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Nineteenth South'n Spine Raid 2023 Tennessee USA


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My friend V-7 Paul sent me a text Friday evening asking about info I had mentioned about a Guzzi gathering in Tellico Plains.  I explained that I could not spend the weekend but would like to ride over early Saturday, meet the group, maybe have lunch and ride back home the same day.  Wife is worried about the bears who like to stroll thru our back yard occasionally.   Paul is up for it I get my hall pass from my WONDERFUL WIFE and we decided to meet near his house at 07:30 which means I need to interrupt my rem sleep and drag my raggedy butt out of bed before sunrise.   

We met at the designated location and other than the thick fog had a relatively uneventful ride to Tellico Plains.

Arrived at the Lodge around 09:00 in time to see everyone.   Was great seeing acquaintances from previous Raids and meeting new folks to.

Paul and I started a ride after the first group left.  Thinking we were behind the group we didn't waste much time on SR315.  Just as were came to a rise my bike sputtered to a stops I watch Paul ride off over the horizon.  At a slim and trim 215 lbs of retired lazy butt, luckily I only had to push the bike uphill about 10 yards to the driveway of the Duckett Memorial Cemetary.  How appropriate, a final resting place for me or the bike if I can't figure out why it stopped  running.   As I was gasping for air I noticed  a strong odor of gas and started looking for leaks.  Look down at my right pants leg and it was wet from just above the ankle down to my boot.  Since I don't suffer from incontinence  I looked at the lower right side of the fuel tank and noticed the return line to the fuel pressure regulator was disconnected.   Got that fixed turned the key on and hit the start button.....nothin!!  It was about this time the group which had left before us go riding past, waving as they go.

Checked all the fuses and relays.  The plastic top of the fuel injection  fuse was melted but still functioning.  Replaced a couple relays with the spares I had brought- Docc.  Still no neutral light! Ok I'm running out of ideas.  Time for AAA which would be fine if there was cell service.  Paul graciously offered his bike for me to search for cell service.  Ride down the the local fire hall about five miles back, still no service.  Figure that one out.  Furthur down the road I stop at an intersection with a lawn sale.  When I ask if they have cell service I was met with "who is your provider?".  "Nope, gotta go further towards town". 

Wait, what's that sound rumbling thru the hills?  It sounds like another group of Guzzis.  And this group even stops to ask what happened to the owner of the bike I'm on.  Doc, Josh, and the South Florida boys to the resue !! Head back up the road to my bike for a little roadside diagnostics.  A circuit tester miraculously appears and each circuit on the bike is checked.  Then someone asks if the bike is in neutral.  Well it must be, I pushed it uphill onto the shoulder.  Let's check again.  Duh! It was caught between 3rd and 4th gear.  Falls into neutral on the little green light on the dash lights.  Pull the clutch lever, push the little black go button a varoom, starts right up.  My bike still has the idiot proof switches for neutral safety, clutch and side stand.  With the sidestand down and in gear, or between gears it won't start.  Gear up and off we go.  Rode to the top of a mountain and a rest stop with an awesome overlook South towards the North Georgia mountains.  After a few minutes we hear thunder off in the distance.  Time for V-7 Paul and I to roll.

We head back South thru North Carolina and into Georgia without incident.  Paul breaks off to head home near Blairesville as I continued on to Hiawassee.  The closer I got to home the darker the skys got.  About two miles from home the roads were wet but at least it's not raining.  Just as I pulled onto my road I caught up to the rain, but with only a quarter mile to go not a concern.  

What an awesome day.  Great riding.  Close to two hundred miles round trip.  Met some old friends and made new ones.  The bike for the most part ran great.  V-7 Paul was impressed how well 20  year old bikes ran so strong and wanted me to pass along his thanks for the great hospitality everyone extended.  We are so looking forward to the 20th Southern Spine Raid.  Tools, relays, and spares included.

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Rolling out after everyone meticulously selected their preferred routes, destinations, and derived riding partners . . . :huh:  :ph34r:  <_<  :whistle:

. . . our small team was fortunate to encounter a "need."  :unsure:

I heard Josh say, "Let's try to fix it ."  :luigi:

Having benefited from the "ideas" about the area and the lunch spot (and the lake overlook), we navigated back to The Lodge with little precip. Josh noted that our small team represented four decades of Moto Guzzi and suggested a photo op with SIX decades of Moto Guzzi at the SSR: '70s; 80s; 90s; 20s; 'teens; and 2020's . . .


