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 First ride on a Guzzy

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Biondino
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PostSubject: First ride on a Guzzy   Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:42 pm

I was thinking about my first Moto Guzzi experience and how it felt. It was many years ago on a red Le Mans Mk 4 or 5 not sure which. I rode it as a commuter for a few days and was less than impressed.
It was cumbersome, had linked brakes that I genuinely disliked and was not for me. It did have a nice turbine like motor but little else in my opinion
It left me with a negative opinion of MG that took the GRiSO to change.
Just wondering if any of you had similar experiences, or were you smitten from the beginning
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Grisonut
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:26 pm

Never owned a Guzzi other than the GRiSO.
In my younger days, I had nothing but Jap bikes except for an old Ducati. Very Happy
I got into this thing from a guy that was a hard core rider on a Guzzi Le Mans...
He said that if you're gonna ride with mature guys in the mountains (French Alps mostly mind you), you don't need a lot of horse power and do crazy/stupid shit like you do, but rather own a big twin and learn how to through it in the turns. lol
The Duc wasn't a big twin with 650cc but it got the job done regardless.
As for the Guzzi thing, I didn't get the vibe until I saw the GRiSO...
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ghezzi
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:54 pm

Fell in love with a picture of a Mk1 Le Mans, reading Two Wheels magazine in English class instead of Shakespeare, (I failed English). Could never afford twice the price of a jap bike until one day I acquired 5 grand, was about to purchase a CB1100RD Castrol 6-Hour "special". A mate reminded me of a solemn pledge to go Italian if I ever got rich.

Test rode a new MK111 Le Mans, contemplated the purchase over lunch (which I had to pay for) and then said what the heck, in for a penny in for a pound .......................... suck it and see.

Owned plenty of jappers since but always hanker for a Gootsi if I don't have one. I have won one.
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:07 am

First MG ride was on the GRiSO. Had loved the look for many years and finally took the opportunity to ride one. Liked it. Bought it. Smile
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tocino
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:41 am

First was an 850-T3 owned by my friend Brian 20+ years ago. I can't remember if I'd ridden it on the street first, but we were at a track school getting our race licenses when my bike conked out. I thought I was done, but the instructors told me that since the "real" instruction / track stuff had already happened all I needed to do was to complete a full lap without following an instructor.

My friend offered his 850-T3 which was legal because he was going for a license too so had it wired up, etc. Of course it wasn't a stock T3; he had done a bunch of performance mods and also put clips-ons, rear-sets, etc. This of course made for lousy street manners and the ergos, while perfect for him, just felt all wrong.

Did I mention it had just started raining and the track was greasy? Through turn one the back stepped out; I'm sure it was just a little, but on someone else's bike, which felt totally foreign to me, in the rain, with only a couple of years of riding experience it felt like a mile. Eyes got real big. Then I remembered that I only had to finish the lap.

I spent the rest of the lap going so slow the corners workers were giving me the "turn the throttle" signal. Smile  Longest lap ever and I'll never forget it. And they gave me my race license.

6 years ago I came across an ad for an 850-T and I remembered Brian's bike, plus a few other friends had gotten Guzzis and loved them. It was cheap so I got it to give it a try. One of the best used bike purchases I've ever made - really like that bike. Last summer I wanted to get a brand-new bike so decided to stick with Guzzi. Test rode the GRiSO and it was exactly what I was looking for: 2 cylinders, practical (but not too practical (aka boring)), fast (enough for me) and stylish. I was also really impressed by the build quality and better than expected components (radial brakes, stainless lines).

Now if only Spring would arrive...
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guzziownr
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:51 am

I decided (in 1989) that owning a car in NYC was impractical so I learned to ride a motorcycle, a friend's Kawasaki 440 custom, which I piloted around the Brooklyn Navy yard. Having researched used bikes I determined that a used Moto Guzzi V65 would be an economical and reliable choice. The price was right at $1,500 but sadly, at 6' 4" and 225 Lbs., I was a poor fit. The nice man at Ghost Motorcycle sales in Port Washington NY suggested an Eldorado and offered a pristine white example formerly owned by local resident Billy Joel. I demurred due to the rock star price premium and eventually located a well used 1972 Eldorado and made arrangements to pick it up at the Finger Lakes Guzzi Rally.

I drove up in my Father's 1982 Cadillac Fleetwood accompanied by my then girlfriend "that crazy redhead". The plan was for me to ride the bike back to the city (150 miles?) with the redhead running chase in the Cadillac. Obstacles included the fact that I had never ridden ANY bike on the highway and an adjustment to the Eldorado's upside down shifting pattern.

We left the rally in good form, I stalled the bike once at a stop sign but adjusted to the clutch and heel and toe shifter quickly. We were soon on a deserted stretch of two lane marked at 55 MPH. With an eye on the Veglia speedometer I cautiously ran the bike up to 45 and looked back at the redhead. She smiled and waved so I shifted into third gear and was almost immediately at an indicated 60 MPH on the dial. The bike was rock solid on the road so I glanced back once again to see the redhead making a shooing motion with her hand.

It was a gorgeous Sunday in June, an empty road and a thrilling sound from the exhaust. I shifted into fourth gear and saw 75 MPH on the dial. The road wound along above a river gorge and the Guzzi tracked happily through the gentle curves. I took in the limitless blue sky, the puffy clouds and checked the mirror to see the huge chrome grille of the Fleetwood uncomfortably close. The redhead was riding my tail and waving at me to go faster!

At an indicated 75 I had no intention of going any faster but she continued to wave and make faces at me.

That was when we heard the siren.

