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 Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story

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algebr
Carlotto
Carlotto
algebr

Posts : 31
Join date : 2018-04-29
Age : 29

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PostSubject: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:52 pm

I've posted here but first time in this 'who you is' division.

This is me recently at Stanford dropping girlfriend off for a conference, I write software and now I'm learning, playing with electronics, math and robots - I want to do self-driving cars/trucks.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Its a 2017 and I got it for a good price from a dealer a bit north of San Francisco.

My first encounter with a motorcycle was getting a ride from the back of a harley from my aunt's then boyfriend, now husband - he was ex-hell's angels - some pretty good stories of chasing cars down on harleys in the 70s in south brooklyn. Anyway at that time I was like 12 or 13, then got to ride some 3 speed dirtbikes in mud when I got off the harley with Eddie. Then I instantly fell in love with motorcycles.

I didn't touch motorcycles not once or even think about them until I got to freshman year of university, then for whatever reason, I wanted a motorcycle; I guess it might have been the real freedom to be able to do that. I found a Chinese motorcycle, somehow, and ordered it over the phone for I think $1500. It literally came in a crate off the back of a trailer, I had no idea what to do. Actually my roommate was familiar with motorcycles, he never graduated college, very blue collar and he knew bikes. He assembled the main parts that needed, not too much. Some stuff was left and I tried doing it myself but the manual was really shitty photocopied paper of Chinese instructions with no translations.  One of the wires they included was too short for the battery, the battery which I didn't really understand about until I tipped it over and spilled on my jeans haha.

Anyway, after getting the bike up and running, I hopped on and figured out how to ride based off what I read on wikipedia and what my roommate told me; youtube didn't blow up yet. Near the house was a cul-de-sac, which of course I wasn't able to do right as it was autumn and the leaves were plenty - this is east coast, USA. I lost traction, fell and that was a first lesson. I rode that bike until getting an itch for a serious bike, so I bought the SFV650, worse known as the suzuki gladius. I read awesome reviews of the SV650 and figured that the 3rd generation would be even better, but that was a mistake in hindsight but not in the big picture of things because that bike was a great bike qua bike, styling held aside. At 19, I rode that bike on a 2400 mile distance for free concert tickets and when I made it to Atlantic City I smelled like cat piss from being wet of all those downpours I got caught in...but hey, concert tickets. On the way back, I got a flat tire in North Carolina which of course no one has a Japanese tire for; this is Harley country and its Monday - aka day off. Eventually I had to sell both bikes, the Chinese one got a seized piston, it was a single cylinder and seized while I was riding home. Lots of people in pickup trucks laughed or honked at me as I was pushing my busted bike back home on the sidewalk, holding in the clutch. Someone bought it from me for $500, also had to sell the suzuki for tuition money.

It was a few more years before I had a motorcycle, eventually picking something up again in Manhattan off of craigslist, an older Honda cruiser. Was fun to ride that for a bike but NYC riding was not that great, bike didn't excite me and we parted.

Few more years past of no bike encounter at all but always thinking, 'man i need to get a bike' and my friends hearing it thinking it just a phrase. Finally got a decent amount of life in order, so about 1.5 years ago I got a 2002 BMW 1150R, that was a great, great bike. I really enjoyed it, price was just $1500, but it still didn't fit right, like it didn't remind me of the awesome feeling the suzuki in my early college years reminded me off; it didn't take off with an awesome v-twin rubble and wasn't the most nimble thing. I got fortunate in finding work again and finally wanted something that was exciting, like how my suzuki felt.

I didn't know anything about moto guzzi but I found out about the Stornello and really loved what people wrote about it, how it looked. I rode out 2 hours for a Moto Guzzi dealership and got to see it, it definetely aced the looks department, really gorgeous but then I test rode it and couldn't have been more disappointed; the gearbox was so sloppy and the engine so weak, it just didn't take off...mostly humming forward. I was really disappointed and while I initially only wanted to spend like $6k, I knew that if something impressed me then, meh fuck it I want it.

