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The Resurrection

  Continued from Pg 2
I found a dirt bike headlight small enough to fit that tiny EV headlight bracket, had to pay $60. for a new 25 watt bulb!  Eventually Jay from Dauntless Motors Sidecar company lent me a hand and rigged a full size chromed auto halogen headlight bucket for me.  (Thanks Jay)  I proceeded to insert the new expensive "cold Blue" halogen bulb for that "Euro" look.  Cool !

Still, I kept blowing the fuse for the lights.  It was aggravating & unnerving.  I couldn't really ride it knowing my lights kept popping off and I couldn't find the short.  What would I do without friends.  Matt is an electrical engineer for the Boeing company and he offered to help diagnose the problem.  Less than an hour he found the culprit wires (I had looked at them 4-5 times before but couldn't see the bubbled wire on the bottom - Matt picked it out right away.), and basically rewired the light switch !  Thanks Matt.

Thereafter I rode to visit Bill and Cheryl in Idaho.  They own the local "Bovill Inn" and they let me park the EV in the Inn !  Cool, here's a dark but fun photo.  I gave Bill a 6 hour ride to Moto International in Seattle the next day for him to pick up a new EV for a buddy of his.  We did this on the Stock Seat - It was a Grueling ride that took us nearly 8 hours for all the Butt break stops we had to make.  Need I elaborate.

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Parked inside the Boville Inn

      Next on the agenda was a SEAT !  I've heard of the great seats being made for the EV these days, but I just had a real hard time cash wise, putting more $ into this project.  Those seats are Real expensive !  So, I decided I would give seat making a try.  If you think you might try it yourself, I'd advise against it.  I now really appreciate the Skill and Time that those seat makers put into these suckers.  My seat molding was torture.  I have opened it up now 4 times to redo it.  I am still not sure I have it good enough till I take a long ride with passenger.  Since I was going through all the trouble I figured I'd try to make it sit lower and more cruiser like.  I like the feel and the look of a Cruiser, it is the feature I most appreciate in Harleys.  (oops, there I said the "H" word.  Well, they are comfortable, and they sure do look cool).

To accomplish my goal for lowering the seat hight I had to Move the brain box.  A great tip from Pete Serrino off the MGCL list:  Replace the EV battery with a skinny one used in the Goldwing Hondas and the brain box slides in right beside it.  I added a battery gasses collector and wrapped the brain in pieces of an old tire tube.  Now, the seat pan laid right on the frame rails !

The seat construction was done in stages.  Between fittings and trials I got a Small blue tinted windshield.  It is small, just punches a hole in the windstream for the bike to slipstream through.  I like to feel the wind around me yet it deflects the airstream away from the chest and body.  The airflow will just begin to hit me above my visor.  I like that, cause that allows you to take advantage of the vent holes in these new helmets yet it does not buffet you in wind.    In addition to the seat, my significant other told me I had to redo the poor excuse for a buddy pad that came on the EV.  More challenges.

Custom Headlight, Fairing, Seat & Passenger backrest.
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Skinny battery with brain box beside it wrapped in rubber.  

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I used an old Cal II Buckets seat, cut about 4 inches off the nose of the pan and hacked off the tall foam bucket part that hold you in one spot.  I carved out most of the foam in the seat areas and replaced them with a 3/4" hunk of Gel padding that Chip Diamond from IRDC racing had for me.

I worked with several different types of open and closed cell foams.  After switching around a bit I ended up with a bottom to top layered look consisting of:  metal pan, 1/4" original shaped foam, 3/4" gel pad, 1/4" closed cell foam, topped by 1/4" open cell foam.  

I have re-cut & stitched & glued the original seat cover  so many times now it looks like a Frankenstein seat.  I am looking for someone to re cover the whole affair - once I am sure the seat will be adequate.  I know my seat will never be as comfy and nice as one from Rich Maund, or Corbin, or any of the professionals, but if I can make it adequate I will be very happy.

