My first hack, or heart trumps brain?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by thechief86, May 29, 2020.

  1. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Hey folks, today I went to pick up my first sidecar setup, a gorgeous 1979 Moto Guzzi SP1000 with an equally gorgeous hydraulic leveling sidecar. The thing is beautiful, and setup quite well (best I can tell, knowing dick about sidecars), but the seller couldn't get it running. He swore up and down that he had it running fine just a few hours earlier, and seemed genuinely surprised it wouldn't fire up.
    I fiddled with it, and found that it isn't getting spark. At ALL. After an hour or two, spark still wasnt happening, so I walked away.
    I got home, somewhat heartbroken and empty-handed, and found out that my wife was also hoping I'd bring it home, running or not.
    About an hour later, the guy called me back, and offered to lower the price even more, to cover the cost of a new Dynatek ignition system, so now he's a total of $3k below the original asking price. Holy Carp. Ok.
    So I ordered the ignition goodies from MGcycle.com, and me and my little boy are gonna load up and go pick the beast up in the morning.
    Once I get it running and clean it up a bit, I'll be better able to assess the condition of the rig, and begin my journey. But yeah, I'm very excited, as a Guzzi enthusiast. Here are some photos.... 20200529_130547.jpg 20200529_130555.jpg 20200529_130611.jpg 20200529_130619.jpg 20200529_130625.jpg 20200529_130535.jpg
    #1
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  2. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Looks like a very fine setup! Nothing like a Guzzi tug to put a smile on your face!

    That hydraulic leveler does whir and whine like a hydraulic thingamajob but in fact it is an electric-powered worm screw you're hearing. The device is called a linear actuator and it's a nice thing to have. Sometimes you might hear people calling it electric trim or electric tilt.

    The one big question mark whenever you buy a used rig is, "How does it steer?" Some rigs require quite a bit of muscle to steer while others are as sweet as can be. You won't really know until you can drive it.

    Good luck. Post lots of updates. Corona virus boredom means we all want to see new stuff.
    #2
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  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Has your dog seen it yet.......
    #3
  4. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Haha No, Samson hasn't seen it yet, but I have a feeling he and my 3 year old are gonna have a blast in the thing.
    Samson seems very upset every time I leave on 2 wheels without him.
    #4
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  5. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    You better go get it. if you don't I will! And I'll drop the Bumblezookie at your house on the way..where ever that is.
    #5
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  6. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Take your time during the intro.
    Let your 3 yr old be happy first....that is contagious.

    All of my guys have napped inside, on their own wishes.

    Life is good
    #6
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  7. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    That zook is one impressive machine. I'd be proud to own it. PM for address haha
    #7
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  8. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Went back and got her today.
    Got a little better price for not running, so I loaded it up and dragged it home, with a great big smile on my face. Last night I went ahead and ordered the stuff I needed to upgrade and modernize the ignition system, and today I took inventory of what I'll need to fix and clean and replace, etc...
    The front brake works, and as such operates the rear brake and one of the front calipers, but the rear master cylinder is locked up, so I'll be replacing or rebuilding that master, all three calipers, and the soft brake lines, as well as thoroughly flushing the system with clean fluid.
    This will cover running and stopping, so the next step will be to pull the bodywork off and clean as much stuff as I can, including taking off each electrical connection and removing corrosion and adding dielectric grease where appropriate.
    The PO removed all the original gauges and replaced them with an Acewell Digital display, which I'll probably keep, since it works and looks really cool.
    All the lights and horn work, and the rig has a huge battery located in the trunk of the hack, which adds ballast on top of probably helping out with the leveling system and extra lights.
    It's a bit of a project, but overall very cool, and only a weekend or two and a few hundred bucks from being pretty dang awesome. 20200530_102950.jpg 20200530_103012.jpg
    The bike has some crappy air shocks on it that seem to have no dampening at all, but still hold air. I'll probably call Dave Quinn about some shocks that don't suck, at some point.
    Anybody have any suggestions better than Hagon for decent suspenders under $300?
    #8
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  9. bpw

    bpw Been here awhile

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    Ikon shocks are decent and available in just about any size/spring rate you could want. Not Ohlins but they get the job done and are amazingly durable.
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  10. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    A couple more photos. 20200530_162357.jpg 20200530_162319.jpg 20200530_162331.jpg
    I plan to replace all rusty hardware with stainless or chrome bolts, and clean and paint anything else with rust on it. I've cleaned up several old bikes this way, and it makes a huge difference in perceived condition of a bike.
    This will be a project, but I at least it will be one I can ride as I fix it up. Once I have the brakes and engine sorted, the rest of the issues I've found are pretty much just cosmetic.
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  11. arbalest

    arbalest Been here awhile

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    Woow! That is a beauty.
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  12. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Nice rig and good to see it's going to be brought up to speed again.
    The rear shock on the Guzzi looks like the second hand Harley shocks I put on my sidecar.
    Air over spring.
    Mine don't have the air lines hooked up though so only spring.
    #12
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  13. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Pretty sure Dave is no longer in business.
    #13
  14. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    Hate to hear that, I've had some great buying experiences with him.
    #14
  15. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    So I'm looking to order some shocks for this rig, and the stock shock length is supposed to be 12.75".
    Should I shoot for this stock length, or should I go shorter for a sidecar setup? I know nothing of proper sidecar geometry, but I have heard that it is common to lower a motorcycle to accommodate the sidecar.
    All of the sidecar rigs I have been close and personal with were race applications that I was just helping to drag off the track after a crash or mechanical mishap... Those are always lowered pretty drastically.
    #15
  16. VACommuter

    VACommuter Long timer

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    Talk to Rick at Cogent Dynamics. He custom valved a shock for my rig.
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  17. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I would keep the height you have. The rig is already set up and drives OK according to the PO. Also, if you shorten the shocks, you'll have to shorten the forks to keep the rig level.
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  18. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    But when buying shocks, be aware that the spring rate needs to be substantially higher than OEM. That's the tricky part--getting the right spring.
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  19. thechief86

    thechief86 jack of all daniels

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    I bought some used, low mileage shocks for a Honda VTX 1300 just now, for dirt cheap on Ebay. They are the same length, but with a much higher spring rate. For $30 shipped, they'll be a huge upgrade from the clapped out air shocks, and if they suck, at least they were cheap, right?
    #19
  20. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) He’s my President! Supporter

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    If the shocks don’t work out, you and High Octane can start a wrong part flea market:D
    #20
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