I bought my first Moto Guzzi V50 in 1989, from a bloke who kept it in a lock-up off a dark, dank alleyway in the backstreets of Croydon.
I wanted a Triumph, but I’d been thinking of a Guzzi after having seen police T3 Californias on duty on the tough streets of South Philadelphia the year before. Then, when my brother went and bought a T3 Cali too, I was simply smitten and envious, but I didn’t have the money to afford a round barrel ‘big block’.
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I really couldn’t see much of the black V50 when it was rolled out of the Croydon lock-up, but as soon as it was started up and I heard the motor’s deep V-twin rumble through Busso silencers, I just wanted it. £400 later it was mine. In fact, that black V50 which was then just a slightly shabby used bike, went on to serve me very well as a London commuter, living out in the gutter in all weathers and taking me to France, Holland and Germany on weekends and holidays. It was my only transport and apart from routine maintenance, I had no real issues with it and I sold it, at a decent profit, to a guy who already owned three V50s. I then put the money towards a 750 S3, which I still own.Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.