I saw the GRiSO right next to the Stornello and even before test rode it said I wanted to test ride that as well, it just caught my eye so quickly. Initially dealer didn't want to let me, I'm not a built guy and its not a beginner bike, but he saw I came in the 1150R so the test ride proceeded. This bike just really blew me away and immediately reminded me of the feeling of a motorcycle I had when I was 19, about 8 years prior to that point. I love the fit and finish the of the bike, the feeling of the the production quality in the bike chilled me out about getting an Italian machine, which I came in thinking would be electrical/mechanical nightmare cause I heard about guys spending lots on Ducatti maintenance + watched some documentaries about Italian industry of 20th century.

Showroom didn't have any other competitor for me that stood out, other than a dark green BMW R nineT. That was a bit more than I wanted to spend and anyway someone bought it, it was just waiting to be rolled off. In hindsight and if I was buying a motorcycle again, I would have looked at more bikes but also being real with myself, I would have still ended up with the GRiSO. I mean, this bike is so unique and excels in everything I love; its raw engineering, raw bike, modern in all the places that matter. To me, the GRiSO is the purest expression of a motorcycle. (yep got the Beetle map too, what an improvement as well!)

At about 800 miles, I got into an accident on the GRiSO after uber driver jumped out across two lanes of otherwise bumper to bumper traffic in opposite direction; of course they drove off...San Francisco is not easy to ride in, NYC wasn't either but SF got its own annoyances to say the least but being here has really upped my game and the hills are so fun. In any case, I always wear gear and thankfully the damage to me wasn't too bad, the GRiSO did well too. I rode home on the GRiSO and, this being San Francisco, had to get a tetanus shot the next day. The GRiSO was repaired, not too much serious damage, you can see some scraps on the CARC, the oil cooler, valve cover but bike did so well that I respect Italian engineering even more now, in fact I think the GRiSO is my favorite piece of engineering, followed by my nintendo switch, then the macbook pro. So now I'm at 1600 miles now and really loving the bike more and more, especially as I finally invested in real, name brand dainese gear (The local SF cycle gear is run by honest people who price match and explain things well) and been investing in the bike. My hepco softbags are just perfect and I really benefited from the advice given here, so appreciate that; asv shorty red levers also coming soon, so will be excited to put that on.

My post turned into a story but I wanted to share with you a story which none of my friends care about because none of them ever liked motorcycles and no one in my family has either, besides the aunt's boyfriend->husband. Some of my friends even have girlfriends who squash any idea of motorcycles and they go along with it immediately. The risk factor of motorcycles has been so ingrained in my generation, I'm 29, that so many got the message and simply won't even consider a bike the way that some kids got the message - Stop Smoking. I feel sad about that because that means the motorcycle market will shrink, if it hasn't already - I don't know the stats and I don't know/don't watch racing either.

So that's my motorcycle story and what I like about the GRiSO, I hope you enjoyed it.
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Griso Lad
Carlotto
Carlotto
Griso Lad

Posts : 42
Join date : 2019-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:49 pm

Hello mate,

I’m new to the forum myself.Good story & a beautiful bike,I have the 2017 GRiSO in red.There’s definitely something about the GRiSO that hooks you.The bike is a stand along bike visually,every weekend when I go riding to various locations people are always asking about the bike & telling me how incredible it looks,even those who don’t ride.I’ve ridden better bikes in my time,mainly triumph street triples,but even with some of it’s odd characteristics in the handling department it is by far the best motorbike I’ve ever owned.My passion for my GRiSO grows every time I ride it.The bike gets a full clean without fail every week & it’s not uncommon for me to make a coffee & walk around looking at the bike grinning like an idiot.

