Saturday, 4 September 2010

70s Guzzi Cafe

Very cool 70's custom Guzzi

Every now and then.........near perfection

Sometimes you see other bikes and what someone has done to modify it, this bike has recently appeared on searches for Guzzi Cafe Racers on the internet.
I love it and it is very close to the style and look I will try to achieve with my bike, if your the owner, get in touch please !

Break for V-Twin rally August 2010

For a bit of fun and for inspiration ! I decided to  attend the V-Twin rally in the New Forest area.

Below are some of the bikes that were outside the 'Italian Motor' Magazine stand at the Rally. and I spent a lot of the day talking to the editor (owner ) of the Mag also being a Guzzi enthusiaist and he had his S3 on display that he had owned for over twenty years.also a link to a great blog showing the bikes there on the day and a video of Johns Cafe Guzzi.

The gang from Herts Guzzi club were going to be there, as were a bunch of fellow Cafe Racer enthusiasts that I had talked to on the internet but never met .
Nice to meet you John ! (John has the ali tank cafe racer in the photo) and we have spoken for months by e mail. John has not only supplied sound Guzzi advice, he also supplied me with some rare astralite wheels for the bike. I have since changed the wheels for a set of wire wheels.
The Astralites were eventually sent to America to another Guzzi fan Andrew Gray . Andrew is an Englishman in the USA who races a Guzzi in classic races and his Blog shows his winter rebuild of a great looking bike.


One of the joys of building a special is the number of people you contact that have amazing engineering skills and are willing to take on a project.

One such person is Nick Paravani of Competition Fabrications (01953 454573, Bonns Bank, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR14 1QD)
Dont look for a web site, you wont find one ! !

Nick and his team are one of those special companies you find very rarely, who complete outstanding quality work at a reasonable price, on time and are the nicest people to work with.
  The pics below show the bike being dropped off at Nicks workshop, and to help calm my nerves about leaving the bike with them , I was shown into the workshop where an Egli Vincent was having a system made up for it.

The finished product was made to a design I had seen, but Nick made a few adjustments and managed to make a beautiful upswept exhaust out of stainless that is beautiful and unique, thanks Nick !

Engine breather

Because of the Racing heratige HT Moto make some lovely speciall parts for the Guzzi.
I guess its more for Racing really , but it really cleans up the lines for a cafe racer too !
The engine breather on a Guzzi is an Ugly and pretty useless thing. Hartmut makes a moulded box that fits in the top of the frame where the battery access would normally be (see pic) .
Its a beautifully made unit that sits on the frame rails and with a little extension of pipe work from the engine, replaces the original unit really neatly. I haven't used the bike yet but it looks like one of those parts that should be good at its job and look neat too.

Floating rear brake

The floating rear brake i wanted to get sorted for the back end of the bike proved to be more of a problem than it looks. 
The axle shaft on a Guzzi goes through from the brake side and needs to go through the Diff / rear drive box enough to locate the axle nut fully. It took a lot of measurement and attempts to work out that what was needed was to reduce the bearing carrier by 5mm and this allowed the whole set up to work and clear everything as it should. 
I really like the look of this now and it is so much neater and considerably lighter than the original set up. The brake system is now fully De-Linked and the rear brake is now fully independent of the front (original Guzzis have linked brakes with one front disc and the rear operating together).
You can also see here the lovely wire wheels that were put together by Terry which are new Morad flanged alloy rims mated to stainless spokes laced to the original Guzzi Hubs.
The wheels have  Aqua-blasted hubs and discs before assembly which gives a virtually new finish to  the alloy parts. Finally got there !!!!!!!!!

Blast from the Guzzi Past !

Garage Build Up begins

The bike was starting to take on a life of its own and was now a rolling chassis back in my garage.
Now the fine tuning of parts started and final assembly of the bodywork.
All bolts were changed to Stainless thanks to two companies, one is Shaw stainless who I cant thank enough for one off parts and the speed of delivery, excellent, small quality company. Thanks Chris for all the advice and help
you can make out the engine /gearbox cover in this shot and this was made by a great friend and fellow Guzzi enthusiast Richard Bailey. I have only know Richard since being a member of the local Guzzi owners club (Herts branch), but his help has been invaluable and his engineering skills are second to none. His company in Hitchin (B and B engineering) are able to make pretty much anything that could be made in metal.
Richard has since helped out on numerous other parts that I needed adjusting, cutting down, brackets making (headlights) and just general friendship and interest in the project that has helped me keep going ! Thanks Richard.


The Rebuild begins

Terry at Stotfold Engineering allowed me to come into the workshop for the re assembly of the bike. I really needed to get involved in the build and was glad to have the opportunity.
The frame was powder coated at ' Full Range finishing' in Letchworth These guys are really accomodating and I changed my mind after the first try at a satin black finish on the frame and took it back to be re coated in Gloss Black. I am glad I changed my mind as the frame now looks great.

Heres a series of pics of the bike gradually getting back together (over a series of lunch time visits and after work over last winter. (in a freezing workshop with no heating !!)

The rear sets are from a company in Norfolk called Barleycorn.  Barleycorn  Engineering is a small  company making parts and accessories specifically for vintage and classic  motorcycles. The rear sets are copies of an Italian design from the 70's.
Simon at barleycorns is also very accommodating and apart from being reasonably priced in the first place Simon was also able to provide extra length arms to help me make the rears sets fit the Guzzi.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Guzzi Porn !!!!!!!

Call in the Pros !

I then managed to get hold of a Ali tank from 'Johns Tank shop' The master craftsman of tank building in the country ! (cheers John)

And the seat unit and engine breather from HT MOTO .

After trying the parts out for size it became clear I needed to get the frame modified and chopped to fit some of the parts (seat) and another fantastic local company called 'Stotfold engineering'  Thanks to Terry who worked on the frame and as well as fitting the seat also made brackets to suit the other parts fitted, great work Terry and thanks for the help. Terry also Built the wire wheels for me too and took care of some plating of various parts.
Terry was also kind enough to let me into the workshop at various times to work on the bike myself, thanks Terry.

The Strip down

So the bike was striped down and parts assessed. It turned out to be in excellent condition and I was really surprised with the way the whole bike had no rust or rotten fixings at all. Everything came apart easily.

 The Engine / Gearbox and final drive were then sent to NBS (Nigel) .

NBS are a well known UK Guzzi specialist in Staffordshire and he took care of the mechanical rebuild.

Project bike search !

So after the HT Moto inspiration I decided to look for a project bike to work on and make a cafe racer !
I found this MK2 Le Mans advertised in Spain. It had stood for 14 years and was in need of a lot of TLC !
A Guy called Deg, a fellow English,  Guzzi enthusiast had been offered the bike by a local dealer (where he lived in Spain) after being left there 14 years before by an owner that never came back to collect the bike.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

HT Moto Cafe Racer

HT Moto Cafe Racer
After a lot of research about my beloved Guzzi's I found the web site of HT Moto.
The beautiful Cafe Racers created by Hartmut are simply stunning and he has a great eye for detail.
His son has also been very successful in racing Guzzis in a Clasic series in Germany where he is usually in the lead !
The development of the race bikes obviously transfers into the services Hartmut can offer his customers and a quick look at his site will show this.
Lots of great parts available too.