Toad On The Road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MoToad, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    First the comment.
    It concerns me reading some of the replies I have been getting about Guzzi. Particularly about steering clear of Guzzis because of my experiences. I don't think I have ever said 'don't buy one of these bikes'. My case is probably one in a thousand and I just happened to pick the short straw. My previous ride was an F800GS that I had over 50000 kms of near trouble free riding. But, on the F800 site there were constant examples of other F8s with many warranty problems. Beemer was always quick to do recalls and warranty stuff and with their three year roadside assistance it was quite an attractive package. As a matter of fact I first looked at the 1200GS as my replacement ride. The several thousand dollar price difference was one of the deciding factors for me. The other was height and the NTX better fitted my 30 inseam frame. Plus I felt it looked and sounded a Helluva lot better. And then the big bonus, quickly discovered. After five years of butt numbing seating on the F8 I was and am treated to the lap of luxury.:rofl Literally an all day ride comfort seat. Cruising all day at 80 to 90 miles an hour (Texas I-10 is 80) with the wind going right over me on this big steady bike is a pleasure.
    But it wasn't like I didn't know what I was getting myself into. My best friend Pete has always been the proud owner of over a dozen Italian motorcycles and his shrug was "They're Italian." As a gear head I was really pleased to see the simplicity and uniformity of the bike and ease of maintenance. If I had a TB sync unit and the VDST tool with me, I would almost be good to go.
    The unfortunate part is the necessity of having a sealed exhaust which definately effects the O2 sensors which, in turn effect the ECU. and you all know I had the ECU flash done at Redline in Virginia. I am not sure but I feel that my present idle stalling may be directly linked to that. This after getting a reply from Pete Roper stating that he felt the present factory ECU firmware was working quite well with the 2012 NTX. I did feel that it improved the low end smoothness but if it was at the cost of low end stalling then I'm not so sure. I will have this matter addressed at either Tuscon or San Diego when I get over there.
    But, I digress. Bottom line for me here is I do love this bike. So much so that I am even entertaining of unloading this bike for a 2013 (which I would scrutinize thoroughly). I would prolly take a big hit on a trade in because of mileage and the fact that there's now a lot of publicity out there on this one but still, I am entertaining that thought. :evil
    So, do not, I repeat, DO NOT base your ideas of purchasing Moto Guzzi on my reports. I am only writing my experiences as honestly as I can as they happen to me.
    A couple of pointers: Buy from a 'trusted dealer' with a good rep, stick close to home for the first several thousand miles, read the forums (Hell, read my forum) and check for all those reported problems.
    On a lighter note I am now entertaining the thought that Big Gal was abducted by Aliens dissected, badly reassembled and returned to the container without anyone knowing.:lol3
  2. Redhed

    Redhed Lost on the Island

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    NorthWest Vancouver Island
    Hey Doug
    Tough sledding with the bike issues, but at least you can fish. I canĀ“t see the water for the sand dunes down here. You shoulda come, bud.....I would be glad to come down again, if you are into it.

    I am thinking strongly about ordering up a new F800 as Blondy has been good to me.

    Glad to see you are back online, and if you really wanted to, you could ride north from Ushuaia with me, just have to fly Big Girl down here...:clap:clap
  3. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    So, yesterday was a marathon. 25 Degree start with some concern of starting but I got her going. Putting on most of my travelling close I was almost popping the zipper on my Oly gear. Looked like the Michelin Man as I headed out. Thank God for the heated grips that were on high for a good half of the day. Also very thankful for 0 wind which allowed me to cruise all day at five grand or 85 mph. I think I was looking over at Mexico when this mountainline appeared.
    [​IMG]
    I knew Texas was nearing an end with more hills appearing.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This one here obviously indicated some great hill climbing, Texas style
    [​IMG]
    Mid afternoon had me running thru a time zone and gaining an hour and I made it to the very busy town of El Paso and another great Microtel motel with a good rate. Planning todays ride I can see that the route to destination is prolly again 30 miles longer than yesterdays. Still I-10 for three quarters of the way but not sure of the speeds so I will prolly opt a shorter ride today (maybe wait for it to warm up a bit) and finish up tomorrow morning. We will see.:D
  4. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    751
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    A PARABLE:

    There once was a man who was involved with a woman who had many of the same characteristics of your Moto Guzzi. She was a beautiful Italian...but...required a lot of attention, was moody, quite unpredictable, and expected a lot of expensive things to keep her happy.

    In spite of the occasional thrill she gave the man :wink:, He ultimately realized that his friends were much happier in their relationships with less exotic women. They also had more money to spend on travel and other things that brought them pleasure. After much thought...the man ended his suffering and sold his exotic beauty to a passing band of Gypsies.

