IT’S a battle of the heart over the head.
In the left corner, a pair of sexy-as-hell Italian-made $70-a-pop Malossi trumpets looking about as cool as a piece of aluminium and mesh can possibly look without being attached to a 1980s Porsche 911.
In the right corner, a pair of daggy-as-hell Australian-made $50-a-pair rubber and foam Uni Filter air filters looking about as cool as a fresh dog turd on the pavement in front of a child care centre.
Absent from the equation, of course, is the original equipment air box and paper air filter element, a set-up which makes a fresh dog turd on the pavement in front of a child care centre look about as cool as a piece of aluminium and mesh attached to a 1980s Porsche 911.
The Malossis were one of the first things I bought when I started accumulating bits and pieces for the cafe-racer-ing of my MkV Moto Guzzi LeMans.
The upsides and downsides of the trumpets are not rocket science. The upsides are visual and aural aesthetics. They look plain wonderful and, when you crank the throttle open, they sound plain even wonder-full-er. To look so gorgeous and sound gorgeous while sucking so hard is something achieved only by Malossi and Linda Lovelace.
The downsides of the Malossis are functional. They let crap into your motor. I know. The Guzzi dropped to one cylinder one day; diagnosis dirty plug, culprit Malossi. Another day, caught in torrential rain, the old girl quit completely after presumably sucking water.
The Uni Filter pods are exactly the same, but opposite.
The upsides are functional. They stop crap getting into your motor.
The downsides are aesthetic. They look like a lump of foam stuck on the back of your carbs. Which is fair enough, because that’s what they are.
So which one wins? Easy. The Malossis win of course.
(Note: Cafe LeMans wears the Uni Filter pods when I ride her to work. God, I hope no one sees me.)
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