Moto Guzzi V50 11


This is now April 2015 and I was looking on Ebay at various motorcycles and this MotoGuzzi turned up, I contacted the seller to find out what the best price he was looking for, he seemed unhappy with it and said he did not like it.


This was his description and I am sure he was not happy with the wiring which I was not but I intended to do something about it after I got it.

OK the good points, it runs well and as far as I know, no faults. The bad bits, temporary fuel cap, someone in the past has re-wired, but all works ok, re-wired the ignition switch, (as the bike was stolen for about 3 hours), not a v50 seat, blister on the fuel tank, starter motor sticks some times. instrument lights not all working, never have for me. the thing, runs, and stops ok, workshop manual, spares list, some history, mots etc. for what it is , its not a bad bike, but too small for me.


During the time I was looking at it I showed my sister as she was in Norwich with my 2 nephews, she said it looked good.


I pondered over it and eventually put a bid on it, needless to say I won it.


I was pleased I had won this as I had always fancied a Moto Guzzi, the le-Mans was what I liked in the 70/80s. I was quite satisfied I got this one.



I hired a van and Heather my wife came with me to pick it up in Basingstoke, he was quite a nice fellow about my age I would say. We sorted out the document and him and his son helped me to get it in the van.


The trip home was OK but the traffic on the M25 was quite bad and made travelling slow.


I was pleased with my purchase and it travelled well in the van, I got it home and could see straight away that I was not happy with leaving the wiring as it was. I tried to start it and the battery was flat so I thought it was a waist of time going any further with it until the wiring was made good.


The general condition was quite good for its age as it looked as though it had been kept dry and had no rust on it and it is a 35 year old bike after all.


I had a look around the bike and saw the steering lock was missing and the fuel cap lock cover was broken, I rang Gutsibits and they set me up with a new steering lock and a second hand fuel cap/lock, I was well pleased as they told me these are hard to get.




The Moto Guzzi V50 is quite good for me with my short legs, I found it quite small for a 500 and it is smaller that the Honda XR125 in height.



This was what I expected a collection of potential faults and as you can see I was not  impressed, it was quite daunting when you see there are redundant wires which have been cut and not joined again. I thought the only way was to strip out all the wiring and replace it so my next job was to see if I could find a new wiring loom.


I went on Ebay again and there was somebody selling what I wanted I got the front and main loom from him and the rear one from another seller. I was confident in these looms as he said he did repairs on them so I know he had checked them.


I got my various looms and started with the rear light and winkers first, it took a little time fiddling and the wiring was in place.


I then went to the front and tried to sort out what was needed there, I started with the winkers and tried to fix them, it did not twig straight away but after I fiddled for a while I realised that one was Italian and the other an English winker, I thought I was going to try to get some new ones, the rear ones were Honda so I thought it would be OK to convert some other Honda I had in my spares, they were not the exact type as the rear but looked OK.


I continued to fit the main loom and it started to take shape and looking better, the photo shows work in progress but it still has some way to go to complete it.




The seat it the correct one as the previous owner thought it was the wrong one, the thing that is wrong with it the cover it appears to have been recovered but not to original spec shown below, I have decided it must have a better cover and I will look for a better one.



I needed to find out how the seat catch was fitted and looked in the manual but I could not find it out, I rang some people and it seems that catch was no longer made and it may be hard to find one.


Ebay is where most things are found but this time I found a dimantlers that is called REBOOT Guzzi Spares, I contacted them and it was a little time later I heard back from him and he had found one, the company is in France and he sent it to me.



I managed to get a new cover and what a transformation it looks like a new one and correct for the bike, the cover was cut slightly different to how the seat was before I had to bend 2 lugs in to get the cover to look right, I am very pleased with the outcome.



I continued with the wiring loom and tied it all in, it is looking the part now.


The bike was quite noisy when Geoff the person who sold me started it up, I was thinking of replacing the exhaust and as I inspected it further I realised the K & N filters may be the problem.


The battery had been standing for some time and it had lost charge so I charged it up again, after it had charged up I put my small tester on it and saw the voltage falling so I knew I needed a new battery.


I went to Panks a local Auto Electrical shop in Norwich and they had a battery in stock, they were very kind to give me discount as my daughter had worked there in the past.



This is the kit they used above, I think it was getting blocked and the engine was getting oily.


I thought it would be good to put an original airbox on so I set about finding a second-hand one and Gutsibits helped me and had one in stock, the part came in quite a big box, it looked good and a brand new air filter with it.



This is the original airbox they are big and very aukward to fit but it is worth doing it.


It is now June and most of the jobs have been completed then I decided I would try to fit the air filter and I saw I needed 2 small manifold parts to fit on the carbs.


Reboot in France have found the parts for me and I am waiting for them to turn up.


I fitted all the parts and the next job was to start the bike, Geoff said the starter motor had stuck a couple of time and I was not surprised it did not work when I was ready to start the bike.



