since the second weekend of octobre I'm able to tell that riddle: it's a gearbox with a kickstart from a V 65.
I've seen it in the flesh (should I say metal?) on the biggest German vintage bike- and auto-jumble. These things were fitted on a bunch of ex-army Guzzi V 65 from the Netherlands which were sold for around 1.100 EUR. Never known of them before and never seen one before ... As my wife Iris was an immediate V 65-fan from it's first appearance I phoned her up and asked if she wanted one. She said 'yes, but don't bring another non-runner'. Sadly, there were no batteries and no petrol in the bikes. Still there was one with less than 10.000 km's on it, looking pristine compared to the others and just 200 EUR dearer. I would have risked taking this one home. While judging the risk of 'another non-runner' a friend of mine was faster ...
Back to the theme: I remember a small pic and report about the first plans and prototypes for a Paris-Dakar-Guzzi V 50 in German bike-magazine PS (the German term for 'bhp'). I was so struck that I wrote to that mag that I'd buy one if they were built. Ok, when the 650-TTs finally reached production in the mid-80s I had bought a brandnew Triumph Tiger Trail 750 in 1981 which I still own and love today! A bike, that had also been built because of the Dakar-race as suddenly everybody wanted a bigger dualsport and, if possible, a twin! BMW surely made most money out of this!
Concerning this, desertpistons, I think you're a bit of a brother in spirit to me. I love those early Dakar-racers, starting with XTs, XRs, twin-valve BMWs (called air-heads in English?), those Guzzis, Elefants, African Twins, Ténérés and Super Ténérés and Suzukis Big (see my bike in my avatar, just a replica, not a genuine one!). I'm sure, if I sit down and think a bit, a few more bikes will come to mind.
Keep on with your good work!
Kind regards, Bambi
'Find me kindness, find me beauty, find me truth ...'
(Dreamtheater, Learning to live)