Moto Guzzi, Not Morgan

P1100500 WP

We rolled into the asphalt parking lot, parked on the north end of the front line with the other bikes along the edge of the road, then shut the rumbling v-twin engines down. I peered downhill through the mountain air through the riot of color and chrome, and  spotted a large patch of yellow.

I turned to the guys and said, “Is that a Morgan?”

“Looks like it.” Tim said.

“I haven’t seen one before.”

“Me either.” Grimm said. “Just pictures of them.”

I pulled the camera from a saddlebag and moved toward the yellow. The maybe-Morgan three-wheeler was parked in the front row of motorcycles on the south side of a tree surrounded by asphalt. I walked around the tree on the road side to get a first glimpse of the v-twin engine mounted sideways on the front of the sports car-like body.

At first glance, something didn’t look quite right. The engine was mounted sideways alright, but something was different than what I expected to see on the Morgan.

A few steps closer to a ninety degree view of the front of the trike, the something-not-quite-right became clear. The engine was a Moto Guzzi.

I captured a few digital frames, then wandered off to look at the two-wheel motorcycles in the lot. The trikes are classified as motorcycles, not cars, by the People’s Republic of California, despite being more akin to automobiles than motorcycles. And just to make that official insanity obvious, motorcycles with sidecars attached are classified as cars. Never underestimate the boneheadedness of large institutions such as state governments.

Twenty minutes later, the driver and passenger of the Moto Guzzi began suiting up to take the trike up the mountain on Highway 2, the Angeles Crest Highway. A handful of motorcyclists gathered around to watch the departure. As I took a frame of the dashboard with the digital (a frame that didn’t come out due to my inability to quickly adjust for the angle of sunlight hitting the sensor combined with the reflection off the dash – a problem I would not have had with my main film camera), someone behind me asked, “What size is the engine?”

The driver settled into his seat and started the engine. ” It’s a thousand CCs.” He said, then drove onto the road.

A 1,000 cc engine seems a bit under powered to me, but I won’t make a final judgement on that until I have a chance to  drive one of the trike kit Moto Guzzis. The power is likely to be a moot concern, particularly since the vehicle might be all about handling…