Monday, 9 September 2013

Guzzi visits Norton

After far, far too long of not being able to ride my Guzzi 750, I managed to finally sort it out on Saturday morning, having woken inexplicably bolt upright at 5.30am and not being able to get back to sleep. Inspired and energetic (for half an hour at least..), I found the cause of the bike's lack of charging, a broken alternator brush holder (see pic below). Swapped it with one from another bike, hey presto, sorted, though the battery was pretty flat. Anyway, after a brief carb balance (I'd rebuilt them earlier this year), and then breaking down outside my house again, managed to jump start it, then threw caution to the wind and thrashed it over to the Norton OC Oxford branch café racer meet that they do every year at a nice little old fashioned boozer in the middle of nowhere on the other side of Oxord. There was a very eclectic mix of Nortons and other bikes present, including a great rat BSA twin alloy tank thing, and a beautifully engineered and very shiny Norvin. There was also one of the new Nortons, built at Donington, lovely motor but the rest a bit contrived for my taste. Was hoping to see John W of Motonero, but he'd gone, not surprising as I'd earlier sent him a text saying the bike wasn't working. The nice chaps at the Norton O.C. also gave me a certificate for turning up. Luckily the Guzzi started again. Thrashed home, and bike ran beautifully apart from a weird little cough here and there. 

Then, Sunday, decided to go along to my local Guzzi club meet just for an excuse for another ride, got soaked on the journey there (but it's good to ride in the rain again, otherwise you forget how to ride in it, or would never go out). Worth it to see an old guy who lives 500 yards across the pub where the bikes meet ride his 1972 V7 Sport helmetless across the road to show us. He bought it direct from the factory in 1972 when he was working in Geneva, and has recently got it back on the road. It's heavily modified for him, with additions and changes here and there, but great to see someone own a bike so long and still enjoy it. And no, it's not a genuine 'TELIO Rosso', as the guy in the hat on the right kept calling it.

Anyway, brilliant to be back out on the bike, just as one of the best summers we've had for years is coming to its end..


Kraut said...

Looks like the exact same Bosch alternator that BMW used in my R90/6. Don't know why they made the brush holders out of that brittle material, when I had to replace the alternator rotor (common BMW problem) I wound up breaking off a piece of the brush holder. Not as bad as yours and probably still may have worked fine, but wound up replacing it anyway, figured I'll get another 38 years out of a new one

ITALIAN MOTOR magazine said...

It's a weird fibrous type of plastic stuff and I actually glued it back together. It's sitting on the bench and I'll see how strong it is, though will probably just get a new brush holder. Like you say they're good value for money, 1975 to 2013 ain't bad going..