Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

General Category => Bike Builds, Rebuilds And Restorations Only => Topic started by: 2WheelsUp on November 29, 2021, 07:38:18 PM

Title: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on November 29, 2021, 07:38:18 PM
Iíve been lurking on this site for the last few months picking up useful tips and facts about how best to restore my 1978 Le Mans I bought a few months ago. Before jumping into my project, a bit of background since I haven't posted on this site before.  I grew up on the Western Suburbs of Chicago but now live in North Georgia. I've been riding motorcycles since my teens, started with Nortons and became a fan of Guzzis when I bought a new 78 Le Mans from Ellis at Geneva Cycle shop, a unique experience for anyone who knows him. Over 20 years I toured most of the continental US and Northern Rockies on the Le Mans.

(https://i.ibb.co/pyQq5Lb/Me-and-the-Lemans.jpg) (https://ibb.co/pyQq5Lb)

Outside of minor issues, it never left me stranded or broke down during all the trips and miles I put on that bike. I sold it to buy a new '97 Ducati 748, which I still have, a wonderful bike but I never, ever, should have sold the Le Mans. I also have a 2001 HD RK which I love and a Ducati 939 SS which is my daily rider and awesome around the roads in N GA. I sold my Norge over the summer, had it for over 10 years, just fell out of love with it and it wasn't getting ridden, so off it went.

Back to my project... I bought the Le Mans from the second owner since 1984 with 8900 miles on it.
(https://i.ibb.co/kXjrzNk/IMG-3489-x-jpg.png) (https://ibb.co/kXjrzNk)

Based on a close inspection I believe those miles to be reasonable given it's condition. It was obvious the bike hadn't been ridden for some time but after a tune by @GuzziSteve, who is helping me with this project, it ran surprisingly good. I was able to do a couple shake down rides of about 70 miles with a few runs to around 80 mph. The problems we found are a couple oil leaks; final drive fill plug is stripped, and its leaking oil from the gearbox/engine bell housing and clutch slipping presumably from the oil. The pumpers were not working well but after some riding they seem to get better. There was a bit of smoke coming out of one exhaust but that also seem to correct itself after riding it... sticky rings? The previous owner had just changed the all the fluids to synthetic so perhaps that was causing some leaks. I changed back to standard oil before my shake down rides. The frame is fair, usual scratches, marks, but the swing-arm was rattle can painted gloss on one side with a lot overspray. Looks like a battery leak pealed the paint from the rear of the main frame and it now has surface rust on it, hence the gloss paint job on the swingarm. It had fallen at least once, top two head fins on the left side has been repaired; more like filing them down to blend in, reasonable job, not sure what else could be done short of a new head. The wheels had been painted gold... sigh. The body was fair but tired from age. Given condition of the frame, the fact the gear box had to come out, and being a 43 old bike that had been sitting for who knows how long I decided to do an extensive restoration made possible with a lot of help from @GuzziSteve. Strip and repaint the frame, re-paint the wheels, new clutch, cables, replace seals, bearings, and gaskets on the frame, forks and drive train.  Overhaul the brake system; rotors resurfaced by TruDisk, new pads, and new lines, maybe rebuild the calipers. Maybe a new wire harness... I'm talking with Gregory Bender about it now... but the old harness is pretty good so not sure yet it makes sense.  Is it worth it, is it straight forward?

Originally I was going to leave the body paint alone but that changed once I committed to all of the above so it's going to be repainted. I know there's a lot of debate about whether and how to restore vintage bikes but all my other bikes are pristine, they all are ridden regularly (no garage queens here), I'm not much of a patina guy, and I don't plan on selling this one, ever, so why not, it's for me?

We started a few weeks ago and now have the frame completely stripped and Steve is going though the drive train. 

(https://i.ibb.co/kmDSnJj/IMG-3669.jpg) (https://ibb.co/kmDSnJj)

(https://i.ibb.co/k2JTZxK/IMG-3783.jpg) (https://ibb.co/k2JTZxK)

(https://i.ibb.co/n8RHGnb/IMG-3893.jpg) (https://ibb.co/n8RHGnb)

I'm thinking we might want to pop off the heads to see the condition of the valves and cylinder walls given it was smoking a bit before the tear down.  We did a compression test (180/175) and leak down test that didn't show anything significant so perhaps I'll get lucky. I may want to look at the timing chain and tensioner... that's a bit more work.

I just had the valve covers Vapor Honed
(https://i.ibb.co/vLJnFth/IMG-3886.jpg) (https://ibb.co/vLJnFth)
...wow what an amazing finish. I'd love to do the engine block, cylinders, and heads but that means a lot more work, tearing down what looks to be a good motor, multiple people are telling me it's not worth it... but does that ever look good... decisions. There are two thoughts that I keep encountering... do I pre-emptively tear down things that appear to work to prevent a possibly failure later... or do I leave things along until I have a clear signal there's a problem.  Add to that .. I hopefully will never having things torn down again with this bike. I've never done this before so it's something I'm struggling with. What do you think?

Kent at GMD Computrac told me to not put the frame in an oven so it's being painted by a local guy who is doing my body work. It's also been suggested that I paint my wheels rather than powder coating due to the heat. What have you all done? Can I powder coat the wheels?

I have the PPG code for Mahindra Red Passion ... just picked up a sample, any other suggestions are welcome (e.g. MGB Flame Red?). I need to find the color codes for the florescent orange and the silver wheel color.  My painter requires PPG codes and so I need to come up with those.

One other thing... the front suspension. I have Koni's on the rear and I've reviewed my options for the front and it appears a great option would be a SD20 fork cartridge from Maxton Suspension in the UK https://www.maxtonsuspension.co.uk/files/sd20.html (https://www.maxtonsuspension.co.uk/files/sd20.html). Anyone know about these or try them? They look like a drop in from the measuring document they sent me, possibly some work to the fork legs but hoping it'll fit, or they make it fit, into the spring guides at the bottom of the legs. I ride all the bikes I own and am in an area with good/challenging roads so installed under $1k may be worth it.

I'll keep posting my progress, hoping to have it back on the road by early Spring.  Thanks for reading my thread, and please pass on any advice you may have. 

Cheers!
Bruce

Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Groover on December 01, 2021, 12:07:07 PM
Thank you for sharing this!

Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 01, 2021, 06:01:24 PM
Nice project!

