Author Topic: First voyage on the Ambo restoration  (Read 726 times)

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« on: June 28, 2021, 05:37:01 AM »
Well 10 months after I bought this stalled resto I have it on the road.
This bike came out of KY. I bought it on ebay non-running. The PO had done so much work! He sourced almost everything, I counted over $18k in receipts from the folders he gave me! It had everything an ambo could want, gilardoni's, alternator conversion, B10 cam, new carbs, bender wiring harness, reconditioned borranis, and superb paintwork on perfect tins.  I think his resto stalled due to health concerns.

I brought it back to NC and set about fixing the details..  Lots of the repo parts simply didnt fit/work. Some stuff wasnt correctly setup/installed or incompatible. A few things were missing, but I already had my '73 Ambo that I have been staging for future restoration, so it became 'parts bike' and suffered a fair bit of cannibalism. I jumped thru the NCDMV hoops to get a bonded NC title, as this bike had a title issue due to poor transfer between a couple different owners (- and red tape stretched that to a 7-month process).

After I did all I could, I took it to my bud Earl who was able to get me over a couple issues that were stumping me. He's a loop guy who has been riding an Ambo for 15+years and I have never ridden a loop-- so
he finalized the wiring, fired it up, balanced the carbs, and set the timing, and put some shakedown miles into it.  It's still not perfect, but it's running down the road and man is this a great bike. I think I'm going to dig the loop lifestyle. Who would have thought riding a 500# beach cruiser thru the back roads at 50mph would be so delightful. What a thoroughly hilarious and charismatic machine!

here's how she looks now!














Still a few things to do... 

1. Swap filters- I have a stock airbox setup, I ordered the big 1/2 K&N filter
2. Finish jetting- It's running ok now, but bogs a bit at WOT and is a shy starter when hot- hoping a little more airflow will iron this out, if not I will look at re-jetting (running 145 mains with Mac mufflers, B10 cam, no crossover, and the soon-to-be-K&N filter)
3. BRAKES, BRAKES, BRAKES- I need both drums skimmed (pulse from both brakes- front is worse), bead blast the braking surfaces, plus the front pads need arching- I hope to do this by hand using the wonderful info I found here & thisoldtractor.com
4. Final touches- I will install the freshly chromed pipes & passenger grab handles when they come back from plating (and I have the carbs sorted out). I have a new Barnett cable with brake light switch on the way as part of my brake improvement quest. The sidestand spring (civillian) is not right, all parts houses list the same spring as used on the centerstand, but I will have to find a shorter one for the sidestand- this one wants to fall off (and has!)

Otherwise it's ready to roll for the summer! Cheers!

Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Online twowheeladdict

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2021, 05:48:23 AM »
 :bow: :thumb: :thumb:
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Offline blu guzz

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2021, 05:50:03 AM »
looks fantastic.  good job saving an oldie but goodie
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2021, 06:46:06 AM »
Very cool!  Looks great, Chad.  Can't wait to see it in person.
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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2021, 06:46:06 AM »

Offline vintagehoarder

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2021, 06:47:51 AM »
Beautiful!
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Offline Vagrant

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2021, 06:54:01 AM »
Absolutely stunning!
That's the same dirty rotten SOB that hooked me on Guzzi's back in 71. 50 years of torture and pleasure.
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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2021, 06:54:23 AM »
Never have warmed up to loops however yours is beautiful! :thumb: Enjoy. 145 main jets seems large to me. I run a modified T-3 and with 36mm round barrels I run 130s and it goes great.
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Offline guzziart

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2021, 06:59:53 AM »
Beautiful bike!  I'm not a fan of trunks but the low profile one you have and the solo saddle looks great, good choice.  Enjoy!

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2021, 07:32:45 AM »
Fabulous!!  Well done...and she is "In The Wind" again!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :cool: :boozing: :bow:
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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2021, 07:45:28 AM »
What a beautiful gal!!

Online berniebee

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2021, 08:00:16 AM »
 :thumb: The pinstriping on the tank and fenders- nice work!

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2021, 08:52:58 AM »
Never have warmed up to loops however yours is beautiful! :thumb: Enjoy. 145 main jets seems large to me. I run a modified T-3 and with 36mm round barrels I run 130s and it goes great.
GliderJohn

I didn't think I was a loop guy either until my '73 parts bike fell in my lap for a song-- I set it up on a dunnage rack in my garage and stared at it/sat on it until it soaked into my brain!  I'm about 300mi into this one and if the dang brakes weren't so terrifying, I think I would be sold hook line & sinker!

