Show me the bike that almost got the best of you!

Discussion in 'Photos' started by MedicAndy, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. MedicAndy

    MedicAndy It's not always easy being me!

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, US
    This is not the typical "Let's see your nice bike picture" post. This is more of a "Let's see the bike that almost got the best of you" post!

    I'm starting this thread off with a bike (1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport), which I purchased from a guy out of Ann Arbor Michigan. I assumed that all this bike needed was a tuneup to be ready to ride...... I was so off ...... I would have saved me a lot of $$$ if I would have shot this bike and thereby taking us both out of our miseries right after I unloaded her at my home!


    So get a drink and sit back in your favorite chair, since this posting will take a couple of minutes to read! :)

    Before & After, this bike has come a long way! I bought this originally yellow, now painted in BMW red, 1997 1100 Sport two years ago on November 16th, 2016. I had been working (on & off) on sorting this bikes issues out starting back in November 2016, and I finally had her sorted in October 2018.

    My bike (picture below) started her life off as a yellow 1997 1100 Sporti. Her original owner wanted a red 1100 Sport, but none were left for purchase back in 1997, so he bought himself the only other, a yellow 1100 Sport still available for purchase and painted her in BMW red. I always wondered why he first of all painted the bike, since yellow looks pretty good on the 1100 Sport, but why did he choose to have this bike painted in BMW red and not the Moto Guzzi red?

    Either way, the bike was painted in late 1997. The original owner did a couple of modifications to this bike, which were the removal of the ram air box, which he replaced with K&N pod filters, and he removed the stock exhaust and installed a Mistral exhaust system including a Mistral crossover. He also changed the original ECU's operating chip out with a 1st generation Will Creedon performance chip. I also with the purchase of this bike received a nicely done and very detailed handwritten maintenance book which the original owner started and the second owner continued. In addition, I got lots of maintenance books, which including the Guzzi Bible, Dave Richardson's Guzziology, and lot's of spare parts, including a 1100 Sporti fuel tank.

    The original owner then sold his bike with 15799 miles on the clock on July 7th, 2000 to the second owner, who was and still is a professor at Michigan University in Ann Arbor.

    [​IMG]

    This picture below of the now painted BMW red bike was taken by her second owner after he bought this bike. He owned this bike from July, 2000 until he sold me this bike with now 25200 miles on the clock in November 2016. I noticed upon arrival to the professors house in Ann Arbor, where the bike was sitting in his garage, that the front tire was in such bad shape that there was no way that I could test-ride this bike. However, the bikes engine fired right up, all electrical items worked properly, the engine sounded healthy, all gears shifted as they should, and all fluids were clean. So, I completed the transaction and paid for this red beauty.
    [​IMG]

    I took the following picture after we loaded the bike up into my truck. I was soon after back on my way home to Raleigh NC, which was a return trip of approximately 700 miles / 12 hour drive.
    [​IMG]

    Below is what this 1100 Sport looks like today. She doesn't really seem that different from when her original owner still had her. However, looks can be deceiving........ I had new tires installed as soon as I got this bike home, which allowed me to take her out riding for the very first time. I noticed right away that both the front and rear brakes were shot and that the engine after warming up started to hiccup and spotter really bad. The engine would also cut off at idle.

    I assumed that maybe all she needed was some fresh fuel and a tuneup to fix whatever was ailing her. So I changed the plugs, cleaned and oiled the pod filters, replaced the fuel with 93 octane ethanol free fuel, changed the oil and filter, checked and adjusted the valves, synchronized the injectors, installed a new Odyssey battery, installed new Brambo front and rear rotors and pads, rebuild the brake calipers and replace the brake fluid. I also replaced the timing chain and tensioner. I also serviced the gearbox, final drive, and cleaned / greased the drive shaft.

    She now handled great, and the Brembo brakes functioned perfect. However, the engine didn't do any better after the tuneup. Still huffing and puffing, hiccuping, and cutting off whenever she felt like it. I then got some good feedback from a different MG specific forum members about making sure that I had the Creedon performance chip actually installed within the ECU, which I did.

    I also received an email from Will Creedon himself..... He told me that he actually remembered working both with the first and second owner of this bike with some engine issues they also had. Will told me that the second owner bought a second generation chip from him, and that he (Will) gave him written instructions on how to setup the fuel delivery system and tuneup the bike to eliminate the engine issues.

    Will Creedon send me the tuneup instructions too, so I was on a mission now to get the engine / fuel system dialed in. To my surprise, the second owner actually decided to completely bypass the bikes ECU's fuel system program and the Creedon Chip by installing a Power Commander III............

    I uninstalled the Power Commander and rewired the fuel injectors back into the ECU. I then removed the pod filters and reinstalled the ram-air box which also had a K&N filter installed. I also set the valve setting between the Moto Guzzi and Receco racing recommended settings. I then restarted this bike and she fired right up without the engine cutting off, without hiccuping, huffing, or puffing. But now however, the tachometer and instrument cluster lights stopped working. I finally after tracing the electrical system for three hours located the electrical issues, which was a bad ground connection from the battery to the frame to the ECU. So I got that fixed and ended up greasing every electrical connection with a 3M dielectric grease.