On the first Wednesday of every month the Moto Guzzi Club of Victoria meets at the same pub they have attended for the past 70 years.Some of the old Guzzi’s are in magnificent condition,especially the Le Mans Guzzi’s.They hold ride days on a regular basis & will sometimes put there bikes into shipping containers & do tours overseas.I’m yet to do any overseas rally’s although in the near future I will be going on one.

Moto Guzzi’s are not a common site in Australia,but the passion of Guzzi owners will rival anybody’s in the world.Moto Guzzi owners are a different breed in my part of the world.I guess it would be a safe assumption that Guzzi’s are not a common site in the United States.

Are you a member of any Motor Guzzi club?

Safe riding.
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Richard
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
Richard

Posts : 393
Join date : 2018-10-04
Age : 56

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:41 am

@algbr: Nice story and presentation. Enjoy your GRiSO and drive safe  Thumbs Up

@GRiSO Lad: What a coincidence, we have the same type of monthly meeting here too. Does the Italian quarter still exist in Melbourne ? Was it named Carlton ?
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Griso Lad
Carlotto
Carlotto
Griso Lad

Posts : 42
Join date : 2019-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:35 am

@Richard_HdS

Hi Mate,

The Leinster Arms was Moto Guzzi club,Victoria’s home for seventy years.As I’ve been working flat out over the past four months I have not been attending the get togethers once a month.Tonight was the first time I attended in a while.To my surprise when I arrived there was not a bike to be seen anywhere.I made a phone call & was told they have moved to the “Brandon Hotel”in Carlton,a move that happened quite some time ago.The Leinster Arms is being sold which is a real shame,it was a great pub.The photo is the old meeting place for the Victorian Moto Guzzi Club.I pulled the photo from the pubs website.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Last edited by Griso Lad on Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Griso Lad
Carlotto
Carlotto
Griso Lad

Posts : 42
Join date : 2019-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:36 am

Sorry about all the photos,my bad.I did’nt think it was working.
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Bill Hagan
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
Bill Hagan

Posts : 1191
Join date : 2014-07-03

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:08 am

To the OP: Thanks for posting that.  Brings back memories of youth.  Not all, mind you, and that's a good thing.  Nice GRiSO, but aren't they all.  

It's also reassuring to know that someone who understand motorcycles is involved in the design of autonomous vehicles.

I'll overlook your Stornello snubbing.  I have both GRiSO and a Stornello, and love 'em both.  There are benefits to having a moto-harem; some days one just has more energy than others.  Wink

And, GRiSO Lad.  Somehow I feel as if I've known the Leinster Arms all my life.  cheers jocolor

Bst,

Bill
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sidrat
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
sidrat

Posts : 1657
Join date : 2014-09-22

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:11 am

You can go back and delete them :-)
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sidrat
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
sidrat

Posts : 1657
Join date : 2014-09-22

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:12 am

Welcome aboard, lovely GRiSO (aren't they all!) great story too, can't tell mine, i would have to write a book!
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Richard
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
Richard

Posts : 393
Join date : 2018-10-04
Age : 56

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:42 am

What a pity  Sad Do you know why the pub is for sale ?
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usedtobefast
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
usedtobefast

Posts : 165
Join date : 2018-08-28

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:38 am

Great story! Thanks for that, good read with my morning coffee. Smile

I'm in the South Bay, doesn't seem to be any Moto Guzzi clubs/pubs/cabals/etc around here.

I also have the "black devil" GRiSO, wonderful bike.
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Stromgriso
GRiSO Capo
GRiSO Capo
Stromgriso

Posts : 78
Join date : 2018-11-25

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:17 am

Hi algebr, Thanks for sharing the story! I think our individual motorcycle experiences that brought us here connect us all.  Especially the visceral experience of riding a GRiSO! Red 2016 owner here.  Welcome and thanks again!
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Griso Lad
Carlotto
Carlotto
Griso Lad

Posts : 42
Join date : 2019-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:33 am

Hello again,

@Bill Hagen
It was a great place to meet.The Leinster Arms ticked all the boxes.Good location,Great food,Excellent beverages & a friendly atmosphere.

