Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Smashing Speedometer Stories

I recently decided I'd had enough of my Guzzi S3's Veglia blue-faced speedometer reading at least 25 miles per hour over what it should at standstill, let alone at speed, and sent it to Andy Barraclough at Speedy Cables (www.speedycables.com) to get it overhauled properly - and what a fabulous job they did - see the pics below. 

Speedy Cables sent it back fully stripped, overhauled, recalibrated at 1600 revs/mile, mileage set to what it was when it went in, and has been treated to a new bezel, glass and speed cup. In fact, the beautiful restoration even looks a bit too smart compared to the scruffier rev counter next to it, but doubtless once the bike racks up some more miles it'll start to weather a bit. I'd never bothered too much about the speed because I've always ridden it just getting a feel with the revs from the motor and the gear I was in, but after using a sat nav on the bike a month or so ago (report soon..), I realised it was actually useful to know what speed you're going at, some of the time.

There's a story behind the low mileage though....see further down the page








Back in 2004, I was living in Italy, in Tuscany. Bit of a long story, but I ended up lending my S3 to an American to take part in the Moto Giro that was taking place in Sicily that year -on the strict understanding that if he crashed it, he'd have to pay for it. Three days after he left for Sicily, I got a phone call. American drawl on the other end of the line. "I'm in a hospital in Palermo, with a broken collar bone, arm in plaster and severe bruising. Sorry. It was a hairpin, and I took it too quickly. Ended up going straight on and over the bank the other side of the bend. The bike flipped over a couple of times. It's badly damaged, and the speedometer has just disappeared..."

The important thing is that he was okay, just about, and to be fair, he paid out for me to get the bike to how it was before his mishap. He discovered that Guzzis are not made for taking fast, tight hairpin bends. So, the S3's original kmh speedometer that was on the bike when I bought it, and was showing approximately 45,000km was last seen just before flying off into a grassy meadow somewhere near Marsala, Sicily, Italy. It's probably still there.

The end of the story is that I bought a replacement 160mph speedo in excellent condition and with just around 2,000 miles on the clock from Motorworks UK, who in those days sold Guzzi spares. It read fine for a few years, until it decided three years ago that its needle would sit at 25mph at standstill. Now that's been sorted, finally.






3 comments:

Kraut said...

Silly man... letting an American race a bike on Italian roads. Don't you know the most popular form of racing here is NASCAR? :-)

ITALIAN MOTOR magazine said...

I leaarened a lesson - never lend your favourite bike to anyone - ever.

Anonymous said...

Yes, never lend your favourite bike to anyone!