    Toad, maybe it is time to end your suffering and replace your difficult Italian beauty with something that would make life more pleasant.:nod:nod:nod
  5. sandgroper

    sandgroper Long timer

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    Wanneroo, Western Australia
    thanks for the pictures and story, picture #3 looks like a great place to have a beers etc.
    [​IMG]
  6. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Ummm...Not quite yet.:D
  7. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Yep. This is the area I fell in love with thru the last few years. And when I get back I will be actively looking for an acre or two around this group of lakes. Time to build the mangarage. Double garage with the two bedroom loft above.:wink:
  8. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    That morning in Lordsburg got me an all time low of 23 degrees. Waited till the sun was up for an hour and went out to the bike.
    If Big Gal wanted an excuse to pout, it was now,
    [​IMG]
    She was a frosty female.
    [​IMG]
    I was ready to pull all the grounds and hot leads and reattach for a better ground.
    The crank gave it usual one turn and continued on to start on the second try. Yaa hooo!!!:clap
    Wearing most everything I had I took off for a good quick ride to the state line and into Arizona.
    Stopped at the Cool Rocks rest stop.
    [​IMG]
    And down into the Texas Canyon. (Damn, thought I was done with Texas.
    [​IMG]
    Maybe an hour and a half later I arrived at Benson and turned south on 90. It was a straight line south but only maybe 30 odd miles. Then right on 82, a great secondary. Past Nogales airport and a right on S.River Rd to Pete's
    [​IMG]
    And into the warn garage for BG. Think she was pretty happy cause I sure was.
    So, Pete's. The weird part is I started distance signs in Kms. And speed in mph. Go figure. Aparrantly the kms are a holdover from the seventies when the States tried metric. And this county is the only one in the US that kept it.
    Pete's house is new and comfortable.
    It was a foreclosure auction at a great price.
    Pete's Grand Canyon that I hope we will be riding together around here on.
    [​IMG]
    Right now it looks like snow so We will be waiting on something warmer.
    Cheers.
  9. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    851
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Toad, good to see that you are settled in a warm and dry spot for now. I just cranked up my big girl (31F) to see if the cold made any difference...none at all, she fired up on the first try. You mentioned having heated grips, are yours the OEM ones or aftermarket? I just installed the Moto Guzzi grips but have not tested them on a chilly ride.

    Now to get ready for the local New Year's Eve activities.

    Peter Y.
  10. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    751
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    The 'frost on the bike' photo reminded me of a December trip I took across I-10 a few years ago. Stayed in Sonora, TX and woke up to a real cold day and snow along the highway. Heated grips and an electric vest made riding quite comfortable.

    FWIW, I always travel with a lightweight, black cover for my bike that packs up in a small stuff sack. In addition to providing a bit of protection from the elements it also makes the bike less conspicuous when parked overnight.
  11. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Peter,
    As some have mentioned I may have a failing battery. I am becoming more and more centered towards that as I pulled all the leads and reconnected with diaelectric compound. And a 42 degree start was not good. I have mentioned that the bike was reading 12.5 and 12.4 after sitting for a day. The charge is great, up over 14.2 so I know the stator is good. It has slipped my mind what the voltage readout was when new but could it have been in the upper 12s or even 13? What doesyours read?
    And does anyone know a battery number for a Walmart battery? There's one close by.
    Plus it is time for a service and I was wondering if anyone has the scoop on the MG dealer in Tuscon. 80 kilometers (yes, you heard me, kilometers) from here.
  12. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    851
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Toad, it would not surprise me to hear that the battery is going south on you. My little BMW caused me a bit of heartburn in the first 6 months I had her, suddenly dead as a doornail a few times. The dealer did a load check per BMW USA and it passed. Still left me on the side of the road again. Frustrated, I just bought a new battery from Batteries Plus and everything has been golden for the past 18 months. BMW seems to ship the 650 with a crappy battery. As for getting another battery from Wallyworld, a battery shop would be a better bet. All you need is the exterior dimensions and orientation of the battery posts, then find what fits (maintenance free). There are three Batteries Plus locations in Tuscon. I just checked the BP site and they list a battery for the '09~'11 Stelvio, don't know if it's the same as on our '12 but I suspect it is. For grins I'd have BP do a load check before you write the check, seeing it fail would make me feel better about thinking that I have solved the problem rather than just throwing money at parts and not actually fixing an underlying problem.
  13. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Peter. Saw your readouts on GuzziTech and will do a comparison when I get back to Petes. Ya, I know. You all thought I was at Pete's. I was but now I'm down the road at a Nogales hotel. You see, Pete's three bedroom place was pretty well stuffed with relatives for New Years. Pete and his great gal, Debbie, daughter Mel, brother Joe and gal Lucy, sister Mary and hubby Scott. With me in the living room on an air mattress it was still all good. And with Debbies daughter and husband arriving just for the night New Years we still would have made do, somehow.:rofl
    But, a few days ago I was commenting to Pete how plugged up I was and I thought Arizona was supposed to clear you head. Not! For me anyways. I was also starting to sneeze. Then the night before New Years it hit. One nasty flu. Picked up I'm sure by one of those coughing restaurant or gas station attendants on the way to Peter's. So they made preparations to stick me into on of the bedrooms till everyone retired and I would switch to the living room. I was getting progressively worse by the minute and decided I wasn't going to ruin their New Years and got a great room down the road.
    So, New Years for me was one of the sweatiest fevers thru the night I've had for years and a hacking cough that actually hurt my lungs. On the road, of course, I didn't get any flu shot. Compounding it was prolly my near isolation the last few years being on my own fighting the divorce. contact with few people and no kids I had no sicknesses.:1drink I brought with me Advil cold medicine and 1000 mg vita Cs. I became convinced years ago that pounding a lot of these really cuts down a cold. I took up to about 8 a day and it seems to have knocked the fever way back. I am hoping to get back up there today and am praying that I don't find a room full of sneezing people. :eek1
  14. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