I have some 140 jets on the way, I am going to try them with the free-flowing filter and see how it goes!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 08:54:00 AM by Mayor_of_BBQ »
Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Offline Don G

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2021, 08:57:00 AM »
Paint and striping looks excellent!  DonG

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2021, 08:57:12 AM »
Beautiful bike!  I'm not a fan of trunks but the low profile one you have and the solo saddle looks great, good choice.  Enjoy!

Thank you! the trunk is a Harbor Freight gun case bolted to one of Greg Bender's rear racks.  I have the pillion pad and rack from Harper's set up & on standby, should be quick to swap them in and out. I've got a nice stock seat with original cover as well, but I dont want to put either of those on yet to keep the wife from climbing aboard! Once I get the brakes sorted and wrap my head around the upside down shifting, THEN she can ride!
Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2021, 09:00:16 AM »
As to the comments on paint/striping... The PO sent the tinwork, wheels, and rear drive to Cycle Garden for rebuilds, polishing, and paintwork. You would not believe what he paid for that stuff- when I looked at the invoice I almost fainted! That one invoice was more than I paid for the entire project. The silkscreen logos and hand laid stripes look killer.
Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2021, 09:07:13 AM »
Also,

why didnt anyone tell me that when you ride around on a loop, you feel like the grand marshal of a parade everywhere you go???
Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Online Guzzistajohn

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2021, 09:15:35 AM »
What a nice rig!  :thumb:
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Offline jwinwi

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2021, 09:22:03 AM »
As to the comments on paint/striping... The PO sent the tinwork, wheels, and rear drive to Cycle Garden for rebuilds, polishing, and paintwork. You would not believe what he paid for that stuff- when I looked at the invoice I almost fainted! That one invoice was more than I paid for the entire project. The silkscreen logos and hand laid stripes look killer.

Moe aint cheap but that paint looks perfect!
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Online AJ Huff

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2021, 09:27:49 AM »
Nice!

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Offline Rusty goose

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2021, 09:51:19 AM »
Well done getting another back on the road! It looks great, that paint work is awesome.
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Offline Kiwi_Roy

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2021, 10:33:17 AM »
It looks fantastic, be prepared for lots of comments.
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Offline Moparnut72

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2021, 10:34:56 AM »
Nice, makes me wish I had bought the Ambo in 1970 instead of the Beemer.   :thumb:
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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2021, 12:50:00 PM »
WOW!  Gorgeous loop.  Enjoy.
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Offline Guzzi Gal

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2021, 12:58:49 PM »
:drool: Okay, my keyboard is wet now. :bow:
:bow: Thanks for enabling my MG obsession! :bow:
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Offline Don G

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2021, 01:27:44 PM »
The only problem with making them this nice is eventually it will get a scratch or a ding and that may pain you. One must realize that the most natural position for a cycle is on its side...   DonG

Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2021, 01:38:07 PM »
The only problem with making them this nice is eventually it will get a scratch or a ding and that may pain you. One must realize that the most natural position for a cycle is on its side...   DonG

oh boy, you got a point there. I rode by my buddies house sunday, he said "how are you liking it?" I said "well I've ridden it three times and washed it twice!"


I'm already thinking of riding it until I have it rock solid, then selling it to raise funds for turning my beat-up rat of a parts bike into an AMVERT (just need to find a convert doner!)

But honestly I already love it so much that would be a big ask!
Chad (Shadrach) in Asheville NC
1970 Ambo (shiny resto-mod)
1984 V65 Cafe Racer (ongoing cafe project)
2007 Breva 1100 (Sport 1200 tribute)

Offline Don G

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2021, 01:51:04 PM »



check screen resolution

This is my Ambo-vert, shiny on the inside, looks not bad in the photo but that is misleading. If it got a scratch or ding who would know? Was built from substandard used parts.  DonG

Offline Kane

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2021, 02:02:47 PM »
A really beautiful bike.
You must be one proud poppa! Well done!

Offline jbell

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2021, 02:10:14 PM »
It does look great. Nice job.
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Offline Nick

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Re: First voyage on the Ambo restoration
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2021, 04:56:11 PM »
Very, very nice!!


Harper's Moto Guzzi
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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