Author Topic: Mamma Mia! 850 T3  (Read 4647 times)

Offline Stu

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Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« on: May 07, 2020, 06:48:00 AM »
Hello, everybody!

Quick intro, even though I've done it elsewhere... I'm Stu, 62, from Wiltshire, UK. Been riding since I was 17. Spent 20 years out in South Africa through the 80s and 90's during which time I had a Ducati MHR and rode with lots of Guzzi guys in the IMOC. >> to last week and one of those same Guzzi guys sends me a link to an ad for an 850-T3... which needless to say is now in my garage and the subject of this thread.

 :gotpics: I hear you say? Coming soon.

Been doing a bit of digging on the bike. It was first registered in UK on 3rd Feb 1976. That's about 9 months after I got my first bike (FS1E!) and a similar time before I passed my test on a 250.

Hasn't had an MOT since the electronic system came out, and tax ran out in Dec 1990. She's spent the last 30 years stationary. The front tyre (a Pirelli Phantom)  has an "066" date code, so that's mid Feb 86. 15000 miles on the clock... could just be genuine!

Condition is fairly dodgy, she's obviously been down on both sides as there are scratches on crash bars and grab rail, and she has the wrong fork stanchions fitted (longer ones off later model). Also evidence of some mechanical ineptitude (bent fins on barrels) and some dodgy eighties customizing (nickel plated frame  :lipsrsealed:). Paint is black rattle can special.

Seller had cleaned out sump and carbs, new oil and filter, fixed the brakes, and got it running. Rest is up to me...

And the title of this thread? Guess what was top of the UK singles chart on 3rd Feb 1976? Yep, ABBA with Mamma Mia! Seemed as appropriate a name for an old Italian lady as any.  :wink:



« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 01:00:51 AM by Stu »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2020, 09:44:54 AM »




Yes, it's horrible, I know!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 11:19:45 AM by Stu »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2020, 11:51:55 AM »
So Mamma arrived Monday morning and it's now Thursday, so there are already a few things to report.

First is a comedy of errors... The ignition switch (probably original) had been drilled through and worked with half a broken key. The bike came with a spare new one from Gutsibits, so I set about fixing it. New switch has spades and the old one bullets, so chop off the bullets and fit nice new heatshrinky spade terminals. Then try and fit the new switch. The very water resistant new terminals are too stiff to bend in the right place to get the loom to miss the bolts... a little bit too much force and the bottom pops off the new switch springing all the little pingfuckits everywhere. Two attempts at reassembly later, I decide it's a lost cause and make up some jumper cables... ignition comes on and life is fine. Tank back on temporarily and she bursts into life and settles down to a contented and not too rattly idle... lovely.

Now I haven't wasted the time while waiting for Mamma to be delivered, I've been reading all the horror stories on t'internet about what goes wrong with these things and I have, of course, heard all about chrome bores and don't, whatever you do, start an old T3 that has been sitting for 30 years. Unfortunately PO has already got it going and ridden it down the road, so all a bit late for finding out. Anyway, before we go any further, best find out the worst... Off with her heads!

To cut a long story short, some kind soul has, long time past, bored the barrels out and fitted cast liners. These are relatively new, with no wear whatsoever. Win! If I'm being honest, they ain't perfect. They've been sitting a long time and there has been a bit of rust in there. They're clean with a little bit of pitting in one bore, but there are worse horrors on this beast, so for now they're going back together. For the price of a couple of gaskets, I'll run it for a while and find out what else is wrong before I have to buy new barrels and pistons at some point in the future.

Quick look around and a read through Mr Haynes finest service schedule... The oil and filters been done and the brake fluid refreshed by the PO. Gearbox and Final drive oil hasn't, so I've ordered some of that, along with a new air filter element (yes, it's still fitted!).

Tyres are a 34 year old Phantom (with lots of tread left, shame to waste it  :evil:) and a 32 year old bald Dunlop. Ordered a new set of Bridgestone BT46s this morning in nice narrow 100/90 and 110/90 sizes. Borrani rims look good and run straight with no dings that I can see. Another win.

Plan is to get the heads back on when the bits arrive (Please, Mr Postman), finish the service, and get the thing onto a historic registration and out on the road... hopefully our lockdown will be over soon and we'll be allowed out to play.

The rest of the horrors will be attacked piecemeal while keeping her mobile... I've done two restorations on bikes a lot younger than this that took four years of guilt and anguish each... this ones a roller. Plan is to eventually get her reliable and half presentable in a high mileage, patina'd way, not a resto...




