Author Topic: Ambo vs Eldo  (Read 2776 times)

Offline brider

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Ambo vs Eldo
« on: October 04, 2017, 02:50:02 PM »
I've been looking for basket-case Eldos ever since I sold my nice '74 LAPD Eldo 7 yrs ago, but the prices are gittin' high for even ratty ones. So now I expanded my search to Ambos. Their prices seem to be a notch lower, for what looks like a very similar baseline bike.

Are the main differences between the two the displacement and tranny? The rear drive on the Ambo looks different, and the tranny near the output shaft looks different.

Was it the bore or stroke, or both that changed between the two?

Can an Eldo 5-speed bolt up to an Ambo bellhousing?

What's that 4-speed like? Just a little more spacing between the gears?

Is there any frame geometry differences?

I searched for Ambo vs Eldo topics, but all seem focused on one small aspect, and usually the police version.
'85 Cal II Auto
'86 LM IV (sold)
'71 Ambo project
Wish'd I'd never sold:
'72 Red Eldo
'74 White Eldo LAPD
'77 Convert with DB bags
'06 Gas Gas EC300

Offline brider

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 03:11:38 PM »
Nevermind...one more search and I found Greg Bender's essay(s) on this subject.
'85 Cal II Auto
'86 LM IV (sold)
'71 Ambo project
Wish'd I'd never sold:
'72 Red Eldo
'74 White Eldo LAPD
'77 Convert with DB bags
'06 Gas Gas EC300

Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 04:49:12 PM »
I've been looking for basket-case Eldos ever since I sold my nice '74 LAPD Eldo 7 yrs ago, but the prices are gittin' high for even ratty ones. So now I expanded my search to Ambos. Their prices seem to be a notch lower, for what looks like a very similar baseline bike.

Are the main differences between the two the displacement and tranny? The rear drive on the Ambo looks different, and the tranny near the output shaft looks different.

Was it the bore or stroke, or both that changed between the two?

Can an Eldo 5-speed bolt up to an Ambo bellhousing?

What's that 4-speed like? Just a little more spacing between the gears?

Is there any frame geometry differences?

I searched for Ambo vs Eldo topics, but all seem focused on one small aspect, and usually the police version.

If you compare a '72 Ambassador and a '72 or '73 Eldo, they are very similar. Larger displacement was achieved with 8 mm more stroke with the same bore.

Transmissions are completely different but are interchangeable with the matching shift linkage parts. However, rear drive gearing would also need to be changed (unless it's a very early "A-series" Ambo). Most Ambos have 8/35 rear drive and Eldos 8/37, so if you just stuff a five-speed into an Ambo, the overall gearing is very tall and lots of clutch slipping will be necessary to take off from a stop. IMO, there's no need to do the swap in the first place, the four-speed works well enough, if a bit noisily and has ratios well suited for everything but interstate riding.

No frame geometry differences. Same suspension, brakes (until the 4LS and disc fronts), etc.

The earlier Ambos will have more differences.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 04:49:51 PM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'71 Ambassador
'73 Eldorado
'74 850-T
'76 Convert
'77 Morini 3 1/2 Strada
'81 Ducati 500SL Pantah
'82 V50 III

Offline Guzzer

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 04:44:35 PM »
The Ambo gearing is good... 4th gear will get you moving plenty fast for drum brakes!
I think the ElDorado gearing is too high even with the ElDorado rear end unless you're mostly riding interstates.   It sounds like I could put an Ambo rear end into my ElDorado and it would be better suited for the steep and curvy hilly roads that I ride.  Is that right? 
1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador riding refurbishment
1971 Moto Guzzi Ambassador
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Suzuki GS550 for easy country  riding

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 04:44:35 PM »

Offline brider

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 09:55:34 AM »
   It sounds like I could put an Ambo rear end into my ElDorado and it would be better suited for the steep and curvy hilly roads that I ride.  Is that right?

No, this is the opposite of what you'd want if the Ambo rear is 8/35 and the Eldo is 8/37. 35-tooth rear end is "taller" than 37, guess that's why when swapping an Eldo tranny into an Ambo without a rear-end swap, the gearing ends up too "tall".

