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  • 2 weeks later...

I upgraded to riding Guzzis at the tender age of 27 by accident. My second motorcycle, a 650 Yamaha, was stolen from my front yard and I had gotten the insurrance check. I was interested in finding a BMW R69S. A friend of mine had six of them and I sorely wanted to buy one of them. He would not part with it and suggested I speak to a coworker of his.


Gene had a R69S too. "The S is not for sale but I have another bike you might be interested in. Have you heard of Moto Guzzi?"


"I've heard of them but I've never seen one. A guy I knew while I was in the Air Force was always bragging about his tirades on his friends Eldorado."


I went to his house and checked out this 71 Ambassador. She was a beauty. Wixom fairing and these HUGE teardrop shaped bags. This bike was his fathers. He lived in Michigan in the summer and hauled it to Florida for the winter.


"Why is he selling it?"


"Dad's 70 years old and his eyesight is failing."


So, for $1300 I had this 8 year old cherry Ambassador with 23,000 miles on the clock. Kept that bike for 12 years and 43,000 miles. Those bags could each haul a case of beer and 20 pounds of ice with room to spare. That bike sat in the same front yard for 2 years as my 2 previously stolen bikes and no one ever touched it.


Back in '86 I was in Indiana on my way to visit my parents when something caught my eye. Parked in the front yard of a farm with a bunch of lawnmowers for sale was another Ambassador. I stopped and talked with the guy. He took the bike in trade for a garden tractor. Couldn't get it to run and wanted $500 for it. This bike looked like it might have been a Shriners parade bike or something like that. It had a big Bates fairing, DB bags and trunk, DB footboards, front and rear crash bars, a stereo, and a pair of automotive horns sandwiched between the saddlebags and the rear tire. It had a button for the horns stuck inside the end of the left handlebar.


For $500 I couldn't pass it up. I left a $100 deposit and came back a week later with every part I could think of that I might need to get it to start. I cleaned the varnish from the carbs, replaced the battery, and checked the timing. I hit the starter and it started right off. Kind of pissed the guy off. My buddy got in the truck and followed me home. Now I had two 71 Ambassadors and a 69 BMW R50/2 in my garage.


A year or so later I was at the dealer ordering another clutch cable when the mechanic came in on his Convert. Sweet bike. Sold the BMW and bought this bike.


Enter the wife from hell. "You haven't ridden either of those bikes since you got the Convert. Why don't you sell them? We need the money to buy down the credit cards." Se was right. The first Ambo sat for several years. It wore through the splines on the final drive pinion and I couldn't get the rear brake to work right on the second bike. I advertised them in the newsletter and a guy from the Chicago area came down and got both of them. He was happy to pay $900 for the pair. I didn't know how happy until I started going to rallies.


Exit wife from hell. Took me two more years to get over the credit card debt. She maxxed them all before she split. A couple years later I was on my way to a bar when out of the corner of my eye I saw this yellow and black Guzzi in a bar parking lot. I went in the bar and asked out loud, "Who belongs to the Guzzi?"


This guy looks up and says, "Me. Why?"


I said, "I thought you ought to know, it's on its side."


As he was about to get up, I said, "Just kidding. That's a pretty bike." We went outside and started a conversation, kicking the tires and comparing bikes. I asked, "Where'd you get it?"


"Joe Eish."


"Well, I'll be damned. I knew he sold parts. I just didn't know he sold bikes." I called Joe a couple weeks later and the next weekend went over and bought a 96 California 1100i. The second brand new vehicle I've owned. The first one being a 72 Honda 350, the other stolen bike. I knew the Convert was going to sit after I took the first ride on the California so I sold it. Got more than I paid for it 9 years before.


With this bike I started going to Guzzi rallies. Here's where I start kicking myself in the butt for ever selling those Ambassadors.


Enter wife number 3. She loves riding bikes more than the other two combined. We'd been dating less than a month before I asked her to the Mid-Ohio Vintage Days with me. We had a great time there. Went to several more rallies that season and she enjoyed them all.


A couple years ago, in October, we were in Gatlinburg TN for a friends wedding. Of course we took the Cali. We got lost on the way back to Dayton OH and wound up in Cherokee NC. Some of the greatest vistas in the world going over the Smokeys. When I accidently downshifted instead of upshifting my battery light came on. Over 500 miles from home. What's a mother to do? Hope it's the battery and not the voltage regulator. Looked at the map and the most direct route to Knoxville was west around the south part of the Great Smokey Natl Forest and through somewhere called Deals Gap. We rode the Tail of the Dragon without even knowing it was there. Had to buy another battery in Corbin KY. It had never occurred to me to disconnect the headlight.


