My Motorcycling Life Chapter Four by George Smith

April 22nd, 2020

My Motorcycling Life Chapter Four by George Smith

After having a few ride outs on the Francis Barnett trying to keep up with the bicycles time to go Italian.

Browsing a well known auction site a 1979 Moto Guzzi V50 mark 2 popped up. Phoned seller told 14000 miles on clock two owners from new and in his shed for fifteen years not sure if it would run. Asked him not to do anything to it, borrowed van and arrived in Coventry next day with cash in pocket.

On arrival seller tells me he had bought a battery and tried to get it going but wouldn’t start. Negotiated price loaded up and straight home.

Thanks to seller I had a new battery also broken rings in one cylinder. Luckily nikasil cylinder not damaged.

All it needed was top end overhaul, new stanchions, new rear bevel box seals, tyres and ready for the road.

Before I replaced fairing bought some red and matt black paint from Halfords, sprayed it and replaced, only to be told by my wife Sylvie that red not matched to rest of bike and I should do it properly. Paint ordered from RS, fairing off resprayed. She was right of course, pleased with finish, The rest of the paint is original.

Enjoyed this bike. Great handling and enough power for me. I thought This was a bike I would keep till to old to ride.

After a while with winter approaching time to look for next project. Before long an Ariel Arrow was lurking at the back of the garage.

The Arrow came with boxes of spares which included engine matching number to frame. On further investigation bike turned out to be a Sport (Golden) Arrow that had the gold parts painted over. In the early 1960s with the new 250cc restriction for learners this was a teenagers dream bike, 80MPH at an affordable price. What it lost in speed with the big bikes it made up for in the bends with superb road holding, just remember front brake is useless if you don’t want to end in ditch.

Arrow stripped down, found some Ariel Arrow enamel paint. Brush painted blue, Spray painted gold. Pleased with result.

By now I had passed my three score and ten, time to retire, downsize home and have more time to spare.

To help costs Moto Guzzi and Francis Barnett had to be sold. Shame but that’s life.

Arrow parts wrapped up put in boxes and deposited in youngest son’s garage. No point in having kids if you can’t take advantage sometimes. 

New home had to have new kitchen, bathroom, decorating and most important 16ft x 8ft shed / workshop before work could recommence on Arrow. Soon finished and on the road.

Playing with Grandads toy.

Another good season riding if you remember to always use both brakes and did not get to worked up about poor hot starting. AA home service essential. Not really interested in  spending money on electronic ignition, new carb and Honda TLS front brake. After all it is not Italian. Time to start looking for another Moto Guzzi.

Next chapter gets interesting for Moto Guzzi fans.