There’s precious few motorcycles that manage to make it all the way to the top. And I’m not talking about the top of sales, races or popular culture. I’m talking about bikes that obtain something altogether more legendary. Bikes that are spoken about in hushed tones. Bikes that they build museums to house. The bikes that changed motorcycling. Burt Munroe’s Indian was one. The Brough Superior is another. And without a shadow of a doubt, Giulio Cesare Carcano’s 1955 Moto Guzzi, aka ‘The Otto’ can take its seat at the table, too. Ahead of its time and earning a reputation as a widow-maker, the bike’s moment in the limelight was to be short-lived. But with this injustice squarely in their sights Amsterdam’s Numbnut Motorcycles, in conjunction with Gannet Design in Switzerland and Vanguard Clothing decided it was time for the legend to make a comeback.
For those of you who missed out on signing up for the 2011 Pipeburn Meat Burn & Burn (it’s this weekend, guys!) or for the rest of you overseas types, we’ve been sending out regular updates on the day to all those who put up their hands. In the last one we mentioned that we’d be riding on dirt for a small part of the day. Cue about 27 frantic questions from some of the attendees sweating bullets about riding their bikes off-road. I duly diffused the panic (hello Mike if you’re reading) and went on my merry way, which on this particular day involved shooting the beautiful Guzzi you see before you. Imagine then the internal chuckles that I enjoyed when I asked the owner of this 250kg (550 lbs) beauty, the super cool and most friendly David Ottesen, how she handled. “Beautifully. I even take her off-road; she’s great fun to ride on the dirt.” Damn straight, brother.