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Old 09-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
Tarka OP
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Across the pond.
Oddometer: 2,084
Very rare bird....My 1987 Guzzi NTX650 hits the road,all legal !!!

Yeehah....the NTX is all running,insured,MOT`d,taxed and registered on an age related plate!

Only four years since it was bought as an unregistered non runner.

Here`s the story (saga) for those who`ve asked to know all about it.
If you don`t want to read chapter and verse,there`s a few photos for you to look at through the Thread.
If you do read,you`ll discover a lot about the trials and tribulations of importing and registering a bike to the UK.

I`d never seen a real life NTX before (only seen photos in bike mags) and whilst at the Stafford Classic show in October 2005,there,bold as black brass,in front of me was an NTX650 amongst various scrappers and projects.

Whatton (UKGSer) was there independently too (we never manged to meet up),and when he saw it,he`d thought to himself that it was the sort of weirdo thing I`d like.
That night he had a text off me to say I`d bought......guess what.

550 and it was bought AND delivered to me.

There wasn`t much wrong or absent....
No ignition modules (hard to find and unreliable Motoplat units).
The guy selling it had tried to jury rig a Suzuki CDI and although there was some sort of a spark it wouldn`t he gave up on it.
No right hand sidepanel.
No mirrors.
Incorrect rear indicators.
Incorrect shock absorbers.
No UK registration (but some Italian paperwork).

For some reason I didn`t get around to working on the NTX until this July.

I stripped the wheels out and the whole front end and checked all bearings and pivots....all was well apart from needing some greasing.
The engine cranked over by hand.
The carbs were removed and all the jets and float bowls were found to be clean and clear!
A new white UFO front mudguard replaced the extremely faded and horrible Guzzi one,and a brand new set of NTX fork protectors/disc guard were found on fleabay for 18.
I chucked a pair of universal Polisport fork gaiters on while I was at it.
And a pair of universal handguards which trimmed to a perfect fit.

A great deal of time was spent at autojumbles and online trying to source the ignition modules.
Dynajet UK had sent me a V65 Dyna ignition but bizzarely the rotor didn`t fit the NTX camshaft so the kit was no use...I couldn`t machine the rotor to fit as the sleeve was very thin and would have collapsed.
Nothing else could be found..the NTX has a totally different set up to the street Guzzis.
Finally,BINGO...Pete at Reboot Guzzi Spares found a brand new pair of the later and improved Moptoplat units on a dusty shelf in a French Guzzi dealers.
They`d been ordered some years ago and not collected...mine for 180 posted instead of approx 360.

I found a 'no colours guaranteed' wiring diagram on the Internet and used some educated guesswork and a bit of common sense to work out how to connect the modules...remember,the previous owner had tried to cobble up a Suzuki unit,so it wasn`t 'plug and play'.
Last minute examination of the fuzzy/out of focus diagram revealed a need for a capacitor.....another Internet search and MotoSpada came up with the goods.
Here`s the modules hooked in...the wiring has since been spiral wrapped and is all neat and tidy.

A new battery was fitted and attempts were made to start it but there was no more than pops and bangs.....until I wondered if the timing was 180 degrees out.
Reversal of the pickup wires led to VAROOM...BOOM...BOOM...BOOM...BOOM.

It was a runner ...

A runner with a feckoff great big hole in the silencer.

Sounded glorious but no way streetlegal.
Took the silencer off and Kenny the ace sheetie in work helped me form a piece of metal plate that was the shape and size of the lower half of the silencer,which he TIG welded in place.
A can of Wilko barbeque paint and it`s as good as new.

The top of the Acerbis made 30 litre plastic tank was scummy too,but a bit of wet and dry and some Plasticote red rattlecan sorted that out.
(Erm...this is the 'before' photo,okay...)

All the warning lights and head/tail lamp too the brake lights.
The right front indicator just needed a bad earth sorting on the fairing bracket....and pair of Yamaha DT ones which matched the bike`s boxy looks were fitted minus stems on home made brackets at the rear.
A pair of 15 universal rectangular mirrors sorted that out too.

A good warm up and then all oils were dropped and changed.
Don`t ask what oil.

Insured on frame number for 30 days and off we go for an MOT.
How cool and odd it felt to ride with no number plate.
Ooops,rear tyre was on back to front and the headlamp beam not dipping to left (forgot about that ).
I`d never even noticed the tyre..or thought to check....but being Italian,was it really the wrong way around......

Swap tyre about and apply a bit of tape to the headlamp and we`re MOT`d.

Off to LVLO in Chester with insurance,MOT and completed Import Pack forms to get registered.
The bike needed to be inspected so I had to return the following week.
That revealed a clash of numbers between the number it was insured on and the Italian paperwork,which didn`t seem correct for the bike at all.
The guy couldn`t issue a plate and the NTX wasn`t quite tall enough to qualify for an 'Enduro Exception Q Plate' (there`s a dimensional category difference between road/trail bikes and 'off road/enduro machines').
Also there was no proof of the bike being beyond 10 years old and exempt from SVA and Customs interest....I`d need an age verification letter.
Or I`d have to go and pay a load of dosh for an SVA test.

