to a motorcycle manufacturer for an advertising campaign. Wide tells how it happened

On the set of "My Bike, My pride": a weekend with ewan mcgregor and the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 in western Australia

If you want something to happen, you have to really believe in it. We were convinced right from the start that Ewan McGregor wouldn't be able to say no to the new Moto Guzzi California 1400. It's far too spectacular and intriguing for someone like Ewan who knows so much about Moto Guzzi bikes in general and the California in particular to miss out on. For this reason we followed him from London to Los Angeles and managed to overcome all the obstacles put in our way by staff and various agencies until we reached Perth which is at the far end of the Earth. We knew that Ewan's passion for Moto Guzzi was stronger than any financial incentive offered by agencies with budgets stretching into millions. And so it was. Ewan confirmed that he'd be delighted to be the "poster boy" for the new California 1400. This in turn led to a wonderful human and professional experience, which we at Wide will never forget.
Almost 24 hours of travel, over 20 hours flight time over more than 17 thousand kilometres, from Mandello del Lario to the other side of the world – down under, as the Australians themselves say – to witness a meeting: between a bike enthusiast and lover of one of the most glorious Italian brands and a great motorcycle, regal heir to a unique tradition of passion and love for mechanical engineering.
That's how you could sum up the story of the two days that saw Perth and the beaches of Western Australia as the photo shoot venue for the advertising campaign of the 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400, with Scottish actor Ewan McGregor in the role of ambassador. Two strong personalities – McGregor and the Moto Guzzi California – who were clearly destined to meet to plan something great and lasting that they could build together. The relationship between the actor and Moto Guzzi is already well known.
Ewan came across his first Moto Guzzi over twenty years ago, when he wanted to trade in his worn-out first bike for something more satisfying. So it was that he opted for a Moto Guzzi, a second-hand black Le Mans. Since that time, his garage has housed the V11, the Griso and the whole V7 series: the Ambassador, Eldorado and Sport.
Another California, the pearl white one later donated to Unicef, was picked up at the Moto Guzzi World Days in 2007.
On that occasion the star of Moulin Rouge, Trainspotting and Star Wars mingled with the thousands of Moto Guzzi fans during those warm September days, crowding the streets of Mandello and the Via Parodi plant, where each Moto Guzzi has been created uninterruptedly since 1921.
Like other motorcyclists, he visited the Motorcycle Museum of the house of the Eagle, lingering over each bike, eager for information and explanations on each model.
Six years later the paths of Ewan and the Moto Guzzi California cross again, naturally and inevitably, as though it were an event that couldn't not happen. In the meantime, McGregor has actually increased his stature as an artist and actor known all over the world, having worked with, among others, directors such as Tim Burton, Woody Allen and Ridley Scott; his garage has also been graced with new steeds from Mandello del Lario: a Vintage with a sidecar and a V11 Tenni. Moto Guzzi has also been busy, coming up with a new California, which from a technical point of view retains nothing of its noble ancestor, but instead preserves beautifully the character of a great Italian motorcycle of exclusive riding qualities. Moto Guzzi California, launched in Touring and Custom versions between late 2012 and early 2013, is now a motorcycle of highly advanced technology that consolidates the excellence of Moto Guzzi in the Pantheon of world motorcycling's prestige brands.
Saturday 9 March, the first day of shooting: McGregor and the new California meet on the first of the sets on the unspoilt coast of Western Australia: the white sand dunes of Lanceline, a hundred kilometres north of Perth. A lunar landscape in a desert environment with sky-high dunes of white sand is the scene of off-road forays by local motorcyclists. The feeling that was immediately established between McGregor and the big twin of Mandello marked the rest of the shoot. Ewan approached the Italian motorcycle as a true enthusiast, getting straight into the saddle, trying the driving position, touching the controls and asking all sorts of technical explanations on the bike's many new features. Right from the off, he shied away from any aloof model kind of the role and was instead an authentic and credible motorcyclist who immediately interacted with the California, really making it his bike. An approach borne of the passion that McGregor kindles for two wheelers and for Moto Guzzi, and one that spread to the photographers, the crew and the production staff, making every shot truly authentic. This time the actor didn't have to act but "merely" bare his authentic biker soul before the lens of photographer Paul Zambaldi.
The wild beach of Ledge Point, the avenues along the Swan River, the old dockside warehouses of Fremantle, and a wooden pier in front of the skyscraper skyline of Perth were the other locations that have seen McGregor alternating between the saddles of the Touring and the Custom, the two versions of the Moto Guzzi California. Always feeling that he's really riding, putting himself in the shoes of someone proud to own and ride an exclusive motorcycle born of a brand steeped in unique and totally Italian history.
The result was a series of shots, marked by spontaneity that has always characterized the relationship between a rider and his bike.
On Sunday evening, after the last shot, when darkness had descended on the set, the applause of the entire staff to Ewan and the California rounded off the two days of what would be too simplistic to call "work" and which was instead hallmarked by a passion for motorcycles and for the Moto Guzzi brand. Everything that came out of it, the quality of the work done, the excellence of the shots, the satisfaction of the photographers, the classiness of a campaign that promises to be unique, are all the result of a genuine and sincere rapport of a biker and his motorcycle.
Moto Guzzi California
Is the Cruiser that carries the Eagle of Mandello del Lario among the leaders in the large luxury motorcycle segment and reaches out to big trip enthusiasts and lovers of personal and beguiling motorcycles.
Elegant, sumptuous spectacular in its visual impact, the style of the new 1400 California announces the unmistakable class and tradition of Moto Guzzi combined with lines, sizes and technologies never before seen. Hand built in the historic Guzzi factory where Moto Guzzi was founded in 1921, the new flagship boasts the biggest capacity motorcycle transverse "V twin" engine ever produced in Europe. The new California, in the Touring version, dedicated to tourism and travel and in the Custom version that looks like a real drag bike, is driven by a thrilling power unit producing almost one hundred HP and 120 Nm of torque at just 2,750 rpm. You just have to travel in overdrive, at little more than idling, to hear the pulse of the 104 mm pistons of the mighty V-Twin 90° made in Mandello del Lario, filtered by the innovative elastokinematic fastening to the frame that ensures the dampening of any vibration.
The new Moto Guzzi is the world's first cruiser equipped with MGCT traction control and Ride by Wire multi-map technology, with the option of three different selectable performance responses. An electronic equipment specification for driving pleasure and safety levels: without equal.
Of Italian origin, born in Rhodesia and living in Perth, Mario is the point of reference for the "colony" of Moto Guzzi enthusiasts in Western Australia