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 I met a nearby friend Doug Pulling who is helping me Tune the TwistedSister.   He and I have tinkered on the EV on and off for some time. We actually found that the pin numbers for the TPS setting listed in Guzziology were wrong.  So, when setting the TPS on a P8 brain box you use pins # 17 and # 11 (NOT 17 & 30).  You know the TwistedSister actually ran pretty good from the get go, but when Doug and I went through all the Elaborate fuel injection body synchronizations, and tune up procedures the bike runs even Better !  

I have also added some handlebar setbacks because my seat has moved the riding position down and back away further.  Even stock the bike had me reaching forward to grasp the bars. 

I also took off the stock crossover and put in a straight "H" crossover from an old Convert and drilled out the mufflers.  (Boy, I hated drilling out perfectly good mufflers ! )  However, the sound is now real throaty and I swear you can feel the power difference.  Well, drilling those mufflers also lead to the Air Box over the Carb filter.  This box is very restricted and I used a 7/8" wood drill to pop 5 holes in the box.  3 up front and 2 on the sides as I remember.  This butchery lead to obvious extra noise heard when you cranked on the throttle.  I can only "assume" the ventilated air box helped increase air flow.

I still want to do some things like fill the handle bars with some shot pellets and get some HiWay pegs mounted somehow.  (Another Expensive item I am trying to make up myself.  Boy, wish I knew how to weld stuff!)

The MGCL list has been extremely helpful in my efforts to resurrect this bike.  I have met and talked with, and made so many new and influential friends on the list that I can't imagine not having that resource available.  Another source of help was from my purchase of Guzziology from the Moto Guzzi Bookstore (linked into Amazon.com ). 

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Version #4 of the seat reconstruction

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Handlebar setbacks from a local cycle salvage yard.

NOTES: October 1999.

If you have to disassemble a bike I highly recommend planning to take lots of time doing it.  Make a disassembly journal and list every step you take.  Yes, I know this really takes 3 times as long but the re assembly will be a piece of cake - if your notes are detailed.

Take Lots of pictures, Close up pictures and several angle shots at different points of disassembly.  You'll spend hours staring at them trying to determine just how that hose trail lays out. 

Ask some friends for help.  Although I did 90% of this project solo, I really enjoyed having a buddy help out now and again.  Plus, friends offer an abundance of ideas that will help you out.

If you change the seat/handlebars and such you will alter the way it fits you.  Great if that is what you're aiming for.  Me, well, I wanted to sit down lower, but I'm long in the leg and by lowering the seat and moving my seating position back my knees are now higher than my hips.  This makes for an uncomfortable riding position for us long legged types.  On the flip side, I had a 5' 6" female rider on it and she had her feet on the ground straddling the bike.  Very comfortable for shorter types - unusual trait for Guzzies.  

End results:  Well, I am pleased it is running So GREAT.  It sounds Great too.  But, it doesn't yet "Fit me" comfortably.  My Ambassador is a dream to ride - it Fits Me.  If I can't make the TwistedSister Fit Me, I'll have to sell it to someone it will fit.  I originally purchased this bike with the knowledge that I could not keep 2 Guzzi's and would eventually have to sell one of them.  Although this bike is Much more advanced in every way than my old Ambassador I don't know that I would be able to sell the Ambo.  I've had it for over 22 years.

I've put so much into it this EV that I'll never recover all my costs, but I will recover them in the experience and the fun and the challenge that comes with this type of project.  Besides, I've already put over 3,000 miles on it myself !  

See Ya,

Roy

Twisted-1.jpg (130824 bytes)
Earlier picture of the EV, I'll update with a few finished shots later.

Done, see pic below with HiWay pegs - in blue of course.

EV 5.jpg (48443 bytes)Well, here she is in all her glory.  She can roar like a lion, or purr like a kitten.  What ever you like - This bike will do it.  Power, Speed, Smooth Ride, Stopping Power, and balance you have to experience to believe.
(man I really miss the TwistedSister.  A fella from Norway bought it in 2000 and drove it across the USA before shipping it home.  The bike served him well.  He experienced a flat tire early on and the speedometer quit on him, but that was all.)

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