20 years without César Agüi

Perhaps not many bikers today still remember who he was. César Agüi, and what it represented for an entire generation in the 90s and the beginning of the new century. However, personally I still have fresh in my memory, as if it were yesterday, the day I entered “Anita's kiosk” and bought my first motorcycle magazine. It was October 1994 and back then, in the so-called golden age of motorcycling, there were tons of publications from different publishing groups to choose from.

The fact is that, don't ask me why, my eyes went to the cover of what was then the Motorcycle Monthly, The motorcycle, in which, among others, you could see photographs of a Kawasaki GPZ 500 S or the back of Honda's recently released RVF750. What I didn't know, at that moment, is that that magazine would change my life forever. At that time, I had just turned 12 years old.

From the first moment I started reading the different articles that had been published there, I felt like there was a new world before me in which imagination, and the love for two wheels, joined hands to capture me forever. And the blame for this whole process was undoubtedly the one who months before had become his brand new director, César Agüi.

César Agüi: the beginnings

It's funny how life takes you down different paths than the ones you initially decided to take. Whether on a personal or professional level, sometimes things do not usually happen as one plans or imagines them in the first instance. This is perhaps the case of Agui who, despite being qualified as an aeronautical engineer, decided to put his profession aside to dedicate himself fully to the motorcycle and everything that surrounded it.

20 years without César Agüi

His beginnings in the world date back to the early 80s, when he became an occasional collaborator of Motorcycling. He would do it hand in hand with Paco Callejowriting a technical article on anti-sinking systems titled “Anti-Dive: to sink or not to sink, this is the question.”

César had been researching the subject for some time, even designing his own mechanical system that he would end up installing in his beloved. Montesa Crono 350. That was only the beginning of a prosperous journalistic career, but above all of an essential contribution to the sector that would generate a legion of followers who loved two wheels.

20 years without César Agüi

From that moment on, César would combine, for a time, his career as an engineer with that of an occasional journalist, although the latter would eventually make him opt for motorcycles. Basically because he had them in his blood, as those who were his writing, track or testing companions always testified.

César Agüi on the circuits, his true passion

That adventure gave him the opportunity to try all kinds of motorcycles, but what César was really passionate about was the circuit. That constant research to find a minimum improvement in a competition motorcycle. That is why during the 1992 season, he temporarily put aside his role as a journalist to accept the challenge proposed by his friend and pilot. Luis D'Antin.

20 years without César Agüi

Agüi would assume the tasks of technical director within the box of the Madrid rider, who that same year managed to debut in the Motorcycle World Championship, with a lot of sacrifice and the financial help even from César himself, within the 250 cc category, winning up to three times. with 15th position throughout that season.

Although this sporting stage was not as fruitful as César and the rest of the team would have liked, it did serve to bring together a series of knowledge that he would later transfer to his various personal projects, such as his unfinished GP-1 with Suzuki GSX-R 1000 engine.

20 years without César Agüi

However, his debut would come in the form of the now legendary and well-known GP-6 with which César, in some way, envisioned what years later would become the current category of Moto2, within the MotoGP World Championship. A motorcycle with the dimensions of a 250 cc Grand Prix powered by a Supersport engine.

In fact, that project was conceived in the garage of his house and, later, he would present it based on articles in the publication itself, showing us those changes and advances that he was making on the motorcycle in an entertaining and instructive way.

20 years without César Agüi

The GP6 was equipped with a tubular steel chassis, the work of Agüi himself, designed using CAD, and equipped with a Honda CBR600F 1995. In the cycle part César chose to incorporate top-level elements such as suspensions OhlinsBrembo braking and seat posts from a Yamaha YZ250 which D` Antin himself had piloted in previous years.

He also adapted a complete fairing Speed ​​Fiber to the different air intakes and front lighting equipment, with the intention of being able to compete with it in endurance tests. She would finally end up competing in races as special as the 24 hours of Catalonia of Motorcycling of 1999, where the trio formed by Rodríguez, Gavira and Hervás ended up taking the victory.

20 years without César Agüi

The team composed of Mariano Urdín, Pere Casas and César himself He would finish the test in 22nd position, setting the 7th best time in the race. However, this was not the first time that César's pilot streak got the better of him.

From his beginnings as a biker he would regularly participate in different competitions of the time, at different levels and with various mounts. From the well-known critérium through the RD Cup to even the 1990 Superbike National at the controls of a VFR750R RC30.