Action! The life of Mario Poggioli

A journey in Australia can turn out to be great therapy for your self-esteem. This is a boundless land, twenty-five times the size of Italy but with just twenty-two million inhabitants, of whom 4.3% are the descendants of Italian immigrants, who arrived mainly between 1947 and 1976 (360,000 individuals).
The Italian community today is about 800,000 strong and its members are found in every walk of public and private life, daily ambassadors of Italian culture and the Italian way of life. Mario Poggioli is a case in point. His parents were from Vercelli, whereas Mario was born in Rhodesia and emigrated to Australia in the early 1980s.
His life is like something from a novel, spent among motorbikes, especially the Suzukis that his father used to sell in Rhodesia until the guerrilla uprising that led to the formation of the new state of Zimbabwe.

Photo By Stefano Righi

The family moved to Perth where Mario met Ted Stolarski, an exuberant Moto Guzzi importer of Polish origin who, beginning in the 1960s, had converted Western Australia into one of the largest and most enthusiastic Moto Guzzi colonies. Mario started working for Storlasky and discovered a passion for Moto Guzzi bikes, which, after Ted's death, led him to become the absolute point of reference for all that concerns Moto Guzzi in Western Australia.
His world is Thunderbike, located in Bassendean, a small town about 10 miles outside Perth. The door is always open, and there are no fancy furnishings like sliding doors, spotlights or stands. What's there is there, and if you truly appreciate fine engineering then there's no need for special effects.

