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Defecting to Italy: My life with a Stelvio

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by aftCG, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. joe cool

    joe cool Long timer Supporter

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    While we're sharing other Guzzi's ... here's my Norge with 3 parts Stelvio, 1 part Griso and 2 parts 1200 sport. Also my 1000s and now gone Vintage. P4120006.JPG
  2. xcountry41

    xcountry41 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    There's a Heaven in Alberta - Big Sugar
    Thanks, Witchcity! Yes it is a fun ride! P.o. Said it has Beetles MAP, anti gravity lithium battery a tail rack and side case racks. Pretty happy with it all so far. Bought it from Bross, who posts in here sometimes. Great guy to deal with! Had been lurking in Griso ghetto for a few years( not often though) and still have likely the only Stelvio in my avatar.
    aftCG and Festus like this.
  3. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    Most excellent. Explains why it goes like stink. :)
    xcountry41 and Festus like this.
  4. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    I thought I would throw this in here. I was approached at an air show as an interview test dummy. It took place 2-3 years ago and I had figured that he decided not to do anything with it.

    He sent me the edited version a few days ago so here it is.
    River Rat, MCole, xcountry41 and 4 others like this.
  5. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    That was fantastic. I didn't know about that plane although I'm a huge fan of the PT19. What a gorgeous airplane. That was really enjoyable to watch. Nothing like the sound of a radial.

    Thanks for posting!
    aftCG likes this.
  6. rmance

    rmance The NEW Stelvio! Supporter

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    Nov 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Canyon Country, California
    That was fantastic! Really appreciate you sharing the video! Has this plane ever been to the Reno Air Races in the static displays?
    aftCG likes this.
  7. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Not with me, no. The thing about flying a 78 year old airplane is that you know she's been around with other pilots.

    This plane now resides near Amarillo, TX. I flew with the new owner to its new home just over a year ago. Shortly after that I stepped up to an SNJ5 (a T-6).
    Lupin 3rd likes this.
  8. rmance

    rmance The NEW Stelvio! Supporter

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    Oddometer:
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    Canyon Country, California
    I had never heard of that plane till today so I really enjoyed the lesson ... thank you again. This is my favorite T-6 shot. This was at the LA County Air Show in Lancaster, CA a few years ago. Weather conditions were just wonderful for photography and the pilot had just parked it. Now I've got 'Amarillo by Morning' stuck in my head!


    LA Air Show_RM039.jpg
  9. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Great photograph. That aircraft is actually a North American T-28, which may also be in my future.
    Tricycle gear instead of tail dragger and 1400hp. The T-28 will actually outclimb, out turn and roll faster than most WW II fighters (a Grumman F6F Hellcat will out climb the T-28).

    Here are a couple pics of the SNJ
    IMG_20190608_101836-01.jpeg
    IMG_20191116_111930-01.jpeg

    The T-28 dwarfs the T-6 in size. North American took everything they learned in WW II when building the T-6 and P-51 and applied it to the T-28. It's complicated but servicing it is much easier in terms of accessing things you need to put tools to.
    DC950, River Rat, SlipChip and 2 others like this.
  10. rmance

    rmance The NEW Stelvio! Supporter

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    Dang it ... I meant to say T-28! I had T-6 on the brain for some reason. I kinda felt like I hijacked your thread so I'll stop here and we can get back to your awesome stories. You have quite a way of writing! Super jealous you get to fly these amazing airplanes. I feel like a kid in a candy shop at the local air shows and at Reno where I get to shoot these airplanes. Nothing like the sound of a radial. Except maybe a V-12 Rolls-Royce or Allison ... be still my heart. And don't get me started on Precious Metal! I could talk to you about airplanes for days! Great photos by the way! Have an awesome day!
  11. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Way back at the beginning of this thread I talked about the tiger 1050 I gave to one of my sons. It swallowed a valve under his ownership, so I pulled the engine and bought what might have been Hamlin's last triumph task before going Guzzi : a really nice cylinder head.

    My motivation has been lacking but I do need the garage space, so I'm enduring the effort.
    rmance, twowings, Lupin 3rd and 2 others like this.
  12. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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  13. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Finally a Stelvio related update!
    I'm prepping for WABDR soon. The planning and execution thread here.

