Posted by: Jessie | August 11, 2010

Me and My Moto Guzzi: the Rocky Romance Continues


I walked away from that bike two times.  It kept coming back to tempt me.  Finally, after much assurance that all the major things that could go wrong had already been fixed, and that Moto Guzzi supported their old bikes, and that I would be able to find parts if I needed them, I gave in.  I bought the bike and took it to Autobahn for some TLC that I was unqualified to do myself.  They gave it a fork job and replaced the rear master seal.  But I still had to wait to ride it.  The day after the Guzzi was ready my Dad came into town to visit.  I didn’t have a chance to pick up the Guzzi until after he left.  Then it was back to work for a week, and then off to Mackinaw for a mini family vacation with my Mother and that whole side of the family.  It wasn’t until I had owned the bike for three weeks before I got a chance to ride it. 

I rode it to the Comet for Bike Night.  A few days later I rode it to the Cabana on the River for dinner.   We took a long convoluted route to the Cabana.  We went over some bumpy back roads.  The fork job fixed the suspension issue and took care of the head waggle.  The bike handled beautifully.  The back end is a little twitchy in the turns, but that’s nothing that a new set of tires won’t fix.  It was a nice ride out to the Cabana on the River, a beautiful evening.  We listened to a great band and the food was pretty good. 

When we came out of the Cabana after dinner the Guzzi’s side cover was gone.  Gone.  Just gone.  It was dark by then, but we tried to ride home the same way we rode out and keep an eye out for it.  No luck.  We couldn’t even find the road we rode in on.  I felt so sick.  The Guzzi came to me in pristine condition (mostly) and the third time I ever rode it I lost the side cover.  I should have checked to see if it was tight before I rode it.  It never occurred to me.  The previous owner had ridden it for hundreds of miles and was not concerned about the side cover.  I had addressed the mechanical issues that had been identified as concerns.  It never occurred to me to check the side cover.

The next day Eric and I got on our bikes and rode out there to look for it.  No luck.  The next day I went looking by myself.  Still no luck.  We did one more try, Eric drove the car and I hung my head out the window.  No side cover.  Still heartsick over it, I resigned myself to the idea I was not going to find it, I was going to have to replace it.  The thing that makes me feel even sicker is that cosmetic parts for this bike are so hard to come by.  After searching the internet for days I was able to find a dealer that carries hand-made reproduction side covers for a similar bike.  He was out of them and he did not know if it would fit my bike or not, but I figured I would give it a try.  

The new side cover was on backorder for about a month, but when it finally showed up it did fit my bike.  So the next challenge is painting it.  I have some 10-year-old paint, but I can’t find decals nor the V65 badge.  “Just leave it black.” they say.  “Paint it silver, then when you find the decals, put them on and clear coat over it.” or  “You can’t do that.  Just forget the decals.  Leave it plain silver.” or  “Get a replacement side cover for the other side, then do them both at the same time.” or “Just get someone to pinstripe it.”  or “You can’t pinstripe it, it won’t look right next to the decals on the fairing.”   Everybody has an opinion, but nobody knows where to get a V65 SP badge or decals.  Oh well.  The saga continues.

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