I made another trip to Panks and they bench tested the starter and said the drive had a problem but on further inspection the commutator had lifted and the starter was deamed useless and was replaced.


I fitted the starter motor and refitted the battery connected all the wiring that needed connecting and clipped it all in. and the last job was to fit the seat.


The bike started without a problem, I just had to adjust the carbs which will need checking at various intervals as it start to run better.






It was now just 2 months since I brought it home and it was ready to ride, I thought it was not too long as finding parts took a bit of time.


The bike was quite noisy I thought but it got quieter as it was ridden faster, I only took it about 8 miles and just as I got near home the oil pressure light came on, I nursed it back home as I was not sure if it was short of oil.


When I got home I checked to see if there were any leaks, when I first got it there was quite a lot of oil about the engine and thought at the time it was the oil pressure switch leaking and this confirmed it, I needed a new one Gutsibits came to the rescue and they are sending one to me which should arrive the next day.


Gutsibits were true to their word and the part arrived the next day, it did not take long to fit but it was fiddly as the air filter took up quite a bit of space.


I took the bike out that afternoon and did about 20 miles, the bike did not run too badly but the exhaust was far more noisy than I would like, I eventually found some baffle inserts that I will fit when they turn up later this week, I will see the difference it makes.


I fitted the inserts to the exhaust they were not the exact size I needed but with a few cuts and a little adjusting they went into place. I took it for the MOT as it only had a few days left.


It was a Monday and I got a local company to put a couple of welds on the exhausts to tack them so they were permanent. I decided to take the bike to Thetford and it ran quite well considering, the exhaust were still louder than I was used to but I think they were better than before I fitted the inserts.


I was pleased with the Guzzi but it is an old bike and it still had its little problems to fix.


I took it out when I went to car boot sales, but one time it refused to start.


I decided to clean the carbs out, they were quite mucky and needed a clean when I was doing this the little adjuster on one of the choke cables snapped so I ordered this part and fitted it, the choke did not work too well and realized the cables were damaged so I ordered some new ones.


I thought I could ride it as it was but it ran badly and choked it up, the cable came and I fitted them they were really fiddly and eventually got it running,


I took it to a car boot sale it started good and went there not too bad, I thought it could have run better though, I stopped the bike went  around the car boot sale came back and it did not really want to start, I kept trying in the end it fired up and eventually got home.


I checked a few things out as the problem still seemed to be a fuel problem, and I checked the spark plugs the spark was weak so they were replaced.


I think the old thing is ready for a run now, we will see if it will play up again.


It is now August and the bike went OK around the city, it need a good run which will happen very soon. The 4th of August I got some sad news of a work mate had passed away and was told the funeral would be later that month. I decided to go to the funeral it was in March Cambridgeshire, I took the Moto Guzzi  to Wisbech to another mates place and went with him to the church.


The trip back to Norwich was Ok but I was still not happy with the bikes running, In cleaned the carbs out and also cleaned the tank there was a lot of muck came out. I knew the carbs had been mucked about with as the got rid of the original air cleaner and put K & Ns on they did not fit too well.


I ran the bike for a while and took it out one evening to meet another mate at Whitwell near Reepham, a lot of bikes turn up there on Fridays. I was not at all happy with its running as the trouble seemed worse since I cleaned the fuel system out.


I decided to check all the parts in the carbs and get back to original, I ordered the parts I needed and also got a fork seal as it was weeping. I stated to do the work  but due to family health problems I got a bit delayed as I had to help with that.


It was now Christmas Eve and I thought I would like to get a luggage rack for the bike as it helps when I pick stuff up at the car boot sales. Somebody had one for sale it was used but looked quite good I struck a deal with him and he sold it to me.

It had a GIVI top box bracket on which I sold later.




After the New Year I had the rack and wanted to get it painted, I got in touch with 2 places the first was to see about getting it powder coated but that was too expensive.


The next pace I got in touch with was to get it nickel plated, He had a bit of a job with it as he had to remove the old paint he used a light acid, as the paint was quite good it took along time to do this. He plated the rack but as there were rust spots on it the nickel was not even. I was happy with the job as it would not rust, I then decided to paint it black with an aerosol and it turned out not bad.


I have now fitted the rack and top box and the rear winkers I fitted to the rack, the bike is changing quite a bit since I first got it.



Over the next few days I will spend a bit of time on it to get it running again as I want to have it on the road again.




This is my brother-in-law Jonathan who was in Norwich for my daughter Joanna’s wedding. He was able to stop over at my Mothers with my sister Ann and their two lads Bertie and Ted. Jonathan gave the Guzzi a short run and I think he liked the bike and how it was running.


Here are my 3 grand sons - Thomas at the front, Jayden in the middle and Liam is at the back. I think they all thought it was good to sit on a motorcycle. Thomas does not say much but I think he would have liked a ride on it.