We got married after dating almost 2 years. We went on a Caribbean cruise and the wedding was in St. Thomas USVI. I put up her parents and her daughter there for 4 nights and they met us at the wedding site.


She decided she was going to buy me another bike for a wedding present. We picked up the bike on the way to the WV Rally Memorial Day weekend. When we showed up at the rally with the 2002 Champagne V11 LeMans a bunch of people gathered around to check out the bike. When they heard the circumstances of my present, Maggie got over a half dozen proposals. Mostly from married men.


I've had the usual problems with this bike but I'm not complaining. It goes with the character of the bike. Shifter pawl spring, transmission leaking, tank suck, speedometer (the trip odometer locked up), bubbling paint (for that one I may follow Ian Johnsons tact and get it balanced). On the new speedometer the trip odometer is right on while the non-reset odometer reads 25% low. The speedo needle wobbles wildly at 20 MPH tapering off to not wobbling at all at 60 MPH. That's a wierd set up even from Veglia.


The bike has a little over 10,000 miles on it and I'm very happy with it. I bought a Power Commander a couple months back and have yet to install it. There is a tuning center in town. I've talked to him. He said, "You'll have to bear with me as I've not done a Guzzi before. Most of my work is on Harleys." Well, I want to make sure the bike is running the best it can before I launch into that project.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest captain nemo

Greetings from Seattle!


I am from Ohio; 47 years old, but I am told I look more like 32 - which might very well be true since I had a 26-year-old girl friend a couple years ago. I bought my first V11 (2000 anniversary model) just last weekend. Before that it had been 12 years since I owned a bike - that is when I came to Seattle from Ohio.


My last scoot was a big Harley; before that I owned an 883 Harley also. Before the Harleys I had a 650 MG Lario, but rode it so hard I thought I was going to kill myself. That is the reason I sold it, but I loved that bike. Before this when I was going to Ohio State University I ran a very old and funky Guzzi Ambassador. NOBODY had EVER seen a Guzzi there - especially an old relic with sheep skin seat cover. Nevertheless, I loved this bike, too, for some reason I didn't understand at the time, but now realize is because of 'Guzziness.'


I fell in love with motorcycles at a very early age, and have to confess they occupied my mind as much as sex did. I wanted a mini bike so bad like some of the kids in my neighborhood, but never got one. I looked for hours in the Sears catalogue at their 'Riverside' model motorcycle. I tried to figure out how many lawns I would have to mow and how I could talk my parents into helping me buy it. Reminds me of the 'Red Rider BB Gun' from the movie 'A Christmas Story.'


An old working stiff on the block gave me a ride on his black dinosaur stick-shift Harley with its bicycle seats. Wow. Later, when I was 10, I rode solo for the first time through the back yards at night - on a Honda 50 step-through. I didn't even sleep that night. I don't know why they impressed me so much. I think it had something to do with freedom and independence. Maybe it helped me to feel grown up. I don't even know, but that is how it all started.


I've owned Hondas like everyone else. Dirt bikes etc. But once I went Guzzi, "I keep being pulled back." I was perfectly ready to buy the new Buell XB12R Firebolt this Spring, but I opted for another Guzzi. Go figure. What is this Guzzi madness I have?


I spend most of my time on Wild Guzzi, but I will need the particular info here as well. Thanks for providing the site.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I'd finally add my entry to the list.


I am 31 years old, having been born in Washington State in the US. I grew up near Seattle, Washington, with very liberal parents (except on the issue of motorcycles), who let me do almost anything I wanted to, within reason. At 17, we moved to Portland, OR, and two years later, I was back in Washington, going to the Evergreen State College. In between high school and college, I spent a year at Gymnasium Tonndorf in Hamburg, Germany (and still speak German with a good accent and crappy vocabulary to this day). In 1995, I took another year-long trip abroad, to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I learned more about computers, and took Gaelic classes. Now I can eke out a few sentences in Gaelic, but not much more, since I was never really immersed into it like I was into German. There's also a touch of French and Spanish (and therefore, Latin and Italian) in my repetoire, but not enough to carry on a conversation.


Anyway, when I was growing up, I was obsessed with motorycles. I really wanted one, but as I got older, I came to realize that it wasn't safe, wasn't practical and (most importantly) my parents wouldn't let me. I was also obsessed with computers, which is why I have any money today. :D I work for Adobe Systems in Seattle, having moved back to the one city I knew for sure I wanted to live in.