Offline s1120

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 08:14:41 AM »
Sounds like a good plan!!  You know once you get the worst sorted, there is no saying you cant just ride the thing and fix stuff while its a rider. Good to hear you have cast liners in the bores. Thats the big one right there. Ive run a lot of engines with some pitting from sitting, and while maybe not the best...  Ive gotten good service out of them. A little clean up hone, and make sure the rings are fine and ship it!  Enjoy the project!
Paul B

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 08:14:41 AM »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 01:26:34 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement.

I've spent a few hours cleaning things up a bit. Some ancient owner thought it would be cool to paint the cylinder heads black.  Thirty years on, about 20% of it is missing and it looks awful. I popped the valves out, degreased the heads and covered them in paint stripper. After two goes, it's getting better but still needs another couple of goes and now I've run out of stripper!

More importantly,  the exhaust valves have been running a bit tight and the seats need lapping. Can't find my old kit, so have ordered a new one. Valve guides are ok, so it'll all go back together.

I'm having problems with not rebuilding everything as new. I am NOT restoring this bike!

Yet.  :rolleyes:

Online rutgery

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2020, 09:36:31 AM »
That's a really nice project, the normal T3 instead of the california's look like a motorcycle should. Especially with the borrani wire wheels. And I think it's very cool to make the bike ridable and reliable without restoring it, makes the bike have more history!

How are the electricals? Is the wiring still okay and not ''improved'' by previous owners?
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Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 12:49:36 AM »
Thanks. Yes, I've never been a massive fan of footboards in any guise really; I'm just not that guy. The standard T3 is still pretty laid back compared to all the other Italian vees I've had!

History is something this bike doesn't have for me... I've been hoping someone on here or FB would say "hey, that's my old bike!" but nothing so far.

The wiring seems ok, so far... everything seems to work. It's all very original, switches (ugh!) And points ignition. Headlight has been swapped out along with fork stanchions and headlight brackets so probably a front ender at some time. Needs another replacement ignition switch since my cock up last week.

I'm concentrating on getting it running safely at the moment and will then fix stuff as it shows up. Not sure what to do with paint. It's not original and it's pretty nasty but repainting it will look too new. I may sand it down a bit and see how it cleans up or falls off. I'm fairly handy with a rattle can, which will be appropriate for this "beauty".

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 01:17:48 AM »
One question? Has anyone acquired the knack of reassembling the air filter tube thing under the tank? Having two pairs of eyes and three arms would be really useful. (Zaphod! I've got a job for you  :evil:).

I consulted Guzziology, which suggests taking the distributor off and giving it a service at the same time, so you can remove the filter box and do it off the bike... probably a great idea, but I really want to do one thing at once here and not try to fix stuff that seems to be working (with the likelihood of adding new problems to the mix).

I should probably have left the old filter in for now, but pleased I didn't... it's fairly disgusting and given the supposed low mileage, may have been fitted by Luigi at the factory.

I assume this instrument of torture is the reason every T3 I've ever seen has K&N type filters on?

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 05:30:59 AM »
Thatís a wonderful bike to ride as is or restore as much or as little as you want.  If you have access to a vapor blaster locally those cylinders and heads will clean right up.

Best of luck.
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Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2020, 06:24:22 AM »
Here am I determined not to restore my bike and you're showing me porn pictures of nice shiny bits!  :rolleyes:

I work (on the Engineering side) for a company that designs, supplies and overhauls rail components. In the strip and clean shop of the overhaul side of the business are some lovely industrial cleaning machines including vapour blasting, shot blasting and some of the biggest "dishwashers" you've ever seen. I've had three or four sets of engine components in the vapour blaster, and am getting quite good at it. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, I'm working from home and not allowed in that area of the factory, due to --19 restrictions.

Maybe next time it comes apart...

As a query... are those cylinders in your picture the Chrome bores?
 

Offline s1120

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2020, 06:25:18 AM »
One question? Has anyone acquired the knack of reassembling the air filter tube thing under the tank? Having two pairs of eyes and three arms would be really useful. (Zaphod! I've got a job for you  :evil:).

I consulted Guzziology, which suggests taking the distributor off and giving it a service at the same time, so you can remove the filter box and do it off the bike... probably a great idea, but I really want to do one thing at once here and not try to fix stuff that seems to be working (with the likelihood of adding new problems to the mix).

