2018 Fes­ti­val of Ital­ian Mo­tor­cy­cles

The an­nual Fes­ti­val of Ital­ian Mo­tor­cy­cles was held in the Pi­azza Italia just off Ly­gon St, Carl­ton.

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT - Re­port and pho­tos Russ Mur­ray

Un­like some pre­vi­ous years, Mel­bourne turned on a mag­nif­i­cent spring day, re­flected in the num­ber of bikes and spec­ta­tors who at­tended. There were the regulars, those who were re­turn­ing af­ter a short ab­sence, and a num­ber of bikes mak­ing their first ap­pear­ance. Amongst these were three clas­sic MV Agus­tas. A well re­stored 150 GT from the fifties, a 50cc Lib­erty sport and the 83kg, 83cc Ot­tan­ta­tre which is 83 in Ital­ian. The gold & bur­gundy colour scheme of the Ot­tan­ta­tre was a fac­tory op­tion. An­other clas­sic MV on dis­play was the rel­a­tively rare scram­bler. An­other bike mak­ing its first ap­pear­ance was the 5-speed Mo­tobi Im­pe­ri­ale Sport with its ‘egg shell’ shaped en­gine. The MVs and Mo­tobi weren’t the only small ca­pac­ity Ital­ians on show. A cou­ple of Gil­eras and a small ca­pac­ity Laverda promi­nently parked. There were the usual 750cc and 1000cc Laver­das in­clud­ing the DAM race bike but also a cou­ple of the now de­sir­able Laver­das from the ‘nineties in the shape of a 668 and 750S. Moto Morini was rep­re­sented by the 350 Sport, 350 GT and the 500cc Camel which might be con­sid­ered Morini’s foray into ad­ven­ture bik­ing be­fore ad­ven­ture bik­ing ex­isted. As well as some mod­ern April­ias there was a 250cc 2 stroke on dis­play which was once the bike of choice for many a boy racer. As might be ex­pected, Du­cati and Moto Guzzi were there in force with the Du­catis al­lo­cated to the street ad­ja­cent to the pi­azza, some­thing which was in­tro­duced the pre­vi­ous year as the pi­azza was too small to cater for all the bikes on show. The Du­catis ranged from sin­gles from the ‘six­ties right through the var­i­ous eras to the mod­ern bikes of to­day. Amongst the bikes were Sports, GTs and SSs from the ‘sev­en­ties in­clud­ing an SS with clear coated car­bon body work. The ‘eight­ies had a very tidy 750 Sport along with a num­ber of 851/888s which were the pre­cur­sor to the 916 era of Du­cati su­per­bikes. Moto Guzzi had a sim­i­lar ar­ray of bikes span­ning the decades in­clud­ing a few Mk I Le Mans, a bike which is hard to come by.

Whilst the bikes are the cen­tre of at­ten­tion, the Fes­ti­val is also an op­por­tu­nity to catch up with friends, some­thing which can be a lit­tle dis­tract­ing when try­ing to view, and in my case, pho­to­graph, all the bikes. Fi­nally, be­ing Re­mem­brance Day, Jeff Jack­son from ANZAC House re­minded all present of those who had served and the sac­ri­fices made so we could en­joy the life we have to­day be­fore a minute’s si­lence was ob­served at 11.00 am.

ABOVE LEFT Some­thing you don’t see ev­ery day, a Mo­tobi Im­pe­ri­ale. ABOVE RIGHT Clas­sic lines in this lit­tle Laverda 100 Sport from 1958. Teo Lamers’ pre-war Moto Guzzi Fal­cone. The bike! Look at the bike! Petrol tank of the MV Agusta Ot­tana­tre dis­play­ing con­quests.

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