I got my first motorcycle at the age of 27, when I bought a 1983 BMW R65LS, after finally realizing that I was an adult, and could do what I wanted. After I further realized that I was riding that bike every day, to the exclusion of my bicycle and car, I also realized that I needed a more reliable bike, and traded the R65 in for a K75, which was a huge step up. After a few years with the K75, I realized I was bored with the sewing-machine-like precision of the K bike, and got a 1983 R100S as a second bike. Soon, I realized that I was only riding the K bike when I "had to" -- to go long distances -- and was otherwise riding the more characterful R100. I sold the K75, in a transaction that directly led to buying my 2002 Le Mans. I also realized that the R100S had led a hard life, and I couldn't afford the life support any more. It was sold and replaced (eventually) with a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja 250 (my first Japanese bike, and purchased almost exclusively because it's cheap, high quality for its price, and gets excellent gas mileage).


In the interim, I got a pilot's license, and try to fly a Piper Cherokee 160, N5850W, as often as I can afford it (but flying is a damned expensive hobby). This was another one of those "hey, I can do that now!" moments, like owning a motorcycle. It's amazing how many things I don't do simply because I think I can't do them.


I just started running a small BBS again, which you can check out via the web client, or by telnetting to obairlann.net. There's a lot more I could say, but you have to stop somewhere. :)

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  • 1 month later...

hullo, i'm newish from the other guzzi board. and before i go any farther i just wanted to say that i seriously wondered about the "tourability" of the sport untill i saw rich's, and now i am giddy like schoolgirl on prom day.


okay, hi i'm bento, i like long moonlight walks and chinese...oops, wrong board.


34 years old from michigan. been riding since i was about 17. first bike was a kaw 1974 175cc enduro. i "shaved" the turn siganls off it the first winter i tried to ride it in. no, no crashes, just too daing cold. but i did learn how to lay a bike down on that thing, as that was the best way to stop in slippery conditions. had a couple 350s, got t-boned by a caddy(walked home from that one) that was at about 5(yes 5, indeed not 25, too much tea there?) years ago i bought a zx7 and then turned it into a shop who hasn't been able to fix it yet.(don't ask, long expensive story). i had been managing to fight off the bug till i sat on that damned sport. there was a green one and a grey one. 2 days later the green one was gone. the next day i made an offer on the grey one. and she's sitting outside out office building right now. <!--emo&:wub:-->wub.gif<!--endemo-->


why the guzzi? because it freaks EVERYBODY out!! <!--emo&:thumbsup:-->duim.gif<!--endemo-->

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  • 1 month later...
Guest motorcyclerider

Howdy, I'm BJ Ondo, currently ride a 95 ZG1000 Concours with 110,000 miles on the clock. LOL, I "thought" I was going to sell off the Connie and by a Pure Sport Bike, :homer: I'm just "too old" for a race replica so I started looking at "naked sports".


We went to the Cycle World IMS show in Denver on Sunday and I was very taken with the Moto-Guzzi's, especially the "Cafe Sport". Like the bikes feel better than the S4-R Ducati Monster as I'm a large guy at 6' 0" and 240lbs.! So I'm going to head towards a Guzzi, gona have to be a older, used model so how long have the

V-11 series of machines been in production?


Hope you all don't mind my "hang'in" around and check'in out all things Moto-Guzzi, thanks, you've got a very modern site page!

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Guest david scott

Enjoyed the intro's. I am 58, Married for the third time, former US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Diver/demolition from 65-70. two tours in vietnam. Came back and went to school on the GI bill and became an orthopedic surgeon. Now do mostly spine surgery in Auburn, Al. Father would not let me have a bike, said I was too dangerous. So after leaving home traded my 54 willy's jeep which was stuck so far in a swamp I couldnt figure how to get it out for a 63 honda dream 300. It was no dream but my only transportation for a couple of years. Had kawasaki 350 and a 500. Honda elsinore 250 (stolen) and then when in Med school saw a dead biker in the emergency room, torn up so badly you couldnt tell whether he was white or black. Decided, I gotta quit this stuff. 20 years later a much younger wife pestered me to rent a harley in maui. Rode it, what a dog, but enjoyed the riding and decided to get a newer harley, tried a couple and finally a buell, and finally quit riding the dogs after a few years. Couple of years ago got on a K100 Guzzi with hanging tits :-) 1985 and really liked the ride and the power. Got a R1100S which I loved and still have. I got a good deal offered to me on a 2002 lemans guzzi and decided to try it out. Have had all the problems anyone has mentioned on this list with it so far, but daggum if I dont love riding it. Also had a guy recently trade me his aprillia mille rsv for a speedster replica I had. My wife loves to ride the R1100S two up, so I keep it, but if it werent for that would prefer riding the guzzi over all of them. The RSV will out run them all and outhandle them all but its so hard to keep it under a hundred. I have had tons of hobbies, hunting, fly fishing, flying taildraggers, wood carving, But after a Road to Damascus encounter with Christ now Teach the Bible, ride bikes a bit and quail hunt. My brother is also a biker 52 years of age. He is on a Guzzi with hanging tits :-) r1100rs. He has been hit by a car as a pedestrian, totaled three cars, hit a car head on on his bike, crashed an ultralight airplane into a power line, unknown number of other bike accidents, and has spent one night in the hospital. Bad genes my ma and pop had. Thanks to all you guys for your help on this list. I would have canned the guzzi long ago without your guidance and advice, But what a cool bike when she is running. Have the open k&n air filter, mistrial race pipes and a stucci crossover. its enough . :mg: Happy new year. david

