Racers in our midst
From Bicilindrica nr. 4, 1995
By Lars Kalsveen
Translation by Ths. Johnson
Two well-known members of the Norwegian Guzzi Club, Arne Kalsveen og Knut Holte, manage get more from their Guzzi's than life on the open highway has to offer. Every second Monday, you can find them at Rudskog (Roadracing Track) on their Guzzi racers. Together with their road-racing friends from Wobble MC, they lay patches of rubber and knee-pad all summer long. "Roadracing gives Guzzi-riding a new dimension," says Knut, "and competition on a Guzzi is something out of the ordinary... especially when you 'park' a Ducati."
Obviously, these bikes must be something more than standard Guzzis. Knut has a Danish production, purchased with help from the Danish Guzzi-importer. The Mephisto Guzzi has a special frame consisting, for the most part, of one very strong central pipe connecting the steering-crown with the rear motor-mount and swingarm. The swingarm is a parallelogram-variant, and was constructed already in 1984 - before both Dr. John and Arturo Magni became known for similar constructions. Other than the frame and Astralite wheels, Knut's bike is a mix of original and modified Le Mans 1000 parts. Folklore has it that it was christened "Mephisto" after the constructor almost drove his family to economic ruin developing the frame! (Faust of Goethe met his fate in the shape of a certain Mephisto, too.)
Arne's bike is of German heritage, and was once a Le Mans. At least, the frame started life as a Le Mans. It was reinforced in every thinkable way, and widened enough to allow the motor and gearbox to be moved a few centimeters to the right. That gave room for a wider rear wheel. The final modification to the swingarm was a rebuild to mono-shock suspension. Up front, it has a Marzocchi fork and quality Brembo brakes.
Arne's bike began it's carreer as winner of the German BOTT series in 1986. A few seasons later, it went to an enthusiast for his collection in Germany. It was next observed in the sales advertisements in "Motorrad" the winter of '94. Some practical help from Per Katzenmaier and Øystein Borch assured that it was only a short time from the ad was discovered until the bike was safely parked in Arne's garage.
Arne and Knut are not the only Guzzi-ists on the tracks Wobble MC. There are a few Le Mans', a T5 and a V50. For the most part, all of these are standard streetbikes. Wobble MC organizes training and practice-time for both active riders with serious roadracing ambitions, and for regular-Joes who just want to sharpen their riding skills by practicing in a controlled environment. Anyone interested in more information can contact Arne, tlf. (47) 22 29 45 68 or Lars, tlf. (47) 22 49 49 17.