My Blog List

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Moto Guzzi Special...........

.............from at least over 15 - 20 years ago .
    This was a regular visitor to the International V Twin Rally when it was still being held at Shaftesbury, Dorset.
  Always a bit of a odd looker but just look at the innovation, at least on a Guzzi - hub centre steering, single sided swing arm, chain drive and frame etc etc......etc.
   I wonder if it's still in use or just languishing in a garage somewhere ?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A Blast from the Past

Came across this pic when looking for something else. It must be from around 1994' / 95' when I was living in Bristol but still working in Coventry and covering 12 - 14,000 mls a year on the Guzzi's.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Polishing up a S/S Hex head...........

...........with just a flap wheel and wet n' dry and sometimes I do this and sometimes I don't.  These last couple have turned out not too bad at all considering each only took  5 - 10 minutes.  I know that you can buy them already machined down, but it's all extra expense and you really have to look quite close to see some imperfections.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Slow progress.......

.............with the latest project. Although I'd taken the bodywork over to Andy at Ultimate Bike Paint I'd forgotten to cut out a small area for the linked brake operating rod so had to go and get back the r/h panel. I always prefer to get the side panels in as close as possible and so with this in mind I also made a slightly different angled m/cylinder actuating arm. A couple of hours in I had a thought that it might not be suitable, but continued  anyway and it turned out to be the case as it now fouled on the frame so I didn't bother cleaning it up too much. Anyway a lesson learned as it made me realise how maybe I should have shaped it.
   I have made my own brake lines up which I prefer to do getting a more exact length as I feel a lot of the ready made kits sometimes have too much line which can look a little untidy. I've covered mine in shrink wrap tubing so the matt black blends in nicely with the rest of the bike. I bled the front brake up in a matter on minutes but then spent 30 minutes cleaning up the old pot of brake fluid that I knocked over............oh yes I put what was left of the old fluid in a safer place and managed to kick that over too !
    A few other jobs have been achieved  - fitting the coils and Gammatronix boxes  in place, remaking more silencer brackets and yesterday started the process of bleeding the linked system. It really is all those seemingly little jobs that take all the time and I'm often left wonderin' where the day has gone.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Guzzi Cafe Racer

Adam from 'Italian Motor magazine' came over 10 - 11 days ago to take pics of my Guzzi Special that I finished building last year. After the static shots the plan was to take it out somewhere for some extra on road pics, but the time ran out as Adam also has a two and half hour drive home plus the 40 minute drive back to my house and really, after over 4 hours,  I think we just wanted to get back somewhere warm as it was such a cold day especially when your just standing around.
    Adam did take the bike for a short spin just to get a feel for how it felt / went .
   Anyway here is a brief video clip of it running which Adam posted on his magazine Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Guzzi Cafe Racer project update......

.......with the addition of the mk 1 fairing gives the bike a more balanced look. I also made some brackets for the silencers yesterday though a little fettling is still needed with them. Today was all about making a fibreglass detachable base for the seat fitted with some 5 mm threaded rivets. The channel is to clear the two bolt heads that will secure the seat unit to the frame.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Guzzi Cafe Racer project

Some progress has been made so I can finally get a proper idea how this years first project is going to look. The frame is quite a deep red  as I was determined to get away from the safe option of black......or the metallic black that my last years two ( three if you include Mark's Guzzi) builds have been. 
    This build is dictated by the fibreglass V7 Racer tank and seat unit that I bought from a chap in Ireland some 4 - 5 years ago. I've cut the seat down quite a bit and added the vents and two indents for a bit of extra detail.

Friday, 10 February 2017

GAMMATRONIX Ignition System

I've just purchased my second one of these for the current Cafe style project. I bought one late last year for the Brown Fastback Roadster after I thought it would cure a curious fault with that bikes running - Although the Brown Roadster is running perfectly now that purchased unit wasn't the cure ......but although I can't say I've properly road tested that bike either with the Gammatronix fitted  I like the idea and claims of it.
   Dyna actually do a Ignition Points Booster as I had one on a Guzzi some 20 years ago.
  Now I've never been totally convinced by electronic ignitions even though Lucas Rita's were the ones Guzzi owners wanted to fit (or Piranha / Newtronics as a cheaper option) but my first 3 or 4 Guzzi's all ran points and I never had a problem in the 12 - 14,000mls a year I was doing back in the early 90's. In fact my first Guzzi that came with a Newtronics system already fitted quickly developed a intermittent fault of firing on one cylinder which turned out to be a bad diode.
   My argument has always been that with points you are likely to at least get to your destination but with a electronic ign probably not - with a inevitable call out to the Breakdown service.
I've heard of many problems with Lucas Rita's and even when they check out as ok and working when fitted to the bike they don't !
    My Black bike had a Dyna III fitted and worked fine for 6 - 7 years when suddenly it stopped. According to the fault finding the one test said it was ok ......when obviously it wasn't?  I contacted Dyna in the USA when they said - via email - " well it could be such and such so if you send it back to us we'll take a look"
    So getting back to the Gammatronix - it replaces the condensers and apparently eliminates points wear, improves economy / power, more accurate spark timing / increased voltage,sharpens rev response with no spark erosion at the points.
    It's quite a bit more to buy than a pair of condensers  (£13+ plus postage) - at approx £43 inc postage - but if it does everything it claims then it's got to be well worth the extra layout. Time will tell !

