The Man Who Designs Moto Guzzis — /RideApart

The Man Who Designs Moto Guzzis — /RideApart


JAMIE ROBINSON: This week I’m
here with Miguel Galluzzi, motorcycle designer
extraordinaire. And we’re going to
talk bikes past, present, and also future. Welcome to RideApart. [MUSIC PLAYING] JAMIE ROBINSON: Oh,
I’m excited today. We’re here to see
Miguel Galluzzi. Now this gentleman, he’s
responsible for designing the Ducati Monster, the Aprilia
Dorsoduro, the Aprilia RSV4. And now he’s with Moto Guzzi. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Jamie. JAMIE ROBINSON: How are you? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: How are you? JAMIE ROBINSON: Fantastic,
you? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Yeah. JAMIE ROBINSON: Wonderful. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Nice
to see you. JAMIE ROBINSON: And you. You’ve all got beautiful
motorcycles here. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Read to ride. JAMIE ROBINSON: Ready
to ride, eh? All motorcycles should
be ready to ride. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Absolutely. JAMIE ROBINSON: So your love
for motorcycles goes back quite a long way? MIGUEL GALLUZZI:
Oh, in my case? Oh, yeah. A long, long way. I think I was eight and my
brother and I, we are a year apart, so he was born the
25th of October and I was born the 26th. I am older, so there is one day
that we are the same age. So the birthday parties
were the same day. And I was hoping to
get a drum set. Because I wanted to
be a drummer. Instead my uncle gave
us a motorcycle, a 50cc something there. And we were really
disappointed. Because we really
wanted drums. And from that moment on,
we never stopped. My brother still races
bikes in Argentina. And I’m been involved with
bikes since then. We grew up racing in the ’70s. You know, Motocross was
the big thing in ’72, ’73, ’74, until ’78. Then from that moment
on I wanted to design things, to invent. I just finished the military
service in Argentina in the ’70s. And it was doing the
desaparacidos story there. So I was 18, 19, and I said, I
am going to leave this country because it’s a mess. And I went to Florida to study
mechanical engineering there. And then discovered
Art Center. I started reading English and
started understanding a little bit more what’s the
world about. And I discovered this school
and then transferred. And that’s it. JAMIE ROBINSON: What
a journey. So your first experience with
motorcycles really must have touched you deep. Because from there, of not
knowing anything about motorcycles, it became
part of your entire– MIGUEL GALLUZZI: No. The problem– and it was a problem– the day I was born, my father
was racing a motorcycle– four days after, as
I discovered on my last trip to Argentina. For days after I was born he
won a big motorcycle race. Then with that money he could
take me out of the hospital. So this was on November 1,
1959, he won the race. And I was born in a family that
my grandfather used to race motorcycles. Harley Davidsons
in 1916, 1920s. I have some pictures
someplace. But then my father started
bicycling and then motorcycling and then racing. So I was born in this family So
even though I wanted to be a drummer, a musician, I ended
up doing what I was not planning to do. The funny part was, my uncles
and father raced road racing. The new thing in the
’70s was Motocross. So there was a cultural clash. Because they will be road racers
and leather and things. And we will be Motocross,
dirt and whatever. So that was the only part that
we were separated from what they’d been doing for
quite a long time. JAMIE ROBINSON: Dirt biking,
you’re always having fun dirk biking. It’s not quite the
same, is it? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Oh. The good part about Motocross at
that time– and I think it still is like that– is when you gather
with some friends and then you go riding. In our case, we would go to
these areas that you can ride. There was not actually
a track. But we would just ride, maybe a
whole Sunday from morning to night, until you couldn’t
breathe anymore. But it was the fun part of going
and jumping and killing yourself, too. Because you would go
down or whatever. Whatever it is, it was
the fun part of it. JAMIE ROBINSON: And that’s where
you learn skills, as well, on the dirt. And learn how to ride. And it makes it easier
for the road. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Yeah. Especially, especially when
you are falling down. You start understanding that you
can do something and not hit the ground. JAMIE ROBINSON: What is
the message that’s being presented now? Because like you said, it seems
like all of the fun is being taken out of
motorcycling. And motorcycling is one of the
most fun things we can do on the planet. So the message is–? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: But that’s part
of what we have lost in the last 10 years,
maybe, or 15. What I say, is we became too
intelligent for our own sake. We are so smart that we are
doing the wrong stuff. Especially motorcycling, as I
said, look at an advertisement today and it doesn’t
make sense. Even the cover of Cycle World
this month, as I was telling you before, if you see the
amount of plastic that motorcycle has, plastic means
there are some pieces that are covering something else. In the end, do we
need all that? No. Because if you want to commute,
we can get a scooter and [INAUDIBLE] If we have to ride, maybe
travel, where are you’re going to go? Maybe you need another
type of bike. Are you going to go enjoy the
ride, just for the sake of it? You don’t need all that stuff. JAMIE ROBINSON: So how have we
gone from the enjoyment of motorcycling, which we saw there
back in the ’50s and ’60s and even into the ’70s,
to where we are now with plastic-looking motorcycles that
look like they can all do 200 miles an hour? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: How
did we get there? JAMIE ROBINSON: How
did we get there? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Not
understanding what motorcycling all about. JAMIE ROBINSON: And what,
in your opinion, is motorcycling all about? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: It’s
to enjoy the ride. That is the simplest, most idiot
thing to think about. In any condition, because you
can go riding in the desert, you can go riding in the
