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So..... B.Harris and I are out at Buttonwillow Raceway yesterday having some fun, and I notice a BRAND SPANKING NEW MV 1000R arriving. I figure that I'll go say "Hi" and introduce myself and let the rider know about this forum.

I met Milt and his son, Dylan. Both were really nice guys, and they said that they had heard of mvagusta.net. So, I asked Milt how he liked his 1000R, and he replied "it's only got 1 mile on it...". Sure enough, a quick glance at the tires confirmed that they were virgin. Milt was busy taping off his mirrors and getting ready to get on the track, so I told him I'd check with him later in the day and went back to my pit to prepare for the day.

Around lunch time, I wandered over to see how Milt was getting on with his new bike. As I approached, he was now in his leathers, as was Dylan. There was something vaguely familiar about these two, but I had a hard time figuring out how I might have known them..... and THEN it hit me.....these were those 2 guys that did the video piece for the Discovery Channel... the 2 guys that had gone all the way to Varese and viewed the factory ..... the 2 guys that had actually gotten themselves into CRC for an interview with Massimo Tamburini !!!! Milt and Dylan from "Twist the Throttle"! (click here for the video: http://turbo.discovery.com/beyond/?playerId=245988601&categoryId=1418496841&lineupId=1454928252&titleId=1454865183)

So I told them that I had seen thier video piece on the MV factory, and Milt's face lit up. I told him that I remember him saying in the video piece how impressed he was of the MV factory, and how passionate every worker in the factory was for the MV marque, and that I had also remembered them saying that they too, wanted to someday own an MV themselves..... and here they were with an MV! This fact by itself would have been a great ending to the story ..... but it didn't stop there.

Milt told me that this was the only motorcycle he's ever had that made him cry when he looked at it.....and then he took a deep breath, and told me that his son, Dylan, had purchased the bike for him as a gift. I actually got a tear in my eye, as I realized that this father and son had a very special bond, a bond that is rare in these times. A bond that I had missed out on myself with my dad. Milt must be an amazing father.... and Dylan, a very special son.

Milt has soooo much to tell about the MV factory and the time he spent there. He told me a few stories of things that never made it to the video. He gave me his e-mail address, and said, "let's keep in touch". I told him that I wanted to take a picture of him, his MV, and his son to place up on MV.net, and they obliged. I think I'll e-mail him a link to this site, to this post specifically ..... and invite him to join us in our passion for MV's. I think Milt would make a great member (Dylan, too), and he has CERTAINLY paid his dues. I would love to hear more of his stories about his travels to the MV facility. THANKS MILT AND DYLAN FOR MAKING MY DAY!

Gregg
 

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:yo: :f4:

Let's get them to join and post up more thoughts/impressions!
 

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Dylan has been on the site and posted in response to our praise for the show!

http://mvagusta.net/forum/member.php?u=9216

His words:

"fwiw I'll add one last thought on MV, which is from the top of the company to the guys on the assembly line, it's hard to miss or ignore the level of commitment, dedication and passion that flows inside those walls. Truly a special place with wonderful folks - dare I say, it's a very moto-romantic atmosphere - and imho a unique blend of design, performance and craftsmanship. And while I personally always appreciated the bikes, I find myself now lusting after them. Again fwiw..."

:drummer:

http://mvagusta.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15153&highlight=discovery

Must say- congrats on your F4!!!
 

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The Machinist
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Very, very cool Gregg. I regret now not going down and talking to them with you! :cry:
How cool is it that his son bought him that bike?!...Awesome!
And how cool is it that he road it for the first time on the track?! :yo:

What a great day! It was a pleasure meeting yourself and Mark. I had a awesome time. Albeit a bit hot, but it was worth it! We will have to do it again sometime soon. Maybe with a few more from the site. :stickpoke

:f4:
 

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Wow that is an awesome story you have there! Very very cool!
 

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One of the truely great things that come with having and MV and being a member on this forum

Great postings
 

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Hi Gregg and everyone else who has been kind enough to post a comment. I have joined the forum. Gregg's welcome at Buttonwillow could not have been kinder. Been around motorcycles a long time and while talking to Gregg it was clear the MV community is special not only because of the machines but because the folks who love the Marque are uniquely warm and friendly.

I know this won't come as news to any of you but the F4 is remarkable. Short-shifted most of the day to keep the revs within reason because while I think breaking in the engine on a track is a great way to get to know a new bike (Dylan did the same thing at Buttonwillow last July with his 1098S) and it still was amazing in terms of how quickly it would get up to speed and shoot out a corner. This is a motorcycle that makes me a better rider. It does everything so well. And selfishly, I just love it. First bike where there's nothing I want to change (at least not yet).

Short funny story. On the way home we stopped along I-5. A guy with a CBR1000 comes over and says, "Man, that's one trick exhaust. Never seen four pipes before. Where did you get it?" He kept asking how he could get a set for his CBR. It took me a good ten minutes to make him understand it wasn't an after market trick set of pipes but how the bike comes from the factory.

