How to keep an early Moto Guzzi run­ning well

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - MIRA FILES -

Ian O’reilly pro­vides spe­cial­ist Moto Guzzi sales and ser­vic­ing from his in­de­pen­dent Muzzi Moto shop near Stafford, and he knows what is nec­es­sary to keep the twin-shock V-twins from the Sev­en­ties to the early Nineties run­ning healthily in the mod­ern world. He reck­ons it’s a pretty easy task to keep the big-block en­gines go­ing well, as they tend to re­spond much bet­ter to reg­u­lar use and higher mileages due to their un­der-stressed me­chan­i­cal com­po­nents. Ian goes into the de­tails: “Whilst a Le Mans will run fine on the orig­i­nal ig­ni­tion points, any elec­tronic set-up will im­prove run­ning and the gen­eral en­gine pick-up; Silent Hek­tik be­ing the best/most mod­ern – but it is slightly more ex­pen­sive than some other op­tions. Swap­ping the Del­lor to carb tops from ‘side-pull’ type to ‘flat-tops’ will re­sult in a twist­grip that is much lighter and more use­able for most peo­ple. Sus­pen­sion is typ­i­cally over-sprung, so rear shocks that have softer spring rates than stan­dard will make a big dif­fer­ence; run­ning longer shocks from a later Tonti-framed model (such as the Le Mans 5) will help an ear­lier Le Mans to turn. Guzzi front forks are pretty aw­ful no mat­ter what you do, some pro­gres­sive springs and de­cent fork oil will help, but that’s it. A newer-type Brembo front brake mas­ter cylin­der and stain­less brake hose will re­move much of the 1970s ‘wooden’ brake feel, es­pe­cially with mod­ern softer pad ma­te­ri­als. When in good con­di­tion these orig­i­nal P8 Brembo brake calipers work re­ally well, even in mod­ern traf­fic, but we find that most rid­ers would be bet­ter off with the linked brakes dis­con­nected. Pick­ing a mod­ern set of tyres such as the Bridge­stone BT45 or Conti Go is a good move, es­pe­cially in a sec­tion nar­rower than stan­dard, this will speed up the (in­cred­i­bly slow) steer­ing slightly with no loss of grip. De­spite the Guzzi folk­lore, on the road no no­tice­able ben­e­fit re­ally is gained from 40mm car­bu­ret­tors, open ex­hausts, per­for­mance air-fil­ters, 950cc kits, high-lifts cams, un­leaded con­ver­sions, twin-plug heads, four-pot cal­lipers and float­ing discs etc. How do we know? Well, I have been spend­ing my cash on this stuff on and off since the early 1980s.”

More in­for­ma­tion from­ Tel: 01785 224444. Mo­bile: 07718 230289.

They can run well and look good.

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