My old friend and racing partner Steve Allen of BevelHeaven.com (vintage ducati parts) used to own a Guzzi Ambassador and loved it. Knowing me as he did, he wouldn’t let me ride it…I don’t blame him. However, I did convince his wife one day that while he was working on my Ducati it would be okay that I took the Guzzi to run a couple of errands. What a motorcycle! It was completely stock and ran beautifully. Having ridden British twins forever and Italian twins for a few years the Ambassador was a pleasant surprise. The somewhat gentle side to side rocking of the motor while idling and the definite torque twist when accelerating was a wonderful new feeling. But what really got me was the general smoothness of the ride. It is a motorcycle that instead of going Coast to Coast in 3 days, you’re going to want to take your time and really enjoy “The Ride”.
In 1968 Moto Guzzi upgraded their V700 to 750cc to get more of the American market, you know us Yankees, Bigger is better! In 1969 Guzzi set out to prove how good this motorcycle was by setting a number of speed records in both the 750 and 1000cc classes. Top speed for the stocker was 115mph, not bad for the time. But…what happened was that Police departments all over, including here in the USA, liked the reliability, the good handling and the overall strength of the bike.
When Moto Guzzi designed the new Ambassador they gave it a longer wheelbase, changed the steering head angle and braced it, a bigger gas tank (6.1 gallons), better lighting, and now had a separate speedo and tach. Basically it became a great long distance tourer. Cops liked it because it was strong and reliable could carry all their equipment and you know what…same goes for travelers.
I found one on ebay this morning that is one of those, fly in, buy it and ride it home. It’s in beautiful condition and according the seller a good runner. Strap a duffle bag on the back and enjoy your summer vacation on a Moto Guzzi Ambassador.
Click on the optics below for more pictures and information about this bike.