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I had 5 Guzzis' and enjoyed riding them. They look cool sound great and handle reasonably well. Still looking for a Tonti framed model for a cafe project. Both bikes have reliability issues. CX with the waterpump and timing chain, Guzzi with the timing chain and chrome cylinders. The CX500 is a far superior bike to the Guzzi in everything except coolness factor. Just the fact that the engine can be removed from the frame without removing the swingarm on the CX is a bonus for me. The owner of that Guzzi must not ride too many other bikes if he is impresed with the fast nimble handling of an overloaded 50HP, 700lb motorcycle.
 

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A year or 18 months ago, myself and several other HTTA members, who were down at TWO in N. Georgia sort of perpertrated a bit of a hoax on the board regarding Honda coming out with a "New" GL 750. The picture we used was a Guzzi parked under our HTTA banner next to the building. It was partly covered but enough could be seen to excite!

Gene



PS: Now we can't seem to find anyone who will admit to believing us!
 

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The biggest disadvantage to a Guzzi is parts availability. They are reliable bike, but I would put them behind BMW and they have less than half the dealerships of BMW ... so parts are often hard to find.



They are a 100-150K bike just like the CX/GLs are. They probably have about an equal number of problems. The HP is the same as the GL, but you don't want to compare torque numbers with them.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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A year or 18 months ago, myself and several other HTTA members, who were down at TWO in N. Georgia sort of perpertrated a bit of a hoax on the board regarding Honda coming out with a "New" GL 750. The picture we used was a Guzzi parked under our HTTA banner next to the building. It was partly covered but enough could be seen to excite!

Gene



PS: Now we can't seem to find anyone who will admit to believing us!
I fell for it, and you guys still suck!




R
 

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Dave, apples and oranges, you're comparing new Guzzi's to 30 year old Hondas. If you compare Guzzi's of the same vintage as the CX/GL's, there's no comparison, the Hondas win hands down, no contest. Guzzi blew the California Highway Patrol contract IIRC by delivering a bunch of bikes with missing piston rings.



IMHO the new Guzzi's are very sharp looking bikes, but I don't know how well they sell, around here you rarely if ever see the newer ones on the road.
 

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I think you have to mention cost into the factor. A base guzzi costs what $9000 and change. That's a lot higher than a base honda price. Seems it comes in line with lower bmw's. The last quzzi I saw had a $15,000 price tag on it. Dealer price.
 

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I can't help but to chime in, the reliability and parts availability is an issue.



Then there's also the old story about when Moto Guzzi built their first and Mr Honda (at the time) was challenged to better on it is when he came up with the first CX. I love challenge stories and wish we had the actual history on that but how many of those do you ever see on the road compared to how many of our CX/GL line that, with periodic maintenance, have sometimes logged over 300K miles of heavy service?
 

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I can't help but to chime in, the reliability and parts availability is an issue.



Then there's also the old story about when Moto Guzzi built their first and Mr Honda (at the time) was challenged to better on it is when he came up with the first CX. I love challenge stories and wish we had the actual history on that but how many of those do you ever see on the road compared to how many of our CX/GL line that, with periodic maintenance, have sometimes logged over 300K miles of heavy service?


I've never heard that story, plus it doesn't make any sense, since the Moto Guzzi twin was introduced in 1967. The CX was an evolution of the Marusho Lilac more than anything else, and the engine was actually designed to be used as an agricultural stationary engine.
 

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I saw it somewhere but it wasn't referenced so it may have been mere speculation. I seem to have plenty of time on my hands lately so I may send a letter to Honda and step though all the puddles to get to an old engineer that can talk in English.



Darn it, OldOkie has a barn find on an old 305 Dream and is doing his best to get a hold of it.
 

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1967–1973 - SEIMM yearsIn February 1967, SEIMM (Società Esercizio Industrie Moto Meccaniche), a state controlled receiver, took ownership of Moto Guzzi. The SEIMM oversight saw Moto Guzzi adapting to a cultural shift away from motorcycles to automobiles. The company focused on popular lightweight mopeds including the Dingo and Trotter — and the 125 cc Stornello motorcycle. Also during the SEIMM years Guzzi developed the 90° V twin engine, designed by Giulio Cesare Carcano, which would become iconic of Moto Guzzi.





Moto Guzzi, V7 750 Speciale from 1969Though Moto Guzzi has employed engines of myriad configurations, none has come to symbolize the company more than the air-cooled 90° V-twin with a longitudinal crankshaft orientation and the engine's transverse cylinder heads projecting prominently on either side of the bike. The original V-twin was designed in the early 1960s by engineer Giulio Cesare Carcano, designer of the DOHC V8 Grand Prix racer. The air-cooled, longitudinal crankshaft, transverse cylinder, pushrod V-twin began life with 700 cc displacement and 45 hp (34 kW) – designed to win a competition sponsored by the Italian government for a new police bike. The sturdy shaft-drive, air-cooled V-twin won, giving Moto Guzzi renewed competitiveness. This 1967 Moto Guzzi V7 with the original Carcano engine has been continuously developed into the 1,200 cc, 80 hp (60 kW) versions offered today (2006). Lino Tonti redesigned the motor for the 1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. This engine is the basis of the currently used 750 cc, 1,100 cc and 1,200 cc Guzzi engines. Notably, the longitudinal crankshaft and orientation of the engine creates a slight gyroscope effect, with a slightly asymmetrical behavior in turns.
 

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I've owned two Moto Guzzi's, a 1970 Ambassador which I still have and an '89 Mille GT. The '89 met its demise when a garbage truck in San Francisco backed up and crushed it along with a neighbor's awesome BMW, and a POS Honda Magna. We were parked next to each other in a parallel parking spot.



