After a full season of around town and out of town riding on my Guzzi, I broke down last weekend and put it up on stands. She wasn’t starting as cleanly as she had in the past (but still starting every time), and every time I’d go over a sizable crack in the pavement, a loud “CRACK!” followed by a bone-shocking hit through the bars. Fuel residue and stains coating the Dell Orto carbs, told me that the rubber seals and gaskets made before Jimmy Carter was in office we’re now officially past their prime.
All in all for being over 30 years old, with close to 70,000 miles on the clock, the bike is in fantastic shape. Some of the electrical connectors needed to be cleaned and coated liberally with dielectric grease. A few of the rubber vent tubes had cracked and dried out. The valves (after a summer of heavy use) didn’t move an inch.
I took a deep breath, and opened my manual to the section labeled “Points Ignition: Checking & Adjusting“. I hadn’t touched points in a long, long time. With trepidation, I removed the ignition rotor cover and peered at the maze of wires lurking underneath. Only there wasn’t anything that looked like a points system. In fact, it looked ridiculously simple. So simple, I could swear it looked like an electronic ignition system, rather than the points system described in the workshop manual.
Some smart devil before me spent the loot to rid the machine of the infernal points system. One less worry!
While I was cleaning up, my buddy Chris mentioned: “Hey, is that a crack in the header?”. I looked closer and realized there was a hairline crack almost 3/4 of the way around the left-hand header pipe! That cylinder has been running awfully rich, and I had initially thought the cause was loose gaskets and rich jetting. But it very well be an exhaust leak. I’m going to have to pull out the welder and see if I can fix it up.
I should have some parts coming in pretty soon, and I hope I can get it back on the road by next weekend. While this weeks weather hasn’t been the best, we only get a few weeks of this spring air, and I’d like to be moving through it whenever possible.