With respect to tearing down the motor, I would vote yes, regardless of what condition the engine apears to be in its over 40 years old, and every Guzzi 750 / 850 I have been through needed new valve guides at a minimum and just about every one of them (six engines in total) needed a pair of main bearings, big end shells and a crank shaft grind. Rear main crank seal, rear main bearing gasket, clutch kit etc, is most always needed. Steering head bearings, swing arm bearings and all the wheel bearings and seals are typically replaced.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 02, 2021, 08:52:38 AM
With respect to tearing down the motor, I would vote yes, regardless of what condition the engine apears to be in its over 40 years old, and every Guzzi 750 / 850 I have been through needed new valve guides at a minimum and just about every one of them (six engines in total) needed a pair of main bearings, big end shells and a crank shaft grind. Rear main crank seal, rear main bearing gasket, clutch kit etc, is most always needed. Steering head bearings, swing arm bearings and all the wheel bearings and seals are typically replaced.
A lot of what's on your list is being done... only thing we're debating is the going through the lower end given the low miles. That said, once we have the head off and dissembled, how do I know if the valve guides need replacing?

Another topic... I noticed you powder coated your wheels. I've been warned against that for older wheels due to the heat required to coat them. Should I have concerns powder coating my Le Mans wheels?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 02, 2021, 09:01:02 AM
I would take the heads to a machine shop and ask them to inspect the guides and at a minimum cut the valves and seats.
Powder is cured between 350 and 400 F, no problem for aluminum or steel.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: berniebee on December 03, 2021, 09:36:28 AM
Looking forward to seeing progress on the bike!

Regarding the wire harness, the first thing to keep in mind is that they were never designed to last that long. Have a look at the spade connectors in the fuse box area and the other connectors under the backbone and at the headlight. Especially if the bike has spent any time in a damp location, you'll see the green corrosion. That corrosion usually makes it's way up along the wires, under the insulation.  Flex some wires and see if the insulation is brittle or cracking. If there are any questionable bits, just replace the entire harness while you have the bike apart. For lighting, the minimum you should do is remove and reinstall each bulb in order to scrape off some of the 40 plus years of corrosion on the connectors.

My '83SP electricals didn't look too bad at first glance, but the deeper I dug...well, I rewired the whole dang thing.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Scout63 on December 03, 2021, 12:43:42 PM
Once the engine is out, gearbox and clutch removal are pretty straightforward.  I would go all the way and pull the crank, vapor hone the crankcase and gearbox, and renew all oil seals and gaskets.  They are 40+ years old.  I did this for my G5 and it was a very rewarding experience.  Itís sitting next to my non vapor honed SP and the difference in the look is significant. Iíd also install new harnesses as they would be your problem area in the future. Great project and great story. Ben
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on December 03, 2021, 04:45:46 PM
https://www.thisoldtractor.com/for_sale_wiring_harness_tonti_le_mans.html
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 04, 2021, 09:56:44 AM
Thanks for the feed back.  Wire harness is a good idea even though mine appears to be in great shape, don't want to chase electrical problems.  I'm pulling the front cover and installing a new timing chain, auto tensioner, and new rotor/brushes.

On another topic... I don't want to powder coat the frame as per Kent @ GMD Computrac's recommendation. My painter suggested PPG Ditzler Hot Rod Black https://us.ppgrefinish.com/PPG-Refinish/Product-Annoucements/Ditzler-Hot-Rod-Black-Kit (https://us.ppgrefinish.com/PPG-Refinish/Product-Annoucements/Ditzler-Hot-Rod-Black-Kit) . It's a multi-part single stage Acrylic Urethane topcoat applied over a primer. I was planning on using it for all the black bits... the frame, swing-arm, foot controls, triple trees, headlight bucket/lens and the clip-ons. It claims to be a satin finish but I haven't been able to find any samples since it's a kit and the PPG stores can't mix it so I'm a bit concerned that I won't see it before it's being laid down but I'm thinking we'll do a sample and see if it's ok before proceeding, worse case we toss it if we have to and move on to plan b. There are other kit's like this from SEM and Eastwood that might have a bit more gloss to them.

Related note... I removed my VIN plate in preparation for frame painting by using a curved head bolt along with a coupler nut that you stick into the neck and expand by unscrewing the nut. Worked perfectly... the drive screws look like new but MG Cycle has replacements I'll use.

Question for those who have had their wheels recoated.  My rear wheel is disassembled except for the sleeve that is pressed into the wheel. Do I need to remove this before powder coating and/or before chemically stripping the paint on the wheel?  If so, does this need to be pressed out by a machine shop or is it something I can do?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 04, 2021, 04:53:29 PM
I believe the Le Mans frame paint was a low gloss, almost flat black, not the same as the typical Guzzi Tonto frame semi gloss black. I think the chassis paint you are referring to may have a higher sheen than the original LeMans finish.

I have always gone for powder coating of the frame and related chassis parts but on my 1948 Airone I had all the chassis parts painted with single stage enamel and will finish the tin parts with base coat and clear over the pins stripes and decals. What I have found working with the enamel paint (it has been curing for a couple months) is that it chips much easier than powder coat. Assembling wheel bubs, break drums, etc on the Airone I am having to be very careful to not knock a part or it chips. Now I can touch up the enamel but I could just a easily touch up the powder cured finish with a matching enamel paint. I have found the powder coated frames to be much more durable, my 72 Eldorado had been on the road for eight years now and hardly a mark on it, same for my 75 Ducati after a coup0le summers riding. It is vital to use a powder coater who is experienced with coating motorcycle frames, that will bake out an oils, prewash the frame and be light around stampings etc.

just my two cents.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 06, 2021, 12:11:58 PM
Ok so I've decided to powder coat the frame after all... now just need to choose the powder.  The frame is stripped and hole for the pins are blocked but do I need to block off all frame holes, just threaded holes, or don't worry about it? 

I'm planning on powder coating the headlight bucket, lens, and the ears.  Should these more delicate parts be chemically stripped rather than sand blasted before coating?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 06, 2021, 05:58:38 PM
Ok so I've decided to powder coat the frame after all... now just need to choose the powder.  The frame is stripped and hole for the pins are blocked but do I need to block off all frame holes, just threaded holes, or don't worry about it? 

I'm planning on powder coating the headlight bucket, lens, and the ears.  Should these more delicate parts be chemically stripped rather than sand blasted before coating?

