Well, if you think that driving an old Guzzi through the America’s is always fun than you’re wrong. We had to work ourselves down through the Sechura desert in Northern Peru after we left Máncora. It was quite a windy ride. I left the broken windshield in Quito. Now I know why I liked the shield. The handlebars a quite wide and with the headwind it was all hens on deck. The wind was so fierce from time to time that it blew this circus almost into the desert and we don’t like being blown into the desert. For like 300 k’s I had my chin flat on the gas tank thinking about knull ruffs and other kinds of exotic breakfasts. It’s good to get you’re mind off things when you’re in trouble and knull ruffs did the job.
There’s not much to see in a desert but sand, some signs (Danger!), roadblocks (There were small uprisings in the north of Peru because of the bad economic situation of the region, had to zigzag my way through the roadblocks), dead animals and dusty villages. My eyes were full of dust anyway. It goes with the travels. Cruising a desert must be a ‘job’ on any other bike. With the Guzzi is hard work. But I’m proud on my rusty machine. She ran so well. I’m so used to her reliability that a lonely desert doesn’t give me the creeps. She’s an awesome machine and I’ll never sell her. Well, not under 50.000 euros. The Guzzi performs well under almost every circumstance. Deserts, volcanoes, rivers, dirt roads, she doesn’t mind what kind of terrain she on, as long she’s performing and that for a 32 year old motorcycle. The only time that she gave me a problem was in Canada when the electrics went down. I bought a new battery in Mexico and new tires in Guatemala. My friends from Moto Angel in Medellin worked hard on the brakes and made some adjustments on the carburetors. I broke one cable (clutch) and that’s about it. Every 2500 k’s I change the oil, because there’s no filter inside. Some problems are coming up: the exhaust system is about to collapse (too many holes) and the front suspension is giving me problems, thanks to the volcano experiences in Ecuador. I hardly carry spare parts and I’m not a mechanic. I’m a just a lucky Dutchman? I don’t think so. Guzzi’s are good and reliable bikes and if you keep an old Guzzi like mine just rolling she keeps on going forever, no lie. She needs gasoline, oil and a steady hand on the throttle, nothing more, nothing less.
A motorcycle brand in Holland offered me three times a brand new off road bike to do the trip. I kindly reclined the offer. I’m a freelance journalist and one of my jobs was to write for motorcycle magazines, because I love bikes. I’m not a biker though. Just don’t like cars. Don’t even have a car license. The V7 was always one of my favorites. And finding a bike like my Guzzi is a dream for a motorcycle journalist. Love the looks, love the sound and absolutely love the way she performs and besides there’s (in my case) no adventure without the Guzzi. She’s a great ‘model’ too, that’s why I take so many pictures of her. Especially when she saved me from trouble. The new Guzzi’s don’t appeal to me that much. I like the MGS01 which is still not available. At the moment I’m in Trujillo and the next few days I try to get to Lima, which is a 1000 k’s desert ride. Peru at the moment is too expensive for me. My money is low and I have to work on the cash flow. Within a month I’m in Bolivia and then I’ll probably go to Paraguay, back to Chili, down to Ushuaia. See ya, have a good one.