Guzzi Cafe ................

..........frame back from the powder coaters  a week ago today and with not very many days at the workshop in the past 7 - 10 days then not a massive amount achieved  - removing tape from masked off areas,cleaning threads, drilling holes in cush drive rubbers, fitting steering head and swing arm bearings and UJ. I'll be getting the discs back today and so can get tyres fitted and start bolting the bike together soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Guzzi Cafe Racer..............

..............project and a small update.
    The provisional dry build has come apart and has been dropped off at the powder coaters........quoted a 2 week wait which is a little disappointing and frustrating but of course it's that time of year when everybody wants to get on with their builds -  motobikes,bicycles and car parts.
   Anyway spent quite a few hours going over the frame looking for corrosion to clean up, removing a couple of brackets and putting in a hole for the ignition switch.  Also did the usual to the rear brake plate with some drilled holes. Gives the impression of lightness even if it doesn't really make much of a difference and guess that most people don't even notice something that's so tucked away..........All very time consuming but makes me happy though !


I got to know Adam nearly two years ago, a friend of friends and the owner of two Guzzi's one of which - the older Tonti model - I ended replacing a gearbox return spring for him. Even when the bike was back on the road he'd call in for a cuppa and chat every now and then as he only lives 15 - 20 minutes away.
    Anyway I haven't seen very much of him at all over the past year because he's been very busy breaking into the Art world - as well as having a 9 - 5 job and a family - with his bronze sculptures.
   He's actually getting some made in alumnium and a bronze resin.
   Here's some pics of his pretty special work but best to take a look at his website and facebook page

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A Morris Minor called Maurice

My friend Martin picked this project up a few years ago and it sat for quite a while under a sheet in his front garden.  The year before last a number of us gave him a hand to put a concrete base down at the bottom of his and then he constructed from scratch a wooden workshop. He finished that earlier in 2016 and then moved the car in and has been welding and fabricating floor panels with the odd one purchased from the parts suppliers. He's finished the underneath on one side and has so turned the car over to get on with the other.
   Here's the email that he sent with relevant information.

Saved this from the crusher -  1954 2 door Morris Minor, plans are to first restore the body shell and then install the engine and transmition that I have so far collected - a 2003 83K Ford Focus ST170 2.0ltr 16v engine (170bhp output) using its original injection and using information gathered from the net - hopefully use the Ford ECU.
 engine is of course designed to sit in the car in a tranverse manner but luckily the rear wheel drive Sierra 5 speed gearbox bolts straight on so I have one of those too along with a MK2 Escort axle that is pretty much the same width as the original Morris one but much stronger.
Plans are to make a 5 bar rear suspension with coil over shocks(just like our bikes) instead of the leaf spring and lever arm suspension and for the front - you can buy(can I make?) coil over shocks and lower A arms to replace the torsion bar and lever arm suspension.
Body work I'd like to keep it pretty much as an earlier model - as you can see in one of the pics I have a 1948-50 front grill to straighten out, this puts the small 5 3/4" headlamps down in the grill as first designed and not as most will remember ontop of the wings(to meet American laws).
It will have wider wheels that I'd like to keep period looking if I can, Colour? I can't make my mind up - off white, light or mid grey, pale beige, pale green? a period colour any way but that's a long way off for sure!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Alan Vega

I had to go through a box of my old LP's a month or so ago after a period of very heavy rain the garage leaked and the one box that was on the floor got wet. So I had 50 - 60 albums and 12" singles drying out in the house. Sadly a number of the covers and inner sleeves have become warped though I think all of the actual vinyl is ok. 
    Some good has come of it because I've rediscovered some good and great old music.
   I was aware of the band Suicide in the mid 70's but think it wasn't until 1980 / 81' that I really started listening to Alan Vega (Suicide - Alan Vega & Martin Rev)

Triumph T110 Update

Four posts back I included a pic of one of my friend Pete's current restoration project. Well here is a pic of the original owner, Alan, in the 1963 photograph after visiting Pete just before Christmas.
  I've included this pic in that original post too