28 September 2015

New Project: 1967 Moto Guzzi V700

Well, I wasn't looking for anything else to work on... The 57 BMW R60 has been cleaning out all the spare change I have in my pocket, and frankly I couldn't (read: can't) afford another project, but every once in awhile a deal turns up that's just way too good to pass up. In a situation that sounds like what a superstitious person would call fate, I was in the middle of doing the dishes when I suddenly had the urge to do a quick search on Craigslist. Doing so yielded a search result of "moto Guzzi for sale 1968," that was just put up hours before me searching. No real description except "nice project" and the following pic:

Usually I'd shy away from a project pictured as such, but looking around at what was there it looked pretty complete, and the price was such that there was minimal risk in taking it on, even if there wasn't a title. I called the guy immediately and told him I wanted to take a look at it as soon as possible, which turned out to be the afternoon of the next day.

This is what it looked like when I got there:

Looking more like a bike, looking more and more complete. I was checking out the Dell'orto SS1 Carburetors (which was the first clue this was really a 1967 model instead of a 68), the the Borrani record rims (free of bends and scarring), the engine that seemed to be free (or at least it moved a little when I put the driveshaft into the transmission and pulled a little), and was trying to hide my excitement at what I was seeing. Apparently the bike has undergone a top-end rebuild back in the 70's and for one reason or another the guy started to disassemble it in 1976 to chrome the frame and repaint and then just let it sit for 40 years!

I checked out the numbers and found the frame to match the title (again a major plus), but the engine was different. I know this isn't as big of a deal with motorcycles as it is with cars, but I wanted to do a little more research on the numbers before pulling the trigger. I told the guy I was really interested, his price was fair, but that I'd call him a little later after I checked out the issue with the numbers and some other things like working out delivery if I was going to buy it. I was warned there were more people interested and I thought I was going to lose the bike. Long story short, the numbers never matched from the factory (common on early V7 Guzzis apparently), based on the numbers it really was a 1967 model (and early 67 at that) and was just titled as a 1968 (likely when it was sold instead of when it was manufactured), and when I called to say I'd buy it, he said he'd deliver it if I paid the tolls and paid cash - no problem. Honestly, getting to that point was a little difficult because he was afraid of turning up and me robbing him, I was afraid of leaving a hefty deposit and him never turning up, in the end we both decided to trust each other and make it happen.

All the bits and pieces upon delivery. 3 seats (1 solo, 1 stock bench seat, 1 3/4 seat off of a Honda or something), fairing, Wixom saddlebags, tool boxes, side covers, all the tins, complete engine and trans, brand new gasket set, a VERY COMPLETE bike.

This was the icing on the cake. Like I said before, I was told the bike had undergone some top-end work in the 70's and was parked shortly thereafter. Well, the registration and inspection tags confirmed the latter, and this stack of receipts from the 70's confirmed the former. Complete top-end job, new con-rods, new pistons, this guy spent a lot of money and I can't believe he never really used it thereafter. Note: there is nothing on the receipts about the chrome-lined cylinders. Those will definitely need to be inspected before any start-up attempts on this bike.

Rockers look nice and clean. I was expecting a rusty mess and was very pleasantly surprised to find not even a speck of surface rust.

This is what the inside of a carburetor that's been sitting for 40 years looks like.

This is what it looks like after an overnight bath in B12 carb cleaner. Still can't get the idle jet off, or the jet carrier (which doesn't look like any others I've seen on an SS1 carb), but I'll get them, and then dip it all over again. The other carb is currently taking its turn in the chem bath. Also, the main jet looks nothing like anything I've ever seen before. you can see it in the middle of the picture at the bottom (to the right of the mixture screw/spring)l it had a spring attached to it leading to another jet with 4 outlet ports that sat up in the jet carrier. I'll have to see what the other side looks like when I disassemble it, but things don't seem quite right here...

I'm going to have to take some measurements and fabricate an engine stand before I finally move the engine and trans out of the milk-crate storage - then the real fun will begin.

20 September 2015

Ocean Grove Brits on the Beach 19 September 2015

Like every year, Brits on the Beach has been held on a day with perfect weather, excellent turnout, and fantastic cars. Unlike the previous years, this time motorcycles were also featured, and what a great, albeit small showing. There were repeats from prior years (you can find last year's photos here), but I'm not complaining, in fact, the only complaint that I have is that the show is definitely getting bigger (compounded by a 5k and Fair going on in OG at the same time) and it was a little harder to get good pics.

Asbury Park looking ominous in the morning fog.

This guy was taking the Spitfire thing pretty seriously

Vincent Black Shadow & Brough Superior SS100 both ridden to the show. You rarely see Vincents, never see Broughs, and when you do find one it's usually at a concours event, not ridden to a commoner's street show.

The 2nd British motorcycle contingent. Egli Vincent, new Norton 890, Norton Atlas, Triumphs, and a BSA flat track racer.

Marty brought over his fiance's Triumph, it's come a ways back from this Lucas Electric strike in 2014.


 Some MG TDs. My grandfather had one back in the day, unfortunately by the time I came around it was long gone and replaced by an 84 Corvette.

09 September 2015

The Symphony has now entered the 21st century

I used to believe that Instagram was a tool for hipsters, Internet celebrities, and other bottom feeders to post selfies and self-aggrandize; it turns out this is not the case. After prodding from my brother, I finally signed up and found it to be extremely useful. No longer do you have to trudge through image searches for obscure motorcycle parts or one off builds, you just need to use pound signs (or hashtags as I've been corrected numerous times). You can find me at @symphony_of_shrapnel on Instagram for quick images, big updates will still go on here.