What comes to mind when you hear the words "Italian motorcycle"? Ducati? Moto Guzzi? What about Gilera, Benelli, or Laverda? Italy has a rich motorcycle history and has been producing unique and beautiful bikes for years, but here in the United States many people aren't familiar with Italian brands outside of Ducati and Moto Guzzi—many are not even familiar with the smaller single-cylinder offerings of these two brands.
Southern California's Hugo Gallina, owner of Vintage Italian Restoration, has been building and restoring Italian bikes out of his garage for years. Specializing in single-cylinder motorcycles, Hugo works on bikes that aren't a common sight in the U.S. For instance, the Gilera his father had back in the '50s and others like Aermacchi, Bianchi, and Maserati. These bikes may be small, but they make up for their size with their styling and nimbleness, and they generate an incredible amount of interest from those around him while out riding.
With a small community dedicated to racing small vintage Italian motorcycles, Hugo, along with his friends and clients, regularly participates in rallies such as the Giro D'California and other timed motorcycle races.