The powder coater I use specializes in automotive and motorcycle work, he also does commercial work but understands the expectaions of customers completing a restoration. The shop I use does all their own blasting, preheating, cleaning etc, and they take care of blanking off all holes, bearing surface etc. Doing your own prep requires a lot of work to get the base material properly cleaned and prepped, I use my vapour blaster and acetone wash for the small parts I powder coat in my shop with an old wall oven, I also use metal prep wash to treat the fresh blasted surface before any surface rust starts. I would make sure the coater shop you plan on using is familiar with motorcycle restorations, that they do their own blasting, metal prep and they bake out any residue grease and oil in the oven before coating.
Sand blast is too aggressive for this kind of work, at most I would use a fine glass bead or a soda blast.

this is a picture of the matte black powder i used on my 77 Le Mans restoration

(https://i.postimg.cc/nVPyDLjV/IMG-1734.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/jCy3Vt4B)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 06, 2021, 07:34:58 PM
Thanks for the info. I'm heading over the powder coater tomorrow to see his shop. He does a lot of motorcycles but not sure how he preps them.  We'll see...
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Motorad64 on December 10, 2021, 03:47:02 PM
Great project, 2Wheels! 

I did the same thing to years ago. I generally prefer paint on frames, as well but went with powder coating after seeing a few of Charlieís projects by a local vendor.  I did, however go with paint on the wheels to preserve the raw aluminum edge of the rim and the little M-G eagles.  The painter clearcoated the whole wheel over the silver for the centers.  I did not press out the sleeve but cleaned it aggressively with scotch bright and sandpaper.  Probably due for a seasonal greasing now that Iím thinking g about it.


(https://i.ibb.co/G7xLc8C/CA320-FD7-5-D83-4-E91-AA29-344-A886-C8-C9-E.jpg) (https://ibb.co/G7xLc8C)

(https://i.ibb.co/80QVrGD/52-CF5-C83-46-A7-49-A4-BE93-C4-C4-DF803658.jpg) (https://ibb.co/80QVrGD)

(https://i.ibb.co/ck02jDL/C3-C19-D26-4-A78-4-E1-A-95-C1-9-AFDBB5-EE0-D3.jpg) (https://ibb.co/ck02jDL)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Motorad64 on December 10, 2021, 04:08:16 PM
Meant to add...I did the FAC dampers/Wirth progressive springs for the fork rebuild, but would LOVE to hear your results on the Maxton option.  Was considering that myself.   The FACs took a bit to break in but still don't offer a ton of compliance.  Lotta stiction but not sure thats the cartridge vs overal fork.   I did Bilstein rear shocks from HMB and have been very happy with them.  May go the Maxton route next year.

Once you vapor or bead blast one component you kind of have to do it all, but its worth it.  Looks great and should be easier to keep clean.  My wiring also looked intact but was pretty crispy.   The Greg Bender harnesses are great and he's super helpful to work with on any issues you run into.  I had the same likely battery acid damage and overspray on my swingarm, as well. 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 10, 2021, 09:35:45 PM
Once you vapor or bead blast one component you kind of have to do it all, but its worth it.
I know... did you vapor or bead (shot peen?) your cases? Can you share a link to more pictures of the engine/gearbox or perhaps send me a PM?  Also, I like your rotors... who makes them?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 11, 2021, 10:12:40 AM
I found your project thread Motorad64... really nice build. I can only hope mine will approach what you, canuck750, and Dave, and others have done... inspiring! I'll keep digging into previous builds... good late night geek reading

I found a good powder coater in the ATL area... he does a lot of bikes for local builders... we'll see in a few weeks
(https://i.ibb.co/mzL6pPx/IMG-3953.jpg) (https://ibb.co/mzL6pPx)

I picked up a set of clip-ons to replace the bent one that came with my bike. They are in great condition except they are chrome rather that black as is proper with a 78 LM1. I'm sure the chrome version will look great on my bike but I'm leaning toward de-chroming it and sending it along to the PC. I know plating services can de-plate chrome... looking into that now... but are there other ways to do it correctly?
(https://i.ibb.co/p1FM1Bd/Clip-ons.jpg) (https://ibb.co/p1FM1Bd)
 

Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 1down5up on December 11, 2021, 02:56:25 PM
The black clips ons were black zinc, not paint (or powder coat). If you are using the original switch gear it earth's through a foil tab on the back of the switched onto the clip ons, paint or powercoat will result in your switch gear not working.

If your not using the original switch gear won't be an issue though. Just make sure the powercoat is t to thick so you can still fit the clutch perch and front master cylinder on
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Motorad64 on December 11, 2021, 03:56:51 PM
It seems like some of the early ones had chrome headlight ears and bars.  My '78 had black painted headlight ears and black painted bars.

On your thoughts whether to rebuild motor/trans...I decided to have someone more experienced open it up and check everything out.   No idea of the bikes real history, a welded up oil sump drain hole and just 40yr old seals, etc made me want to go ahead an invest in the rebuild.  That way I could ride the crap out it with a clear conscience knowing its true condition
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: blackcat on December 12, 2021, 05:43:28 PM
I kept the original switches and went with Greg Benderís relays as per his suggestion just to make sure none of the wires and switches get fried.

(https://www.thisoldtractor.com/for_sale/relay_solution_tonti_coils_behind_side_cover_02.jpg)

Those switches are very expensive nowadays so the $92 bucks spent on the relays will possibly save money in the long run.

I also powder coated the frame and wheels and I had the engine,transmission and final drive all vapor blasted but on another Guzzi projected I had the same parts soda blasted because everything was rebuilt and the soda is not a problem compared to the vapor medium. But the vapor finish is better.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 12, 2021, 07:44:24 PM
Glad to hear you are opening up the bottom end and transmission. Hopefully previous owners kept up with oil and filter changes and you can avoid a crank grind.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: acguzzi on December 13, 2021, 10:54:56 AM
I have maxton in my forks, I love them, but they wouldn't ship to the states, I had to have them shipped to my father in UK and then have him ship them here. PIA
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on December 13, 2021, 12:29:00 PM
I have maxton in my forks, I love them, but they wouldn't ship to the states, I had to have them shipped to my father in UK and then have him ship them here. PIA