mountains, you can go riding in the city. You can even commute. And when you commute and you
understand that the streets are not full of cars and there
is a lot of space that is not being used, then you understand
that it’s more fun to commute when you
have two wheels. JAMIE ROBINSON: Are you
trying to get that across in your designs? Bringing back the fun
element, and the– MIGUEL GALLUZZI: To me, as I
always said, in my profession as a designer I always
try to be simple designs that are strong. Because like we were saying with
some friends, there is design and there is
design with soul. Soul lasts forever. This friend of mine yesterday
night got some pictures of Figoni et Falaschi cars
from the ’30s. And there are things that you
see today and your breath is taken away by something that
is 80, 100 years old. And that is good design, because
it lasts forever. What we were saying about the
plastic part of today’s bikes. Plastic is taking the
easy way out. So in the end, these pieces
of plastic right now– and this is something we
discovered with the Guzzi– the side panel there is
aluminum, it costs less than the same part painted
in plastic. JAMIE ROBINSON: But you see,
plastic on motorcycles, for me, only really belonged
on dirt bikes. Because I grew up with the
influence of a father who had British motorcycles in his
garage, a BSA Gold Star and that kind of motorcycle. And I grew up seeing a
motorcycle that was beautiful in design, very simple
in design as well. But everything on there
had a purpose. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: I always
remember the guys who used to design Nortons in the
’40s and ’50s. I read [INAUDIBLE] history that their minds– and these were craftsmen, they
were not designers and engineers, they were people
that were really there with the tape– each piece has to be fast. That’s what I remember
they were thinking. And every part that they would
do has to be fast. JAMIE ROBINSON: I don’t
know how you feel, but your wife rides. And there isn’t that many bikes
that appeal to women, either, are there? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: For example,
one good story, success story about the Monster for Ducati
there was a lot of women got into motorcycling
because of that. And not because it was the
fastest or whatever. The 600 Monster was great,
because as I said before, they could get into the bike and
their two feet were flat on the ground. And that makes a sensation
of yeah, I can do this. JAMIE ROBINSON: And how is it
working with the Italians? Because they’re very passionate
people and you’ve designed some incredible
motorcycles for them. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: My experience,
for example, in 18 years in Cagiva we have
done maybe 400 bikes. Maybe five went in production. But just to keep the mind
working ahead and trying things that maybe
you throw away. But not spending
a lot of money. That’s the point. Maybe we’ll do a new form
and do something that you throw away. And then you go to
something else. That gives you windows
that you open. OK, we’re going to see this. No, no, this doesn’t work,
we’re going to do that. And then you keep on trying
until you find something that is right. JAMIE ROBINSON: That’s
evolution also. Everything is moving forwards. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: But it
works from the gut. It doesn’t work from
specific planning. Specific planning
works sometimes. But it’s more related to
products of big production. JAMIE ROBINSON: And were you
really trying to get a Cafe Racer look from this or did it
just evolve that way when you were putting pen to paper? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: In Guzzi,
the V7 Sport from the ’70s, is an icon. And this didn’t want to be like
that because that was a big bike, big super
bike at that time. Even though it was the
same size as this. That’s what, to me, Guzzi
represented in these kind of bikes. Like [INAUDIBLE],
the [INAUDIBLE] was really an evolution
of the V7. But that was a very simple
and it gets you. When you see it today, even
today, it gets you. Whoa, that’s a nice bike. So trying to get that
inspiration in this motorcycle was one of our considerations. JAMIE ROBINSON: So what
about the future? What about motorcycles in
the future and were are we going to go? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: The
future is bright. Let’s go over there. No, that’s the fun
part, as I said. Because we are thinking
everything, all different parts of what the
future could be. And to me, it goes through the
simple stuff that you can enjoy the ride. It could even be electric,
with an electric batter or whatever. JAMIE ROBINSON: When I ride the
motorcycle, an electric motorcycle, I am actually
totally enjoying the entire experience. Because I’m still riding a
motorcycle, I have handlebars, I am in control. It does what I want it to do. But there’s something missing. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: The noise
is another type of noise. Which is not the noise I like. JAMIE ROBINSON: Not
for me, I feel– MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Or you like. But that’s the change, the
big generational change. I mean, these 20-something
people have grown up with the PlayStation, with
a noise which is not the regular noise. It doesn’t make it
better, or– It’s just like that. So you’re going to still
enjoy the ride. You’re going to still be able to
ride without going into the gas station. And having your bike or whatever
it is that you’re going to have in a
different way. JAMIE ROBINSON: Fancy
going for a ride? MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Yeah, why not? Let’s go. [MUSIC PLAYING] JAMIE ROBINSON: Wow, what
a fascinating day. Hasn’t it been incredible going
into this man’s mind? It’s been a pleasure. MIGUEL GALLUZZI:
Oh, thank you. Thank you for coming. JAMIE ROBINSON: Yeah. It’s been absolutely brilliant
listening to you and really getting the whole concept of
your design and what you feel about motorcycles. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Let’s
do it again. JAMIE ROBINSON: Absolutely. Thanks again. MIGUEL GALLUZZI: Thank
you, Jamie. All the best. JAMIE ROBINSON: And thank
you for the espresso. [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “The Man Who Designs Moto Guzzis — /RideApart