Everyone it seems who sees the bike loves it. And now, thanks to Dylan's wonderful surprise gift, I get to ride one. It doesn't get better than that.

So thanks again for the warm welcome. Its a fantastic feeling and I look forward to meeting more of you in person or chatting on the message board.

Milt
 

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The Dude
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big WELCOME from the far east, milt!


cool story.....
 

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I love this. This is why I have rode bikes for 30 years. The wonderful people that you meet. Hopefully I will get to go to Varese and to ride an MV in Italia before I check out.
 

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Living the Dream
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Fantastic post!!! A post like this truly does bring a tear to my eye as well as i was not able to enjoy my MV with my father before he passed.

Milt, congrats on attaining an MV in the best possible way, a gift from a son!! Welcome to the site, we look forward to many stories of what it was like to visit the factory.

Oh yeah, loved the "twist the throttle" series of video's!!!:f4:
 

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The Machinist
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Hi Gregg and everyone else who has been kind enough to post a comment. I have joined the forum. Gregg's welcome at Buttonwillow could not have been kinder. Been around motorcycles a long time and while talking to Gregg it was clear the MV community is special not only because of the machines but because the folks who love the Marque are uniquely warm and friendly.

I know this won't come as news to any of you but the F4 is remarkable. Short-shifted most of the day to keep the revs within reason because while I think breaking in the engine on a track is a great way to get to know a new bike (Dylan did the same thing at Buttonwillow last July with his 1098S) and it still was amazing in terms of how quickly it would get up to speed and shoot out a corner. This is a motorcycle that makes me a better rider. It does everything so well. And selfishly, I just love it. First bike where there's nothing I want to change (at least not yet).

Short funny story. On the way home we stopped along I-5. A guy with a CBR1000 comes over and says, "Man, that's one trick exhaust. Never seen four pipes before. Where did you get it?" He kept asking how he could get a set for his CBR. It took me a good ten minutes to make him understand it wasn't an after market trick set of pipes but how the bike comes from the factory.

Everyone it seems who sees the bike loves it. And now, thanks to Dylan's wonderful surprise gift, I get to ride one. It doesn't get better than that.

So thanks again for the warm welcome. Its a fantastic feeling and I look forward to meeting more of you in person or chatting on the message board.

Milt

Great to have you aboard Milt. This is a fantastic community.:f4:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You bet, Dylan! I have been going to the track on a regular basis for the past year or so -- about every 3 weeks. I love it, and would welcome you and Milt anytime!!:yo:

It's great to have the 2 of you here ..... maybe when you have a moment, one of you can post up an interesting "behind the scenes" moment that never made it on film about MV Agusta ...:stickpoke

I'll be sure to put the 2 of you on my "list" for future trackdays, for sure. Great to meet you, and we'll all have to hook up for a ride soon.

Gregg
 

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Welcome!!! I immediately recognized your names and faces because one of the earliest bookmarks I put on this computer was http://twistingasphalt.com/ . It was my first time reading a blog, I didn't even know what a blog was when I started reading it, but I remember it detailing the adventures of Father and Son on their Ducati's, one was yellow I remember that...At the time I bookmarked it, my Dad was on his way out to visit me, and I was inspired to ask him to go on a ride with me, so I shot him the link so he could get motivated (he rides a Harley, I am the Milkman's son, I am sure!)...We went out one sunny Saturday morning, he rode the VFR and I rode the R1, and we shared our own day of twisting asphalt...Very special.

Great to see that you guys are still out riding together, and that you have met one of our great ambassadors, Mr. G.rand...or G.regg, this community seems so tiny some days...

Keep up the inspirational journey...And yes, twistingasphalt.com still sits WAAAY up on top of my bookmarks...I just checked in, looks like you have been busy!

Thanks for the story Gregg!!! I can't wait to go back to the track with you but DAMN it seems too hot out here!!!

Griff
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Greg, it'd be great to hook up for a ride soon...

Don't know if any of you are heading up to Laguna for the GP, but we're heading out on Thursday the 17th and probably doing 33/166/33/58 to Morro Bay and then up to Monterey on Friday via Route 1... So if anyone else is making the trip perhaps we can hook up :)

In terms of behind the scenes moments during our visit to the factory, to be honest I'm not really sure where to start as there were several. I wish I felt a bit more eloquent at the moment as Varese and MV certainly deserve it -- it's been a rather long day in the edit suite and after staring at a computer screen all day you tend to lose your mind a bit...

I'm sure many of you have visited the factory yourselves so I'm sure you've all got your own thoughts on what the place is like, but when I think back to our trip what immediately comes to mind is how unique the place is from a day to day construction point of view...

Over the years we've done quite a bit of motor-related programming and found ourselves in our fair share of automotive and motorcycle factories (30+ at this point I'd guess). Most are highly automated arenas where machines frantically do battle with various bits of metal in an industrial ballet - the kind of places you tend to see sparks flying and robots rapidly spinning - or in the case of some of the smaller companies like, say, Ducati, which I'm sure a good number of you have visited, while there's hand assembly going on, they're moving at a pretty decent pace because even though they don't produce hundreds of thousands of units per year, they're pretty close to their maximum output given the size of their factory.