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been riding about 32 years now having started on little pieces of junk cobbed together in the garage for a precious few minutes of glorious freedom between blow-ups. Dad was very tolerant if not very supportive, Mom, I think, understood (she still wants a Vespa).

At present I've a very good Morini 500 Sport and a Y2K Jackal. I'll probably aquire a spine frame soon, most likely a LeMans, when the Jackal will retire to sidecar duty since the kids want to ride along.

I've been called a wasteful over-maintainer, but I enjoy trouble free motoring much more than roadside repairs, especially with my 190 mile commute and a couple of 600 mile trips each summer. And it's a hoot to see how shocked people are when they see the milage on my odometer (almost 50,000 on the 'Guzzi) and it looks and sounds like it has a quarter of that.

I've briefly roadraced a car but have never been tempted to do a track day on a bike. Maybe I've missed something, but I don't think so. Motorcycles to me represent honest machinery in a very pure form and maybe just a little bit of the freedom I was looking for back in dad's garage in Apalachin, NY with a borrowed wrench in my hands on a fine summer day in 1971.

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Hi all


I guess its time I added to this thread.


I currently live in West Yorkshire and I'm getting too close to my 40th birthday and been biking here in the UK since I was 17. Even at 17 I hankered after a Guzzi - mark 1 or black/gold mark 2 they sold over here (still have the adverts from old bike mags - cor) but due to lack of funds I had to dream for several years while I rode around on a motley collection of Honda/Suzuki and Kawasakis either in Shropshire or in Wales were I lived for several years. College took me to Oxford in 1985 but after I failed my course I was destitute and decided to end it all and became a motorcycle courier on my ratty Honda 400/4.


An average of 1500 miles a week quickly killed this soft and pathetic Japanese bike so I looked to something sensible and tough for this kind of work. So armed with a 700 quid bank loan I bought a....yes you guessed it a Guzzi (what happened to the sensible bike! :rolleyes: ), it was a 1977 850 T3, low milage but not by the time I'd finished with it. What a steep learning curve this was, I made just about every error I've ever seen on the wild guzzi forum but I loved it and somehow it survived until after almost 3 years despatching in all weathers, carrying all manor of goods (some of which were van jobs, i.e. huge & heavy) I'd had enough, not just of the job but of biking, as is my impetuous way I sold the very sorry looking T3 for 3 magic beans and went to college in Leeds (a well educated failure).


The magic beans failed and I missed biking so in my first summer break I bought a Suzi 650 Katana for next to nothing and despatched for my old company all summer, the biking bug was back.


Then just as mr taxman was onto me for not declaring my despatch earnings I bought a very tatty T3, for my college years this was my mode of transport but always dreamed of a Le Mans. Fast forward a few years to getting a job and regularly travelling on the Guzzi around Europe (usually to Italy - fantastic), I eventually turned the T3 into a LM1 lookalike, fears of clip ons for touring comfort were unfounded. Then for some bizare reason, 3 years ago I travelled to Glasgow and bought a LM5 - a bike I used to think was ugly but now love the look of and boy is it fun to ride, especially over long distance - i.e., you guessed it Italy. Thoughts of heavily tuning this bike (big bore, cams etc) led me to think about spending the money on a new Guzzi instead and with a heavily discounted price I became the proud owner of my lovely black V11 le Mans bought new last May :D - yahoooo is all I can say.


The T3 has now gone due to lack of use and the LM5 isn't used much (but a handy second bike just in case) and I'm loving riding this new fuel injected beauty although all this new fangled electrickery is a new learning curve 9thank Jaap for this forum). I've already been to Italy on it (my girlfriends brother lives in Northern Italy - what a drag, although she owns a Suzi Bandit - I'm trying to convert her) and have another trip planned this year with some of the local riders from the Guzzi club.


