Blue Starling - found in shed.

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by motu, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    This is sad - a 1974 Moto Guzzi Stornello 160 found neglected in the back of a shed under an old sheet. It hasn't run for 10 years, and last registerd in 1988, so hasn't been used on the road for 26 years. 13,000 original km.

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    But that's not the sad part - the sad part is that the shed is mine, and I'm the crusty old fart that refuses to sell. I bought it brand new in 1978.
    #1
  2. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    You're not making any friends here you realise:mrskbasa:lol3
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  3. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    Aaaaaaghhh, same tacho as the unobtainable one that I need for my Benelli.

    Five bucks and a bag of chips ?????
    #3
  4. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Yeah, right!

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    :lurk
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  5. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    After all these years, I've finally found out how the Stornello came to be in NZ. UNNA, who is a member of our Blast From The Past forum on Kiwibiker was the importer, and some Gnat dealer in Frankton got 8 of them, by '78 he had sold 2, and used one for parts. An Aussie friend of the time ,who has this Enfield website http://www.re-indian.com/enfield/index.html was into Italian bikes at the time, and was touring the country on his Falcone, the last of them, red frame, white tank...'73 I guess. We used to ride around Auckland together, him on the Falcone, me on the M20 - well matched bikes. Any way, he found these Stornello's, and hatched a plot to get them. We extracted money from friends - to buy a bike, and went down with $3000 in $20 notes. We had a ute and borrowed Scope Motorcycles trailer...who remembers Scope ? The dealer was reluctant to sell the 5 remaining bikes for our price, so we started to walk out, and then he changed his mind. So my Stornello cost me $650. Two red ones, 2 green ones, and a single blue one. Actually I picked the green bike as the best condition, and swapped over the blue tank and side panels. We sold one to Aussie, as they didn't have the Stornello over there.

    I used it as my commuter and around town bike....but in 1981 it broke a crank. Outside the Albion I think, and my girl and I coasted down the hill and left it at the Central Cop Shop overnight. Now this was a problem...and that's why one bike had been used as a parts bike, one of the sold bikes broke a crank too. Pulled the side cover off and the flywheel fell out, the tapered bit had broken off. No one wanted to know about repairing it, but finally Siddall and Robinson said they could, sight unseen. They split the crank, made a new left mainshaft, bored out the old one and pressed in the new, located with a key. I checked it with a degree wheel on reassembly - perfect. That cost me $150.

    I did take it out on Puke for a race meeting we organised - back before track days were invented you could hire the track for $300...30 riders, 10 bucks each. As part of the organising team I paid $5. I was going to take my Rickman, but after fitting an Avon GP and a 21 rib tyre the night before it got a high speed wobble from it's buckled front rim...so took my girls Harley instead. I was an SX Sprint 350, the Aeramachi thing. I had both the speedo and tacho bouncing on their stops, that's impossible, but I'd say it was doing it's top speed of 80mph.

    It originally had a 2.50 front and 3.00 rear tyres, but they were bloody lethal, so I put on the 3.25 K70's front and rear. You can see I didn't come to fit 4.00 K70's front and rear on the R65 without some experimentation in the past. The speedo and tacho aren't attached? Ah, the instrument panel smashed when I rolled the bike. I had a rear wheel lock up on a panic stop, and it stepped out big time....letting go the brake would be a certain highside, so I just rode it out in a big full lock slide, that's a happy place for me. but just before I stopped, it did pitch into a highside...and I stayed on the bike. So the bike didn't touch the ground, it went over the top of me....but the headlamp and instruments hit the deck. Dent in the rim and a broken instrument panel. I gave it to someone to weld up, but that was sooo long ago. I have some stainless and will make a new one.
    #5
  6. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I put a tank liner in, stripped and cleaned the carb, put in a new plug, gave it a few boots and it gave it's savage little kickback...then fired right up. It's been stored with synthetic oil, Aegis Golden Syrup, so is probably a real synthetic, not a Group III with some POA like they call synthetic these days. I might change it - I found the manual and it says 20-30, so a 10-30 should do the trick.

    I need to find an airfilter, this is a replacement I found back then. And the battery.

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    You couldn't get the big old rubber battery back then, so this is what I did.

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    #6
  7. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    cool story. What's the plan with it?
    #7
  8. Oscar

    Oscar Curmudgeon

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  9. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    Yeah, it's a bit like a Triumph owner having a Tiger cub.
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  10. Babysteps

    Babysteps 102° Rx = + /_\

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    Please please please restore this! Or give it to me so I can!!!
    #10
  11. young1

    young1 Been here awhile

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    That is a cool bike :-)
    #11
  12. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    The Stornello has a race shift pattern, obviously from it's race bred heritage. Although when I'm in go fast mode with feet on the pillion pegs the heel shift becomes the toe shift, and the pattern returns to boring old road pattern. My other bikes of the period also had right hand gearlevers and race shift pattern, although the closest the Norton and BSA got to a race track was the infield. My Puch scooter back then also had a race shift pattern....although how you could call a hand gearchange racey I don't know. Clutch lever to the sky and work your way down to the lever pointing to the ground. Something else seen on bikes of the period was the shift shaft crossing to the otherside, making conversion to left shift possible....although why anyone would want to do that I don't know, left brake, right shift is better.
    #12
  13. innathyzit

    innathyzit AKA Woodman

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    My Benelli is the same sort of pattern and easy-is to change from left to right etc. I mocked it up to do just that but changed my mind.
    #13
  14. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Very Cool Blue bike, I like the way the speedo is kinda backwards or upside down.
    #14
  15. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    What to do with the Stornello ? I can't afford to fully restore this thing, just get it going. I might do something different - getting into this bobber craze, so I'm going to Bob it. Toss the guards, chop the rear frame off and fit a tractor seat, mount the number plate on the rear axle....and paint it matt black. Loose a a few kilos and look damn cool to boot.

    And I'll wrap the exhaust too, got to have a point of difference so people won't say ''Oh, just another Bobber.''
    #15
  16. zaTTaz

    zaTTaz LOUD NOISES.

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    Is it really worth turning it into a bobber? Not like it's a GN250 or anything.
    #16
  17. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I doubt it will be confused with other bobbers somehow.
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  18. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I was gonna say it looks like something Sears/Monkey Wards woulda sold back in the day but decided against it.
    #18
  19. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    I think that you having it for so long you underestimate the coolness it has as it is. Other people would look at it's individual appearance& appreciate it for a cool looking motorcycle as it left the factory. If you stop & look at it it has cool bars, good looking guards & an authentic patina.
    I'd get it going & use it for the cafe runs - wouldn't plan on doing any long trips :wink:


    Besides which I have a sneaky suspicion you are being a bit facetious with the bobbing idea:D
    #19
  20. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    :flip

    The R65 is into boring commuter mode - it feels wierd to get it out for a ride in the weekend. I might set the Starling up for quick fangs around my back roads. It's a good little bike to flick around the tight stuff, good on gravel too....or I wouldn't still have it. Plate swap time - I was once stopped by the cops on my XS1 (suspected dope grower checking his patch, who else would be on these remote back roads) and the plate was put through and came back ok with WoF and reg....for a lime green Honda stepthrough. Cops are so dumb, I shouldn't have a problem.
    #20