  1. You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Moto Guzzi is known for designing the modern motorcycle frame. Until the Tonti frame, motorcycle frames flexed like wet noodles. The engine is longitudinal, not "sideways." (What does that even mean?) It's the perfect configuration for air cooling and shaft drive, and because it's a 90' V, it has perfect primary balance. But please, keep riding your plasticky GIXXERS and/or Harley FLSTUSHYFS whatever, like the rest of the sheeple.

  2. im using the term "Ruler" as a noun to describe something that this man is. what i mean by ruler is a person who rule's so hard that he is someone who simply rules all the time and everyone around him.

  3. Almost 50% of the Argentine population is of Italian descent, so the passion for a cars and bikes made its way to Argentina too. A lot of great Alfa Romeo racecars were built there, and great drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio hail from Argentina as well.

  4. Love Miguel Galluzzi's garage/office. You could have done a complete episode just looking at all his cool motorcycle memorabilia/stuff. Great interview, one of your best episodes yet!

  5. Galluzzi summed up the problem with the motorcycle industry perfectly. The manufacturers turning out the same bikes in different colors, and the journalists who clap every time. I especially like how he was criticizing the Honda NC700X in the cut-away shots. How could anybody, apart from those magazine zombies, be excited about that bike?

  6. I enjoyed that. Would have been really interesting to have an in-depth interview about some of his previous designs, what was the brief, sketches, initial reactions and thoughts at the time, etc.

  7. Listening to this interview and these two talking about the joys of riding really makes me wish it wasn't December 3 and -14*C outside right now… ugh

  8. Ok so the V7 side panels are aluminium but what's the petrol tank made of? To market the new V7's as replicas of the 1970's V7's is to disparage the heritage of the 1970's V7's. The 2 bikes are like cheese & chalk. The 1970's V7's were superbikes. These new ones only do 98mph. I'm not saying they aren't a good bike but they are completely different type of bike to the classics of the 1970's.

  9. You know I liked his opinion; but I felt it wasn't whole. I own the NC700x that he was pointing out. It's my first motorcycle with enough horse to take the freeway, with built in storage, and awesome mpg and Yes it does turn heads.
    But he's right Metal&Aluminum Exposed- Engine and a tank with nice sexy lines is a hot bike. I wouldn't mind testing one of those Moto-Guzzi's.
    Heck if every bike was mandatory 95% alloy, then they would be a thin alloy like most production cars and scooters.

