It wasn’t long after I found motorcycles that I discovered racing. Of course, like many, my attention quickly became engulfed by MotoGP. Over the years, I’ve always supported the independent brands – companies that are rider owned-and-operated are what drives the sport.Years ago, we saw major corporations invested in racing and those particular companies had little to do with the sport, beyond financing it. Alcohol and tobacco sponsorship were a dime-a-dozen, but that never sat right with me. As much as I disagreed with the sentiment, it brought in countless advertising dollars, so it was a bit of a double-edged sword. Certainly, those teams racing which benefited from those investors didn’t share that sentiment, but walk with me and you’ll see what I’m getting at; it just didn’t seem right to have brands that didn’t represent motorcycling and racing to not be the premier sponsor for a team – it still doesn’t, actually.
Now we can turn our attention to GIVI, an Italian motorcycle accessory manufacturer that has continued its support of MotoGP for many years. GIVI’s important for the reasons I’ve already touched on; they’re a brand by riders for riders, supporting the ultimate form of professional road racing.GIVI is more than that, though. Italy and motorcycle racing are nearly synonymous at this point, and for Giuseppe Visenzi, that couldn’t be any more apparent. Visenzi has dedicated his life to two-wheels. He’s first and foremost a rider and, back in 1969, he took the 350cc World Championship. As his career came to a close, he didn’t want to give up on motorcycles and GIVI was born.So when Giuseppe Visenzi spoke on GIVI’s connection to LCR Honda, which competes as an Independent Team in MotoGP with rider Cal Crutchlow, his response was fitting: “I am bound to Lucio (Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda Team Manager) by a reciprocal esteem and a sincere friendship built a long time ago. Getting back on track with him, year after year, through the GIVI brand is always a great emotion. I wish the best to the LCR Honda Team for the upcoming championship.”Visenzi is a racer at heart; if he can’t be on the bike, he’ll find a way to be alongside it. For many racing fans, those feelings are shared. We might not be piloting prototype machines, but we’ll support the brands we love, ride track days and depending on where you live, wake up at odd hours just to glimpse your favorite riders turn laps in anger.For the past 15 MotoGP seasons, GIVI has partnered with the LCR Honda Team. But as the years progressed, GIVI’s involvement has grown from being a minor sponsor to the headline supporter.Earlier this year, when Cecchinello spoke about the future of LCR Honda, he touted the continued support of GIVI: “It’s an extremely important season for us as 2016 marks our 20th year in the MotoGP Championship and we are happy to celebrate this goal together with GIVI. Passion, creativity and determination are the key elements of our job and we share them with GIVI. We want to deeply thank the Visenzi Family for their support and for the trust they put again on Cal Crutchlow and the whole Team.”GIVI is a brand that is doing it the right way—supporting racing at the highest level and remaining loyal to an organization for over a decade now. So, where do riders like myself come in? Well, when it comes to voting with my dollars, I look for those qualities in a brand. Do they believe in the things that I believe in? In this case, I would have to say yes. GIVI is an independently owned brand, always pushing its products forward, working with the market, and listening to needs of it.It’s stories like these that keep my interest. As we saw at the 2016 Assen MotoGP round when Independent Rider Jack Miller earned his debut victory, it can be anyone’s day. Racing will always be unpredictable; it will always entice the audience with the “what ifs” and let the wheels of speculation begin to turn. Yet, it’s also been a place where the underdog can rise up and win a title. There are no certainties here. It’s risk after risk until a hurdle is cleared or caught.For me, knowing that team sponsors like GIVI share the same passion as us mere fans is equalizing. We might have been drawn to it for different reasons, and I followed the path of many riders. For riders like Visenzi, it’s closer to home. In the end, we all have our eyes on the starting grid when the lights go out. Check out GIVI’s social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.SaveSaveSaveSave
This Podcast is also brought to you by the new modular helmet from Schuberth, the C5. The C5 blends safety with light weight and amazing quietness. Visit Schuberth.com for more information.
This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!