The whole current range is on show; alongside some of the most important Moto Guzzi bikes from the past forty years. Some of these belong to Mario himself, including the V7 Special replica of the model used by the local police in Vercelli, a V7 Sport, an 850 Le Mans1, a 750 S3, a Magni Australia and Storlasky's 4V prototype for the "Thunderbike" championship series from which the store took its name; others belong to customers who prefer to be called friends. That's exactly the way Mario treats them. The fridge is always full of cold drinks and there's an espresso machine for anyone who fancies a coffee. If you want to pay, there's a box on top of the fridge.
In the meantime, Mario sells, repairs, advises, and sends e-mails and phones. A smile never leaves his face and he never seems to tire as his customers patiently and happily wait their turn.
We met Mario for the first time on 6 March this year, and after just a couple of minutes in his company it was as if we'd known him all our lives.
As he was preparing the coffee, he assured us that he had not told anybody about the photo shoot with Ewan McGregor. He had only said that the two California 1400s with Italian number plates were for a photo shoot with a film star, and that was it. This put the rumour mill into full swing and even the www.motoguzziwa.com website, where all the Moto Guzzi fans in Western Australia meet up for a chat, was soon buzzing with activity.

As Mario was the first person in Australia to see and actually touch the California 1400, we asked him what he thought of it.
“The bike is really stunning and, in my opinion, it's great value for money at AUS 25,000 - the same as the latest California 90. I've already sold three sight unseen”.

Which do you prefer, the Custom or the Touring?
“I like them both: the Custom is more seductive but the Touring, with all the accessories that come as standard, is also a bargain so I prefer it for that reason".

Is there anything that could be improved?
“Well, to be honest, when you only need to change the oil on the shaft drive every 50,000 km. That means you haven't thought about us mechanics – we have families to feed!”.

You might be right. What new model would you like to see in the future?
“We need a new Moto Guzzi Le Mans. Look how many I have here (I count at least a dozen 850s and 1000s, ed.). They all belong to customers who'll never sell them but who would certainly buy a new one for everyday use so as to keep the original in good shape”.

OK, now let's get back to Ewan McGregor. Is it true that your wife Antonia didn't know that you were working for the photo shoot?
“Too right! You know what women are like …then there's the fact that almost nothing ever happens in Western Australia. It's full of miners, kangaroos and koalas. All you need is the slightest rumour and it ends up all over the papers. Just a few weeks ago the Monday’s West was saying that Ewan was in Perth to shoot a new film. Some of my customers asked me if the bikes were for him, but I completely denied it”.

Well, now you can tell Antonia, because McGregor has invited you both to dinner in March at the Vans Cafè in Cottesloe.
“Really? I reckon she'll faint!”.

An expanding market (+5.4%) fuels growth at Moto Guzzi, Piaggio and Aprilia


Australia's motorcycle market reflects the country's enviable economic situation. Average wealth produced in 2012 was 3.1% while unemployment was around 5.4%. The deficit-GDP ratio was even more surprising, with debt standing at approximately 20% of the nation's wealth.
In addition, in July 2012 the states of Western Australia and Queensland alone were allocated a budget of 6 billion Australian dollars for improvements to roads, railways and ports as support for the mining industry.
Comparisons with dear old Europe are impossible: Australia is a virtuous country, even on the difficult automotives market.
In 2012 Australia had 115,488 new motorcycle registrations, an increase of 5.4% from the previous year, while the number of automobile registrations grew by 10.3%, to a total of 1,112,032.
The down-under motorcycle market subdivided into 23,570 ATVs (+5.1%), 37,699 off-road bikes (+2.5%) and 43,539 roadsters, the fastest growing segment with an increase of 12.6% from 2011.
The only segment to slow (-8.7%) was scooters, with registrations falling from 11,686 vehicles in 2011 to 10,680 in 2012.
In this scenario the figures reported by the Piaggio group, represented by JSA (John Sample Automotive) for Moto Guzzi and Aprilia and Peter Stevens for Piaggio and Vespa, are impressive. Aprilia topped the ranks of European and American premium brands, with an astonishing surge of 57.6% from 2011 in motorcycles and 19.6% in scooters. Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 and 1200 took sixth and ninth places respectively in the top ten for their category. Piaggio also performed well, with 28.1% growth, as did Moto Guzzi with 17.4%.


The leadership of the Piaggio Group in the sector: know-how as a distinct competitive advantage


Electronics are now 100 years old, with the first diode being invented just over a century ago. The electronics that permeate our lives today, however, date back to the 1950s, with the invention of the silicon chip. By the 1970s, chips had replaced "valves", and become a market sector in their own right.

