“Stuff” has been happening – 3 Feb 2018.

I know it looks like I’ve given up posting but let’s just say there’s just been a hiatus.

I’ve continued to be absorbed with family issues but a little motorcycle related time has been had. Hopefully I can get back to normal soon.

Seb’s LeMans has been pretty much totally dismantled for some weeks now and the basic cleaning of parts has taken place and there is now a list of work to be carried out. The workshop looks fairly busy at the moment!

My personal injury compensation following the accident in 2014 finally came through late last year. You might notice a new addition to the garage in the back of the first photo as I’ve spent a little of the proceeds. I can’t get round it at the moment to take you any photos so I’ll just show you these two from the original sales advert.

I’ve never actually owned a British bike having started my riding at a time when Japanese 2-strokes were all the rage. Then I moved to Guzzis in the late 70’s and never looked back. I’ve thought for a while that I would like to own one for at least a short while and started looking just before Christmas. I dallied with the idea of something from the 1930’s but I had some doubts that the small sidevalve bikes I could afford would suit me. I ended up buying this 1954 BSA M33 500cc OHV single with a sprung (plunger) frame which arrived at my place in mid January. It says B33 on it but that’s wrong. I’m not sure what the fuel tank came off and for some reason it’s been fitted with a 21-inch front wheel but it looks the part. I can actually start it although I’ve never had to learn the technique before but haven’t ridden it yet due to the bad weather and the fact that the nipple has pulled off the carb end of the throttle cable. It’s already in bits! Whatever, it’ll be interesting.

I don’t know if you’ll hear much more about the BSA as it doesn’t really fit in here at The Racing Rhino although I might start a “not a Guzzi” section. However, I will post updates about the progress with Seb’s LeMans as well as the continued tales of my long-term Moto Guzzi ownership.



50 Anni di bicilindrici – 9 to 11 Nov 2018.

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No, I haven’t been over to Italy for the weekend. I saw these excellent shots taken by Paolo Rossi on FaceBook when he went to the show at The Novegro Exhibition Park, Milan. The title means Moto Guzzi, 50 years of the twin-cylinder.

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Paolo kindly gave me permission to post his photos here and, although I have had to reduce the resolution of some of them due to space considerations, they give some good visual points of reference for our type of bike.

V7 700 Polizia Stradale in olive green.

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V7 700 Polizia Stradale in blue.

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V7Sport “Red Frame”.

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V7 Sport “Production series”.

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V7 750 Special.

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850 California.

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850T3 California.

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850 Le Mans.

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850T3 Polizia, 850T5 Polizia and 850T5 Carabinieri.

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Griso “Tenni”.

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Clutch throw-out bearing -5 Nov 2018.

Over the last few days I have turned my attention to the dripping gearbox oil under The Racing Rhino. The leak started following the run down to Devon and back to the Guzzi Festival in August. It wasn’t a desperate problem so I left it. As it was a frosty morning I put the heaters and the lights on in the garage before I had my breakfast. That usually does the trick and makes the garage cosy enough.

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The bucket is jammed on the front of the bench so I don’t keep catching myself on the protruding metalwork of the wheel clamp.

Here you can see the gear oil hanging under the back of the gearbox. There is an O-ring inside which is supposed to stop this happening.

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To get it out you need to remove the clutch operating arm from the back of the box but, before I can remove the split pin and push the pivot out I need to disconnect the clutch cable.

I begin by slackening off the cable both at the gearbox end and the hand lever. Then the easiest thing to do it to disconnect the cable from the lever.

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Then there’s enough free play to get the cable off the clutch pull arm.

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I can then go back to the clutch arm pivot, take out that split pin and push it out releasing the arm. There’s a spring behind it. In my case it stayed put and I just left it where it was. This is what it all looks like then. The piece sticking out of the gearbox cover is what Guzzi call the “outer clutch body”. This is what has the O-ring around it. It just pulls out.

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However, when I pulled mine there were four small rollers stuck to it with oil.

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I recognised what these were. There is also an “inner clutch body” and between the two, inner and outer, is a thrust bearing arrangement and those little rollers have come from that. I fished around for the rest of the bearing with a magnetic tool.

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Luckily, when I counted them, all the rollers were accounted for.

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Here are the clutch throwout components from the back of the ‘box. The throwout bearing is made up of the bearing itself and two hardened washers. You can also see the O-ring I had come looking for in the first place.

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Work had to stop at this point while a replacement bearing was ordered. After a couple of days the new one arrived. It’s a different design to the original in that a dished washer is now firmly attached to the bearing and there is just one free washer. The photo makes the new one look slightly smaller than the original but it’s not. I checked.

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It’s a bit of a fiddle getting the new parts back in but oiling the new O-ring helps. The most difficult part for me was opening the new split pin under the clutch arm. When everything was back together I decided to top up the gearbox oil. It didn’t take much.

I sat back with a coffee and noticed a tell-tale puddle under Seb’s LeMans. Yep, gear oil. That’ll need the O-ring doing as well. Never mind. I’ve still got eight left from the pack of O-rings I bought for £2 a year or so back. You don’t need to buy special Guzzi parts. The size is 17mm ID × 22mm OD × 2.5mm thick.

Before taking the bike off the lifting bench I wiped ACF50 over all the bare metal areas and waxed the paintwork. The Racing Rhino will spend the winter away from the salty roads under dust sheets to appear next spring. The Fire Bike is much more suited to use during the winter although I don’t know how much I’ll use it.