  10. Nice Vid! Mechanical engineering is where i'm looking for a career, also designing motorcycles, I also got my first bike at around 8 🙂 .

  11. I really enjoy RideApart but can you please get rid of these artsy, super close-cropped shots of random details of the bike. I want to see the whole bike, then maybe a few details!

  12. Well done. Men like Galluzzi don't have to be profound or poetic, they just have to be themselves.

  13. My god. I have owned a motorcycle some number of years ago and I have been subscribed to this channel for years, but I somehow have not seen this video until now. It now seems like I need to own an Aprillia, Moto Guzzi, or Ducatti … but I don't know where to start. What a fantastic interview with Miguel. Jamie did a fantastic interview…. but now I need to add motorcycling back into my life.

  14. A man after my own heart.
    Moto Guzzi had it so close to perfect back in 1977/8,with the Le Mans,
    there were a few nasty little details and of course the electrics were half- crap, but every time they came out with Mks ll, lll, 1000 "4" and  88 "5" they just got worse and unbelievably WORSE, instead of better. Hideous fairings, rubbish handlebar furniture,stupid side panels,seat catches etc.They really buggered the headstock and breather system on the later ones, but no improvements where they mattered.WHO was responsible for all that nonsense? This has been going on for 35 years,  I have given it at least 25 years of thought. Engineering these, & Many other little faults out and achieving perfection, occasionally.
     Working for at least 10 years in the trade,in London, trying to cover the factory`s arse.
     It was often embarrassing, especially with customers who had recently shelled out for a new one, that kept going wrong. (Cali`3, a disaster) A proper PDI might take 16 hours!
    Now we all know that a properly finished Mk l LM (or Cali ll ) style 850, 950 or 1100, with the right modern upgraded parts but the classic lines that we all fell in love with, back then, IS what the world wants. Given that it is still the same old meat with different gravy, coming out of Mandelo. If we never see another V50 clone, no one will care. They are shit!
     But a better `Ducati`or `Gilera` style single could be respectable
     I was really pleased to hear Miguel say all the right things about classic, beautiful designs, that are timeless.Ones that look like the same man did both ends of the bike.
    Gizza job, I know you`ve got one ! 🙂

  15. All the design in the world can't cover limp forks, flaccid shocks, and frustrating engine management systems. THOSE DONE RIGHT are what make a motorcycle fun to ride- just like my 1970's Guzzis. The new ones are just expensive, european hondas. 

  16. I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that the V7 Racer is the best selling model in the Guzzi line.  Moto Guzzi is in the perfect position to capture the resurgence of interest in cafe racer motorcycles, and yet, from this video, I didn't get any sense that the company is even considering product development in that arena.  So many cafe racers are being built from the ground up by specialty shops here in the U.S. (and England, among others), some of which end up costing $20K, $30K or more.  The only production bikes available here in the U.S. that cater to the cafe racer market are the V7 Racer, the Triumph Thruxton, and perhaps the BMW R9T.  So many of us who are interested in this style of motorcycle aren't buying any of these models because they are underpowered (exception being the BMW).  The market isn't asking for 200 HP cafe racers, but they are asking for something that is relatively light weight, 80 to 100 HP, air cooled, and simple that captures the essence of those bikes from the `60s.  A company that can produce something as stylish as the V7 Racer could certainly deliver on the concept I've outlined.  How about it, Miguel?

  17. Soulful episode,
    yet I remember 3-4 years ago I was servicing a Motoguzzi Nevada for a client, it was definitely an utterly unsophisticated bike at a glance after all,
    and after repairing a leaking crane and cleaning all the rubbish out of really simple old school carburettors I've burnt over 3 litters of gasoline and had all lots of lazy revving up, glowing exhaust collectors, misfiring and overheat, before it has come to my mind to check the level in carb chambers, lots of fun on that air cooled bizzare engine.
    Besides, the client happened to be a drummer.

  18. what he is saying about the noise is absolutely true . I bought a GRISO 1200 SE and it is a wonderful motobike, apart from the design and the motor, not least because of the beautiful noise. My Guzzi had this sound  from the first day on, so it was not necesarry to get myself customs tubes like Kesstec and Supertrapp. no money spent on this, because they (Guzzi) sell the real thing. And I know what I'm talking about after varios Harleys. I like them also, this is nothing against all that Harleys I'm only refering to the sound you get from the factory.