A friend in New York bought Maxton dampers and springs from this company:
http://www.e-nproducts.com/dealers.php
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 13, 2021, 04:33:13 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I'm in contact with the folks at Maxton as of a couple months ago, they will ship to the US. They are recommending their SD20 cartridge at around $750 for the pair
(https://i.ibb.co/Vxq2zCd/DSC-6810.jpg) (https://ibb.co/Vxq2zCd)(https://i.ibb.co/vzqYCsZ/DSC-6803.jpg) (https://ibb.co/vzqYCsZ)(https://i.ibb.co/vHXssDM/DSC-6816.jpg) (https://ibb.co/vHXssDM)


They sent me spec sheet that I need to fill out with dimensions of my existing Le Mans forks.
(https://i.ibb.co/Bgcxsnt/Maxton-SD20.jpg) (https://ibb.co/Bgcxsnt)


They mentioned there may be some machining required to the fork legs to allow the base of the damper cartridge to sit in the bottom of the leg. I'm not sure that will be required given the measurements I've taken compared to what they provided me. I'm hoping the end of the SD20 damper will fit snugly into the existing LM1 damper rod seat which is positioned at the bottom of the leg. Given they have already produced sets for other LM1's I'm going to ask them if they have those specs rather than risk me sending them a bad measurement. For the money it's a pretty good deal compared to modern sport  bike suspensions... heck I paid close to that for a Matris shock on my Norge.

Acguzzi what bike did you put the Maxtons on?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Motorad64 on December 13, 2021, 05:36:45 PM
Really hoping you pull the trigger on these...;)   I may be right behind you. 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 14, 2021, 09:47:26 PM
For those who have powder coated their frames, should a clear powder coat be added after the base coat?  The powder coater told me no but I've heard from friends who did do this to protect against staining and UV protection.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 14, 2021, 11:10:59 PM
Applying a clear top coat is usually not very expensive and I typically apply a clear of the same sheen as the base coat. If your parts are pitted a powder primer coat(a) can be applied and sanded prior to the colour coat. I have started using powder primers as they are like a very heavy filler primer but being electrostatic applied the primer makes a great sealer. The primer sands very nicely with a 240 grit, no need for finer sanding as the powder cure will fill 240 scuffing.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on December 15, 2021, 08:50:20 AM
For those who have powder coated their frames, should a clear powder coat be added after the base coat?  The powder coater told me no but I've heard from friends who did do this to protect against staining and UV protection.

I've never found it to be necessary. One of the first frames I had powdercoated was for a customer's Eldo. That Eldo sits out in the sun a lot, is ridden through fields (owner is a commercial vegetable farmer) and is never washed. When it comes here each Spring for it's annual service, I clean it a little and the frame still looks great - no fading or discoloration.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 15, 2021, 11:02:35 AM
As always, thanks for the feedback guys! 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: huub on December 16, 2021, 03:49:57 AM
you might consider fitting cartridges from a nineties showa fork
i have honda RC36 cartridges in my le mans 2, I got a cheap set of used forks on ebay.
the cartridges  transformed the handling of the le mans , and i can play around with shims and oil viscosity to fine tune them ( they did not need it) .
you will need a lathe to cut new threads on the fork tops , but even if you have to outsource that , it will still be a lot cheaper.
you might safe enough money to buy a proper set of rear shocks , the koni's are seventies technology, they were adequate when new.
by now they are hopelessly outdated.
 
you can rebuild them or have them rebuilt, i did quite a few of those in the time.
just dont expect too much.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 17, 2021, 01:38:31 PM
I had an interesting call with Kevin from Etak-Nivek Products from ON Canada this morning. He's a Maxton dealer and has successfully installed a SD20 cartridge in a MG fork. Turns out it's very difficult due to the poor tolerances of the components when they were manufactured. Fork leg holes are not perfectly round and the tubes are not perfectly straight which impedes an already tight fit that can cause the oil to cavitate. He'll only agree to attempt it after he has my components in hand and can measure them to see if its possible. He's sending me a formal letter stating the options and cost ranges. May have to move on to plan B.  Honda RC36 cartridges... I'll research huub's solution on the forum.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: acguzzi on December 20, 2021, 02:11:04 PM
Acguzzi what bike did you put the Maxtons on?
[/quote]

I put them on a mkII lemans
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 21, 2021, 08:46:27 AM
what bike did you put the Maxtons on?
A 79 SP. He re-bore the legs slightly larger (35 vs 34.8) and perfectly round. And he had a problem with the press fit fork seals. Sounds like the problem is due to variances in the manufacturing process, some are better than others. Did you need to do any work to the fork legs? 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: acguzzi on December 22, 2021, 07:47:45 AM
I'm not aware of any issues but maxton did the work and there were no signs of the tubes being modified or replaced.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 28, 2021, 04:47:28 PM
Does anyone know if aircraft paint stripper is safe to remove paint from my Le Mans wheels?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 28, 2021, 08:00:20 PM
Does anyone know if aircraft paint stripper is safe to remove paint from my Le Mans wheels?

Yes no problem to use on alloy wheels, look for aerosol can "Aircraft Paint Stripper" works great
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 29, 2021, 10:33:19 AM
Yes no problem to use on alloy wheels, look for aerosol can "Aircraft Paint Stripper" works great
Thanks, that's what I thought. At this point the frame, wheels, and body work are at the powder coater and the painter, hoping there are no issues, looking forward to getting them back safely.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on December 30, 2021, 09:01:44 AM
My painter is struggling to make progress on the wheels by brushing on aircraft paint stripper but my powder coater can chemically strip by dipping them. I left the hub in the rear wheel (the part that is pressed into wheel), will chemicals damage it?  I believe it's steel, maybe stainless.

