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Festival of Italian Motorcycles - 2005
Mellbourne, Australia
Photos (c) Russ Murray

This years Festival of Italian Motorcycles was the same as previous years, a huge success with a turn out of over 200 Italian bikes and with little more than word of mouth publicity.


As in previous Festivals the weather held out and there were some “new “ bikes in attendance.  This year saw quite a few small MV Agustas with the recently restored  48cc Liberty drawing more than it’s fair share of attention, quite possibly due to it’s tiny size even when standing next to some 125s.


There were also quite a few Ducati singles which had been resurected from under the covers in the garden shed.  While their bigger brothers, the  750 GTs, 750 Sports and SSs, may draw the big bucks there seems to be a resurgence in these smaller singles They make great “latte” bikes.


There was the usual turn out of the afore mentioned larger capacity Ducatis although I think the numbers may be down by one or two on last year.  Perhaps the owners were preparing them for the upcoming Bevelution ride in a few weeks.  They included a one owner 1975 900 SS with race pipes as well as a just restored 1978 silver 900 SS whose owner had spent a small fortune on obtaining some Borrani rims only to find out that one was from an earlier model SS.  


It was also good to see some of the early model 916s and 748s as opposed to the more common larger capacity and newer 996/998 versions.  I don’t know about other counties but the originals seem to be tucked away in garages or sheds as very few are seen on the road.


Steve Craven, a fellow bevelhead, made the 10 hour the journey south from Newcastle with the Baines Racing Imola/SS replicas.  Having seen both these bikes and the Paul Smart and Sport Classic Ducatis I feel that Baines did a much better job in “recreating” the older models than the Ducati factory, at least in the style department.  Steve also made the short trip to Phillip Island race track the day after the Festival to give the black and gold SS replica a whirl around the track as a guest of the Ducati Owners Club of Victoria for one of their track days.  And yes, the Island is a bloody awesome place to ride.


For Laverdas there were a couple of SFCs, a Ghost with “Caspa” number plate, a number of the SFs and an American Eagle which , at least to me, is reminiscent of the Ducati Indiana, just ugly.


Moto Guzzi were represented but they seem to lack inspiration so not many pics.  I must admit some remiss in taking only a few photos of the  Moto Morinis, probably as I had quite a few pics of these bikes from last years Festival.


Enough dribble from me.  Enjoy, I know I did.


Ciao, Russ Murray

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Prize winners:

CIMAA classes:

- best classic post 1979. Winner Blue Morini Rego. AM 484

- best classic pre 1980. Winner 350 Sport Morini, owned by Ian Barnes.

- best Italian special. Winner green Cagiva Elefant Paris-Dakar bike, owned by Harold Blewett from the Laverda Club.


Laverda classes:

- best classic twin. Winner American Eagle owned by Phil Doland.

- Best modern twin. Winner 750S Formula owned by Andrew Sbrana.

- Best 180 degree triple. Winner my black 1978 Jota.

- Best 120 degree triple. Winner RGS Executive owned by Bruce Howlett.


Moto Guzzi classes:

- best pre-1992 sporting. Winner Mark 1 Le Mans

- best pre-1992 touring. Winner SP owned by Steve Dornom.

- best post 1991 sporting. Winner red 1100 sport owned by Anthony Terzo.

- best post 1991 touring. Winner gold and black California Special owned by Craig.


MV Agusta classes:

- best modern MV. Winner F4 750. Rego ATOY.

- best classic MV. Winner 1966 Liberty owned by David Ward.


Ducati classes:

- best single. Winner Mark 1.

- best Bevel drive. Winner 900 super sport.

- best sporting 4-valve. Winner red 600 pantah.

- best sporting 8-valve. Winner 916.

- best sports tourer. Winner red and white S4R monster.



- best scooter. Winner Vespa 150, green with chrome trim.

- best Aprilia. Winner RSV Mille Rego BLING.

- Museum's Choice. Winner Monster S4R.

- People's Choice. Winner 1975 900SS owned by Peter Hempenstalls.

- best other Italian. Winner 1963 Parilla owned by Phil Doland.

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