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 Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)

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Crazy88
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PostSubject: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:52 am

So as I broke out the spanners today, it occurred to me that it’s been a year since I bought my GRiSO. I thought I’d give a bit of insight into my experience, mostly  to highlight just how good  this forum has been to me & my bike!

I bought the GRiSO as a graduation present to myself, I’ve ridden since I was 17 with a little Suzuki Marauder and loved them so much that I didn’t bother to get my driving licence for another 10 years! I’ve had several bikes since, mostly Japanese but sold an absolutely awesome Triumph when I decided to go back to school...

To reward my patience (I did cave halfway through uni and bought a ropey old Honda VFR... it did the job) I wanted something that was a bit special, a bit of a collectors piece... my dad was always raving about Guzzis and the GRiSO has always been an absolute pin-up in my mind. I’ve never seen another on the road, my nearest dealership is 150 miles away and only had a rather tired one in, but that wasn’t going to stop me! I bought a 2010 SE, over the phone from a dealership ‘up north’ and crossed my fingers.

It arrived in absolutely perfect condition and absolutely lived up to the pin-up pics, it is an absolute stunner! The attention to detail is exceptional, from the engraved eagles & logos scattered across the cosmetic parts to the anodised parts surrounding the yokes, I was blown away. Most of it looks like it will last too, there is some minor corrosion on the brake reservoirs, the mid-section of the exhaust & some odd bolts here and there but overall, for a 7 year old bike it’s holding up pretty well; it looks like a new bike from 20 feet.

I took it for its anaugeral ride & immediately found a very, very different beast from the Japanese bikes that I’ve cut my teeth on. The VFR was like a  turbine; smooth, precise delivery... it gets you where you need to go. In contrast the GRiSO reeks of raw, unrefined power. The whole thing shakes on the stand and lurches to one side when you blip the throttle; it reminds me of the way that american muscle cars lurch around at the lights of a drag race, I liked it! My first ride felt like an experience, it made me realise that my previous bikes had become utilities, acheiving pretty much what a car could and little more. The brakes are responsive and I quickly gained confidence in the bends; none of the engine’s quirks interfere with the riding experience once pressing on.

A dozen rides in and, if I’m honest some of the novelty had worn off. As an experience, the GRiSO is right up there but when trying to get to work, through congested British roads it became a lumbering, clumsy giant. The biggest issue was how it behaved at low speed; around 15-20mph the throttle felt like an on-off switch and I ended up being over-conservative for fear of being launched into the car in front of me! Once Aware of the issue I also began to notice it in lower speed cornering and I actually became quite a nervous rider; I had to remind myself that I had years of experience under my belt! I’d also found out about the cam follower issue, and that mine had not been rectified which scared me off riding it at all, as I’d have likely been footing the full bill for the upgrade and simply couldn’t afford it.

On a positive note I found some great Hepco Becker Orbit luggage, it’s not going to fit the kitchen sink but it doesn’t break up the look of the bike either!

Pete and the guys here reassured me that it wasn’t as expensive as I imagined, and the resources here gave me the optimism that one way or another I’d have the cams sorted. There are great tutorials for doing it yourself, and loads of feedback from dealership experiences; reading around here prepared me to approach the dealer in an assertive way and it got the job done! £600, which included a full service and I put that demon to rest. I should note that my bike had 17k on the clock, full service history and still had sufficient wear on the followers to trigger the replacement parts. Now to tackle that godaweful throttle. The overwhelming opinion was that the fuelling was to blame. The bike actually felt marginally better when it came back from the dealership; whether they  updated the fuel map, or simply adjusting everything made a difference remains a mystery but it felt a little better. I wound in the throttle free play, checked the valve clearances and throttle body balance - all suggestions from this forum and again, a little better... not quite there, and I’m losing patience.

The breakthrough, and possibly redemption came when I downloaded the Beetle map. The free software and instructions to get this done are all available through the forum here; the only hitch came from my inability to read instructions! Otherwise the process was exactly as described in the tutorial. Once downloaded I took the bike out, it was 2 degrees & windy outside but I needed to know! The first 2 miles was going to be difficult to gauge as I drop straight onto a national speed limit B road; the bike feels great here anyway. However, almost immediately I noticed that I was approaching the bends with 500rpm less on the throttle. I joined the arterial route into my little town and my god what a difference, I was able to keep control of the bike right down to around 1700rpm - before this I was deliberately keeping the bike over 4000 just to keep it managable, filtering was instantly easy and I can honestly say that It has less jerkiness on a rolling-on throttle than some of the Jap bikes. It has been truly transformative, the bike still has character but it’s usable, smooth and responsive, my clutch control also seems to have improved, which is a bonus! I’m honestly so happy and grateful for the work that has been put into this map and the support that’s been offered in my first year.