Anyway, my experience with Moto Guzzi's goes back 15 years. Both my bikes are/were very reliable. The Ambassador's motor is very strong and shifting very good. Handling is like a Goldwing however -- it wants to keep going straight and does not flick into a curve. It's fun at a stoplight however and way fun passing cars on two-lane highways. I've met a number of motocyclists over the years whom have amazingly high mileage on these old loop frame bikes -- mileage in the 250,000 and even higher range. My own '70 Ambassador has over 100,000 on the clock.



Some Guzzi parts are hard to find but not the parts to keep them on the road. The original black and white handgrips are way rare and undented gas tanks go for $450. I'll conjecture that its the supply/demand curve that keeps the value of old Moto Guzzi's three or four times the price of CX/GL500's. I'm thinking about purchasing another Guzzi right now at the "bargain" price of $2600.



Admittedly chicks dig Guzzi's. They don't know what they are but when given the choice of what bike they want me to take them for a ride on, they pick the Guzzi first by far. Occasionally they pick my '67 Honda Dream. They never pick the GL500's or Goldwing or Suzuki. When I used to have an '82 CX500, that did get a couple of chick votes.

 

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I can't help but to chime in, the reliability and parts availability is an issue.



Then there's also the old story about when Moto Guzzi built their first and Mr Honda (at the time) was challenged to better on it is when he came up with the first CX. I love challenge stories and wish we had the actual history on that but how many of those do you ever see on the road compared to how many of our CX/GL line that, with periodic maintenance, have sometimes logged over 300K miles of heavy service?
It is my understanding that the CX was buid to beat Harley XR750 on the flat tracks. At the time the rules alowed pushrod overhead valves thus the short CX pushrods. The rule was in place to guarantee the Harley domination at the flattrack after Kenny Roberts beat the Harley with the 750 GP two stroke 4 cyl. Yamaha. Honda build the bike, won, and then left the flatrack scene to Harley again
 

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It is my understanding that the CX was buid to beat Harley XR750 on the flat tracks. At the time the rules alowed pushrod overhead valves thus the short CX pushrods. The rule was in place to guarantee the Harley domination at the flattrack after Kenny Roberts beat the Harley with the 750 GP two stroke 4 cyl. Yamaha. Honda build the bike, won, and then left the flatrack scene to Harley again


That sounds more reasonable, wish I could find reference to what I spoke of earlier. Our simple 500s can eat most any Harley unless it's of the newer fuel injected variety or modified, probably why I used to draw a crowd at the Harley dealership when I was riding it in 2009. Salesmen and mechanics would come out of the woodwork even though it was a total mess at the time and were thrilled that my objective was to restore it as best I could to original. I think we've got a Triumph dealer somewhere around here too and I'll bet the response will be similar when I visit them.



It seems most of these people either had one at some time in their life or knew someone that did and it brings back fond memories of the reliability but I can understand that most Harley owners consider their bikes to be status symbols.



Pretty much down to the painting now, give me a period of good weather in a few months and I'll be out on the road again.
 

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I have to throw in another 2 cents worth. The Honda is redoubtably more agile, dependable and easier to keep on the road, but if I were touring long distances I would choose the Moto Guzzi. It is a better bike for that, as far as ride comfort and ability to cruise smoother at speed.



Nothing wrong with the GL/CX bikes, but they really aren't well suited for many 600 mile days in a row. Ask my butt, it doesn't lie!
 

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I read this article awhile back and found out more about the CX500 vs. the Guzzi V-50, the competitor to the CX. Link to Motorcycle Classics article. This has some history that you all might like to read.



Had a chance to swap my CB750K4 in Klamath Falls, OR for an 850 Guzzi (Probably an Ambassador with a ugly white fairing) that the dealer wanted to get rid of. I didn't care for the way it road at the time. I ended up selling the 750 back to the dealer as I couldn't afford the repair when the engine lost oil on the top end and stopped running. Probably feel differently about the Guzzi now...



Awhile back I was stopped to eat lunch in a local park on a nice sunny day. An ambulance pulls up and the driver hops out and eye balls the CX. Turns out he owns a Guzzi California and was quite impressed with my bike. Said he knew about them but never had seen one up that close until that day. I was stoked!




There are some great builds of Guzzi's out there and I would also agree that while they are cool looking, the price/availability of parts and such, the CX is a better value for restoration.
 

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It is my understanding that the CX was buid to beat Harley XR750 on the flat tracks. At the time the rules alowed pushrod overhead valves thus the short CX pushrods. The rule was in place to guarantee the Harley domination at the flattrack after Kenny Roberts beat the Harley with the 750 GP two stroke 4 cyl. Yamaha. Honda build the bike, won, and then left the flatrack scene to Harley again


Here's some great info about how the CX powerplant ended up being used for dirt track racing. It seems the engine was adapted -- and severely so -- for that purpose, not originally designed for it. (It's a really interesting read.)



http://cx500forum.com/index.php?/to...3__hl__+dirt++track__fromsearch__1#entry28343
 

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Here's some great info about how the CX powerplant ended up being used for dirt track racing. It seems the engine was adapted -- and severely so -- for that purpose, not originally designed for it. (It's a really interesting read.)



http://cx500forum.com/index.php?/to...3__hl__+dirt++track__fromsearch__1#entry28343
I stand corrected. Wonder how wide the engine would be in a frame that allows the engine to sit sideways. A sprocket could be adapted to fit the output shaft. Final drive gearing changes would be simple.
 
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