  19. This guy is being adored by the interviewer. He loves that because he tries to be all style but no substance. Moto Guzzis were horrible bikes to ride. A truck on wheels. The same as the Harleys he is referring to. Gearboxes that would make a Mack truck look like a lightweight. Handling that should be left for diesel locomotives. Wipe your hair back again in an attempt to adorn your self mate. This explains a lot on why these bikes were so bloody awful. They did make one that was ok to ride. The 500 was the most enjoyable bike they made and it never made it.

  20. I have nearly given up on Ride Apart, especially because of some of the nonsensical articles on the web site, but this has got to be one of the best pieces I have seen in some time. Good job boys.

  21. Amazing video… amazing guy. A living legend of motorcyclism and I totally agree with him: I do love going fast with my bike, I love racing, but we do seem to have lost the simple pleasures a motorbike can give us. We want simple, but still good and efficient bikes we can enjoy everytime we ride them.
    Speaking of… dear Miguel… I 'd rather you saved all that money for the TC and the ABS on a 50 hp power bike like the V7ii, and have put some more decent suspensions on it instead!

  22. Get your fact's right Mister Journalist, Moto Guzzi is the SECOND oldest continually operating Motorcycle Manufacturer in the world, the oldest being Harley Davidson,thats a fact Guzzi began in 1921 They are Europe's oldest manufacturer but not the World's,

  23. I love Guzzis, but I wish Piaggio would step up to the plate and do the right thing by recalling the 8v flat tappet engines, instead of making owners pay to have the cam and lifters replaced. I would love to buy a new Griso, but after being stung with my Stelvio…I don't know if I can buy another Guzzi. They are the most incredible engine and bikes to ride, but tne non-roller versions have a fatal problem. I'll stick with my 2 valve LeMans until I hear that Piaggio is standing behind it's products..

  24. this was really interesting and an interesting guy to listen to. Made me reconsider some the next bike im going to get, as it does ultimatley come down to how much fun your having in everyday riding.

  25. Wasn't the V-7 engine first conceived for a small auto?? I worked for a Guzzi dealer in the late '60s and went to dealer meetings at the distributor in N.J. – Berliner Motor Corp. ..?? It sure has morphed into some interesting machines – last one I rode was a Le Mans, new in '85. Solid and good looking performer.

  26. I'm a new rider who got into motorcycling at age 34 just for the pure joy of riding.

    When I first considered buying a bike I couldn't find anything exciting among those modern rides – too much plastic, electronic stuff and aggressive looking. These all had a purpose : riding fast, riding in the dirt, riding long trips… Then I discovered the Monster. So simple and obvious. No purpose except the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. Nothing practical or comfy about it.

    I bought a 2007 Monster 695. Horrible bike in the trafic, no room for anything, no ABS or traction control. And nonetheless I could not be happier. Thank you Mr. Galuzzi.

  27. Being a middle aged owner of a Cafe'ed 81 Guzzi SP1000 I might be biased but what Galluzzi says just hits the nail for me. Motorcycles and especially the simple ones are a way to escape this plastic-fantastic nightmare we call our today. A way to get back to basics for a few hours and enjoy a simpler way of transport where your skills and the bike melts together.

  28. The first time I started my brother's LeMans I was hooked. Now I own 6 bikes, but my Guzzi G5 is the one I love above all others.
    Thanks for this great interview

  29. I like the new Moto Guzzi's but they need to tighten up on their quality control in manufacturing-like greasing the drive shafts!

  30. That back #7 in the driveway is a "Perfect" motorcycle. I thing his statements about motorcycles and riding in general hit to the core of what I, and I suspect most riders were thinking or looking for when we first started riding. I came by it naturally. I did not have the benefit of a family history of motorcycles. I was the first , in my generation at least that rode. Friends will tell you, until girls came along, I rode a little Honda SL to High school every day, winter included… until crashing on Ice, then it was time for a car. But shortly after HS, a new MX bike was in the garage. 250 Elsinore. It was the bomb. Over the years I have had street bikes as well. I think my favorite one was an old Honda 500-4. Just a basic bike to get me back and forth to work. I've ridden exotics, rode an R1 and R6 pretty regularly , even threw my leg over a Ducati for a while. All of them gave that freedom of the soul mentioned here. I have not ridden a Guzzi, but if that bike mentioned above is anything, maybe that will change.

  31. Very true , too much plastic .
    I like his life story.
    Nothing fake here, living the rider lifestyle.
    Keep riding and designing Bikes that move us .

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