How to keep an early Moto Guzzi running well
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 www.motoguzzisales.co.uk Tel: 01785 224444. Mobile: 07718 230289.
They can run well and look good.