I should probably have left the old filter in for now, but pleased I didn't... it's fairly disgusting and given the supposed low mileage, may have been fitted by Luigi at the factory.

I assume this instrument of torture is the reason every T3 I've ever seen has K&N type filters on?


Nice!  Gotta love a HGG reference!! 
Paul B

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2020, 07:33:40 AM »
One question? Has anyone acquired the knack of reassembling the air filter tube thing under the tank? Having two pairs of eyes and three arms would be really useful. (Zaphod! I've got a job for you  :evil:).

I consulted Guzziology, which suggests taking the distributor off and giving it a service at the same time, so you can remove the filter box and do it off the bike... probably a great idea, but I really want to do one thing at once here and not try to fix stuff that seems to be working (with the likelihood of adding new problems to the mix).

I should probably have left the old filter in for now, but pleased I didn't... it's fairly disgusting and given the supposed low mileage, may have been fitted by Luigi at the factory.

I assume this instrument of torture is the reason every T3 I've ever seen has K&N type filters on?

It was a while ago, but I've replaced pod filters with the original airbox on my V1000 G5 which is the same assembly as on the T3. I also remember it was quite an annoying task. I took out the battery and its straps and removed the fuel tank. Along with them, I might have loosened the carbs at the cylinder side but I'm not totally sure about that. It definitely required a lot of patience. Good luck! :thumb:

Also, are those Busso exhaust mufflers on your bike? They look similar to mine. How is the condition of your chrome?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 07:35:37 AM by rutgery »
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Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2020, 11:54:32 AM »


Haha... battery, tank, carbs and cylinder heads are off at the moment... doesn't seem to help!

Silencers... they're marked Marmitta Brevettata Decibel. Guess you either love them or hate them.  :wink:

They seem to strike a nice note between quiet and raucous just running it in the garage... they'll do nicely. And the chrome is Italian...  :sad:
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 11:56:42 AM by Stu »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2020, 03:47:18 PM »
Got an email today to say that the Bridgestone BT46 tyres I'd ordered would be delivered in about two months. Nope! Especially as they'd already charged my card.... Have ordered some Avon Roadriders instead.

Edit: And then, this morning, get a call from company I've ordered Avons from to say they aren't in stock!  :rolleyes: I've just ordered BT46s again, from a different company who claims, on their website, to have stock... hope all the refunds come through!

Seems like tyre stocks are somewhat depleted/confused/inaccessible at the moment!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 09:50:09 AM by Stu »

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2020, 12:51:41 PM »
Those BT46s are a new model, right? That might explain why they are not yet in stock? I'm currently running Metzeler Roadtec 01's on my Sport and they perform great, so that might be another option for you if the other company also cannot supply the bridgestones.

As for the air filter, maybe letting the rubber parts warm up in warm water will give you the flexibility you need to install them on the bike?

Interesting silencers, I haven't head of them but they might be the originals Busso ''copied'' the design from? I'm looking forward to see your bike running again! I was wondering, have you checked the camchain tensioner as well? the originals in the T3 I believe are solid rubber ones which must be manually adjusted. Replacing them with a valtec bow type adjuster is cheap and relatively easy.
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Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2020, 02:47:45 AM »
HI. Yeah, the BT46 has replaced the BT45 which has been around for 22 years, apparently. Thought if I was buying them I may as well have the updated design although they look identical and I'm sure I won't be troubling their limits of grip. The order has been acknowledged - seems that even though I bought them from a UK website they are coming from Andorra - or at least that's where the business is registered. I'd have been perfectly happy with Avon Roadriders, except that I want a 110/90-18 on the rear and Avon no longer make that size. Loads of people still advertising them, but no-one has stock. It's not a listed size in the new Roadrider II so I wouldn't ever be able to get more... The BT tread pattern is sort of more classic looking anyway. Hopefully these will arrive eventually -  no big rush, not going anywhere in a hurry!

Air filter... not the rubber bits that are the issue tbh... it's just a lot of awkward bits to assemble in a difficult place and needs to be under axial force to get the nut on the end... maybe I haven't got the filter seated in the end properly. A second set of hands might help, if there was room to get them in.

Edit... and it's together. Big lever in one hand to compress it while fiddling the nut on with the other. Easy when you have the knack!

No, haven't checked the tensioner yet... thanks for the tip... let me get it running again first and I'll start fixing and modifying. I suspect an electronic ignition might be useful too.