    So after doing all of those repairs, I was finally able and took her out on our first ride last month, and she did absolutely great. I still need to fine-tune the valve settings and the fuel lean / rich settings, but this bike is 95% sorted out by now.

    I did however noticed a couple of days ago that the battery was dead after this bike was sitting for only two weeks without being started up. This may be another electrical short somewhere, or maybe the regulator rectifier or stator are bad???

    On cosmetic related items that needed to be addressed: I changed the front turn signals out, which were smaller Ducati turn signals which the last owners installed. I replaced them with a set of the original 1100 Sport turn signals. I think the original turn signals must have gotten knocked off some time ago, since pieces of them were in the parts box I received. I also had the valve covers and crash bars powder coated, since there were some minor scratches and blemishes on the original covers. I had the passenger seat re-lathered in black, which I like better than the red lathered seat she had when I bought her. This bike is also in need of a good detailing job, so this will happen this winter!

    Although I only ridden this bike now for about twenty miles since I serviced her two years ago, it's time again to replace all fluids since they and the filters are already two years old by now. And now winter is coming..... So I'm now looking forward to next years riding season!

    But yes, this bike gave me plenty of headaches during the last two years! I also came close on several occasions to take my 12 ga police shotgun to take her out in the hopes that I would stop bleeding money trying to get this ride sorted.... I'm now glad that I didn't give into temptation!

    I own seven (two 1996 & five 1997) 1100 Sports, and I have realized pretty quickly that many Moto Guzzi riders are cheap, cheap, cheap bike owners. They will ride their bikes until most things are either worn out, broken, or needing to be replaced, and then sell their ride instead of keeping up with maintenance as time goes by. But then again, maybe those guys are the smart ones, and I'm the schmuck!

    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. Geschift

    Geschift Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    The Netherlands Langedijk
    Well Andy, I've had two bikes that match the topic title.
    But unfortunatly not only in a financial matter ...

    My first bike was a Yamaha FZX700.
    Way to small for me, but it had been my dreambike for ten years or so.
    [​IMG]
    Missed a red light om 18-08-01 and eventually woke up on IC.
    Let's just keep it short: learn to walk again, reconstruction of my whole face, and a loooooot more.
    Complete recovery almost took me a year.
    Never got back to my old self.
    Neither did the bike:
    [​IMG]

    https://pin.it/5kuo6vxbtj6nu6

    Then in 2002 I bought a brand new BMW F650 CS, a brilliant piece of machine.
    [​IMG]

    https://pin.it/4dfzodacrfoeru

    But fell asleep during a ride on 12-08-07
    Quess sleeping a few hours a day just doesn't cut it.
    Just drove into a ditch:
    [​IMG]
    Broke my spine at three points, and as it figures: a lot more.
    Some 7 months of recovery, but never to be the same.

    I then gave up motorcycling.
    But became a whole different guy.
    My wife told me to pick up biking again, she wasn't gonna stay married to this grumpy geezer

    Turned out to be GREAT advice.
    Love her, and love riding!

    But learned the hard way that sleep is not to be tampered with.
    #2
  3. arnuld

    arnuld Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    69

    This is one hell of a "life on motorcycles" story man. I could not even believe it at first read. Your story will be great for a Hollywood Drama :lurk (No offense)
    #3
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  4. Geschift

    Geschift Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
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    Well, thank you ... I quess :-)
    Wouldn't change a thing if I'd get a second chance.
    Otherwise I wouldn't be where I am right now.
    #4
    MedicAndy likes this.
  5. MedicAndy

    MedicAndy It's not always easy being me!

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, US


    Oh my friend, you should have started this thread! Not that this thread is meant to be a race which will have a winner at the end, but it's going to be hard to beat on what had happened to you! I'm glad that you healed up and are riding again, and kudos to your wife for being as understanding as she is!

    Thanks my friend for sharing your story!


    Andy
    #5
  6. arnuld

    arnuld Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Yeah, his wife is one hell of a strong woman. May be he deserved her :)
    #6
  7. Geschift

    Geschift Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Okay guys, starting to blush now.

    Shall we get back on topic please?
    Back to bikes that got the best of you: financialy OR physicly ;-)

    And thank you for all the complimentes!
    #7
    MedicAndy likes this.
  8. Rearwheelin

    Rearwheelin Closet Drinker

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    My 1990 KX500 hike-a-bike 24FCB34A-E74D-4057-AB45-223EB3C87081.jpeg
    #8
  9. Geschift

    Geschift Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    The Netherlands Langedijk
    OMG, there has GOT to be a story behind that picture!
    #9
    Rearwheelin likes this.
  10. Rearwheelin

    Rearwheelin Closet Drinker

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    This picture was taken 18 1/2 years ago , I was 23 years old . I learned the hard way not take short cuts when the going gets tough:y0!

    #10