Behind the Fleetwood was a NY Highway patrol car with lights on and siren wailing. There was a scenic pull-off just ahead and I eased the Guzzi into it as the officer whipped past at warp speed giving me a scornful look as he passed. I was very shaken up and happy to get off the bike for a bit. The redhead informed me that I had failed to exceed 45 MPH and was wondering if there was something wrong with the bike!

Further testing revealed that the speedometer, plainly marked MPH, was reading in KPH. We proceeded on our way and I kept the speedo around 120 for the rest of the trip without further incident.

After years of riding Eldorados I still have one in the garage next to the GRiSO. It provides a nice contrast to the G12 and reminds me how far we (and Guzzi) have come in forty years.
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:06 am

Great story! Cool
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fredfrenzy
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:38 pm

I had been riding BMW airheads and bevel Ducatis, but always loved the look and sound of the Guzzi Le Mans and the Tonti framed cafe racers that I'd seen.    I was looking for a Tonti framed Guzz project when I stumbled on V65 project.  I did some research on the smallblocks and found the V65 came up as one of the best of breed - and it had a Tonti frame.  The bike was a mess, with the classic  barbarian PO  Smile.    Doorbell for a starter, speaker wire in the harness, torque rather than gaskets many places - bungied on non-stock bodywork.

 It did have a Bub pipes and a Dunstall soggy fiberglass tank.   I decided to take it on as a cafe build.  Down to bare frame and a slow but painful rebuild - everything had to be touched -  had to fabricate rear sets, sidepanels, tank strap, insturment etc etc.   Delinked the breaks, new drive shaft, clutch.   The carbs were destroyed so put on Dellorto PHFs.   blah blah

A solid year of tweaking...but once I got it done, and my first ride made it all worthwhile since it was a major grin generator....perfect for the tight twisties here, handled great, lots of torque.  Became one of my favorite rides.   Looked great as well (This was before guzzi released the modern V7 classic and variants).

The GRiSO has now satisfied by desire for a "bigblock" Guzzi...

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keenerkeen07
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:14 pm

Lovely small block you have there fredfrenzy Thumbs Up
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tocino
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:48 pm

Whoa! That looks nice!
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Overholt13
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:45 pm

+3 fredfrenzy great looking bike
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Pete Roper
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:51 pm

That is a rather nicely executed example of a build. As most know I have an extremely jaundiced view of most of the so called 'Cafe' builds out there. It's nice to see one that has been done by someone who isn't a mouth breather or a 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion'.

Do check the valve clearances regularly, the V65's were one of the worst models for shedding valve heads like confetti!

Pete
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Grisonut
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:20 pm

I like it too.
The fact that it as fenders is a plus. LOL
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keenerkeen07
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:44 pm

Grisonut wrote:
I like it too.
The fact that it as fenders is a plus. LOL
yes fenders i have always liked them myself , Smile  is that front fender stock ? looks familiar but....
Fredfrenzy ?


Last edited by keenerkeen07 on Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Grisonut
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:03 pm

I wouldn't know...
It could be a Honda CB one for all I know. Doesn't matter, looks good.
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fredfrenzy
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:07 pm

Pete Roper wrote:
That is a rather nicely executed example of a build. As most know I have an extremely jaundiced view of most of the so called 'Cafe' builds out there. It's nice to see one that has been done by someone who isn't a mouth breather or a 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion'.

Do check the valve clearances regularly, the V65's were one of the worst models for shedding valve heads like confetti!

Pete

Thanks Pete.  I too am not fond of the current fashion driven cafe racers/brat style builds.   Being old enough to have been there for the first round of cafe racers, my intention was to build a 60s British style cafe racer with an Italian flair.    I did the build 10 years ago and I've been happy with the performance and looks....rode it to work today.

Thanks on the valve reminder...

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fredfrenzy
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:12 pm

keenerkeen07 wrote:
Grisonut wrote:
I like it too.
The fact that it as fenders is a plus. LOL
yes fenders i have always liked them myself , Smile  is that front fender stock ? looks familiar but....

Good catch on the fender.  The rear is a SS Guzzi T3 fender, appropriately hacked to mount.   The front fender however, is a chrome Guzzi V65C fender...fit the build and fit correctly.  An eBay find. I did take off the mud flap. One of the few things beside the running gear I like from the "C"

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not-fishing
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:37 pm

First Guzzi ride was on the GRiSO 1100 I have now that I bought last year.  I bought it from Todd @ Guzzitech and made the 16 hour drive from Folsom to pick it up and trailer it back.

It was a bit of a beast at first because it had been 30+ years since I gave up my 76 Honda 400F cafe'd bike (Vesco 1/2 fairing, Ceriani front, Koni rears, rearsets, clipons, dyno-tuned grizzly exhaust).  I put over 30,000 miles on it in a couple of years riding.  I was pressured by the family into giving up my Honda by the fact that my brother lost his foot on a Yamaha in SF.

I first saw a Guzzi Lemans back in '76 before I bought the Honda but I was a po' recent college grad who was already married.

Now that the kids are grown, the Ex paid off and the present junkie wife taken care of I'm back to riding -- with a vengeance.  

I need to build another Cafe bike.  My youngest suggests I start with a little Duc....
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Grisonut
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:32 pm

not-fishing wrote:
.......... I'm back to riding -- with a vengeance.  


That's the best of your story right there. Thumbs Up
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PostSubject: Re: First ride on a Guzzy   Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:18 pm

Smitten right off the bat! First time I rode the GRiSO was when I picked it up from the dealer. What a day that was! Very Happy I hadn't ridden in 30 years and rather doubt I would currently have a license had I not seen the GRiSO. Couldn't be happier now that I have both. It's an incredible bike to own and ride!

Anyway, just about to reinstall the battery and clean her up a bit before I put her back on the road this Thurs. or Friday.



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