I go to most of the Guzzi events :drink: with the GB Guzzi Club so hopefully I'll see some of you around (especially at the V11 meet), sorry about the rambling, I get carried away and with 18 years of Guzzi ownership it makes for a lot of Guzzi tales, anyhow thats probably enough for now.


Ride safe



Mal :helmet:

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Guest the beast rider
B) Hi there guys.great web site. I have a 7 mth old V11 sport naked that Ii have grown 2 love very much, only had Jap bikes before .Brother owns Suzuki big twin SV 1000 nice bike much quicker than V11 but nowhere near as much character . Have had a g box spring brake first at 1400 miles .Then just after a weeks 2000 mile trip to the south of France .Changed it myself could not face leaving it at my dealers with it's guts hanging out for another 2 weeks! Black paint is falling off in chunks from the sump some brake fittings are now turning black. It really is a task preventing corrosion taking a hold in our English Winter.Last week i carried a Diesel conversion [wrong pump at the gas station] which was not very successfull ! Flushed out the fuel system ran the bike out yesterday for 45 miles went very well most enjoyable .Sensor on lefthand front engine chest has developed a leak dealer did not offer to fix it. Have so far been waiting 3 months for the 2 small o rings that fit onto the oil feed return pipe 2 the sump. Will the new smooth black engine paint on the 04 models be any more durable ?
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Guest the beast rider

The beast rider intro 2.I am a 50 year old born again biker living in Cheshire in the North West of England .Married with 2 children . The bikes on my short list for my return to biking were a bandit 1200,SV1000 or Guzzi V11. I could not resist the Guzzi with its exsposed engine and two great cylinders sticking out it looks ever inch like a real bike should be ! Last bike 18 years ago was an Yamaha XS650 this one vibrates a lot less and has a lot more go. The bike currently shares the garage with a 1945 VW Kubelwagen [ WW11 German version of the Jeep ] I'll have to make some room as I have just won an BMW 1100 in a competition :D . I would like to buy an 04 Guzzi to replace my 02 model but this time I would be a little more gentle with the running in process . When I took delivery of my V11 I must admit I hated the bike and wanted to get rid of the bike ,but as other people have said you have to give these bikes time and they will slowly but surely grow on you. As has been the case.Hope to get to meet some fellow owners at some V11 meets this year .Kind regards to all. When I learn how to master this web business I will post a photo :pic: of me asride the beast in full colour action !

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Hi everybody:


I just thought I’d introduce myself. My name is Andrew Wanie (Jr. Not to be confused with my dad!) I’m 33 years old, I teach grade 8 French, history, geography and art. I live in Toronto, Canada. Of course, that means my bike is in storage for the winter and I’m surfing the net because I can’t be doing 100 on the back roads. I’m relatively new to the motorcycle thing having only owned two and only had a moto license for three years. I still have both bikes, a BMW R65 which is in storage in France and a V11S here in Toronto. I am fortunate enough to spend my summers in Europe riding around, I’ve been to Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain and France so far, this summer: Switzerland. I usually go to California in March to ride with my brother, he has an R1100S. I own a hundred year old house and spend my time fixing it up. Well, I’m not very long winded so I’ll cut out here. Cheers and talk to you in the forum!

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Hello, unlike most people on this board I don't actually own a V11 six speed variant of the Guzzi marque but I've been around Guzzi for over 20 years.


I currently run a small workshop in rural NSW, (Australia.) that deals almost exclusively in Guzzi and do have a couple of customers who have V11's, most of my work is with the older Tonti framed models though, of which, for my sins, I own four.


I'm also a cyber slut and spend far too much time on the 'pooter discussing Moto Guzzis and seem to have built up an international reputation as an overbearing, one eyed, cynical, opinionated rat-bag. While entirely justified the reason why I'll always put up a forceful defence for moto Guzzis products is because I honestly believe that they are one of the best on the market. Strong, robust, long lasting and fundamentally well engineered. I'll argue their merits till I'm blue in the face and the person I'm debating has slipped into a catatonic state from boredom :D


When the V11's start getting crashed or are old enough for impoverished uni students to buy them and paint 'em matt black with spray cans then I'll probably buy one. Until then I'm more than happy with my prehistoric collection of fossilised Tontis. Having said that there is so much that is in common between *old* and *new* Guzzis that I'm sure I'll be able to offer some meagre advice, or at least totally biased subjective opinion, on any issues that arrise with the newer bikes.



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impoverished uni students to buy them and paint 'em matt black

ha, Guzzi see the future, pre-empt the yoofs, and get there first with 02 Scura. Aged yoof buys one: though I am thinking about taking a spray can to it anyway. But that subject belongs in a different forum, upstairs.

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