    The trip will be with some of the same crowd who went to Death Valley in January. The short version, it was a great trip. Everyone got along, there were no broken bikes, broken bones, butt hurt riders or any other drama. Just good riding in some fantastic scenery.

    I have the Butler map for the WABDR and had never even opened it up until I found it in my garage the other day. The trip will commence in the next couple of weeks. The exact date is TBD because one inmate's bike is at the dealer. Supposedly it is fixed but I and the owner are skeptical, so I'm going to go ride it tomorrow morning to save him from a 10 hour drive.

    Sadly my bike sits quite a bit now. I was a hard core 365 commuter and now, well, there's not much call for commuting. A few weeks ago I had a valid reason to drive in to work. The bike fired up even after sitting a few months and I shagged it maybe 120 miles in a single day. It was like putting on my favorite jeans.

    I put the bike on the charger yesterday and it topped off pretty quickly. I still need to check my maintenance log for the bike to see if it needs an oil change prior to this ride, and I will need to purchase license tabs (and a Discovery Pass, thank you Don) before September 1.

    Tires? Sticking with my TrekRiders, which were new before DV. While they certainly don't look new after that experience they performed as well as I could have hoped and have lots of life left.

    My one investment for this trip was made just moments ago. Discussion on the WABDR planning thread came around to those hard bags, aka aluminum panniers which are OEM for the Stelvio (and one of the reasons for buying the bike). Aluminum is great for casual theft deterent and probably can't be beat for ease of loading. Some people find they leak badly and some don't. I've recounted in this thread how my right side pannier leaks (leaked, I fixed it with discretely applied RTV silicone), and my left side has remained bone dry.

    But hard bags have a down side. Actually two. One is that some riders have been injured by the hard bag during a collision. Secondly, if you land on them hard enough they can be tweaked enough the lids don't fit, or flat out destroyed and incapable of carrying your gear.

    I kept my hard bags on in DV and carried emergency gear enough to keep a few people comfortable if needed. On some of those washboard roads I half expected to break a mount but they survived unscathed. I did reinforce my tool tube to the mounting plate with a couple of large zip ties. I kept it fairly light and was happy it didn't break off either. Realizing that your tools fell off some time ago has to be one of those "oh f***" moments I would like to avoid.

    I can't say I did exhaustive research into soft bags, but I did stay up way too late last night looking. My first choice was Giant Loop since I already use their Fandango tank bag (love it) and recently bought one of their 16L Revelstoke Tunnel bags, which I strapped to my tail rack. Haven't used it much but it's perfect for that location.

    While poking away at the keyboard last night I had settled on the gigantic Round the World bags, which would give me over 90L of storage. At the time I thought our factory hard bags were 45L and I didn't want to have less space for a 4-5 day self supported trip. Inmate Don thought the factory bags were 31L and that I was way overkill. Some google-foo says our bags are 37L, so 74L of total capacity. That made 90+ seem a bit excessive, and on top of that I had questions about the mounting system. GL offers a quick release mounting plate system but it's comptatible with the round tube style racks (many but not all), where the SW Motech racks that the Stelvio comes with are a flat oval type.

    The biggest down side of soft bags is the lack of security against casual theft, and quick release doesn't help. I was prepared to mount them with hardware requiring tools and skip the $250+ plate mounting system, but I wanted to know if that would work on the SW Motech racks (confirmed via phone call, they will mount up with "puck" hardware and are not compatible with their mounting plate.

    After some messaging back and forth with Don today I pulled the trigger on the GL MotoTrekk panniers, which are 25L each. That's not enough capacity for me but they're running a special right now where they include a Possibles Pouch for free. I ordered a second one which brings my capacity up to 64L on the panniers. With the 16L Revelstoke that brings me up to 80L.

    And just because I think soft bag volumes may be a bit optimistic I had them add a Rogue Dry Bag, which is 17L. The cool part about that bag is that it opens on either end (meaning two chances to lose your s***). Perched sidways across the back it should give great access during the day.

    I'm sure I recounted early in this thread why I used to be a fan of large duffels on the back but now like to keep it as flat and minimalist as possible. This should be quite reasonable when loaded. One phone call and it's all on the way. I'll post up some pics when I get it dry fit and make a pile of gear.
    SlipChip and Flying Frisian like this.
  14. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    I was worried about the capacity of the soft bags being overated, but I found if anything, they may be underatred (at least with the GL Great Basin set). I was able to pack all my normal stuff for trips easily. To the point where I unpacked it to make sure I had everything cuz I thought it would be harder fitting it all in. I also bought their Rogue bag that will attach to it, but have never needed it. I love the set up. I'll never go back to hard bags.