Silencers... they sound OK, look a bit droopy to me. They don't have the axle cut out of the originals, so have to sit lower. They seem solid though and sound like a V twin should, so I guess they'll be around for a while. I may try to lift them a few mm and see if they look a bit better. Another job for another day... must start making a list!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 07:20:21 AM by Stu »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2020, 02:21:02 PM »
Had a very productive afternoon. My new can of paint stripper arrived, so I finished cleaning the heads up. Then my valve grinding kit arrived so I put that to good use too. Reassembled the heads, got them back on the bike, set the valve clearances, cleaned up and fitted the valve covers... I have an engine again. A bit cleaner than it was before, but still aged and unrestored... should have a bit more compression with valves that seal. I'm happy. Or I will be when it runs again.

Unfortunately my carb gaskets fell apart during the cleaning process, so I have to wait for new ones to arrive...

Still plenty of odds and sods to be getting on with...

And my Japanese made tyres have now been dispatched... from Villingen-Schwenningen in the Black Forest!

It's all coming together, really slowly.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 04:56:58 AM by Stu »

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2020, 10:34:16 AM »
Busy again today. Started messing about with the paintwork. Then the postman arrived with some carb gaskets.

Fitted the carbs, popped the tank and seat back on, and, after messing about with a fouled plug (assembly oil in bores) I got her fired up and running.

Grabbed a helmet to take her round the block... got about 50 yards and she died. Started again, ran a similar distance, died again. I suspect electrical. Or mucky carbs... PO said he'd cleaned them but who knows.

Life is a series of problems to be solved.  Life with an old motorcycle, doubly so.  :wink:
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 10:41:50 AM by Stu »

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2020, 04:13:15 AM »
Wow you've got it running quick! The carbs are really easy to work on, so maybe remove them from the bike and put them in an ultrasonic cleaner. If you don't have acces to one, removing the jets and blowing the passages through with compressed air will work as well. Mr. Bender has a very nice walkthrough of refurbishing the carbs:
http://www.thisoldtractor.com/moto_guzzi_loopframe_carburetor_rebuild_-__vhb.html

Hopefully you'll get it running right soon!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 04:13:41 AM by rutgery »
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Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2020, 06:15:42 AM »
Thanks, but turns out I'm just an idiot... with the fuel taps in the right position it works just fine. Found out by mistake that what I thought was reserve was off and vice versa!  :embarrassed:

Just took her for a first spin, up the road a mile and back on the 80s tyres... they seem fine don't know why I'm wasting money on new ones!   :wink:

Bike goes well, saw 65-70 on the clock briefly, seems to have all the gears and as many neutrals... brakes work after a fashion, all feels a bit stiff and hard work, but a lovely motor. I'm sure some things will get better with maintenance and others are what they are. I'm not expecting modern user friendliness.

Biggest problem is bad oil leak. Could be sump gasket or sump plug, but my guess is rear oil seal. Difficult to see exactly where it's coming from.

Next hurdle is historic registration and getting it "taxed" (free) and on my insurance.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 06:17:22 AM by Stu »

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2020, 12:06:09 PM »
Quick update... Bridgestones have arrived ( in two separate deliveries, one from Hermes, one from Parcelforce... odd?). Will get them fitted as soon as I can get the wheels in to someone decent.

Bennetts have insured her for the princely sum of 97 quid for the year (although I also splashed out for decent breakdown cover) and thanks to the luverly lady in the post office, she's now on a historic registration and taxed for free! No MoT needed either, so we're all legal.

Bargain!


Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2020, 03:20:34 AM »
Had to pop over to my folks yesterday near Swindon where my favourite tyre fitter lives so spent a happy half hour fighting the wheels out of the bike before I left. With a fully rusted exhaust system still to be sorted it's a really good job I have a lift with a removable panel under the back wheel. Probably the first time the wheels have been out since the rear tyre was new in 1988, but I have a big mallet! Drive spline in rear end looks perfect and seals not leaking (yet).

The lovely guys at Bike Treads (highly recommended) popped the new Bridgestones and Michelin tubes on for me and made a lovely job. Both wheels run true and the front balanced up with no weights added - incredible. All wheel bearings are good enough for now - will replace them later when I've fixed the stuff that actually needs fixing.

