Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Moto Guzzi "Bartorilla" special Trial by Justyn Norek Senior


 Giuseppe "Pippo" Bartorilla was one of the best Italian trials riders in 70's. As all trials riders he started to ride early and quickly fell in love with trials sport that remain his passion up to today ! His first competition was in 1970 on Bultaco Matador Mk II when he was 23 years old. He started to compete in trials seriously in 1971 on Bultaco Sherpa T. Always among the first, he finishes his Regional Championship in second position, just one mark behind winner Next year he had to do military service and sold his bike.

 But he is was back in competition in 1973 with his new OSSA MAR, bike most popular of that year. Ignacio Bu√≤to who was travelling in Italy on promotional tour, has noticed his talent and offered him works Bultaco, thus 1974 he was riding again on Bultaco and compeeting in Italian Trials Championships, he wins his first race in Italian Trials Championship.Thats 1975. In 1976 he got an interesting offer from new Italian Montesa importer ESSEVI, so he accepted it,being attracted by possibility to ride and develop new COTA 348, and rode 348 also next year, on which he took part in 1977 Scottish Six Days Trial winning first class award. At the end of season he met old friend Carlo Colombari, ex motocross racer and later ex mechanic of MOTO GUZZI and together thay started thinking to build special motorcycle for trial competitioon with 4 stroke engine !

 They wanted to test and get an experience of that kind of bike with an engine offering lot of traction and capability of slow motion power due to charcteristics of four stroke engine. For this rason their choise of an engine is MOTO GUZZI Stornello ! Still trial is not acrobatic and extreme as it happened later on. To these two joins also Gigi Pegorari, also good trials rider who owns Montesa Cota and always train with Pippo. Bartorilla had already was thinking about FOUR STROKE TRIAL bike being impressed with British trials bikes, but he knew to compete with Bultaco it needed to be compact and light. Only Moto Guzzi could offer similar engine with potential for development and as Colombari was Guzzi's expert, choice was Guzzi Stornelo with heavy modification: rear part of frame completely new and engine with new cylinder increased capacity to 220 cc from Stornello's modest 175 cc.

 Lot of weight was shaved down to 84 kg thanks to frame very compact with modified steering angle, as well as lot of work has been done on suspension, with Marzocchi ultralight magnesium front forks and BITUBO experimental alluminium rear shocks, light fiberglass tank combined with seat base, Spanish made wheels and all bolts and nuts in titanium done by Poggipolini. These red painted Moto Guzzi create lot of sensation in trials, specially after win in debut. Pippo finishes season at 10 place. In 1979 Pippo decide not to participate in Italian Championship and and takes part only in selected events on Bultaco Sherpa offered him by Italian Bultaco imported Leopoldo Tartarini and that decide to take part in SSDT on his beloved Moto Guzzi. So at the start of SSDT there appears two identical Moto Guzzi trials, creating quite a sensation and rumours that famous Italian bike company is interested in Trials !
 With this bike PIPPO BARTORILLA rode SSDT in 1979 creating quite a sensation with his modern 4-stroke trials bike, bearing glorious name,.going pretty well until last day when his Guzzi stopped due to petrol leaking into oil tank,thus thinning oil and finaly cousing engine sizeing. Second Guzzi di Gigi Pegoraro finishes in first class awards. I was GREAT result considering it was not factory but private efford, with very limited resources. Interesting story is about fuel tank shape and colour. Pippo has created it himself in foam and than fiberglass, being inspired by Cota 348 he wanted tank and seat base integrated. Of course having high four stroke engine shape became very distinct and particular thanks to Pippo' s sculptural skills. And he wanted deep green colour, thinking about minimum ecological impact with nature, having low emission 4stroke engine, not very noisy and green colour of bike comouflaging it with green landscape....what a vision !
 Only 12 bikes were built, other bikes having red fual tanks. Colombari has built those bikes for himself,for his two riders and his 3 brothers as well as one sidecar used by Pippo Bartorilla in selected events. Today all tose bikes are owned by collectors as Carlo Ramella and Pippo himself, but many other similar replicas were built recently by different riders Thats becouse none of 12 is for sale.... Moto Guzzi never had any interest to enter into trials bikes market,so it was exclusivelu Colombari-Bartorilla-Pegoraro efford. What a pity Moto Guzzi had not intension to enter trials market and develop bike properly.....

 In 1980 Pippo received offer to became Menager of Italian National Trials Team, so he accepted this offer and had not time to compete himself... Today he still rides for pleasure and has modern Cota as well as some vintage trials bikes like for example rare ELLIOT HONDA and CCM 350 TRIAL, we hope to test some them in August.... Best regards Justyn

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