General Category > Bike Builds, Rebuilds And Restorations Only

1967 V700 Corsa-Record

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Just posted a few pics in general discussion, so will start this thread.  A lot of pics are being held hostage in my daughter's old & dysfunctional iPhone.  For now, a little general background and info on the past year.

In 1969,  Moto Guzzi lacked a racing, sport or performance version of their new flagship V Twin engine.  They enlisted Lino Tonti to repurpose two new Ambassadors to demonstrate the performance potential of the new V Twin engine platform.  One would compete in 750 cc class and one in 1000 cc class.  The stock bikes were basically stripped, then specifically equipped & modified for the task at hand.  Over two days at Monza in October 1969, 19 world records were set.  These two bikes were never campaigned or used otherwise. One was retired to the MG factory museum, where it remains to this day.  The other one came to the USA through Berliner.  It was sold to a private individual and was ultimately parted out and forever lost.

These World Record achievements were widely publicized by MG, including in subsequent contemporary magazine ads.  Based upon the results, MG began development of a dedicated V Twin sport model.  Tonti was reported disappointed with the loop frame's performance, so he designed a totally new frame for the new sport model.  The result was the V7 Sport, with the now legendary Tonti frame.   The World Record bikes are the forefathers of all subsequent factory sport bikes and provided many styling cues for later models.

I've had my V7 Sport for many years.  Never had a Loop or much interest in them.  In July 2018, I acquired an incomplete 1967 V700 (complete frame and front end, driveline and swing arm with no wheels/brakes, final drive, speedo, sheet metal, etc) for $200.00 with the intent of parting it out.  As we were unloading it at home  I found the engine turned with compression. Then I learned more about the Record bikes and decided such a build would make a great partner for my V7 Sport.  I sold nearly all my bikes establishing my studio and such a project is exactly what I've planned to do for many, many years.

Between July 2018 and July 2019, most time was spent chasing regular and obscure parts, doing research and making some actual build progress. Greg Bender put me in touch with another fan (who has been a great help) who is building a more faithful replica of the original racetrack-dedicated Record bikes.  Mine is intended to be close to the original bikes, but will be a street legal bike with lights.   The original bikes were purpose-built tools that were used and essentially discarded, not refined machines produced per committee & engineering edict.  I hope to deliberately produce a comparable result in a nod towards authenticity of their spontaneous, utilitarian development, but not because I cannot produce accurate work.

This project is as much sculpture as functional motorcycle to me. I plan to both ride it and enjoy it as a work of art. I'm not building it to satisfy anyone except me.  Metal shaping & panel work is a different means of exploring shape for me.  It is not a reductive or additive method. It is about moving only the surface plane into a new configuration.  My available time and funds vary significantly, so I have no set schedule for completion.  After the bike is completely built, I will address the mechanical rebuild.

I'll likely edit to add some pics as I coordinate between multiple devices.  If you're interested, check back at these initial posts.  Right now, I'm trying to get started.

There's limited accurate information about these bikes and the various configurations in which they are pictured.  Nearly all we have are contemporary pictures and additional modern pictures taken at the MG Museum.

Some pics-

This screenshot is a picture from Monza of one of the bikes without fairing, different front end detail and no rear brakes-

Other side, maybe the same bike but not sure-

I began with very simple templates (tank was made from a Busch Light case chipboard) and then began producing a clay model on wood armature of half of the tank and seat.  I regularly do clay or plastilina models for my professional sculpture work, with only pictures or drawings as reference.  This process was no different.  No CAD, no CNC.  Just low tech pencil, paper, ruler, bandsaw, belt sander, etc. and lots of practice.

Studying other bike builds, many people will build a tank shell and then try to figure out how to do the tank tunnel & mount as an afterthought.  Not cool.  I wanted to design the tunnel first.  My V7 Sport has oem tank bushings around the top tube that I like much better than the typical foam & electrical tape..  Problem is the Loop frame top tube is much larger.  After searching for an off the shelf item, like a large sway bar bushing, I made what I needed.  I sourced some urethane spring die stock via craigslist. This material was sawed to width.  The center was offset cut to diameter with a hole saw, using a fixture to hold the die stock.  The rest of the shaping was done with belt sander and grinder.

I also made two 1/2" thick bumpers to match the tank bushings.  I'll mount these to help keep the tank vertical-

Bushings on the frame-

Along with bike details like the distributor and coil, these tank bushings helped develop the pattern for the tunnel as the buck was produced. 

After the clay models of tank and seat were deemed suitable, I developed poster board templates directly from the clay to produce buck stations.  These patterns were reversed to provide matching stations for each side of the tank and seat.  The tank buck was produced as indentical halves, so the joint between the halves would serve as centerline.   Furniture-grade 3/4" maple plywood was used.

Tank backbone halves, assembled-

In process, adding stations-

Assembled with all stations cut to approximate contour but not faired-

The seat buck stations were produced as full width upon a solid base. 

The rear fender is an abbreviated piece that ends under the seat on the original bikes.  Having made a fender eliminator for an XR1000 in the past that was carefully measured but quickly gobbled by the rear wheel, I tried to make this one with adequate clearance.  Two radii- one to the front fender mount on the battery tray and the other to the rear fender most on the frame loop- were blended.  The cross section fender radius, which is the same on these two original mounts, was also used.  A buck was produced using this information. 

langston hughes the negro speaks of rivers analysis

Not sure how long or short the rear fender will actually be. Also not sure how the seat and fender will fit together.  Seat may need a slight bulge for clearance.  After I make the parts and fit all together with the tail light, more decisions will be made.

Pics of the tank and seat bucks on the bike, very cool...-

More later... 

This is going to be great... keep it coming!

Very very good! cool project! Keep the posts coming, I am very interested in the sheet metal shaping side of the project as well as everything else.  :thumb: :bow:

I'll post details about the actual process related to the panel work.  I'm a hobbyist but the work extends the reach of my studio.  Many aspects parallel my sculpture work in stone.  In contrast, metal work is fast, cheap and portable versus comparable projects in stone.

Panel Work has intrigued me since I was a teenager.  Saw my first pic of a cast iron English Wheel at a sports car club meeting on the first weekend of April 1987. I kept that magazine and finally got my own cast iron wheeling machine 30 yrs later, almost exactly to the day. No disappointments. 

My metal shop is small and already crowded.  until a couple weeks ago I had only my English Wheel, stump, B2 Beverly Shear, a couple of arbor presses and some hand tools specifically for this work.  I have a TIG but prefer oxygen/acetylene for many jobs.  2 1/2 weeks ago, I purchased a large Gairu MI-8 reciprocating machine (equivalent to a Pullmax P8 Universal Machine) from a race shop near Charlotte Motor Speedway. These are extremely versatile machines and arguably the easiest machines to tool & adapt to a wide range of jobs including beading, forming, shaping, shearing and shrinking.  Never expected to have anything like this, but now that it's here I'm anxious to put it into service in the near future.  No matter, this work can be done with very simple tools.

I'm on two metalworking forums- is a large forum with a very wide range of talent & methods. is a new forum for those focused upon traditional methods.  Master metalman Peter Tommasini is the driving force behind MetalShapersHub.  He's also the source for my HandBuilt cast iron English Wheel, which he developed and manufactures.  This project will be documented on those forums, as well as here.  For anyone involved or interested in panelwork and Metal shaping, these forums offer great resource.

I appreciate this forum just for these incredible (to me) projects.  It has expanded my imagination on what is possible to rebuild, for a weekend warrior.
Impatiently awaiting more pictures...


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