    Joined:
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    851
    Location:
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Doug, I can't think of anything much worse than having the flu while in a house full of visitors and on New Years Eve/Day. Smart to check into a motel where it is nice and quiet. Let's hope your malady is short lived. It usually takes me a week to get over a bout of flu (knock on wood) but maybe your system is tougher than mine. Drink lots of fluids.

    FWIW, it's 38F and raining here in Portsmouth.

    Peter Y.
  15. CBBaron

    CBBaron Long timer

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    Cleveland
    Not to argue but that is an F22 Raptor which also costs a gazillion dollars and it is not allowed to be exported. The F35 is designed to cost less to operate, so if you find the F35 overpriced then the F22 is really overpriced. :eek1

    Also I believe Cape Canaveral has always been named that. The Kennedy Space center is nearby an is sometimes referred to as Cape Canaveral. Popular jargon vs official names :)

    Great ride report. I'm really enjoying. Sorry to hear your bike has been giving so many fits.

    Craig
  16. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    My recollection is that it was originally Cape Canaveral, was called Cape Kennedy for a short period then reverted to Canaveral and the adjoining Center named the Kennedy Space Center. But then I've been known to be wrong before.

    jdg
  17. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    Thing have settled down to a waiting for warm weather mod for me. The now isolated stay at Pete's is not unpleasant but makes me wonder if I will ever be happy staying put again. I guess when I am actually back in Canada having settled into buying my own little piece of land in the Kootenays, am hard at work building my own little abode on it and am totally preoccupied with that I may abate the wanderlust. But for right now I do yearn for the open road again. The stop here has been threefold. To see my old friends, to wait out the nastiest part of January and to get back on budget which I had almost completely blow. The free accommodation at Peter's have been a Godsend to achieving these goals.
    When Pete told me about standing outside the house and observing an incredible lightning show, pretty well selling him on why he wanted the house, I could only imagine it. Now the photos tell all.
    [​IMG]
    Observing the freerangers. yep. Just grab one, throw it on a spit and we have Bar Be Que:rofl
    [​IMG]
    Rio Rico sits in the valley so I have to do a bit of off roadin to get to Peter's. This is about halfway up the hill to his place.
    [​IMG]
    The sunrises and sunsets still continue to amaze me
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The last few days had me wondering when I would see the bottom end of the temperature drop. Yesterday morning hit the low point at 7 degrees with all the taps in the house slowing to a dribble. The ice gave way mid afternoon tho and the water flowed freely again. this morning I was blessed with 32 degrees and hopefully the upward trend in the temp that is supposed to happen, will.
    Made the appointment for the 23rd in Tuscon to do the overdue service on the Big Girl and see if the failed aux lights are warranty. Then it's westward ho to the Pacific.:clap
  18. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    2,382
    Location:
    Florida Keys
    I have always wanted a Moto Guzzi and want to love them even now and thus I am terribly sorry for all your trouble with this bike. I am resigned to owning a Guzzi only as a recreational ride, if I can ever justify such a thing, not ever as my main daily rider. Too bad.

    Your ride report on the other hand has a nice mixture of falling off the cliff drama, strange weather, near constant mechanical failure all illuminated by determination and sheer grit. Very fun read, thank you.
  19. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    925
    Location:
    Nelson BC, fer now.
    You are quite welcome CS.
    As the Big Girl is now maintaining as fairly constant good ride (knock on wood) I am becoming more and more convinced that a lot of my problems from the very beginning( bad running wise) were from the leaking exhaust. I check for leaks daily now and the new and properly installed gaskets seem to be holding their own. As the Y pipe gaskets are situated within inches of the O2 sensors I strongly feel that any leakage here may send the ecu into 'Emaaargancy, emaaargency, all da peeples to da boats!' mode. (referencing the great flick, The Russians are Coming)
    And, with all the crap that this Gal seems to have been born with, I still love her. Doing what I am doing there is probably not a better, more comfortable and greater sounding bike on the road. Being somewhat anal, I have already decided that I will most likely trade her in when I get back for a new one to keep for, as you describe, occasional riding and tripping. But, this time dealers beware. You will be having one extremely scrutinizing SOB coming your way. Gotta say, now I know what to look for.:rofl
  20. Cat City Rider

    Cat City Rider Adventurer

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    Apr 10, 2009
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