Category Archives: Bikes

The bike is complete

Well I got the new valves and reassembled the bike. All as well while running in the shed but after a quick test ride around the block I noticed an oil leak.
How can this be? Its got new gaskets and the dowels are all in place..
A squirt with degreaser and a hose down revealed the oil was running down from further up somewhere.
A mate suggested maybe the o-rings on the spark plug tube were leaking, but there was no visible oil inside that cavity.
I finally found it was leaking from the oil pipe fitting and seeping around the outside of the head gasket, to drip off at the lowest point.
No problem, I’ll get some new copper washers for the banjo fitting….
Did that and tightened it up as much as I dared.
Another test ride and still the leak is there. Must be the oil pipe says me!
I removed the pipe completely and it looked fine, no kinks or frays in the webbing.
Sealed the ends with rubber blocks and vice grips, put it in a bucket of water and applied compressed air to the open end.. No leaks..
So the pipe is fine and its got new copper washers and its done up tight but leaks..
At this stage I’m thinking the situation is impossible but then it is an Italian motorcycle and there will be some ridiculous reason for this to occur.
So i screwed the banjo bolt into the head as far as it would go without the hose on it.
Then measured the gap between the head mating surface and the bolt mating surface,
I then measured the banjo end of the pipe plus two copper washers only to find that there was less than 1mm of crush being applied to the washers before the bolt bottomed out in the hole..
So when I thought the bolt was done up tight it was just out of thread (or bottomed in the head) and not actually clamping the copper washers..
Two copper washers on each side – oil leak fixed..


If its got tits or wheels it’l cost you money…

So having finally got my van semi-finished and reliable I decided to do the long overdue upgrades and maintenance on my bike.
Before I dive into this – a little background on the bike:
Back in December 17 I bought a brand new (but 10 years old) MotoGuzzi Griso 1200.
You see the first owner had purchased it in 2008 and never rode or registered it.
It sat in his house as an ornament…

I saw it appear on Trademe and had to have it.
After much money for shipping and insurance etc it arrived here and I dived into the red tape required to get a brand new unregistered (but 10 years old) bike legally on the road.
That done, I was happily scooting around for a month or two when things went somewhat downhill…
in- bits
While I was riding it she dropped onto one cylinder.
It had spark, fuel, compression, and for a while I was stumped..
But then I found that the cam timing had slipped 180 degrees on the left cylinder. (which meant that spark and injection were occurring on the wrong stroke)
The cam-wheel lock pin had worked its way out through the hole in the oil flinger plate and allowed the sprocket to slip.

There is a long and sorry saga documented here on the Guzzi forums.

I corrected the valve timing and it ran sweet as again. I’ve done about 2500km on it since.
I was told by the wizards on the forums that the flat tappets WOULD fail at some stage and I should fit the rollerisation kit, which I duly purchased and its been sitting in a box on the bench until last week

I had to remove the heads to do the kit so I thought I’d check the valves. Two are very slightly bent.

I’ve ordered two new valves the bike now sits sadly in pieces in the shed..
During the conversations I had while trying to diagnose the cylinder issues I was told I should also dismantle and re-grease all of the rear suspension bearings because the factory, in its infinite wisdom failed to lubricate them at assembly.
I’ve just done all that today.
Now just waiting on my new valves..