Race back to the 70s: Italian tour takes in MotoGP round on modern classics

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As the world championship race season gets underway, many of us dream of blasting across to the continent to soak up the action at historic European circuits. But why not do it in style? An Italian tour company is offering the opportunity to arrive on 1970s machines.

Ride 70s was set up a decade ago by Pietro Pirazzoli and Fabio Affuso, passionate riders both born and raised in Imola, and their stable of 16 modern classics is nothing short of a dream garage.

“It takes a lot of work to keep the bikes and show the people how to ride them,” said Affuso. “The gears are on the wrong side, and younger people, are not used to that.”

1977 Yamaha XT500

The race-inspired tour is one of 12 tours the pair host throughout the year (there are wine and regional-themed trips too) and includes additional treats that are highlights in their own right.

“People love the racing, so in September we go to MotoGP at Misano, visit Mugello, and then ride to the Ducati Factory Museum. Then we go to Imola for a private ride,” Affuso added. 

The list of bikes available includes a 1972 Ducati 450 Scrambler, a 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 750 and a 1973 Laverda SF 750. The pair are always looking for more bikes, having recently added a 1975 Kawasaki Z1 900 and a 1981 Yamaha XT500.

Ride 70s founders Pietro Pirazzoli and Fabio Affuso

Affuso said: “I love every one, they are all beautiful. There are the fours, twins and single-cylinders, depending on what you want, the experience you have, and the way you like to ride.”