  • 1960's moto dashboard
  • Modern moto dashboard
  • Mobile phones in 80's and 90's
  • Smartphone
  • 1970's Hi Fi
  • Modern Hi Fi
  • 1970's Tv box
  • Tv Lcd screen
The age of silicon
The enormous range of uses for silicon chips, along with much lower production costs, miniaturisation and a huge increase in power, has revolutionised the market. “Electronic" has become a by-word for “modern”, “efficient” and “amazing”.
Driven by the demand for electronic consumer goods, innovative products such as ever smaller, cheaper and more powerful radios, TVs and Hi-Fi systems flooded the market. Next to arrive were PCs, which took off in the 1980s and are now irreplaceable, followed by mobile phones, without which our lives would seem impossible. Analysts have identified electronic content as one of the main factors driving the growth and diffusion of consumer goods in the 1980s.
In the late 1970s, silicon fever spread to the automotives sector too, beginning with electronic engine management devices: fuel injection and ignition systems. The move towards electronics was also motivated by the oil crisis and the need to cut fuel consumption and emissions.
As time passed, cars became laden with electronic devices, undergoing a transformation governed by sensors, connections and a huge range of assorted devices and gadgets.

Electronics in motorcycles
In the same period silicon fever also struck the motorcycle industry, a sector offering less scope than the automobile perhaps, but making far greater demands on the hardware: two-wheeler engines are generally more highly tuned than car engines, their dynamics are much more complex and delicate, the environmental conditions in which electronic devices are required to perform are more severe, available space is restricted, and the weight of the device – and therefore its cost – becomes a key consideration.
So motorbikes and scooters by no means play second fiddle to the car in terms of electronics, indeed they present a genuine challenge for hardware and software manufacturers.
The widespread use of electronics has also created tremendous upset for component manufacturers. Consider all the companies that specialise in high-precision mechanical systems– carburettors, for example – which have been overtaken by electronic devices, apparently regarded as more efficient, less complex and cheaper. Some large electronics groups have invested capital in key segments such as injection, ignition and brakes; the function is always the same (e.g. fuel supply), but is now performed by completely different technology than that used in the recent past.

The know-how of the Piaggio Group
With the widespread use of electronics, the Piaggio Group adopted several key strategies and bought in the expertise needed to build and keep a competitive edge.

In recent years, the Group has worked in parallel fields whose common denominator is electronics. With its in-house expertise, it has developed the only hybrid engines for scooters in the world, from which other, electric-only models have evolved. It has fine-tuned safety and dynamics management systems for both motorbikes and scooters, drawing on its areas of excellence in design and innovation. It has also fully exploited its relationship with the Aprilia Racing Team, whose use of sophisticated, internally developed software strategies often makes the difference over SBK rivals. The Piaggio Group can therefore use its electronics know-how across the board for all its brands and product types, turning out state-of-the-art advances. This has led to the widespread use of electronic injection, a huge increase in the number of models fitted with ABS, the introduction of traction control systems (TCS) for the first time on scooters (Piaggio Beverly, Piaggio X10, Aprilia SRV 850, and now the Vespa 946), the implementation of highly sophisticated management systems such as APRC (on the Aprilia RSV4), with multiple functions combining performance and safety, and the adoption of innovative semi-active suspensions on the Aprilia Caponord. Developments also include the revolutionary Piaggio Multimedia Platform, now available on the Piaggio X10 and Aprilia Caponord, which allows use of smartphones for enhanced on-board instrumentation, provides high-level infotainment and connects the vehicle to the Internet. Needless to say, the sky's the limit.




For the seventh round of the 2013 season World Superbike stopped at Imola.
The second and final Italian round on the calendar, raced on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit, was neither easy nor particularly lucky for the Aprilia Racing Team which, despite the difficulties faced, took two podiums (Laverty third in Race 1 and Guintoli third in Race 2). This result leaves both the riders' championship hopes intact as well as the Manufacturer championship lead.


