Highlighted Twin of the Month – February 2009
Waspp – 1973 Moto Guzzi T3
Lets face it Moto Guzzi isn’t a well known brand of motorcycle out there but when I was searching ebay one night I came across a listing for a “Moto Guzzi motorcycle”. The name instantly brought back memories of the bright red LeMans 1 which made its debut in cycle magazines in the late 70′s. Well this was no LeMans but the Goose looked like it would be a fun, and certainly interesting project. The listing ended with no bids so i quickly fired off a message and a deal was made. Zac (randomsv) and i drove down to a very sketchy junk yard in the back streets of Trenton and loaded up the 850cc V twin and made our way home.
As it turned out the old Guzzi had gone down in some sort of minor crash and finally ended up in a New jersey junk yard, where it sat outside for some 10 years. After all that time the bike was in rough shape and I decided to go a custom route rather than a restoration. The first step was to do a complete tear down and begin cleaning the usable pieces. The aluminum parts were all bead blasted (except the block) and the Lino Tonti frame was sandblasted and painted, as well any other little brackets and bits. The engine was torn down and and I soon discovered that the cylinder bores as well as the rings were chrome . You could still see the cross hatch marks in the cylinders after 55,000 miles and the advice I got from an experienced Guzzi mechanic was “put it back together and run it”. So with nothing more than a new timing chain, gaskets and seals, the engine was back together sitting on the bench in fairly short order.
Originally the T3 would have been equipped with 30mm Delorto carbs but someone had swapped out the carbs for a set of 36mm delortos that were standard on the LeMans model. The delortos were dimantled and thoroughly cleaned and rebuilt. A new dual dry plate clutch was installed and the engine and 5 speed transmission were bolted in the frame. The exhaust changes every year, right now it has the stock downpipes with a custom larger tube crossover and jet coated emgo shorty mufflers.
Ebay turned out to be a great resource and I was able to find a gas tank in good condition as well as the fiberglass cafe seat assembly. The seat was cut down and fitted to the fender and aluminum brackets were fabricated to allow the seat to be removed with a few screws to gain acess to the electrical tray underneath.I cut down the stock stainless steel rear fender and modified a smaller plastic front fender from a Moto Guzzi V50. I wanted a different look so i managed to find a set of Lester mag wheels which were a popular add on in the 70′s and 80′s,. The Lester rims also gave a slightly wider width for the Avon super venoms.. The battery was moved down under the frame and I managed to relocate the electrical componets to a stainless steel tray mounted under the seat pan. Mini led directionals were added along with some custom aluminum brackets
I made a dash bezel out of some stainless plate I had kicking around the garage and used the stock tachometer and an ebay special mini speedometer. The body parts were painted gloss black and i had some checkered vinyl stripes made to run down the center of the tank fender and tail. The checkered stripes were outlined with one red and one green pinstripe to reflect the colors of the Italian flag. I broke down and spent a little money twords the end of the project and bought a set of Tarrozi rear sets a Tarozzi fork brace and Tomaselli headlight brackets.
All in all it was fun project and the reward is when you’re out riding! The V twin isn’t a real powerhouse and with the heavy steel flywheel it takes some time to get the engine to spin up rpm. Down the road I would like to upgrade to set of 1000cc cylinders and have the flywheel lightened. The bike gets its share of attention and I hear “Moto what?” a lot.