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Author Topic: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign  (Read 56702 times)

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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'82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« on: Dec 15, 2011, 03:40:08 »
So, I've lived in San Francisco for about a year now, and in that short time I've more than had my fill of hunting for parking spots, paying parking tickets (~$1k thus far), and wasting hours on the grossly inefficient mass transit system Muni.  Recognizing that none of the transport solutions I've tried in this city were going to work, it was time to find and alternative.  Over the past few years I've been growing increasingly interested in the urban fascination with the contemporary Cafe Race, and these two stimula got me scanning the Bay Area Craigslist pages for a suitable piece of transportation equipment with some Cafe potential.  And this lead to the recent purchase of a 1982 Moto Guzzi v50 III(?).

I picked up the bike for $750.  It does not run at the moment, but if you click it into gear you can roll the bike and hear it turning over; so, nothing has seized.  Aesthetically, it looks more like a swamp monster than an elegant Italian machine, but the lack of museum potential is no matter.  That just gives me more freedom to get really creative with the restoration/redesign.


Inspired by Dale's thread about his v50 project, I though I might add a second one on here, and chronicle the progression of my project.

I rolled the bike into the TechShop annex here in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, which is where the project will be housed.  The next door facility has an incredible array of equipment that is available to the public if you're willing to foot the $120 per month membership fee. With a little luck, I'll be using quite a bit of their equipment to fab parts for this project.

Now, before I get too much further, I should add that I have: (a) never owned a motorcycle before, and (b) never restored a vehicle of any sort before.  But no matter, I think this will go fine.  I've done quite a bit of automotive work on a '98 Jeep Wrangler project that is another of my 'babies,' and I've got a pretty respectable mechanical aptitude.

To start, given the condition of this thing, the whole bike is going to have to come apart (if for no other reason to allow the necessary deep clean that would be required for me to feel comfortable getting anywhere close to it in clothes I care about), and that process began on Monday.  Attached to this post is a picture of the bike at the start of things on day one.

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #1 on: Dec 15, 2011, 03:43:34 »
Here it is at the end of day 1.

Dirty Dirty.  My hands and forearms were black up to the elbows.

All of the fasteners are coming off quite easily, though.

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #2 on: Dec 15, 2011, 03:46:01 »
Part way through removing parts on the handlebars and fork.

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #3 on: Dec 15, 2011, 03:55:00 »
The end of day two.  It is starting to look so much better already.  All of the clutter these bikes come with from the factory is really a distraction from the true elegance of these machines.

I used to race mountain bikes competitively and did a fair amount of road cycling as well.  I always love the straight bars on the mountain bike and that agressive ridding position that really allows you to muscle the bike around.  The existing bars on this guzzi really remind me of the handle bars on my mountain bikes.  Given that my intended use for this project upon completion is really to tear a#$ around the city I might not drop the bars down to clipons as is tradition for a true cafe race.  I think I might keep things in approximately the stock configuration.

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #4 on: Dec 15, 2011, 04:16:44 »
I spent today removing the wiring harness.  I've carefully mapped things out and have tagged all couplings with masking tape such that things are easy to reassemble.  The previous owner had the original starter switch bypassed, and it looks like whoever did this work took some liberties in doing some heavy cutting and splicing.  I suspect this is going to cause a big headache when I go to put the handle bars back together.

I've noticed several other oddities that are no doubt the result of prior shade tree wrench.  Behind the right 'header' (is this the right term on a bike?) was some ill fitting gasket that was some all into the outlet of the head.  Besides this, there are also various missing or mismatched fastener pieces. Given the corroded state of most of these, I'll be replacing them anyway, though.

Also note in the picture that the right front brake caliper is still on.  I've found my first bolt that is simply not going to come out in the way it's supposed to.  If I put any more torque on it it is going to strip the 6mm allen fitting on the bolt.  Don't really want to apply heat to this part of the bike to loosen things up, and the spray solutions aren't working to loosen things up.  Not sure what I'm going to do with this one yet.

Offline zachattach

  • Posts: 87
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Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #5 on: Dec 15, 2011, 04:25:12 »
Loving these builds.  May look to incorporate design elements form them.  I also removed the factory airbox today.  That's giant OEM waste of space is never going back on and will be replaced by cone filters.

Offline session101

  • Posts: 202
Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #6 on: Dec 15, 2011, 04:25:45 »
someone else on here has a motoguzzi v50 build too, i love the bike
i eventually want to get a guzzi for the next bike, but pretty good price!


Offline BCBarker

  • Posts: 946
    • Barker Designs
Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #8 on: Dec 15, 2011, 09:17:08 »
Nice Find. I'd pay $750 all day long for a Guzzi. I'm in.

Offline m357.5

  • Posts: 496
  • TURBO KAWI
Re: '82 Moto Guzzi v50 Rebuild/Redesign
« Reply #9 on: Dec 15, 2011, 10:04:56 »
I'm watching, I'd love to find a Guzzi.
KZ's, GPz's N' ZX's