Got home and had a quick look round the brakes before refitting the tyres. PO has fitted new pads (no idea what) but they all work and the pads are not nearly bedded in yet. Should improve with a few miles on it. The dust seals are horrible though, all expanded and floppy - my guess is they've been washed in paraffin or something they don't like. I'll be ordering some seal kits. Don't want to trust my life to 30 year old brake seals (quite probably original 1976 brake seals). I'm not looking forward to bleeding the linked system, but needs must.

Got the wheels back in easier than they came out. Having the right size tyres on helped. Everything back together now... might take her out for a slightly longer ride later.  :grin:

And later...

Just got back from a 10 mile ride. The new tyres have transformed it from a slow steering dog into a much more manageable device. Feels about 20kg lighter. The carbs aren't too happy... first 2 miles was on one cylinder, to garage and back. I was just about to park it and investigate when the second cylinder chimed in, so I kept going. She goes all right on an open throttle, not so clever on a closed one... I'll buy some carb kits with those brake seals and give them a good clean out. Then check the timing. Exhaust gasket is leaking on the left, making more and more of a row on the way back... hopefully just needs tightening a bit.



Seems like she'll be a very useable bike!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 07:19:39 AM by Stu »

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2020, 05:56:22 PM »
Fantastic, you've made quick progress! 

Where are those pics you promised?

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2020, 06:54:49 PM »
Nice bike you have there.

I just saw its twin this morning, a friend of mine was offered a 1973 black T3 that had been sitting in a guys garage for over twenty years, it is in very nice shape but needs a full going over before it will run again, the seller just wanted $300 to get it out of his garage, talk about a good deal!
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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2020, 01:38:05 AM »














Some pics of how she arrived...

That is quite a deal... US prices of old bikes seem very sensible compared to here though. Canít get cheap, interesting bikes here. I paid about 10 times that for mine.

Suspect itís not 73 and a T3... but who cares at that price. Take it home and work out what it is later!

Recent Pics? Mmm. Nothing Iíve done so far has improved it cosmetically in any way, in fact my exploratory attempts at finding out what is going on with the paintwork have made it even uglier!

Iíll see if I can take some more  today... hopefully itíll be the worst it ever looks!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 03:19:14 AM by Stu »

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2020, 10:57:45 AM »
OOPS,

I should have said 1975 T3.
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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2020, 12:05:37 PM »
Nice bike you have there.

I just saw its twin this morning, a friend of mine was offered a 1973 black T3 that had been sitting in a guys garage for over twenty years, it is in very nice shape but needs a full going over before it will run again, the seller just wanted $300 to get it out of his garage, talk about a good deal!

Wow, that is unbelievably lucky! $300 for what I assume is a complete bike?

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2020, 12:22:37 PM »















Recent Pics? Mmm. Nothing Iíve done so far has improved it cosmetically in any way, in fact my exploratory attempts at finding out what is going on with the paintwork have made it even uglier!

Iíll see if I can take some more  today... hopefully itíll be the worst it ever looks!

Thanks Stu, any and all pics pf the bike are welcome. Pictures of the area where you ride are not banned either!

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2020, 09:26:04 PM »
Guzzis here are undervalued, maybe because there are so few?  I paid $200 for an original but rusty and 30 year dormant 17000 mile G5 about a year ago.



Iíll have well over 20 times that into the bike when done.

Hopefully they will keep surfacing.
Ben Zehnder
Orleans, MA USA
1971 BMW R75/5
1972 Norton Commando Combat Interstate
1977 BMW R100S - next up to unload
1978 Yamaha SR500
1979 Moto Guzzi V1000G5 - T3FB mild custom
1980 Moto Guzzi v50ii

Offline Stu

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Re: Mamma Mia! 850 T3
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2020, 09:14:46 AM »
God, I wish you could still pick bikes up like that here. Everyone is looking for a project to cut the back off, put a flat brown seat and pipe wrap on and call it a cafe racer...

I paid £2500 for mine ($3000). There was one in not dissimilar condition advertised for almost twice that. While £2500 wasn't a bargain, it was certainly a fair price in the market here.

I got lucky, it doesn't need everything doing to it... at least not immediately...



Harper's Moto Guzzi
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
Advertise Here
 


Harper's Moto Guzzi
Harper's Moto Guzzi. Where we still answer the phone, use the highest quality parts, and also do Transmission, rear drive, and carb rebuilds fast. Call us at 816.697.3411 and get your problems resolved.
http://www.harpermoto.com
Advertise Here