On a related note, we were surprised to see the rough surface under factory coating. Any suggestions on how best to prepare this for either paint or powder?
(https://i.ibb.co/XDhGMHg/PXL-20211229-221933487.jpg) (https://ibb.co/XDhGMHg)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on December 30, 2021, 09:17:49 AM
I donít think you will have a problem dipping the whole wheel on the powder coat removal tank. The hub spacer is to my recollection steel, doubt it will be harmed. I pressed it out when I did my wheels but again not necessary.
You can have the wheels powder prime coated and sand out the imperfections, then powder prime again, repeat until the surface is ready for final colour coat

I used this powder primer process restoring my Airone frame parts. The powder primer sands easily, 200 grit is fine enough but you can start with 120.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 07, 2022, 12:12:26 PM
The wheels of progress are moving slowing. Got my frame and all the black bits back from powder coating.
(https://i.ibb.co/wzX19RB/IMG-4070.jpg) (https://ibb.co/wzX19RB)
Very nice job, color/finish is perfect, although they had to redo the fork legs because they covered about 15mm around the sides of the axle hole rather than just the hole for some reason. They did an amazing job on coating the carriers on my brake rotors ensuring not to get powder on the mating surfaces. I then sent them to Tom at TrueDisk do his magic, came back perfect, probably better than new. Here's the rear rotor
(https://i.ibb.co/30qpwcn/IMG-4185.jpg) (https://ibb.co/30qpwcn)
My painter had a hard time stripping my wheels so we ended up passing them to a friend of his that does power coating since he had a strip tank. No issues getting the finish off but when he coated them a tiny hole, sort of a pore, spewed something that created a red stain on the silver coating.
(https://i.ibb.co/V3tnxF4/Rear-wheel-discoloration.jpg) (https://ibb.co/V3tnxF4)
 My guess is outgassing, perhaps not baking the wheel after stripping it, but they believe it's a flaw in the wheel. He gave up after several attempts of fixing it. I've only seen the wheel in pictures at this point so I don't know how noticeable it is. The painter touched it up with liquid paint and believe it's not worth going after, we'll see once I pick it up later this week. If it's not acceptable, I guess I'll start over with the powder coater that did the frame.

Over the weekend my painter sent me a picture of the bottom of the gas tank. Behind the petcock bungs the seams of the tank have been bent over right at the point where the fuel tank rubber rests are.
(https://i.ibb.co/tZ61qbM/PXL-20220207-011048990-002.jpg) (https://ibb.co/tZ61qbM)
Has anyone noticed this before?  I'm thinking it's either the rubber rests were not positioned correctly and the tank was riding on the frame rails or the factory does this to stop the tank from hitting the frame. If its the the former, next question is whether we attempt to bend it back without breaking the weld.


Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on February 07, 2022, 09:37:29 PM
this is an original V7 Sport tank, the seams are slightly folded over aft of the fuel taps, I don't have any pictures of the underside of the other Sport / S / S3 or Lemans builds

(https://i.postimg.cc/yNyt8fM0/April-03-2012-028.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 08, 2022, 12:38:53 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post the picture Jim. Mine is folded over a bit more than that yours, looks like its intentional from the factory, perhaps to just to hide the seams a bit in a visible area. This picture shows what it looks like on the bike... seamless so to speak.
(https://i.ibb.co/m67q3PL/Fuel-Tank-Rubber-Rests-Marked.jpg) (https://ibb.co/m67q3PL)

Another topic... I'm in the middle of rebuilding my calipers. I was on the fence since the brakes seemed ok during the few test rides before the tear down. Wow are they a mess, amazing they worked at all. A lot of crud and particles around the outer seals, some sludge looking stuff in the master cylinder, and pistons have surface rust, some pitting, will leave in EvapoRust overnight to see how they turn out, may need ones. I guess I should powder coat them now that there are apart.  Thankful I did it now rather than later when the bike is back together.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on February 08, 2022, 08:53:54 AM
Another topic... I'm in the middle of rebuilding my calipers. I was on the fence since the brakes seemed ok during the few test rides before the tear down. Wow are they a mess, amazing they worked at all. A lot of crud and particles around the outer seals, some sludge looking stuff in the master cylinder, and pistons have surface rust, some pitting, will leave in EvapoRust overnight to see how they turn out, may need ones. I guess I should powder coat them now that there are apart.  Thankful I did it now rather than later when the bike is back together.

I'd recommend replacing the pistons with anodized aluminum ones, what Brembo used on the single bleeder calipers.
https://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=110_350&products_id=743
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 08, 2022, 09:46:35 AM
Thanks Charlie, your right, would be best to just replace the pistons. The surface rust is gone now but the pitting is still there.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on February 08, 2022, 10:44:23 AM
The Brembo calipers were anodized black from the factory. I found a local anodizing shop that would do a calipers body for about $10 a pop. You can strip the anodizing off with a vapour blaster or an acid. The sheen of the anodizing depends on how shiny the bare aluminum is before anodizing.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 08, 2022, 03:00:27 PM
Perfect Jim, I'll look into that.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 16, 2022, 01:48:30 PM
Progress on paint... went with Mahindra Red as recommended on the forum.
(https://i.ibb.co/w4wJQrh/PXL-20220215-234804221.jpg) (https://ibb.co/w4wJQrh)
We are going with PPG Hot Rod Black for the tank accents but we're struggling with what to use for the fluorescent orange. Does anyone after a specific paint (brand/color code) they've used that has worked well?  I'm trying to get as close to OEM as possible.

Also got the wheels back from the powder coater... not happy with the color they choose, looks more gray than silver, ugh, they'll have to be redone.  Thinking about either Prismatic BMW Silver or Porsche Silver with a satin clear coat.  Anyone have any suggestions?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on February 16, 2022, 07:14:01 PM
Progress on paint... went with Mahindra Red as recommended on the forum.
(https://i.ibb.co/w4wJQrh/PXL-20220215-234804221.jpg) (https://ibb.co/w4wJQrh)
We are going with PPG Hot Rod Black for the tank accents but we're struggling with what to use for the fluorescent orange. Does anyone after a specific paint (brand/color code) they've used that has worked well?  I'm trying to get as close to OEM as possible.

Also got the wheels back from the powder coater... not happy with the color they choose, looks more gray than silver, ugh, they'll have to be redone.  Thinking about either Prismatic BMW Silver or Porsche Silver with a satin clear coat.  Anyone have any suggestions?

My painter used a 'Day-Glo' orange but he could not give me any colour codes, it was apparently some product he had kicking around.

