The ul­ti­mate clas­sic and vin­tage bike track day

The 16th ASI Mo­to­show was a well-sea­soned Ital­ian cheese­board of clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cling

Classic Bike (UK) - - Contents - WORDS & PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: PHILLIP TOOTH

With over 700 mo­tor­cy­cles on the track at the ASI Mo­to­show, there was more va­ri­ety than top­pings on a Reggio Emilia pizza. But if you’ve never been to the Au­to­drome di Varano be­fore, noth­ing would pre­pare you for the feast in store.

If your palate prefers early vin­tage ma­chin­ery, there were Peu­geot and Grif­fon sin­gles from the dawn of mo­tor­cy­cling, but if spicy pep­per­oni is more your style, how about the 1938 su­per­charged four-cylin­der 500cc Bianchi that was mak­ing a rare ap­pear­ance from a pri­vate col­lec­tion or an ex-loris Capriossi Du­cati Des­mosedici Mo­togp racer?

As usual, some of the great­est rid­ers in the world joined the party in­clud­ing Gi­a­como Agos­tini, Fred­die Spencer and Carlo Ub­biali. “I’m too old to ride to­day,” laughs Carlo, who was born in 1929 and won the first of his world cham­pi­onships for Mon­dial in 1951 be­fore mov­ing to MV Agusta, where he racked up an­other nine ti­tles in the 125 and 250cc classes. Known as ‘La Volpe’ (The Fox) for his cun­ning race strat­egy, Carlo re­laxed in the shade of the pad­dock, en­joy­ing catch­ing up with friends and re­liv­ing the glory days.

Reg­u­lars Peter Egloff and his brother Bruno were there with their equipe of Swiss-made rac­ers, with Bruno rid­ing a Mo­to­sacoche and Peter on a hand­some Con­dor D50. “We have to come back ev­ery year,” says Peter. “It’s not just the track and all the dif­fer­ent mo­tor­cy­cles that we see here. It’s the peo­ple. We’ve made so many friends. There’s al­ways a great wel­come!”

In­stead of choos­ing pizza top­pings why not pick the bike you’d like to take home? A red Guzzi sin­gle? An MV Triple loud enough to melt the wax in your ears? A weird but won­der­ful front-wheel-drive Me­gola or Ago’s Yamaha TZ? As usual at ASI, we were spoilt for choice.


MV triple: If you need ear de­fend­ers, you’re nowhere near ma­cho enough... 3 Trans­la­tion of leg­end on lid: ‘As long as you see me alive’ 4 No self-re­spect­ing Ital­ian show would be com­plete with­out Ago, this time on a Yamaha TZ750 5 Alessan­dro Men­gozzie...

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