Basically, I’ve been riding a 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado for 15 years or so, incessantly tweaking it, adding the one liter jugs, a B-10 cam, headwork, 40mm pumper Dellorto carbs, RAM low inertia clutch, and tuned the thing to perfection using a wide band oxygen sensor and palm pilot bungeed to the speedometer to acquire and display data. Took me most a of a summer, but after rejetting the carbs multiple times, the old Eldo runs just about as smoothly and fast as any old Guzzi out there. The WBO2 sensor and data module was from www.zeitronix.com/. Not to get off topic, but this technology is the best thing to happen to carburetted engine tuning since the "Used Plugs Tell a Story" poster, and we all know how helpful that was. The wideband oxygen sensor is simply invaluable, no more guesswork as to what's lean and what's rich, at every step of the way from idle to FWOT.
Anyhoo, I love that bike like a brother, but was hankering for more performance, plus needed something to tweak on. New bikes (anything made after 1985, and resembling a letter opener) don't appeal to me. I love vintage bikes, and café racers, and have been following the café racer, shed builder / garage/builder movement, and thought I would give it a bash. My concept was to take a modern Guzzi and turn it into a retro café racer. The donor was going to be a Sport 1100 or Centauro, preferably a Centauro, with the 4 valve high cam engine. This bike is nearly identical to the mythical Daytona, Guzzi’s first 4 valve model, very cool looking, rare, and expensive if you can find one.
The Centauros have almost identical engine and running gear, but with lots of swooping plastic all over. Perfect choice for a café racer, but also hard to find. I searched locally for months, finally put a WTB ad on Craigslist, and got a response. The owner was a well known and respected local bike guy, had a barn full of bikes, but really liked this one, even sold it once and then re-bought it. He made me promise the bike was going to a good home. Technically, that was true, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was going to strip it down to the bones and Frankenstein it.
Rode it around like this for a while, just to get the feel of the bike. It's very fast compared to the Eldo, lighter, and excellent braking (compared to drums). It came with the adjustable swan neck clip ons, which are awesome.
So, I started assembling parts. I knew I wanted a bullet nacelle headlight, and found a 6” bucket on Fleabay, new old stock, off a Guzzi Stornello. Mounted it using a pair of pliers welded to a wrench.
The best part of this seat is that the stock Centauro tail light, turned upside down, is a near perfect fit under the rear part, the bum stop. I had to put the seat under a heat lamp and bend it a bit, but the effect is awesome - totally tucked away under there like it was meant to be.
Went a little subtler with the Hi Cam, barely visible over the fuel pump.