My Monza is getting older and I would definitely like a new bike. Jimmy and I were invited to the opening of the Guzzi dealership in Johannesburg. They had the full range of bikes on the floor. During the evening I spotted a couple of bikes that might fit the bill, but the shop was packed with people and no chance to have a closer look at what they had to offer.
Not to be put off we were back at the dealer at the first opportunity. I looked at the new EV, that's right I just looked, I would never be able to handle a bike of that size, being vertically challenged, my choice was very limited. The only two bikes that took my fancy and looked as though they might fit my requirements were the Sport Special and the Jackal.
The Sport Special was ideal, the right height and balance, but when I climbed aboard, the bike was too wide, the side covers just stuck out a bit too much, the wider the bike the less the height, cross the Sport Special off the list, very disappointing.
The Jackal was a bit higher than the Sport, but I'm sure I could get used to the height increase, the Jackal was not as wide as the Sport, this could definitely be my next bike. I tried to lift the bike off the side stand and found that the shape of the bars made it extremely difficult, if not impossible, so scratch the Jackal off the list.
The Moto Guzzi 750cc Nevada was out of the question, I did not like the chopper look and it was a bit on the tall side.
Would I ever get something that I really liked and could handle without any problems, the prospect seemed to be getting further and further away.
Then, out of the mist rose the Ippogrifo, this would certainly be the ideal bike, everything about it was perfect for me, size, height, and styling. Then the Ippogrifo project was cancelled, what now. [Ed Note: I remember a few years back when the 650cc Ippogrifo was rumored and I even have a nice factory brochure. I knew a few people that were licking their chops and willing to stand in long lines to buy that one. It was so pretty too. -FW]
It was a matter of waiting to see if Moto Guzzi would come to light with something smaller than their normal run of the mill big bikes, of course being a Guzzi nut, nothing else would do.
The Aprilia take over occurred, whispers of a small block in the pipeline, must not get my hopes up too much, but where there's smoke there must be a small fire, even if its just something smouldering.
A picture appeared in one of the bike magazines, apparently a picture that was taken in secret and could not be verified as authentic, but time would tell.
Then came the Bike Show in Germany, lo and behold a 750 was going into production, by the photographs taken at the show this was a beautiful looking bike and maybe the right size, maybe this time.
The Breva went into production and the reports started coming out by those fortunate souls that rode them and saw them in the flesh.
Jimmy contacted those that had ridden them and all the reports back were positive, the bike was low especially if it was fitted with the low seat, it handled like a bicycle, all feedback very positive.
Luigi Riva the MGNOC Italian representative did a factory tour and a test ride on the Breva, also with positive results. This felt like the bike for me.
One day we received a slip from the post office to collect an envelope from the counter, it was too large to deliver, it was from Italy. On opening it, it was a brochure from Luigi, mille gracia Luigi, on the Breva, Luigi mentioned in his letter that it may help me to decide, little did he know this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I had to have one!
The deciding factor was the Breva Rosso, a magnificent colour.
Things are progressing, we are in the process of securing an Italian connection to ship to South Africa, we are thinking of the dealer that Jimmy got his Centauro from, he supplied service second to none, without any problems, so we will support him if he can deliver the goods.
Before we can proceed with anything we have to be in possession of an Import Permit, an application has been submitted and depending on the outcome of the application, will decide what happens next.
The importer here has asked Jimmy to help in selling the bikes that were brought into the country, this does not bode well for Guzzi in South Africa, but fortunately there are still enthusiasts here so it will be a long time before "Eagles" are declared an endangered species in South Africa.
I will keep you all updated in the next episode of this adventure.
To be continued...