Given what wrap shops can do now with wrapping complex curves I would look into a day glow orange wrap.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 27, 2022, 02:55:06 PM
Originally I was going to just get a new complete exhaust but the factory mufflers, headers, and crossover are in great shape aside from some dents in the muffler so I'd really like to keep them, at least for a while to let my checkbook cool a bit. I filled in the dents with HiTemp LabMetal.
(https://i.ibb.co/whWwk1X/Muffler-Repair.jpg) (https://ibb.co/whWwk1X)
The repair looks reasonable, at least much better than before, and while you can powder coat Hi-Temp LabMetal, Ceramic coating is not supported by the manufacturer and I read others didn't have success (although they may not have been using the Hi-Temp variant). So my choices appear to be to just paint them with Hi-Temp exhaust paint, just bought some from Eastwood, or ceramic coat the headers and cross-overs and paint the mufflers only. I have no idea what the Eastwood Satin black paint will look like next the Ceramic but worst case I'm thinking I can spray over the ceramic like @canuck750 did. When I had my first Le Mans I put a lot of miles on it between re-spraying them every few years... I might be putting 1K mi/yr on this bike at best. Wondering if it's worth getting some of it ceramic coated or just re-spray them when necessary. 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on February 27, 2022, 09:13:52 PM
Originally I was going to just get a new complete exhaust but the factory mufflers, headers, and crossover are in great shape aside from some dents in the muffler so I'd really like to keep them, at least for a while to let my checkbook cool a bit. I filled in the dents with HiTemp LabMetal.
(https://i.ibb.co/whWwk1X/Muffler-Repair.jpg) (https://ibb.co/whWwk1X)
The repair looks reasonable, at least much better than before, and while you can powder coat Hi-Temp LabMetal, Ceramic coating is not supported by the manufacturer and I read others didn't have success (although they may not have been using the Hi-Temp variant). So my choices appear to be to just paint them with Hi-Temp exhaust paint, just bought some from Eastwood, or ceramic coat the headers and cross-overs and paint the mufflers only. I have no idea what the Eastwood Satin black paint will look like next the Ceramic but worst case I'm thinking I can spray over the ceramic like @canuck750 did. When I had my first Le Mans I put a lot of miles on it between re-spraying them every few years... I might be putting 1K mi/yr on this bike at best. Wondering if it's worth getting some of it ceramic coated or just re-spray them when necessary.

Some powdercoating shops offer "wet spray" as well - paint the part and then bake it in their oven. The shop that does my stuff said it's more durable than high temp powder.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 27, 2022, 10:05:23 PM
Well that's interesting, I'll look into it.  Thanks Charlie.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on February 27, 2022, 10:32:26 PM
I have had bad luck with the flat black ceramic on mufflers, I have heard the 'chrome' like ceramic is much better.

On my 750S the ceramic coat will mark very,very easily,

(https://i.postimg.cc/mZ1rfwGm/PB180031.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/Yjk7QQ0F)

I should have just painted them with the header paint from VHT (much better tham VHT standard high heat engione paint)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on February 28, 2022, 11:58:33 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'm either going to just paint them with Eastwood Hi-temp exhaust paint that can handle up to 1400 degrees or look into Charlie's suggestion.

https://www.eastwood.com/satin-black-hi-temp-coating.html (https://www.eastwood.com/satin-black-hi-temp-coating.html)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on March 14, 2022, 12:34:24 PM
I found a replacement set of clip-ons that were chrome rather than black. I had them powder coated black and instructed them to not coat the area that provides a ground to the switches. They simply taped over that area so now it still has the chrome plating on it.  Will chrome provide a solid ground for the switches?  For those of you that have a 76 or 77 Le Mans with chrome clip-ons, do you remember what the area where the switches ground to looked like?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on March 14, 2022, 04:01:05 PM
I found a replacement set of clip-ons that were chrome rather than black. I had them powder coated black and instructed them to not coat the area that provides a ground to the switches. They simply taped over that area so now it still has the chrome plating on it.  Will chrome provide a solid ground for the switches?  For those of you that have a 76 or 77 Le Mans with chrome clip-ons, do you remember what the area where the switches ground to looked like?

It will be fine with chrome as the ground path.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on March 14, 2022, 04:56:20 PM
Thanks Charlie!
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on March 15, 2022, 12:00:19 PM
Anyone know where the negative battery cable grounds to the frame. Is it at the battery plate to frame mounting point or maybe the battery plate to gearbox?  Does it need to have a ground to just the frame or the frame and engine?  Thanks.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on March 15, 2022, 12:09:42 PM
Anyone know where the negative battery cable grounds to the frame. Is it at the battery plate to frame mounting point or maybe the battery plate to gearbox?  Does it need to have a ground to just the frame or the frame and engine?  Thanks.

It originally grounded at the battery plate to frame bolt closest to the speedo drive. If you attach it there, then you'll need to make ground paths to both the engine/trans and frame - remove powdercoat from the ground point on the tray where the ground cable attaches, underside of the tray where it contacts the frame, the frame tab the tray contacts, and battery tray where it bolts to the transmission.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on March 15, 2022, 02:16:36 PM
Sort of what I thought, glad I asked.  Thanks Charlie!
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on April 17, 2022, 10:20:20 AM
I've made quite a bit of progress on my Le Mans. Got the drive train back from Charlie... found it had out of spec rings on one side only for whatever reason. Also fixed the oil leak between the engine and gearbox, new shift return spring, but all good otherwise... everything points to a low mile bike per the odometer. GuzziSteve went through my final drive, fixed a leaky and stripped level plug. Getting ready to install it into the frame after installing a Greg Bender wire harness.
(https://i.ibb.co/tDzBy49/IMG-4307.jpg) (https://ibb.co/tDzBy49)
I found a handy frame stand that made the job easy.
(https://i.ibb.co/gyQLcHC/IMG-4313.jpg) (https://ibb.co/gyQLcHC)

(https://i.ibb.co/yg0gcz3/IMG-4314.jpg) (https://ibb.co/yg0gcz3)

(https://i.ibb.co/w6nmZPs/IMG-4324.jpg) (https://ibb.co/w6nmZPs)
After some tips from Charlie the swingarm went in easy.
(https://i.ibb.co/8MgnhTX/IMG-4366.jpg) (https://ibb.co/8MgnhTX)
Rebuilt my calipers and added new lines. Virtually all of them had crystalized crud in the valves. I was able to bleed them using speed bleeders but it didn't work very well. I had to suck the fluid through using my Mighty Vac and even then there is a lot of air left in the lines. I'll ask GuzziSteve to bleed them with his professional bleeder tool.
(https://i.ibb.co/qkRQDmP/IMG-4395.jpg) (https://ibb.co/qkRQDmP)
With some coaching from Greg Bender, I turned the key for the first time on Friday.
(https://i.ibb.co/FnM8hQq/IMG-4498-x.jpg) (https://ibb.co/FnM8hQq)
Everything lit up and the starter could be activated ... then no power. After an afternoon with a circuit tester pulling things apart I found a weak ground for the voltage regulator. Fixed that... power's back... but now my starter switch doesn't work. I believe there is a good ground from the switch to the clip-on but after that I'm not sure how the clip-on grounds to the frame. I looked at my old clip-on and the paint on the top of cylinder has been removed ... mine has powder coat on it. Wondering if I'm missing something but looks like I need to work on making a ground path to the frame. Ugh... I knew this would be the worst part of this project.  Happy Easter!
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on April 18, 2022, 11:01:14 AM
I confirmed my starter switch works when I ground the handlebar against the frame using a piece of wire. So I'll drop the forks down and clean off the powder either inside or the top of the clip-on cylinder that slides over the stanchion.  Another ground issue... my headlights work but the front turn signals only work if I ground them with a wire against the mounting bolt. I was hoping my rapidly flashing signals would be fixed with new bulbs but that didn't resolve it.

