“The owner lives in a mansion on the shores of Lake Como, “explains Stuart. “He’s 95 years old and a lifelong friend of the Guzzi family, but had decided to sell the bikes while still able to do so. But he didn’t want to sell them individually and didn’t want lots of people coming to the house, so offered them to me as a collection.
“Funnily enough, our little shop is well known throughout Italy because of our Morini connections, but even so, I was honoured to be given the opportunity.”
The collection includes an early 1920s flat tank Guzzi with the most beautifully crafted sidecar, a couple of Falcones, a rare and unusual split piston Isomotor two-stroke and, for the more modern enthusiasts an ultra-rare Ducati 851 kit racer, of which only 200 were built for race homologation.
But the bike that’s attracted most interest is a military spec Moto Guzzi Alce from the Libyan conflict, complete with rear handlebars. “Want to know why they fitted two sets of bars?” asks Stuart. “There are many theories, but my favourite is that when lower ranks were carrying officers on the back, the officers didn’t want to be seen putting their arms around the rank and file.” Brilliant.
Have a look at the bikes at www.northleicestermotorcycles.com