I still don’t really know what to do moving forward, the bike feels great now but some of the issues on here concern me; the leaky seals, electrical problems, fuel tanks splitting and the miriad of other problems. Im already looking at a leaky front tyre, a rattling exhaust and an occasional starting blip.

I’m a full time Paramedic; I don’t have a lot of money & work long hours, this isn’t my third or fourth bike in the garage & if it pitched some massive fit I probably wouldn’t have the time or money to fix it... but I do love the individuality and my advice to fellow Guzzi noobs would be that, given a little bit of attention this bike will live up to (and hopefully surpass) your expectations, the advice here is amazing and WILL save your bike.
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Bill Hagan
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:05 am


Great report.

I, too, loaded beetle's map on my GRiSO (and Norge and Stornello) a few days ago -- OK, I had help or I'd still be at it Rolling Eyes -- and hope later today to get on it to try it out.

Best from the top of the U.S. Commonwealth named after Elizabeth I. Wink

Bill
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paulbrice
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:39 am

Thanks for sharing & a great summary that's probably similar for a lot of new GRiSO owners going through the mapping & rollers experience....wouldn't worry about the "other miriad of issues" as I don't think they are too common or serious (just talked about a lot here) .....BTW I have same wheels and have very very slow front wheel air loss but it isn't fast enough to make me sort out the spoke 'o'rings as that looks like a PITA but just means I have to check tyre pressure regularly like we all should (but usually don't) ....oh & I spent £500 on a pair of cast wheels as 'hot replacements for future' Smile
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beetle
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:17 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] what paulbrice said. You never hear from the owners that don't have any (or many) issues. My GRiSO is a 2010 model with 40K km and the only issue I've ever had (other than those of my own making) was a leaky bevel box seal. Which I probably caused by crashing.  Rolling Eyes

Great report. Cred for you!





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nblades
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks for the report. Your experience sounds very typical. I look forward to doing the Beetle map this coming summer, right now the snow in my front yard is waist deep! No point in spending the money yet. Thanks for taking the time to share, hope you stay in the GRiSO / Guzzi family.

Regards, Norm
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sidrat
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:40 pm

Nice read, i have probably had a few more problems, but i am pragmatic (i have an italian wife) and i will put up with the niggles as when it goes (and it has only let me down once now in three years, the startus interuptus issue, which was a £5 fix from halfords and some cables) it is one of the best motorcycle experiences there are, as you pointed out who wants an anodine, feelingless ride, you may as well ride an electric bike, my GRiSO is alive.
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mark111
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:12 am

Crazy,
Don't panic about the wheels leaking they aren't that difficult to sort out, this link shows how to deal with them.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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guzziownr
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:00 pm

I have Mark's excellent map and also run this throttle.  I like it!



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Crazy88
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:42 am

Thanks all!

It’s reassuring to hear that people are having long stints of trouble-free riding, I just read a ‘longest trip’ thread which put my mind at rest somewhat.

I don’t mind little bits of tinkering & investment here & there, as long as the product underneath it all is solid... that’s the bit that concerns me. Little tweaks are one thing; thanks for the info on the spokes, thankfully the tyres just need an occasional top up but good to know that it’s fixable. On the other hand I’d be furious at something like a bulging fuel tank or leaky gaskets; I guess, given my bike history, it’s just a fear of the unknown...

The throttle tube looks good! Did you add that before or after the map? I’d be interested to know how much it adds; the map is great and puts the bike in a very usable state; this might just tweak the throttle to suit the riding conditions I find myself in the most.
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paulbrice
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PostSubject: Re: Guzzi noob: 1 year in! (& beetle map feedback)    Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:47 am

You already reached Nirvana with Mark's map which solves throttle snatching due to mixture......assuming you are looking at very low speed 'snatch' in traffic filtering that comes from having two massive chunks of metal jumping around & pushing power through a shaft drive; I wouldn't mess with throttle tamers as don't see how they change the fundamental physics - just change way you ride to higher revs/lower gear....works for me anyway .... Wink
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