Next problem... I found my front fender is slightly rubbing the tire on one side high on the mounting tab. I can barely slip a sheet of paper through the other side.  It's a 100/90 Avon RoadRider Mk2 tire.  Anyone run into this problem?  I'm going transfer the area where it rubs onto the fender with chalk and perhaps Dremel some material away if it's not too bad else I need a different/narrower tire.  It looks like Avon makes a 90/90 x 18 if I can't get it to work.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on April 18, 2022, 03:59:35 PM
What type of signal flasher do you have fitted? If it's an old-fashioned metal can thermal flasher, that's likely the problem. Almost every one I've bought is defective right out of the box. An electronic flasher works much better - flashes at the same rate no matter the load or type of bulb fitted. This is one I've used with good results: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MJGC28B
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on April 18, 2022, 05:27:10 PM
Yes I have the old style... just ordered the one you pointed to.  Thanks Charlie!
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Dave Swanson on May 07, 2022, 04:03:03 PM
I am ashamed to admit I haven't checked out this thread until today.  It brings back memories!  Your doing a fine job, and getting the right kind of help that can only be found on WG.  Priceless. 

There is something very cool about a Lemans in the bones with a rotors that have the fresh Trudisk treatment!

(https://i.postimg.cc/15VY6dS4/IMG_7379.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/w7HVY07d)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on May 08, 2022, 12:15:12 AM
Thanks Dave, they do look fantastic stripped down...

(https://i.ibb.co/fS8h3FX/IMG-4393.jpg) (https://ibb.co/fS8h3FX)


It's been a journey as you and others have documented on WG. Yourself, Charlie, Jim, Brad, Steve, Greg, and others have provided the support and inspiration to allow me to attempt a restoration at this level. I started the motor on Monday... fired right up... queue the cigar the whiskey. Steve came by the next day to help dial it in. I'm working through a few bugs (ordered a 90/90 tire to fit my fender, ugh) and getting the last of the body work on before taking it out for the initial runs. So almost done... it's awesome... somebody pinch me! Here's a few pics... will post something more organized once I'm done.


(https://i.ibb.co/7X53Y5T/IMG-4568.jpg) (https://ibb.co/7X53Y5T)

(https://i.ibb.co/3m2ZP92/IMG-4617.jpg) (https://ibb.co/3m2ZP92)

(https://i.ibb.co/FJ8ppdV/IMG-4598.jpg) (https://ibb.co/FJ8ppdV)

(https://i.ibb.co/dKnvnHt/IMG-4613.jpg) (https://ibb.co/dKnvnHt)

(https://i.ibb.co/9Zb9rCB/IMG-4593x1.jpg) (https://ibb.co/9Zb9rCB)





Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Scout63 on May 08, 2022, 07:11:51 AM
I can hear it thundering through the Georgia mountains already. This is a great and gorgeous build.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on May 08, 2022, 02:34:58 PM
Wow that looks excellent  :thumb: better than new, thanks for sharing your build,

few bikes compare to the beauty of a 76-78 Le Mans. Looking forward to hearing about your ride reports.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Dave Swanson on May 09, 2022, 07:05:56 AM
I can hear it thundering through the Georgia mountains already. This is a great and gorgeous build.

Of all my Guzzis, an early Lemans with Lafranconis provides the best sound in all of motorcycling.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: guzzisteve on May 12, 2022, 04:17:07 PM
The Maiden Voyage was today, it past the test, sweet but don't touch. LOL He said it was tight like a new bike, ran great.
Have a beer & cigar.

(https://i.ibb.co/tpcTC3g/IMG00084.jpg) (https://ibb.co/tpcTC3g)


(https://i.ibb.co/j58sVmY/IMG00085.jpg) (https://ibb.co/j58sVmY)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Huzo on May 12, 2022, 08:10:22 PM
I am ashamed to admit I haven't checked out this thread until today.  It brings back memories!  Your doing a fine job, and getting the right kind of help that can only be found on WG.  Priceless. 

There is something very cool about a Lemans in the bones with a rotors that have the fresh Trudisk treatment!

(https://i.postimg.cc/15VY6dS4/IMG_7379.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/w7HVY07d)
Is that a picture of my Mum sitting on your right handlebar ?
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Canuck750 on May 12, 2022, 08:23:18 PM
The Maiden Voyage was today, it past the test, sweet but don't touch. LOL He said it was tight like a new bike, ran great.
Have a beer & cigar.

(https://i.ibb.co/tpcTC3g/IMG00084.jpg) (https://ibb.co/tpcTC3g)


(https://i.ibb.co/j58sVmY/IMG00085.jpg) (https://ibb.co/j58sVmY)

Take a bow sir! well done :thumb:
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on May 13, 2022, 08:27:14 AM
As Steve mentioned, I went out on the Le Mans yesterday. It ran perfect, shifted through all the gears perfect, and yeah it felt like a new bike... as it should, and yes the sound is fantastic! Only hiccup was my head light popped out about a quarter mile from home but fortunately it was dangling from the bottom screw and wires... new replacement rubber ring, argh... but I digress from an otherwise great day.

Big thanks to Steve for another great tune, and to Charlie who took me in on short notice and went through the drive train... beautiful work!  Those who have gone through something like this know that you never take enough pictures, always some angle you need to see a bracket or how exactly to route a cable, and having a resource like WildGuzzi where others (Jim... wow what a build) have documented how things work is invaluable. Finding references to people like Charlie who are masters at their craft are invaluable as well.  So thanks everyone! 