MV is the antithesis of almost every factory I've visited. It's very clear that time has a very different meaning there -- and I mean that in a good way...

I don't mean to speak for Milt, but I believe it's fair to say that we both left feeling that MV was truly unlike any other factory we'd ever experienced because it somehow blended the small scale vibe, artistry, craftsmanship, and hand work of say a Bimota or Pagani, with the industrial know-how of a much larger company.

What I'm getting at is that they're just big enough and just mainstream factory-like enough to leave me with the impression (and confidence) that they really know what they're doing and it sure seemed like with minimal modifications they could build a ton more bikes but they simply choose not to. I've got nothing to support this, it was just a gut feeling.

A lot of my friends who ride ask what MV was like and often tend to think of them as the Ferrari of motorcycles. Personally I think that's a poor analogy. For me they're much more in the Lamborghini camp (forgetting Audi's involvement for the moment). There's a brashness to the process that sort of imbues a sense of a 'get the hell out of the way, we know what we're doing' sensibility. And while everything that's being done doesn't necessarily strike a visitor as the most efficient method possible, it certainly seems time-tested (if that makes sense)...

Larry Ferracci, from MV USA, was our 'guide' while we were over there and to be frank helped roll out the red carpet from Day 1 of our visit. I'm sure all of you in your various lines of work deal with folks at other companies that either 'get it' or don't. Larry 'got it' and so did everyone else at MV, which really helped us do our job. I don't have our actual travel schedule in front me at the moment, but as I recall we shot there for four or five days, which ended up being two more days on the ground then just about anywhere else we visited (I'll get to why in a moment).

We had just finished the German leg of our trip, after shooting at BMW, so we ended leaving Munich on Saturday morning and therefore had time for a rather leisurely drive to Varese (our travel schedules tend to be pretty packed, so this was/and is unusual). For those of you who haven't had the chance, the drive through Southern Germany, Switzerland and into Northern Italy is fantastic, especially when you've got the time to stop and appreciate it. I highly recommend it (even if it's just the Autobahn/Autostrada route the whole way). We ended up arriving in Varese late that night. MV USA has suggested the RELAIS SUL LAGO Hotel, which is just up the street from the factory. I don't know if that's where they suggest everyone who visits the factory stay, but it was a nice joint to say the least. Since we had a free day on Sunday, the two Directors of Photography on the project, Andrew Waruszewski and Andy Cochrane and myself hit the small bar in the hotel, where when asked for a round of single malts, the barkeep acted quite insulted and rather strongly encouraged us to sample the local grappa. I've been to Italy several times now, but it was my first experience with the stuff and it lead to a rather 'loud' evening as I understand it from other patrons of the hotel ;)

Moving forward, our first day of shooting was obviously on Monday and we started right away with Claudio. The first surprise of the day happened mid-way through the interview where he sort of off-handily disclosed a future product -- which was something specifically we were not after in any way (not the gist of the Twist project). I'm not sure I can really go into further details about it, but like any company they has surprises in store for the audience they cater to and I remember Larry being very shocked that Claudio felt like mentioning it on camera.

Next up, we interviewed Giovanni Castiglioni - he was awesome. Apparently he's very into riding horses, which I wasn't expecting to hear, but he shared some stories about 'breaking into the factory' when he was a teenager with his friends, when as I recall they were too young to have driving licenses, and 'borrowing' GP bikes for an evening on occasion, which sounded like a heck of a cool if not somewhat crazy way to grow up. Certainly made me wish Milt had run a motorcycle factory when I was a kid ;)

Then came Andrea Goggi - with no disrespect to or for anyone else at the factory, Goggi was the highlight of the sit-down interviews for me. Just a wonderfully engaging, passionate, engineer who could articulate what made MV technically special with equal parts Italian romance and mathematical precision. When it came to working with Massimo, he was both blunt and honest. I'm paraphrasing the line about working on the clutch cover (I think), but it was something along the lines of, 'He'll make you redesign a part ten times and move the position of the bolt a tenth of a millimeter until it's right". His other line of the shoot was in regards to the F4 engine, "It's like an orange, we just keep squeezing out the juice". Milt repeats that one quite a bit...

At the end of the Goggi interview Claudio's secretary comes flying into the room where we were shooting and gives us our second surprise of the day, when she told us that Claudio had enjoyed the interview and now wanted to know if we'd like to join him for dinner at his house. When she offered it we all sort of looked at each other like, 'huh... really?'... I mean, given what we do, it's not unusual for us to 'go to dinner' with various corporate folks from the various companies. It's part of the PR game I guess you could say. But nobody invites you over to their house. And obviously we never want to 'cross the line' with folks or companies either - but in this case, I think the motorcycle fans inside of the four of us won out, so we agreed. This turned out to be a very good decision.

Not to leave anyone hanging (so to speak) but I’ve got to bounce out for a bit, but more then happy the keep telling the story of our trip to the factory if you guys find this interesting reading, if not just say so... Cheers, Dylan
 
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