20 years without César Agüi

Perhaps his most relevant participation, in terms of results, would be the one he competed in 1994 within the so-called National Sport Production Trophy where, piloting a Ducati 916 prepared by Evelio Tejero, would end up reaching fourth place overall at the end of that season, including two podiums, both in second position, and which tasted like glory.

César Agüi, that crazy methodical lover of excellence

His appointment as director of the Motorcycling monthly was no coincidence. The perseverance and dedication that César maintained throughout the first decade of his professional career finally paid off. As some of his editorial colleagues defined him, Agüi was direct and methodical, a versatile mind at the service of the world of motorcycles.

20 years without César Agüi

With it came countless key sections in this monthly magazine. These focused on technique, driving tips, advice on equipment and accessories and even “express mechanics courses” for the most daring. All this marinated with images of excellent quality, where the motorcycle was always the protagonist of most of them.

Also face truly unique challenges such as, for example, putting to the test what at that time was the fastest registered motorcycle on the planet: The Kawasaki ZX-12R Ninja. We are talking about the year 2002 and César decided to travel the distance between Madrid and Basella, to visit the city's motorcycle museum, in a single day.

20 years without César Agüi

In that extensive article he detailed in detail the kilometers traveled with each tank and the average speed reached in each section. At the end of the day, after traveling more than 1,121 km, 9 hours at the controls of the Ninja and 128.5 liters of gasoline consumed, he was back home.

For the history of motor journalism, that penultimate stretch between refuelings will remain with an average of 214 km/h, something unthinkable today as the yard is. At the conclusion of the test Caesar wrote: “My work day has cost me 151.3 euros spread across 7 gas stations, two tolls, a sandwich, some soft drinks and a fine… but it was worth it, I think to myself.”

20 years without César Agüi

Returning to the publication itself, it offered fans the possibility to openly express their opinions, consult the different doubts that always arose regarding their frames or tell their little biker battles in sections such as Goal 100,000either Second hand”. All this under a familiar, pleasant and instructive tone where Agüi was always open to any suggestion.

On the other hand, César Agüi would become a founding partner of what was first exclusively a piloting school, and which would later end up being the well-known Action Team. A club around the magazine with countless initiatives and events, all focused on the fan and his mount.

20 years without César Agüi

With the entrance of the 21st century, one of the greatest internal revolutions occurred within the motorcycle sector and Agüi, together with his team, knew how to adapt perfectly to this new paradigm where sports motorcycles had become the main protagonists of the news of two wheels, and countless fascinating new developments were constantly arriving.

Once again, César found a way to continue dazzling us month after month, in addition to accurately transmitting to us all those substantial changes that occurred in each new generation of motorcycles. Factors such as the definitive inclusion of electronic injection, the substantial weight reduction in the leading models or the search for an increasingly sharp and minimalist design, were the essential pillars on which his chronicles rested.

20 years without César Agüi

All this marinated, as always, with that way of transmitting on paper those impressions that, personally, he perceived in each test. Because if César stood out in something, it was precisely in that, in his way of expressing everything he felt when riding any motorcycle, regardless of the segment, model or philosophy in which it was included.

Sad farewell to a true reference

On this day like today, a May 19, 2004César Agüi died at the age of 43, after hitting a guardrail two days earlier in the well-known Madrid mountain range, while he was preparing an article about the new Kawasaki ZX-10R. Curiously, the same month that marked 10 years since he had taken the reins of the famous publication.

20 years without César Agüi

The news spread like wildfire through most motor forums, especially two-wheeled ones, which at that time we found on the Internet. In all the messages of condolence, the great loss that César's death represented was highlighted, but also an accurate criticism of the guardrails and what they represented for the physical integrity of the biker community. Something that, unfortunately, 20 years later has not changed one bit.

It is curious how precisely in the last issue of La Moto in which César worked, there was a special about the life of the “self-taught engineer who revolutionized the world of two wheels”, Antonio Cobas. In that heading of the article Agüi wrote: “The motorcycle you ride, the races you follow with excitement, the magazines you read. Nothing would be as you see it if it had not had the great contribution of the genius who has now disappeared.”

20 years without César Agüi

Perhaps that is exactly the feeling we all had when Cobas left us after battling the disease like a titan. Curiously, the same feeling we felt just a month later when a damn guardrail would take us away from the greatness of César Agüi forever. Thank you for everything, wherever you are.

Sources: The Motorcycle, 1–2

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