Here's a few more pics and a short video: https://youtu.be/znPvxWsAfwQ


(https://i.ibb.co/HhmsZw1/IMG-4639-x.jpg) (https://ibb.co/HhmsZw1)

(https://i.ibb.co/8282msH/IMG-4638x.jpg) (https://ibb.co/8282msH)

(https://i.ibb.co/DgcN1Wy/IMG-4627x.jpg) (https://ibb.co/DgcN1Wy)
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on May 13, 2022, 08:50:25 AM
 :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on May 14, 2022, 05:54:59 PM
Rode the Le Mans 35 mi yesterday and 60 today. I originally had too the air pressure too high. I lowered the air pressure from 36/36 which is what I run in my sport bikes to 30/32. Big difference, better handling and more stable, I might go even lower. I installed new stock dampers with progressive springs and it feels very good. It's a completely different kind of ride from my modern sport bikes in that you're not going that fast but it viscerally it feels fast... lol. I'm re-learning how to ride it, what a blast!  I did a good inspection when I got back, all good, happiness.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: blackcat on May 18, 2022, 07:05:03 AM
Nice job, bike looks and sounds great.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on May 19, 2022, 09:37:15 PM
Thanks Blackat!  I see you have a Norton FB... I'm looking for one that I'm hoping to restore but its difficult to find any FB let alone that hasn't been touched. A very nice 1969 FB sold on BAT a couple days ago (https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-norton-commando-fastback/).
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoratio
Post by: blackcat on May 23, 2022, 09:19:57 AM
Thanks Blackat!  I see you have a Norton FB... I'm looking for one that I'm hoping to restore but its difficult to find any FB let alone that hasn't been touched. A very nice 1969 FB sold on BAT a couple days ago (https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-norton-commando-fastback/).

That bike on BAT needed some fork shrouds and gaiters to make it right but it sold for a reasonable price considering. Every once in awhile I see one come up for sale on eBay but not many lately. Iíd put a want add in the classifieds on Access Norton.  The yellow Norton on BAT that sold after the FB was sold for half of what it should have gotten. Iím surprised the seller didnít put a reserve on that bike.

My 68:

(https://i.ibb.co/K29nCPy/IMG-1445.jpg)

Iíve owned the bike since the late 80ís and that is the original paint on the tank and tail section but the frame and all black parts were repainted. If you do find a 68, make sure you look closely at the frame as they were known to crack at the head with catastrophic results for the rider. I had mine modified to match the later frames.  The 69ís did not have that problem.  Last year I installed a pair of Amal Premiers and the bike starts with one or two attempts and it runs perfectly fine. No oil leaks but it does weep an occasional  drop after a long ride.  The bike is not perfect as I left some of the marks it acquired over the years as I dislike overly buffed out aluminum parts. 

Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoratio
Post by: 2WheelsUp on May 23, 2022, 10:34:11 AM
Iíd put a want add in the classifieds on Access Norton.
Makes sense, I just added a wanted item on the INOA site. Your FB is beautiful, exactly what I'm looking for. I bid on the one that sold on BAT but the price including buyer fees and delivery got a bit rich... I guess... I have some regrets I didn't pursue it further. In any event, I'll find one eventually.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoratio
Post by: blackcat on May 23, 2022, 11:42:58 AM
Makes sense, I just added a wanted item on the INOA site. Your FB is beautiful, exactly what I'm looking for. I bid on the one that sold on BAT but the price including buyer fees and delivery got a bit rich... I guess... I have some regrets I didn't pursue it further. In any event, I'll find one eventually.

If I spot one somewhere I'll send you a link. Plan on an engine rebuild for the super blend bearings and a known bearing to go bad in the gearbox. I have not done the gearbox in mine but it has to be done as it will lock up from what I have been told.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: LowRyter on May 23, 2022, 05:31:42 PM
Great stuff Bruce.  Saw the white SS939 in a photo and made the connection.  If the Norton is half that nice.........wow.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Motorad64 on June 01, 2022, 09:03:09 AM
Looking great, Bruce!!  I agree with Dave...you will not regret the Lafranconi's.   Great sound and flow, but not obnoxious.   I have a buddy that always rides behind me just because he likes the sound. 

Bike looks terrific! 
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Dave Swanson on June 03, 2022, 08:48:05 AM
Is that a picture of my Mum sitting on your right handlebar ?

You have quite the Mum!   :grin:
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on July 04, 2022, 12:28:44 PM
I've been enjoying my Le Mans, have put about 400 miles on it since the restoration, it's marvelous. Here's some local ride videos shot with my GoPro mounted to my helmet for those who may be interested. I typically don't play music over the video track... the noises produced by these bikes is part of the experience.

https://youtu.be/lpAfiFc117k (https://youtu.be/lpAfiFc117k) (excessive wind noise, ugh, but great road... Rt 136 N GA)

https://youtu.be/JnQ7mTOBSKw (https://youtu.be/JnQ7mTOBSKw)

FWIW, I became sold on video taping my rides since I know there will be a day (still a long way off hopefully) when I can't ride anymore and these videos will be the only way to experience motorcycle riding. I have a friend that uses a 360 degree camera that's truly amazing since you can pick/change your POV afterwards while editing the video. For instance, you can see an oncoming vehicle, watch it pass you, and see it recede from view behind you. I need to get one of those... in my mind it's worth getting this process right so you can enjoy later.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: Dave Swanson on August 05, 2022, 09:06:51 AM
I enjoyed the videos!  Great bike! It sounds like it is running perfectly.
Title: Re: 1978 Le Mans restoration
Post by: 2WheelsUp on August 05, 2022, 01:34:17 PM
I enjoyed the videos!  Great bike! It sounds like it is running perfectly.
Yeah it's running good (thanks to Charlie and Steve) and a blast to ride. It gets a lot of attention wherever I stop, virtually no one as seen one before and are shocked to hear it's 44 yrs old. Around 750 miles on it since the restoration. I need to change the oil, do another head torque and carb sync. Only issue I'm having is the throttle is a bit sticky. Seems to hang on to RPMs sometimes when I'm coming off throttle after a constant speed. Blipping the throttle releases it. Tried to lubricate and relocate the cables, not quite solved yet. 

I have a number of other ride videos posted to my YouTube channel "Broken Stick Motorcycle Rides" for anyone with time on their hands. A couple on my Ducati as well with more on the way. Hoping to trailer the Le Mans up to NC mountains for some riding in the fall.