Cheers
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Griso Lad
Carlotto
Carlotto
Griso Lad

Posts : 42
Join date : 2019-03-02

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:47 am

@Richard_HdS

Hello,

I don’t know why the pub is up for sale.In the next two weeks I will be going for a ride with one of the club members who is up to speed with what’s going on.I can only hope that developers have not purchased it as they have little respect for history & will probably demolish it,only to replace the pub with some bland looking apartments.

Carlton is still very much Italian & one of Melbourne’s cultural icons.The Brandon hotel in Carlton is now the clubs meeting place.

I’m hoping someone will take over the Leinster Arms & continue to run it as a pub.Seventy years history between the Moto Guzzi club & pub can then continue with just a brief interruption.

Cheers.
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TimC
Squinternotto
Squinternotto
TimC

Posts : 7
Join date : 2014-04-21
Age : 68

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:45 am

Great story....Similar to my history that started back in 1968...I became a Guzzisti in 1970, with an Ambassador that was huge jump from the string of Japanese bikes I'd owned....
You well describe the GRiSO...I, too, love the elemental feeling.....minimal technology...just enough to satisfy me, anyway, being old school. I have an Ambassador exactly like my first Guzzi, and a Tenni GRiSO...I wanted to be unique in a unique marque...
Can't beat California for riding....I grew up down in Felton...had both grandmas in the City...so many great roads all around there...
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optimummalarky
Squinternotto
Squinternotto
optimummalarky

Posts : 7
Join date : 2018-04-28

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:39 pm

2012 Tenni GRiSO 8v here, located in Morgan Hill! I never see other Grisos on the road, but I get compliments and questions EVERY single time I take the bike out. Thanks for sharing your story; maybe I'll see you on the twisties of SF Bay Area some time!
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markgalli
Squinternotto
Squinternotto
markgalli

Posts : 2
Join date : 2017-07-10

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:00 pm

GRiSO Lad wrote:
@Richard_HdS

Hello,

I don’t know why the pub is up for sale.In the next two weeks I will be going for a ride with one of the club members who is up to speed with what’s going on.I can only hope that developers have not purchased it as they have little respect for history & will probably demolish it,only to replace the pub with some bland looking apartments.

Carlton is still very much Italian & one of Melbourne’s cultural icons.The Brandon hotel in Carlton is now the clubs meeting place.

I’m hoping someone will take over the Leinster Arms & continue to run it as a pub.Seventy years history between the Moto Guzzi club & pub can then continue with just a brief interruption.

Cheers.

Gday mate just to advise were now meeting at the Terminus Hotel in Queen St North Fitzroy. The Brandon turned out to be unsuitable. Unfriendly publican and noisy meeting space.
The Leinster has reopened, no sign of the wrecking ball just yet. Maybe the Club will revisit. BTW the Club was established in 1981 so thats 38 years not 70.
cheers
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GuZeee
Tiradritto
Tiradritto
GuZeee

Posts : 335
Join date : 2017-08-03

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Mon May 06, 2019 10:00 pm

optimummalarky wrote:
2012 Tenni GRiSO 8v here, located in Morgan Hill!  I never see other Grisos on the road, but I get compliments and questions EVERY single time I take the bike out.  Thanks for sharing your story; maybe I'll see you on the twisties of SF Bay Area some time!

Morgan Hill? And you’ve never seen me in my black GRiSO whipping up Uvas Road on the weekend? Smile

I’m in Gilroy! Just a few short miles down the road.

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Steak
L'Innominato
L'Innominato
Steak

Posts : 2461
Join date : 2013-05-28
Age : 54

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story   Hello from San Francisco - turned into my motorcycling story Icon_minitime1Tue May 07, 2019 6:07 pm

Welcome to the ghetto!

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

2012 MOTO GUZZI GRiSO 1200SE

2013 MOTO GUZZI STELVIO 1200NTX - Orange Blossom Special
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