Moto Guzzi V1000 Convert Opinions

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Hennepinboy, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Hennepinboy

    Hennepinboy Adventure Eater

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    758
    Location:
    Minnetonka Minnesota
    I have been offered for sale a Moto Guzzi V1000 Convert with sidecar for $1500. At this time I do not know the year of the bike or the manufacture of the car. The bike ran last summer and has been stored outside this winter. The owner stated in a text that the left exhaust had oil dripping, without looking I assume the oil is from a loose valve guide.

    Are there any know problems with the V1000 Convert that I should look for? What years Guzzi's have iron, chrome or Nikasil cylinders? How weird is that automatic transmission?

    I am looking for a new project bike as I have finished my winter project (82 Yamaha XJ650 Seca) this winter and it is still January.
    #1
  2. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,129
    Location:
    Apache Junction, Az
    Check on "This Old Tractor" web site. Greg Bender has a pretty complete rebuild thread for his Convert. You'll probably get quicker answers on the Wildgoose forum too. Sorry, I don't know offhand if the convert cylinders were iron or chrome plated. Greg will know...also the guys at MG cycle. What kind of side car? roy
    #2
  3. Scudman

    Scudman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    680
    The Convert cylinders are steel. The 850cc cylinders were mostly chromed. The 850 LeMans round cylinders had steel cylinders if memory serves me right. The Convert is the least desirable (IMO) of the Guzzi line due to the auto transmission. The engine is mostly the same as the 5 speed models with the exception of the front case that has a oil pump in it. The cam drives the oil pump and is different in that respect. To convert the Convert to a 5 speed you will need a 5 speed transmission, rear drive, drive shaft and U joint. The oil dripping from the exhaust is an issue and I would at least check the compression to determine the cause. If running and in decent condition $1500 would be a good deal but it was left outside and Guzzis do not age well in the elements. Plenty of parts for them out there and it will make a nice project.
    #3
  4. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    7,463
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    I have a convert engine in my garage. As mentioned above apart from the pump in the front cover its the same engine as the Spada. Personally I'd leave it as an Auto, they have a dedicated following and are a very usable bike. Splitting oil pipes for the transmission are the biggest issue, if you do buy it its worth changing the pipes as part of planned work instead of waiting for them to fail while out on the road.

    Very rapid acceleration away from the lights seems to be one of the biggest grin factors for Convert riders.

    CookieGB (on this site) is the man to talk to if you want any advice.
    #4
  5. UnclePete

    UnclePete Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    921
    Location:
    Plumas County , CA
    I looked into Converts a couple of years ago ; there was one for sale close to me for $1200 . A bit over 100k miles , looked ok , and " ran good last year " . When I showed up to see it , owner was working on carbs with them still on bike , out in the driveway . His hands were covered in brown goo that had once been gas . The mufflers were off , but he claimed they were in his pile somewhere . Said it really woke the engine up when you took off the mufflers . Never saw it run , no way to check trans , so I moved on .
    Next year I saw the same bike listed on CL again from another seller . Two hundred dollars more and " ran last year " .
    Found a lot of info online about the transmission , how it works , and tutorials on servicing and repairing them . Seems it's not a two speed automatic like early chevy that starts in low and shifts to drive , but actually a one speed with high and low range ; shifting on the fly could damage it . Changing it to 5 speed seemed overly extensive .
    Since I live in the mountains I decided the engine braking from a standard transmission would work better for me .
    #5
  6. ianboydsnr

    ianboydsnr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    England's Lake District
    They are great,

    The best bike guzzi made,

    Comfortable, and the footboard so work great, because there is no gear changing,

    Convert owners tend to keep them a long time,

    They are real nice to ride, and interesting even at 50- 60mph speeds,

    They are pretty reliable, though they are knocking on a bit now!
    #6
    Prmurat likes this.
  7. Old Mule

    Old Mule Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,572
    Location:
    Overland Missouri, home of 1950s sidecar tech.
    put this over on the "Hacks" forum here, see what you get.
    I have known several people who ran converts with sidecars, and wouldn't sell them. They just keep running along.
    #7
  8. Wandering Dane

    Wandering Dane We are the luckiest guys Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Lone Tree, Colorado
    Perhaps a bit off-topic: I have a Convert engine in a '76 T3 chassis with 5-speed transmission. Very happy with it. A previous owner set up the bike like a Le Mans with Le Mans brakes, rear sets, low bars, Bub Le Mans mufflers, etc.

    One peculiarity with the Convert engine is that its camshaft does not have a worm drive for the mechanical tach, so I use a TrailTech multi-function instrument.
    #8
  9. evildonald

    evildonald Shrubber

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    93
    Location:
    Black Hills of SD
    I brought one back from the dead a few years back....with a side-car, being designed as a cop bike, it had iron liners with two standard over-sizes available, but as I recall the oversize pistons were no longer available for a re-bore. I was able to clean up the stock jugs and found some used pistons on flee-bay that were about perfect. Great bike and once sorted out it ran like stink, as I recall, I got the carbs jetted back near stock and made up some little glass-packs to replace the restrictive exhaust and it really woke it up. The torque converter and 2-speed box can be left in either gear and is really not designed to shift at speed and the dry clutch is very small and can be damaged if you slip it a lot changing gears. I paid $1500 for mine and probably put another $1000 in it before stupidly selling it. I found the Guzziology book to be very help-full. Loved the bike and would love to have another.
    #9
  10. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,936
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    Acquaintance of mine picked this Convert up for $900.00 last Fall. I was going to buy it but he beat me to it. Odometer shows only 14k miles. The foot pegs / floorboards / shifter rubber show very little / no wear, so mileage might be correct.(?) He got it running and I took it for a ride. Very different machine. Hit 55 MPH, let off the throttle and the bike just idles down the road. I can see how folks become infatuated with these things.

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    #10
  11. MZRider

    MZRider Neo-Luddite

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    961
    Location:
    Western MD
    I've owned three Converts now, always enjoyed my time with them.

    I'm building a "mongrel" from parts I had laying around. '84 Cal II engine, Convert trans., swingarm, driveshaft, rear drive, some fork parts and front wheel with brakes, all wrapped in a '72 Ambassador frame. Still in "mock-up" stage right now.

    [​IMG]
    #11
    zookster and Old Mule like this.
  12. aerone

    aerone Clemson Cafe' Racer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    Hwy 28 South Carolina
    I'd buy it for that price, always wanted one.
    #12
  13. nsu max

    nsu max Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    403
    I have one and I love it.
    #13