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36 minutes ago, docc said:

Our very own, personal, Carabinieri . . .



I tried to "Ha Ha!" that, but got this ...




OTOH, I could "laugh" at Pete's.

Obviously, Sede Centrale, Carabinieri, was not amused.  I am now worried about disciplinary action.


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On 9/7/2023 at 9:14 PM, Joe said:

This is serious Bill. 


I was swarmed by wasps when I was a preschooler.  I was swollen so badly that my ears turned inside out they actually called a doctor (housecall!) and he gave me antivenom shot.  SInce then I've been bitten a few more times and even a single bite causes me great swelling.  

As a public service notice, I recommend getting some Benadryl.  Certainly go for bigger than recommended dose but don't OD either.

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That's a fine looking Coppa indeed!!

Any major technical breakthroughs during the monster garage at the lodge to share with those who could not be there in person?  Sounds like only 1 breakdown amongst the group...not bad!!

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17 minutes ago, PJPR01 said:

That's a fine looking Coppa indeed!!

Any major technical breakthroughs during the monster garage at the lodge to share with those who could not be there in person?  Sounds like only 1 breakdown amongst the group...not bad!!

All good! Major sharing of knowledge, expertise, tools, parts, and pizza!

                                                  There may have been libations involved . . . :bier: :drink:

The "breakdown?" They actually had it fixed by the time the MultiMeter Response Squad arrived, but an IC ("Incident Consequence") had them flummoxed.

Josh and I simply de-flummoxed the incident and we were all on our way. :luigi:

The SSR TechSession(s) garage? Oh, that is a world of its own . . .  :sun:


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On 2/3/2023 at 11:19 PM, al_roethlisberger said:

I hear ya... :)

2002, sooo long ago :blink:


I have three other "vehicle" projects that have priority before I get to the Lemans.

1)  1980 Schwinn Suburban rehab ;)

2)  1997 Jaguar XJR rehab, and likely sale.  It's been sitting for all of the pandemic and needs fuel pumps, traction control, and some other work.

3)  2006 Saab 93 Aero Convertible, also getting ready for sale, and sitting for most of the pandemic.  Needs some notable work.


Once those are out of my way, I can start making lists for the Lemans.  It has been sitting for many years, and although I started it occasionally, it hasn't been ridden.  So there are a lot of minor and not-so-minor issues (no rear brake, no clutch, non-working neutral switch, rear shock rebuild, etc), and it of course will need a pretty thorough going-through.


But September is a while away, so we'll see!


As a related aside of making a list; since my neck-of-the-woods is also uber hot in the summer, I may want to pick your brain on how your modified delrin engine temperature sensor (ETS, head temperature sensor) is still holding up, and if you still are happy with it.  I think your last update was in 2014, where you were reporting it was still giving you good results.


I've been trying to remember all of the interesting and even controversial mods over the years, and reacquaint myself with them or even discovering new ones, and then put together a plan of action.


I haven't even begun to really digest the Guzzidiag part yet... 


A lot to catch up on.

Mr Al,

I am terrible about checking in with the inmates here, but I wanted to share that I too, have a (completed) restoration on a 1974 Schwinn P 15 Paramount.  Look forward to meeting you ...

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On 4/26/2023 at 9:35 PM, docc said:

@al_roethlisberger . . . I hear there is still a room left at The Lodge. Trailer your [highly modified] provenant 2002 LeMans.  We can make a TechSession of it.  "Show&Tell !"

Give advice, take notes, trade parts . . .



Nice bike.😎

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So . . .

It will be telling whether any (South'n) SpineRaider will ever break this record:

Pretty crazy: @KINDOY2 bombs in from the Pacific Coast on his very-custom-Griso . . .


Frikkin' amazing . . .


The quintessential, modern, V7 Sport, some fifty years on . . .

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I had a great time at the spine Raid last weekend

It was a great pleasure to meet all the Forum members in person and put a face to them.

Everyone I met was friendly ..I'm glad I went..It will always be a memorable occasion for me and my " bucket".

( lots of good riding and roads in that neck of the woods too, (Tenn and KY) )

  The Guzzi ran awesome..It was almost 7000 miles by the time I got home and it never missed a lick, not even one small problem and there are plenty of big wide open spaces between here and there that a fella wouldn't want to break down in... It didn't use enough oil to be able to see on the stick..

A larger fuel tank would have been a PLUS..but hey...no complaints!!



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