I tanked around the roads of Suffolk for a while but I couldn’t leave things alone. As the original paint was worn through to the grey undercoat I decided to paint the bike metalflake red – Oh the folly of youth! Soon after, I invested in an endurance style twin headlamp fairing from Dresda. The bike was my only transport and was well used and abused. In 1978 it was treated to a new clutch and was taken over to Europe. I remember roaring through sleepy French villages in the early hours of the morning with the exhaust popping and banging and flames shooting out of the “silencer” every time I shut the throttle. I had a burnt valve.
I moved down to Sussex and the bike wasn’t used for a while. When I did start it disaster struck. The chrome lining had flaked off the cylinder barrels. Little pieces of hard chrome had found their way to the crank and camshaft bearings and pretty much wrecked everything.
Many years later I moved again. This time to Wales. The dismantled remains were stored in a trailer at a friends place. When I came to pick them up there was half an inch of water in there. The reground crank was ruined again, this time for good. I used it as a garage doorstop for a while.
Years later, in 2002, I decide that I would make a return to biking and the old rhino would be resurrected. Major engine parts for big block 750s were getting hard to come by so I bought a complete used 850 engine from a bloke in Bristol. I had some T3 pipes and found some original Silentium silencers. A few bits were rechromed and I painted the lot black as that was easiest. MOT done and back on the road.
In 2006 I re-registered the bike to get a correct age related plate. I was fed up with people saying it was a copy because Sports weren’t made in ’76. It’s now WDE97K. I bought a 750S3 in bits and made a start on restoring it. The tank was borrowed for the V7Sport when it started leaking from around the filler.
One Sunday in April 2007 I was on my way back from a Guzzi Club branch meet when I went straight on at a left hand bend. I’m still not absolutely sure what happened but I guess I was just going too fast. It was on a mountain road above Machynlleth. I hit the “step” at the side of the road doing about 30 and the bike somersaulted down the hillside. You could see where it landed on its tail light then front wheel and so on. I broke my arm but otherwise got away with it. The bike was badly damaged but not beyond repair. The only frame damage was to the seat support rail which sticks out from behind the top shock mount.