1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
This 1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado has been my main long distance bike since 2007. I bought it with 37,500 miles on the clock and this year (2019) it turned over 100,000 miles while I was on a trip to the Yukon. Recently refreshed with new cylinders and pistons and a rebuilt gearbox, she is ready for many more miles. There is something inexplicably wonderful about these bikes. In my opinion they are the ultimate usable classic.
1974 Moto Guzzi 750s
I bought this 1974 Moto Guzzi 750s in 2014 as a non-runner, quickly discovering that although it had sat unused for a long time, it wasn't going to take much to get it back on the road. It is smooth and powerful, and comfortable to ride as long as you have long arms and short legs - which I don't. Nevertheless, I have ridden it on some long trips and still been able to walk afterwards.
1976 Moto Guzzi Convert V1000
People often describe experience of riding the Convert as like being on a magic carpet. It truly is an odd yet engaging experience. Ignore the two-speed gearbox. Leave it in 'top' and let the Sachs torque converter whisk you from zero to cruising speed in a single, seamless flow of power. It's not the fastest bike on the road but it will hum along effortlessly all day in silky comfort. I bought this bike because I'd always been curious. I'm glad I did. It has become precious to me.
2000 Moto Guzzi Quota 1100es
Moto Guzzi seem to delight in producing odd motorbikes and the Quota falls deeply into that category. Long before the current infatuation with ADV bikes, the Quota came with a skinny 21 inch front wheel, long travel suspension, wide handlebars, a massive, robust frame and an 1100cc engine tuned for torque. This is my 'modern' bike. It has simple fuel injection and electronic ignition, and compared to the others it's a bit sophisticated and complex, but it works well and is a pleasant way to eat up highway miles. Of all my bikes this is the one most suited to long distance touring. I find more adventure riding the older bikes, so this one is used mainly for work trips and for when I'm not in the mood for roadside stops.
1960 Panther M120
When I was a teenager I had two Panther motorbikes. At the time these 600cc (M100) and 650cc (M120) single cylinder sloggers were available second-hand at give-away prices. They were usually found attached to colossal family sidecars and were the classic working-man's bike. As cheap, small cars like the BMC Mini became available, nobody wanted bikes like this anymore so they ended up in the indelicate hands of impoverished teenagers and students. Almost 50 years later I acquired this one from a friend. At the moment it has an 'over-oiling' problem which is keeping it off the road. I hope to get the issue resolved this winter so that I can have a few adventures on it in the spring. It is surprisingly lovely to ride. The handling is adequate, the brakes are acceptable, but the throb of that big, lazy, single cylinder is completely addictive.