  • Laverty action
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Laverty
  • Laverty
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli
  • Guintoli
  • Guintoli
  • Laverty
  • Guintoli

The race weekend, held before almost 50 thousand spectators, saw Tom Sykes dominating in practice and in the races, but the Aprilia RSV4 proved itself to be extremely fast and balanced, enough to achieve excellent results even on difficult tracks like this one along the banks of the Santerno.
In the first race, won by Sykes, Eugene Laverty took third place, beating Marco Melandri out in the battle for the podium. The excellent overall performance of the Aprilia bikes was confirmed by Davide Giugliano's second place, astride the Team Althea RSV4, and by Michel Fabrizio's fifth place on his Red Devils Roma RSV4. Sylvain Guintoli, on the other hand, was forced to retire early in the sixth lap, just as he was battling Sykes for second place. His withdrawal was forced by a technical problem with the engine that brought the French rider's race to an early end.
The second race followed the same script as the first with Sykes immediately taking the lead. This time it was Eugene Laverty's turn to raise the white flag due to a crash without consequences for the rider in the fifth lap while he was in third place and trying not to fall behind Sykes and Rea. Guintoli, who was behind him, had no trouble holding Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies at bay, holding onto third place until the end.

Sylvain Guintoli: "Race 1 was disappointing. Unfortunately at these levels these things can happen. In Race 2 I really pushed as hard as I could. When Eugene crashed I even tried to catch Rea who was in front of me, but I wasn't able to. I'm not really happy with third place, but it was really the most we could get today. The season is still far from over. There are tracks like this one and Donington where we're weaker, but there are others where we will definitely be key players. The important thing is never to fall too far behind the leaders".

Eugene Laverty: "The result in Race 1 was definitely encouraging. We managed to improve the bike a lot between yesterday and today, even during the warm-up session. For Race 2 I expected a second step forward, but unfortunately from the beginning I had some problems with the bike that cost me a lot at some points of the track. To stay in the race I had to take some risks and that led to my crash. It was a mistake on my part. I'm disappointed because I know that we're stronger than what we demonstrated today".


Leading the World Championship Rider standings from the first round of the 2013 WSBK season, after the Imola round Sylvain Guintoli slips to second place due to Tom Sykes' double win. The Frenchman is now 6 points from the English rider's lead, while Laverty is lying in third place, stably but at more of a distance, with 45 points.
Aprilia strengthens its lead in the Manufacturer World Championship, now with 289 points in front of Kawasaki (259) BMW (237), Honda (138), Suzuki (122) and Ducati (96).


2013 starts off with the best of omens for Aprilia: the RSV4 Superbike version, 2010 and 2012 world champion (Manufacturer title and Rider title), is in command of the world SBK rankings after the third round with French rider Sylvain Guintoli, team mate Eugene Laverty – race winner last weekend at Assen – in second place and Aprilia out front in the Manufacturer standings with a wide margin over BMW, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki and Ducati.
In the meantime, the production flagship – the RSV4 Factory ABS of which the World Superbike version is a close derivative – débuts with a win in the comparative test for 1000 cc street sport bikes conducted by "Motociclismo" magazine.
This is confirmation of the clear victory achieved last year in the 2012 comparison don by the same Italian magazine and it highlights once again the extraordinary quality of a project which proves to be unbeatable year after year in terms of far-sightedness and construction brilliance, longevity and efficiency on the track. This is a peremptory success that joins the victories achieved last season when the Aprilia RSV4 Factory won all of the comparisons conducted by the most authoritative publications in the sector in every corner of the globe, on different tracks, with different riders and tyres.