    The GL folks are great. You're gonna love the gear.

    My set up saved me close to 30lbs and the bike is a lot narrower.

    [​IMG]
  15. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Doug, I guess I learned about the weight of the stock luggage from you. For now I'm keeping the racks but I can see an opportunity to reduce weight there too. That is one sexy bash plate by the way!
    WitchCityBallabio likes this.
  16. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Today I rode North to what must be the only guzzi dealer for miles to test Don's bike after his warranty work was done.

    Strike 1, it doesn't appear any miracles occurred. I'll save any negative thoughts about the dealer until this runs its course. It may be a slight improvement but the conditions that Don asked me to look for were still present.
    IMG_20200825_104223.jpg
    The good news is that I got to ride my own guzzi a bit over 100 miles. I'm perfectly happy with the way it ran.

    While I was suited up I rolled my son's triumph out of the garage and took it for about a five mile ride. It has a slight oil leak from the valve cover and the gas gauge isn't registering. It's smooth and it pulls quite hard. Too bad the leak is on the right side, because it's just right for a chain oiler.
    IMG_20200825_121929.jpg
    I no sooner had the bikes put away when I noticed a package on my door step. Almost exactly 24 hours after ordering my Giant Loop bags were here! WTF kind of customer service is that?!?!
    IMG_20200825_124520.jpg
  17. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    I just finished installing my dual USB power receptacle, aka blown fuse detector. Test riding Don's bike the other day reminded me that I owned this receptacle but never installed it. During DV I had a hell of a time keeping devices charged because my cigarette lighter adapter had a sketchy connection, and on those washboard roads probably no connection at all. Installing the receptacle will at least remove one reason I can't charge things.

    During the installation I realized I would need to identify the wires for polarity and used my multimeter. Zero volts regardless of key position including having the bike running. Thanks to the quick response team (Vic) on the merged thread, and a pic texted to me by Don I was able to locate the fuse. I'm embarrassed to say the places I looked for it. I haven't had some of those pieces off in a while but I must have needed the practice.

    Just a few days previous was when I must have blown the fuse, trying to use the Guzzi power to fill up the tires in the long dormant Triumph. The crew on the merged thread told me I can't use the 12V outlets to run the tire pump, but I've used my MotoPumps unit a dozen times or more. On that particular day I realized my MotoPump was at the airport for some reason and used the one in my car. It did in fact make on timid 1/4 of a second attempt to operate, and selecting the other 12V outlet gave nothing so I definitely can't use my car pump.

    For the record both power outlets are on the same fuse, so the above outcome is predictable. For anyone out there who needs to find the fuse, it's here:
    IMG_20200828_113556.jpg Under the rubber cover. No need to remove any bodywork.

    Here it is installed and powered up to test before I put any hardware back.
    IMG_20200828_112317.jpg

    Quite easy to install. The factory connector has to come off because it is designed to assure correct polarity when plugging into the original 12V receptacle, which has the terminals 90 degrees to each other. I had some good terminals so installing them was just a few minutes of work. The outlet is labeled for polarity so getting it wrong shouldn't happen if you're able to go outside without being on a leash.

    I also reinstalled my bashplate which I had sent to Don when he was doing his initial production. He was kind enough to media blast it before returning it. Looks great.
    IMG_20200828_121936.jpg
    Now, back to my loading strategy for soft bags.
    Dons1911, SlipChip and joe cool like this.
  18. joe cool

    joe cool Long timer Supporter

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    D711F41B-100F-41A3-9A12-6ABFC3FE3F78.jpeg I picked up a set of RigggeaR waterproof bags before our trip to BRMC. Nice size and everything stayed dry. Not as bulky as the stock hard bags.
    aftCG likes this.
  19. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Long timer

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    What bags are those? Not seeing them online...
  20. joe cool

    joe cool Long timer Supporter

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    3E224E65-2CA2-4C12-B5C6-A65F798CA7AB.jpeg
    Dons1911 likes this.