Another time limit approaching and now not likely to get to show the bike at the Italian themed Stinkwheel Show on the 20th.

I`d emailed the Guzzi factory three times about the bike`s age,with no reply, and all the UK based owners clubs were only interested in me becoming a member before they`d even offer any advice or suggestions,so I rang NLM (North Leicester Motorcycles) for some advice.

The number problem was clarified by Stuart ( top guy....very helpful and friendly,and a veritable authority on Italian bikes) at North Leicester Motorcycles..who told me the number I`d used was the homologation batch number and not the frame number.
The correct number was found which matched the Italian papers.....buried under a mass of wiring and control cables....

Then I had to alter my insurance for the correct frame number and once more off to the LVLO in Chester ..good job it`s a nice ride.
I explained the situation...the numbers error..the MOT station saying I`d need to have and pay for another MOT test on the new number...the need to get another Import Pack`s documents..the insurance deadline...the forthcoming show,etc etc.
Thanks to all now matching on the Italian paperwork and the forms being at the LVLO the errors were rectified and one hour later and I had a UK age related plate!!
Immeasurable thanks to Paul (Vehicle Inspector) from Chester LVLO for all his help and support.

This is the result.....................A new day dawns on a new life for my Moto Guzzi NTX650 (known as 'Gus').
One of three known to be in the UK.

7am on top of the Horseshoe Pass in North Wales.

I was up and out on the road for 6am.
I would have had a cuppa and a brekky to celebrate but the `Ponda wasn`t open for another hour and a half or so............hmmm.
It felt like having my first 'big bike' after passing my test all those years exciting!

Just needs a correct pair of shock absorbers and a right hand side panel to be A-okay!

I'd only waste my money if I didn`t spend it on all my bikes......

Tarka screwed with this post 09-16-2009 at 03:56 PM
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2007
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wonderful job. thanks for the pics.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
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I certainly do admire the love and dedication it takes to put such a rare beast back on 'the road' again. Congratulations on a fine job and I hope you enjoy basking in the glow that riding such a unique and uncommon bike brings.
"Let's Take A Little Trip Down Where We Used To Go, It's Way Beyond The Strip, A Place They Call Your Soul"
'Free Life'/Dan Wilson
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
Once you go Triple...
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Masshole
Oddometer: 22,261
That is beautiful.

Well done on persevering
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'07 TE510
'02 Sprint ST
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: North of Hell, South of Anarchy
Oddometer: 125

Inspirational story and pics...

Great looking bike to boot!
This is where some people write something clever and/or witty..As you can see, I can't be arsed.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
County Tar
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:33 PM   #7
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Joined: May 2002
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Oddometer: 19,247
wow another new bike for me.
seems like everyone made cool multi-cyl spoked beasts in the past and now fast forward and only a few are still doing it. why did so many give up evolving?
Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #8
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: new york new york
Oddometer: 969
Very nice ,you got lucky.i picked up a 87 ducati 750 paso last year and between the lack of time and money it's still not on the road. how about some more pictures?
2006 Triumph Scrambler
2003 Suzuki Sv1000 N
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:38 AM   #9
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: The Brier Patch, WA
Oddometer: 1,564
Who would have thought the perfect ADV bike platform cam out in the 80s? Why oh why doesn't anyone make a 650 twin shaft drive dirt bike now? Nice Job
Mine: 07 DL650 ABS, 99 DR350SEx, 05 Montesa 4RT Her's: 02 KL250 Super Sherpa

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Old 09-17-2009, 07:51 AM   #10
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
Oddometer: 3,588

Nice lookin' scoot.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Oddometer: 1,459
Good job on a rare bike!
I saw one a few years ago at a rally. A fellow from Edmonton AB owns the following.

1999 XRV 750 Africa Twin
1996 XL 600v Transalp
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #12
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Western MD
Oddometer: 721
Originally Posted by duckman
Very nice ,you got lucky.i picked up a 87 ducati 750 paso last year and between the lack of time and money it's still not on the road. how about some more pictures?
Sure hope your Paso has fresh rubber or different wheels on it already, because finding new tires in the original sizes is very difficult/impossible. None available anywhere as far as I know. If anyone knows differently, please PM me with a source - I have several customers seeking them.
'69 Guzzi Ambassador,'77 Yamaha XT500,
'88 Ducati Paso, '91 ATK 604
'94 MZ Silver Star, '96 CCM 350
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #13
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: With the Raindogs
Oddometer: 125
Nice job!

I am sure it has its very own personality. Care to give us a ride report when you have the time?

btw - Scotland looks like riding heaven (when not raining I guess ?) !
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Tampa
Oddometer: 11,251
Lovely bike
'09 Buell XB12XT, TL1000S, H1F, M620, CR250R, KX100, XR650R, Cota 315R

Summer 2009 Ride Report
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:10 PM   #15
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Location: Central Coast, Cal
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Awesome job. Well done!
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Juvenal
(Who watches the watchers)
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