Guzzi guys are nothing if not resourceful. They have to be, given the almost complete lack of aftermarket support for their chosen brand. Want a luggage rack for your Le Mans? Head down to Home Depot for some PVC pipe and plywood. Floorboards for your California EV cruiser? Maybe cousin Earl can weld you up a set. A big-bore kit for your Griso? Some Pontiac pistons might fit with a little work.
One group of Italian Guzzisti, Mandello Racing (www.mandelloracing.com), has taken this home-brewing philosophy even further in their quest to build the ultimate Moto Guzzi racebike. Not content with the standard pushrod two-valve cylinder heads, the Mandello mob contracted Italian tuning specialists G&G2 (www.gg2.it) to fabricate a pair of very sophisticated four-valve, DOHC heads driven by Kevlar belts. They also rotated the intake tracts 90 degrees to create a true downdraft induction system, and increased the bore to a woodchuck hole-sized 98mm to bump displacement to 1176cc. Built on a mostly stock bottom end, the modernized mill now produces a whopping 151 bhp at the rear wheel.
The MAS12 project has been anything but an overnight endeavor. Engine development began way back in 1994, and the machine was raced in the Italian Supertwins series in '97 and '98. Incremental improvements followed and the bike, now sporting bodywork from Moto Guzzi's MGS-01 prototype, was campaigned again during '05 and '06. The MAS12 was last seen for sale on eBay late last year, leaving hardcore Guzzi fans hopeful that the Mandello Racing crew might be at work on a new project-this time perhaps based on the more recent four-valve, 1151cc version of the venerable V-twin. That would certainly beat a plywood luggage rack.