My Blog List

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Moto Guzzi mysterious oil leak............another porous cylinder head !

A month os so back I posted a series of pics showing the left hand cylinder head from the Bronze Guzzi Cafe Racer that had a very small hole in the casting causing a hard to detect oil leak, and when found, what was actually done to cure it. As I sorted that one out an even more minor leak had developed on the r/hand head,which originally I thought was going to just be the rocker box gasket - bearing in mind that this head had been on the bike for at least the past 8 - 10 months with no problems at all. My friend Martin offered to take it to work to get it crack tested,but as I was impatient I just thought that I have three other clean r/h heads - none of which were of a pair - all with good guides in place. To cut a long story short after sorting out some valves and springs I had the seats re-cut and I couldn't believe it when this also had a very small leak. This again took some time to detect, though with perseverance and a very handy inspection light tool  the tiny hole was finally found and welded up and now all is good !
   On reflection, I think that why I have a number of porous Guzzi heads amongst my stock of parts is because of a bulk purchase of some ex Italian bike dealer stock - mostly Guzzi - that I made some 15 years ago. Somebody in the Trade,working on bikes day in day out, is going to come across this not unknown problem possibly a number of times,get fed up with trying to find the cause of the leak and then just swop heads and put the leaky head away to be sorted another day. That 'other day' just happened to be 15, 20 to 25 years later.............
The culprit is circled just between the top two fins

And on the inside,but ignore the two to the left

and wasn't I the LUCKY ONE !! 
  Now,with a new rear tyre already fitted, I can think about advertising the bike For Sale,but I'll be very sad to see it go as it's been Bloody Good Fun !

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Moto Guzzi USA Trip .............Yosemite and reaching the West Coast

This is the start of our last 7 days of  the 3 week trip across America entering Yosemite in early evening the temperature was dropping anyway as we headed for the Tioga Pass which had been closed earlier in the day due to the snow. Maybe one day it would be good to go back and spend a few days there rather than just riding through.
  Facts: Yosemite covers approx 3,081 square kilometres and yet out of the 3-4 million visitors every year most stay within 18 square kilometres. 95% of it is designated as Wilderness.
 When we arrived in the San Francisco area the next day I couldn't cope with how busy it was,after a traffic jam and bloody cold fog while crossing The Bay especially after 4,000 miles of virtually traffic free roads. Rather regrettably we opted not to stay in San Francisco itself and as a last resort some hotel in the suburbs. 
We picked Rick/Rich up further back at a small services where he was doing stretching exercises
and star jumps. He'd parted with his mate back in Las Vegas and asked if he could tag along.
He made a odd travelling companion as one minute he was cruising along at 50mph then suddenly we were up to 70 and then as quickly back down to 50mph.
We smiled to ourselves as he constantly seemed to be adjusting his carburettor or his belongings strapped to the bike and a couple of items including his sunglasses flew off never to be seen again !
Amusement turned to frustration and we managed to say our goodbyes at a services before we entered Yosemite

The road leading to the Tioga Pass entrance/pay booth

This is the next morning and what we woke to, having no idea previously as we
didn't book in until 10.30 - 11 pm
Probably one of our most expensive accommodations of the whole trip

Out of the Park and pulled in for fuel.
Had a brief chat with these two on their way back from World Superbike Race
in Utah

After our night in the suburbs we met up with Mark for breakfast who pointed us
the way to Skyline Boulevard and Alices Restaurant
(big meeting place at weekends for cars and bikes)
That night we stayed in a town nearer to Marks home in Hollister

Steve on the left and Mark West centre.
Via the internet/Guzzi club forum Mark had heard of our trip
and offered to meet up,taking a day off work to ride with us down some of the Pacific Coast Highway 

The Pacific

Steve - Dr Doolittle talking to the animals

Elephant Seals near San Simeon

After approximately 100 mls+ we turned inland off Highway 1
onto twisty,bumpy gravel strewn roads passing some vineyards along the way.
After a hour or two we got to Highway 101 where we said our goodbyes and Steve and Mark headed back Northwards
and we went South - no plan as such, but we ended up at Pismo Beach

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Friday, 4 July 2014

Moto Guzzi oil leak - the Cure

Drastic action had to be taken to cure the small oil leak on the Guzzi Cafe Racer. I posted up some pics a week or so ago showing the pin prick sized hole on the inside of rear pushrod tunnel.  I had it welded up,but upon handing the head back to me,because of the difficulty to gain access, he did say "I can't guarantee to have sealed the hole"........... and it hadn't ! 
   The solution to gain access was as shown in the pics below. I brought it home,removed the guides - advised apparently because of the heat generated when welding up - and then set to with my drill.
  Got the welding done and my friend Martin machined the surfaces back. I put the guides back in and then had to get the valve seats etc re-cut.
  The oil leak is now cured.