Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345
Results 41 to 47 of 47

Thread: Any Italian Bike owners alive out there?

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,160

    Default

    I can't be of any help, John, but I love that bike. Italians have always had a brilliant sense of style, and design in every field of art, and engineering. Best of luck.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    93

    Default

    I haven't messed with a cadet; but I've had my hands in more than one duc for guys over the years. My first stop has generally been bevel heaven -- if they don't have what I want, they usually tell me where to find it: https://store.bevelheaven.com/index.php?p=home

    I've also used Guzzino for harder to find bits -- especially things like veglia gauge bezels, etc. http://guzzino.com/index.html

    As for Italian bikes -- yep, I'm a bit nutty. I currently run three Guzzis (very early 69 Ambo; 79 SP1000; 89 Mille GT) as well as my trusty 1969 Aermacchi/Harley Sprint. My poor old suffering SP is my beater/interstate/winter bike. I ride year round in Chicago and only have vintage bikes (the 89 is my "newest" bike) -- and that means salt plus idiots. poor thing has been knocked over when parked up more times than I care to mention. But, the SP just keeps on going . . . and is just about to turn 157,000 miles. Starts on the first crank in weather down to 10 degrees F, but it does cook you a bit on hot summer days with all the heat trapped by the lower fairing. I did have to replace the clutch at 153,000 miles, but otherwise, it's just been brake pads, oil changes, and tyres. I'm still not quite sure how I got that much life out of the clutch as when I measured the plates they were a full 1/2 millimeter below the absolute wear limit by which Guzzi says slip should occur. I never noticed until I pulled a power wheelie and suddenly got a raise on the tach :-) They really are lovely, rewarding bikes -- but not something you tend to gravitate towards until you're "mature."


    Coincidentally, I almost forgot that I had to replace the timing chain on the SP at 149000 miles; the tensioner had long since died and the chain was trying to saw through the case. It got pretty good into the lug --- motor ran sweetly the whole time - - if a bit noisly. Now, it's quiet with just a touch of whine from the shoe. Photo attached. Try letting a "regular" bike go that far and disaster normally happens. I do not under any circumstances treat the SP nicely -- it gets reved deep into the red, put up wet, and has never had a bath. And, it is one of my favorites. I plan on giving it a facelift once I finish the 64XLCH. I've got all the parts hanging in the rafters and the paint on the shelf. Just gotta send a check to Greg Bender for the new wiring looms -- 40 years of abuse have left the looms crusty.

    Timing Case marks 2.jpg

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Eric: Thanks for the compliment. It's a nice bike and I'm happy with it. I can actually pick it up off the ground without too much strain and it's sure a lot easier to move than my old FLH or Chief.

    Steve: Yes, I checked both bevelheaven and guzzino. Good resources, but not too many things for two strokes. I'm wondering if there are any motorcycle junkyards out there. One of the PO's of my bike mentioned a yard in Albuquerque but he cleaned out the few Ducati parts there. I've been talking with Road Rash Cycle Repair in Wisconsin, and he has a lower unit. But I wonder if anyone knows of other salvage yards?

    BTW Steve, I hear a lot of stories about the endurance of the Guzzi and yours is no exception. I had my eye on one several years ago, but the owner was a little shady so I passed on it. Maybe someday.

    John

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Personally, I have always loved the 4 stroke single Ducati's

    I was brought up with big British singles, and the Italian bikes were always just beyond my reach at the time, and very uncommon in Australia.
    I have been lucky enough to ride the first green frame 750 and 900 Ducat's . What an experience. beautiful bikes to ride, not overly comfortable, but went like a bat out of hell.
    If I could afford one now, i would buy one, but they have got very expensive.
    Your Early Ducati is a nice little bike. I bet it is fun to ride, and a PIA to find parts for.
    Good luck.
    Cheers

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    93

    Default

    As the story goes -- duc distribution was strongest in two regions during the 60s; the mid-Atlantic and the West Coast (with Colorado and NM). As such, you might have the best luck hunting salvage yards in the area. A call to a local chapter or two out there might turn up a lead. Is there any chance the cadet was a "shared" design sort of like the ubiquitous villiers? If so, that might help sort it faster. Otherwise, you might be stuck trolling ebay Italy. I had some decent luck there in turning up NOS items for a few odd ball bikes. The challenge, of course, is using the right technical term in italian to find your part :-)

    I have found it interesting how many parts have been being reproduced lately. It was hard to find some later 70s/80s guzzi and duc parts just 5 or 6 years ago -- now they are available and surprisingly inexpensive when you think about the relatively small market balanced against the quality of the parts. Even things like brand new windscreens, fairings, and switch gear are starting to appear. Go figure.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swolf View Post
    I hear a lot of stories about the endurance of the Guzzi and yours is no exception.
    I always heard it too -- but I didn't actually see my first goose in the flesh until '95. I was still deep in the middle of my turnip stage and living in East Anglia at the time. On a lark a mate and me took a weekender to Paris. Whilst wandering around I saw this gorgeous, gorgeous black beast parked up outside a cafe. It was a loopframe and made a big impression on me. I kept it filed in the back of my brain and when the time was right I didn't hesitate to buy my early '69 Ambassador. The speedo cluster had been replaced once -- and the "replacement" said 35K plus. However, I found enough evidence to suggest the bike was deep into the 50K-75K mile territory. All with indifferent maintenance, no oil filter, and an oil by pass that started leaking down well before full pressure. The bike simply kept on going and even the crank was within spec for the rebuild.

    But, the legendary strength truly became evident when I disassembled the noisy rear drive.

    Here are a few photos:
    DSCI0089.jpg

    DSCI0090.jpg

    DSCI0091.jpg

    Notice the crown wheel is missing a bolt . . .and that bolt lodged itself in the casing. It snapped the tips off a few gear teeth and left a swarf trail in the case. However, it moved around and wasn't as noisy as you'd think.

    They are like the timex of the motorbike world. Folks think 70s Hondas are tough -- I disagree. Having beat more than one into the ground they only take about 2/3rds the abuse a goose can take and keep on going. As it is, I find they rarely need valve adjustments, points last just about forever, brakes don't wear very fast, and you rarely see another on the road.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    ca
    Posts
    160

    Default

    I have two Harley Sprints, a ERS 350, and a CRS 250. Both racing bikes from the 60's. Imported as the Italian Aermacchi. Stan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •