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Old 09-06-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
fadingfastsd OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 259
73 Moto Guzzi Eldorado on the road again, got some ?'s

Hey guys,

So...I finally picked up my dream bike and could use some help from you guys. It's a 73 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850. I got it from a guy who had started stripping it down to "build a cafe racer". Unfortunately this meant removing (and losing) the airbox, butchering the wiring harness and removing the gauge cluster (luckily kept this).

I've gone through the bike and done quite a bit of work but I have some questions. I've just replaced the following:

*full carb rebuild (new jets, floats, gaskets, etc) & all fuel lines
*Dropped oil pan and cleaned filter screen on oil pickup
*Full ignition tuneup (new Pertronix Igniter Coil, points, condensor, plugs, wires)
*Changed all oils (engine, trans, final drive). I used 20W50 Castrol GTX in crankcase, Chevron 90W in trans & drive.

It came with new BattleAx tires and the original rims were just balanced and re-spoked. It rides very nice.

Some questions:

This bike has a ton of vibration. I notice in on the freeway especially in the seat and the handlebars. So much vibes that it almost puts my hands to sleep and my ass is numb after 10 miles. Is this normal for these?

The noise. I'm not familiar with these motors, but I know BMW airheads well. Should this have the same normal top end clatter like an airhead does? It is fairly loud.

How exactly do you tune these DellOrto VHB carburetors? I have a feeling that I do not have the carbs synced correctly (probably causing the vibration?)

How fast should these bikes go on the freeway comfortably? I was doing about 70 last night riding home, and I felt like it was really wound up going that fast.

All of the pictures I found online and the service manual show the rear drive have a single drain bolt to drain the oil. This bike has a finned cover that mounts to the bottom of the rear drive housing. Removing that cover (6 allen bolts) was the only way I could find to drain the oil. Why doesn't this bike have a drain bolt like the pictures show?

How should the throttle cable from the grip to the splitter be routed? Look at my pictures below showing how I routed the cable..I feel like it's wrong. My throttle binds up pretty badly, it does not snap shut on it's own. All the cables are new and lubed, the splitter tube is greased. The slides move freely and snap back on their own, but the throttle does not move freely.

The guy I got it from had pulled off the original muffler cans, and replaced them with these slash cut mufflers from a Harley I think. Are these bikes picky about exhaust/mufflers at all?

And finally is there any local San Diego guys that are Moto Guzzi experts that wouldn't mind giving me a hand syncing the carbs and getting this bike dialed in?

And finally, here's some pictures:





















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Old 09-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
SpeedyK
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: SE AZ
Oddometer: 268
Motor has flat tappets. Not totally flat, a slight cone to keep them rotating along the cam surface for less wear. When they are dead flat they need reground, and wear is how they get that way. Some blame modern oils for that. You need oil suited for those, modern Castrol is probably not the best. Mobil 1 V Twin, Brad Penn, and Valvoline VR-1 Racing all in 20w-50 are possibilities. Some like using Diesel oils like Rotella or Delo. Castrol makes a 5-50 synth for Classic Cars that I am testing now, so far it's okay, but I like the 3 above better. M1 is so quiet you'll look for a roundel on the tank.

For the carbs, (keeping in mind that I'm a heretic of the first order), if you have them otherwise dialed in, jets, needles, etc. fully loosen the locknut on the left throttle adjuster cable so it's out of the way , go ride, and play with that until it smooths out. I don't keep a locknut on that side at all.

Valves I set at 5 and 7 and they are quieter that way, esp. with M1 oil. Other more experienced people have written the arguments for it, I just do it and it works.

There are nicer exhausts, see what Moto Guzzi Classics or MG Cycle or Harpers is selling these days. I have small-hole bullets and like the low-rev stealth, it still roars when wound up.

You have the correct rear drive, manual you have shows the newer rear drives. Some have machined a plug into your type to make it easier. Next time you change the oil, look up in the drive with a flashlight while you turn the wheel to check for lost or chipped teeth. Zydeco Racing does great work on these, has the correct fixtures to set them up.

There is a double-u-joint right behind that bellows on the driveshaft, called a Cardan joint if you want to look it up. if your footpeg vibes are worse on the right side it might be getting ready to go. If the splines are good they can be rebuilt by a loopframe guy. There's a carrier bearing in there as well that should probably be renewed, its a standard size, buy a good brand with C3 clearance.

The only really expensive bearings are the wheel bearings, make sure they are well cared for.

Look at the loopframe group on Yahoo, Greg Bender's site on loopframes, and I have some info as well, most of it arguably wrong. Which is why I put in on my own site, so I don't have to argue.

The sad and tricky thing about these is they are so tempting to go ride, and they work so amazingly well when really desperately in need of repair. Unless everything was recently gone over and documented, the best thing you could do for yourself and the bike is to go over it yourself or have it done by a shop. For example, when the Cardan joints go they can grenade and shred that cowling they live under.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #3
nick949eldo
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Inverary, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 923
These bikes smooth out nicely at around 4000 revs (around 60mph). If yours is really vibrating, there's something wrong (unless you're used to Japanese bikes, in which case it will always feel rough). I'm with the poster above and suspect trouble in the driveline - probably the universal (cardan) joints.

I ride mine for some very long days without the vibration being an issue.

From the look and age of the bike, I'm also guessing you still have the original chrome bores, in which case you may already be heading for expensive cylinder replacements (and possibly a complete rebuild if the chrome flakes have got in to circulation in the oil). Was the oil flecked with shiny bits when you changed it? Check again - and don't run it any more until you have researched "Chrome Bores" on the Wildguzzi forum http://wildguzzi.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0.

You may be lucky and have iron bore liners. See if you can get a small magnet down the plug hole. If it sticks hard to the cylinder, you're in luck.

Great bikes - well worth the time and effort.

Good luck

Nick
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:32 PM   #4
MotoGuzziEldorado
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Joined: Nov 2014
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 7
I just restored a 73 myself, here my 2c

First congratulation on the purchase, I love mine, I am sure you are loving yours!

This is my blog of restoring "Ms Elly", so you can judge for yourself my skill level and credibility

http://restoringmselly.blogspot.com/

And now my 2c, enjoy or ignore at your discretion.

This bike has a ton of vibration. I notice in on the freeway especially in the seat and the handlebars. So much vibes that it almost puts my hands to sleep and my ass is numb after 10 miles. Is this normal for these?
REPLY: nope, not normal. Check wheels balance, wheel bearings, suspension. Is it all operating normally? If so go to next.

The noise. I'm not familiar with these motors, but I know BMW airheads well. Should this have the same normal top end clatter like an airhead does? It is fairly loud.
REPLY: aside from setting the valve clearance correctly, a ticketing noise is normal, anything else coming from the cylinders is not. Check compression (you can loan a tool from several auto part stores) and check the spark plugs. If the plugs are fouled or wet, you have a problem. If the compression is around or below 100psi, you have a problem. Let's not panic, just check and rule out problems one by one.

How exactly do you tune these DellOrto VHB carburetors? I have a feeling that I do not have the carbs synced correctly (probably causing the vibration?)
REPLY: check out the many videos on YouTube, you can try the sticks method to start (basically stick a couple of sticks into the carbs with filter removed and watch them move, adjust the cables until they move in sync). Better yet, watch the many DYI videos on making a carb sync tool out of beer bottles and then buy the adapters from Amzon. Not a joke, I have done it, it works. There is more but this is a start and either method will put you in a good place if the carbs have the right jets etc.

How fast should these bikes go on the freeway comfortably? I was doing about 70 last night riding home, and I felt like it was really wound up going that fast.
REPLY: I can hit 70Mph with reasonable ease. 80Mph require commitment but it will get to it and stay there with a fair amount of throttle. This is with VM28 carbs that are actually choking the engine and I am about to replace them with Dell Orto VHB.

All of the pictures I found online and the service manual show the rear drive have a single drain bolt to drain the oil. This bike has a finned cover that mounts to the bottom of the rear drive housing. Removing that cover (6 allen bolts) was the only way I could find to drain the oil. Why doesn't this bike have a drain bolt like the pictures show?
REPLY: I am not familiar with a drain bolt. Some have a service check bolt on the rear (mine does) but to drain the oil you still need to remove the bottom cover and I would recommend you do since debris will collect there and you want to keep them there until you clean it. Annoying? You bet, I would have much preferred a drain bolt myself!

How should the throttle cable from the grip to the splitter be routed? Look at my pictures below showing how I routed the cable..I feel like it's wrong. My throttle binds up pretty badly, it does not snap shut on it's own. All the cables are new and lubed, the splitter tube is greased. The slides move freely and snap back on their own, but the throttle does not move freely.
REPLY: the throttle cable should go directly from the throttle grip to the the right hand side of the tank. Look at it, there is a small indent exactly for that purpose. I routed it as described and loosely secured it under the tank. No stick throttle for me, it works. You can sort of see it in this picture

The guy I got it from had pulled off the original muffler cans, and replaced them with these slash cut mufflers from a Harley I think. Are these bikes picky about exhaust/mufflers at all?
REPLY: all bikes are, chances are you have no back pressure. Not a big deal if you want to keep them but you will have to make sure the carb set up is spot on to make sure you are not running lean/rich. Start with pulling the spark plugs (see above) and google "reading spark plugs", they tell you more than you can imagine about the health of your engine.

And finally is there any local San Diego guys that are Moto Guzzi experts that wouldn't mind giving me a hand syncing the carbs and getting this bike dialed in?
REPLY: don't know, sorry. Check with the local Guzzi owner club? We have an awesome one here in San Francisco/Bay Area!

Don't hesitate to DM if you need help.
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
dilandau
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: oakland, ca
Oddometer: 767
I think I have two sets of Dellorto VHBs if you are looking for some. im over in oakland- I dont remember if they are 29 or 30.. or if one is one and the other the other. I can check if you are still looking for a set.

and nice job on the eldo!

-j
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