Moto-Guzzi with Wine and Truffles in Motovun

18 Jan

I am still rebuilding my blog after decimating my posts but my time in Istria was something I enjoyed – in fact I was very close to making it my permanent base – so it’s nice to have a chance to look back through my photo galleries to see what I can rescue from the ashes.

The old town of Motovun consists of a castle (now a luxury German run hotel) built on a rock about twenty klicks from the sea with narrow cobbled streets winding through the old houses on the steep slopes.

Motovun 16

Any new build – schools and suchlike is restricted to the flat surrounding area and the old town is virtually pedestrianised.The local residents are allowed access with their vehicles and I spotted this interesting Triumph Spitfire during my walk around this interesting town —

Triumph Spitfire

Someone had done a tidy rebuild on the Triumph and the Wyllis Jeep parked close by showed an eye for detail too —


The shovel and pickaxe handle lent it an authentic touch but I didn’t look any further after a quick peek under the tarp showed two rifles casually dumped in the back!

Motovun 0ne

I had been wandering the old town – first on the tourist route – then – as is my habit I took to the back alleys because that’s usually where the interesting stuff is. There I was creeping down the backlane behind the townhouses – their front doors opened on to the cobbled tourist trail and the cellar doors led onto my trail. The ground on my right fell away through trees and gardens —

Beate pics 2 215

Then all hell broke loose – dogs were barking – shacks were shaking ready to fall apart and I had visions of being dog food very soon so I looked for an escape route. I noticed a large metal studded oak door partially open to one of the cellars and had a squint inside.

There was a motorbike in there and as my eyes became accustomed to the gloom I noticed it had a bloke with it!

Motovun  15

Naturally he wasn’t best pleased at having his garage invaded especially as it housed the season’s wine in four massive wooden casks on trestles along one wall.

No worries – I soon impressed him with my biking credentials and before long we were chatting away like old friends. The donor bike was a 900cc Honda Boulder sports bike which had been imported from the USA and was well on it’s way to being turned into a chopper styled machine.

Beate pics 2 208

Great stuff! We arranged to meet a few days down the line and he would introduce me to the owner of the Wyllis Jeep and Triumph Spitfire – but there was lots more!

Our second meeting was more relaxed and I got an invite to return in October for the truffle hunting season. That’s what all the dogs were for! Apparently it is done at night by torchlight and can get rough. My friend said not to worry cos he had the biggest and fiercest truffle hound! No wonder I had been scared when I thought it’s kennel was about to disintegrate!

After the ice-breaker we wandered down the hill to meet the owner of the two vehicles I had photographed on an earlier visit.


He turned out to be a very interesting character – not only did he have a rebuilt Moto-Guzzi displayed in his front room where most people have their telly — but he also shoe-horned old Guzzi motors into new custom frames.

Sacriledge to many Moto-Guzzi lovers but hey! Don’t shoot the messenger!

guzzi cruiser

There was more – much more. This guy’s workshop was an Aladdin’s cave of old Guzzi parts! I loved it!

guzzi cruiser 2

That’s an interesting motor. I think it’s a pre-war 500cc single but haven’t a clue what vintage.

I do like that —

guzzi cruiser 3

The last time I came across plunger type rear springing was on the old BSA’s from way back in the early fifties. My mate had a 350 B31 or 32 with that setup and I remember once it started bouncing on a bend it was like riding a pogo stick. It’s nice to see something different though and the standard of workmanship was top class. Yes I was impressed with my visit to Motovun and it’s friendly people!

Hotel Kastel

I still get special offers from Natasha at the Hotel Kastel so I might just go back there to hunt for truffles later this year.

Perfect day in Istria 007

Moto-Guzzi – Wine and Truffles in Motovun

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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Uncategorized



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