  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
  • Aprilia RSV4
“It's difficult not to fall in love with this bike”, was the final word from Motociclismo. And the comments from the riders who took turns astride the RSV4 were just as positive.
"It has a stratospheric chassis. It's exceptional going into turns"Incredible! It lets you accelerate where you wouldn't even dream of doing so with others, "An incredibly fine tuned electronics package", were just some of the statements made by the testers at the end of the day.
This year the important Motociclismo appointment was held on two circuits with very different characteristics: on the 3,450 metres of the shorter San Martino del Lago track (Cremona) and on the 4,226 metres of the more racy Misano Adriatico track, the backdrop for epic World Superbike and MotoGP battles, with the goal of putting the bikes through their paces on truly different track in order to get a taste of their respective abilities to adapt. The challenge included the best representatives of the category in terms of performance and technology, the four dream bikes in the over €20,000 range: Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS, BMW Hp4, Ducati 1199 Panigale R and MV Agusta F4RR, naturally all in standard configuration and fitted with identical Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tyres.
Ilario Dionisi, the rider entrusted with the timed session, made his best lap on the Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS both at San Martino del Lago with 1'28"90, almost a full second faster than the BMW Hp4, and at Misano Adriatico, lapping in 1'42"73. The thirty year old, two-time Italian Supersport champion said: “The Aprilia RSV4 Factory ABS is the fastest in turns". This statement is an excellent description of the qualities of the exceptional superbike, even more powerful, fast and safe in the 2013 version, which boasts increased power to 184 HP, a new chassis set up, an already extraordinary and now further refined APRC electronics system and a brand new, revamped braking system, equipped with an advanced ABS system with 3 selectable maps (all approved for street use as well) which can be deactivated.
This is an ultra refined package which – the tester found – translates into unique dynamic capabilities: "It has a V4 which is just as smooth as it is full of torque that lets you get on the gas straight away. As if this isn't enough it has ultra refined electronics which, from the time you're leaned over and open up the throttle, to the time when you're fully upright in the straight stretch, helps you to lay down the most HP the tyre can manage on the asphalt, in other words, launching you out of turns like a bullet".
The chassis characteristics and the engine, the applied electronics systems and the excellent overall balance, each a unique element of its kind, make all the difference. The Aprilia RSV4 boasts typical technical content which was once exclusive to racing bikes, including the possibility of adjusting the chassis. This is the only bike that lets you adjust the headstock inclination and the rear height, the swingarm pivot and the position of the refined 65° four cylinder V engine in the frame, so you can find optimum balance based on the track and rider preferences. The feather in the cap for this unbeatable superbike consists in the complete and advanced APRC electronics package, further advanced on the 2013 version of the Aprilia RSV4: Ride by Wire multimap and electronic gearbox in addition to launch control, anti-wheelie, traction control and ABS, all adjustable.


Spring has finally come. It's time to dig out your helmets and jackets and get your motorbike out of the garage. Get onto the saddle and set off for new sights, enjoying new surroundings and making new friends. But how do you go about choosing your destination? One sure place is the website for true Moto Guzzi enthusiasts: www.motoguzziworldclub.it
The site provides news about events and motorcycle rallies in Italy, Europe and overseas – wonderful ideas for week-ends or holidays. The international community of Moto Guzzi enthusiasts is enormous. From the Moto Guzzi world club site you can access direct links to dozens and dozens of clubs scattered all over the world, from Denmark to New Zealand – a wealth of worldwide events just a simple click away (www.motoguzzi-events.guzzi-days.net). Upcoming gatherings in the Moto Guzzi World Club calendar (list in photogallery) include events in Spain and Poland, and many others right across Italy, including some Moto Guzzi globetrotter favourites.

On the road

From Alaska to Patagonia on board a Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX


  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
  • Viaggi
Photo with MG Stelvio: Gianni Reinaudo & Gisella Montabone

From the Arctic Polar Circle to Patagonia: 24,000 km and 39 days of travelling on board the tireless and entirely reliable Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, crossing 14 countries: Alaska Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina. From polar cold to the sweltering heat of Mexico; from Peruvian and Chilean deserts, to the snow of the Andean passes and the ice and wind of Patagonia. Zero problems, 100% adventure!

Peru Desert: The Nazca Lines from an airplane
The trip’s main data
Total distance covered:
24,000 km

Total time:
39 days (5 days spent between Panama and Quito to ship the bike)

Days in the saddle:

Highest road:
3,480 metres above sea level (Ecuador)

Highest temperature:
48° C (Mexico)

Lowest temperature:
- 4° C (Patagonia)

Average daily distance on the bike:
706 km

400 Km (with an additional Stucchi tank)

Total weight on departure:
554 kg

Sets of new tyres and services:
2; 1st change at Tucson (USA), 2nd change at La Serena (Chile)

Kg of oil needed for topping up:
0 Kg (ZERO!)

Litres of petrol consumed:

2 (the most expensive: 80 dollars)