Birds of a Feather: 1966 Moto Guzzi 125 ISD Trial

The 1966 Moto Guzzi 125 ISD was only built for a single year but due to the licensing and titling process, some of the bikes are registered as 1967 or even 1968 models.

| March/April 2015

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 ISD Trial
Claimed power: 13.5hp
Top speed: 65mph
Engine: 123cc air-cooled OHV single, 52mm x 58mm bore and stroke, 11.4:1 compression ratio
Weight (dry/approx.): 208lb (95kg)
Fuel capacity: 2.46gal (10 liters)

William Shakespeare certainly liked his birds. In fact, more than 600 varieties of our feathered friends are mentioned in his plays and sonnets. Of particular note, in Henry IV, Part I, Shakespeare mentions starlings.

Prior to the late 1800s, there wasn’t a single starling in the United States. But thanks to a plan supposedly hatched by the American Acclimatization Society, every bird the Bard ever wrote about was to be released in America, and in 1890 approximately 100 starlings were given wing in Central Park. From New York City the birds quickly multiplied and spread across the country. To be blunt about it, starlings have basically taken over North America since.

Another starling introduced to the U.S. didn’t have wings, though, and it didn’t overtake the land. We’re talking about the Moto Guzzi Stornello, and as you might have already guessed, Stornello is Italian for “starling.”

The beginnings of Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi began building motorcycles in 1921, and almost immediately started racing their products. The company had multiple Grand Prix World Championships and Isle of Man TT wins, but due to declining sales and a 1957 ban on racing on public roads in Italy, Moto Guzzi quit competing that same year. However, that was only on the tarmac. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer still contested offroad events, most notably the International Six Days Trial, or ISDT.

The ISDT was first held in 1913, in Carlisle, England. As it was originally devised, the trial was a test of both man and machine. Held on what would have been the mostly non-existent roads of the era, both rider skill and mechanical reliability played a key role in any success.

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