I'm curious about Antietam's assessment that the Ambo gearing is good except for interstate riding. What is the downside of the Ambo gearing for interstate? By interstate, I think holding 70 mph for hours, everything else is comfort and handling, and braking only comes into play when.....braking; nothing to do with gearing.????
'85 Cal II Auto
'86 LM IV (sold)
'71 Ambo project
Wish'd I'd never sold:
'72 Red Eldo
'74 White Eldo LAPD
'77 Convert with DB bags
'06 Gas Gas EC300

Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 06:04:55 PM »
No, this is the opposite of what you'd want if the Ambo rear is 8/35 and the Eldo is 8/37. 35-tooth rear end is "taller" than 37, guess that's why when swapping an Eldo tranny into an Ambo without a rear-end swap, the gearing ends up too "tall".

I'm curious about Antietam's assessment that the Ambo gearing is good except for interstate riding. What is the downside of the Ambo gearing for interstate? By interstate, I think holding 70 mph for hours, everything else is comfort and handling, and braking only comes into play when.....braking; nothing to do with gearing.????

My '69 Ambassador came with 8/37 gears from the factory and I actually prefer it over later Ambos with the 8/35 gears. I ride backroads mostly and the gearing is perfect for that.

Ambo gearing (8/35) isn't really "bad" for interstate riding, the engine is just spinning ~ 500 rpm higher. Not a big deal really.
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'71 Ambassador
'73 Eldorado
'74 850-T
'76 Convert
'77 Morini 3 1/2 Strada
'81 Ducati 500SL Pantah
'82 V50 III

Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 06:08:02 PM »
The Ambo gearing is good... 4th gear will get you moving plenty fast for drum brakes!
I think the ElDorado gearing is too high even with the ElDorado rear end unless you're mostly riding interstates.   It sounds like I could put an Ambo rear end into my ElDorado and it would be better suited for the steep and curvy hilly roads that I ride.  Is that right?

If you put an 8/35 rear drive on your Eldo, it will be geared very tall. Like I wrote above, lots of clutch slipping to get moving even on flat ground. Really too tall out on the highway even. Might be perfect for the Bonneville Salt Flats though.  :wink:
Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'71 Ambassador
'73 Eldorado
'74 850-T
'76 Convert
'77 Morini 3 1/2 Strada
'81 Ducati 500SL Pantah
'82 V50 III

Offline Lee Davis

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 03:26:29 AM »
Everyone seems to focus on the gearing/transmission when comparing the two bikes...  not me. I like the way it was all sorted out in the first place. The facet of the designs that make me react is the instrument housing. I love the original instrument setup in a single bare aluminum housing. It seems like an excellent artful design to me. I have 2 1970 Ambassadors, 2 cop bikes (a 1970 750, and a 1972 850) with the bare, single aluminum Police instrument setup, and one very late civilian European California with the same police instrument. Then, I have 2  850s that are all in pieces, but complete, except for those dual instrument housings that I sold off right away... I don't care for the dual instruments at all. That is just my own preference. My personal favorites are the 1970 Ambassador, or the 1970 Ambassador police (a former LAPD bike). Those seem to me to be the ultimate in Moto Guzzi design, and need no changes from me. The early 1975 California is an interesting design... it was a civilian motorcycle, meant for the European market. But it has the single police instrument (with a speedometer in kilometers per hour), footboards, front disc brake, and a police kickstand. But, it was definitely civilian. Seems like the designers began to appreciate the best features of all the designs by the time the California came into being. The part that I don't care for is the large seat/huge grabrail setup that is ugly in my mind, and perhaps the fully painted tank. It wasn't meant for the American market (the Italians must have thought that "California" would seem exotic sounding for the European market). When the 850s ran out in 1974, they shipped a hundred or more of the Californias (in KPH) over to make up for it. One interesting feature is that the transmission was the first "one down, 4 up" that Moto Guzzi made. I intend to restore it to original, except that I will put a single solo cop seat on it. I guess it will look like a police bike to most, except for the lack of lights. If I had to grab just one and go, it would be the 1970 LAPD Ambassador... what a nice bike.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:15:33 AM by Lee Davis »
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Offline Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Ambo vs Eldo
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 11:34:55 AM »
I agree that the early Ambos are the best looking of the series. The single gauge instrument housing and the non-louvered battery covers really set them apart from the later bikes. However, to me, any Loop is a good Loop.  :grin:

Personally, this is the pinnacle, since it's what I presently own and ride.  :wink:

Charlie
http://www.AntietamClassicCycle.com
'69 V700
'69 Ambassador
'71 Ambassador
'73 Eldorado
'74 850-T
'76 Convert
'77 Morini 3 1/2 Strada
'81 Ducati 500SL Pantah
'82 V50 III

 

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