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Centauro that has sat for years?

Discussion in 'Spine' started by 56Steve, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. 56Steve

    56Steve Just got it firing!

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    I may be buying a 98 Centauro that has sat for years,my late friend was going to do the belts but never got to it. The gas was drained,tank is off, so what should I look for to bring this bike back to life? Right now my newest Guzzi is my 77 LeMans. which I brought back from being crashed and burned. Am I nuts getting involved with this? I know it has the Creedon chip in it.
     
  2. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Personally I wouldn't touch that bike. You can't start off easily with it, you have to "Launch" it as it is geared high. Also changing belts is a difficult task and not easily performed without all the Guzzi special tools which seem to be no longer available. As you can probably tell I'm not a fan of 4 valve head Guzzis. I think you will get enjoyment from your 77 LeMans, and frustration from the Centaro.
     
  3. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    The centauro was always what we in the UK call a "marmite" bike, either loved or hated. But I know several owners who would not part with theirs.
     
  4. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    As long as you know what you are getting into, and it is priced accordingly, it should be fine.
    I have a Daytona, with basically the same drivetrain.
    The gearing was not that bad stock, but mine now has the guts from a Cali in the transmission case. That was done on the advice of Pete Roper.
    I have the special tool for adjusting the belts. But it is a stupid tool and not really needed. They are belts for F's sake. They need to be tight enough without being too tight. It isn't rocket science.
    I would change the belts, as the old belts "might" break, and if they break bad things happen. It would be wise to replace the belts. The fuel injection system is fairly tolerant of sitting, and it is possible that if you change the belts and all the required fluids (including the gas) it may start right up. If it doesn't, you may need to have the injectors cleaned, and there is a small chance that the fuel pump might need to be replaced if it doesn't pump. But there is nothing about that bike mechanically that is fundamentally different than how other modern motors work. Suck, squeeze, bang, blow.

    Personally, I would be interested in it if the price is right. Those are cool Guzzi's, they are the ideological predecessor to the Griso. And they don't make them like that anymore.
     
  5. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    When I encountered a belt job on one of these engines, belts had been removed, but nothing marked. I had to go through the whole degree wheel, valve lifter timing procedure. It wasn't a fun task.
     
  6. 56Steve

    56Steve Just got it firing!

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    I know what I'm getting into... I think. I have a coupe of friends who used to work for a Guzzi dealer (Marsh MC in CT0) back in the day and they have worked on them but don't love them. I just think they are a neat bike and nothing looks like they do! If I get it it will be more of a poseur then a daily driver ,I have other bikes for that, mainly my Buell Uly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  7. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    But in this case the belts are still fitted, so as long as everything is properly marked it shouldn't be so much of a task.
    And all manufacturers who use cam belts have special tools for tensioning them. Invariably they are not required in practice. I've done several with no problems at all.
     
  8. 56Steve

    56Steve Just got it firing!

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    What would be a fair offer? No running going to need tires,belts,battery builds all the usual .
     
  9. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    That is a tough one. "Fair" for a bike like that can be very subjective. I would not pay more than 3 grand for a Centauro that is not running. And that would be if the bike was otherwise in mint condition. From there, start deducting for things like tires, battery, cosmetic issues, whatever is going to either cost you money or reduce the value of the bike.
    I figure in great shape it might be worth 5 grand. So, not running would take 2 grand off that minimum. It sounds like it won't take much to get this one running, but there is an element of gamble in it.
    I paid 6 grand for my Daytona, but they are more valuable than the Centauro and my Daytona was in great running shape. But if a deal like that came along to me I would definitely consider up to 3 grand for it. More than that and they would have to get it running properly first.
    But, to be clear, this numbers are only from my own head. In the end, a bike like a Centauro is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And the pool of people willing to buy one is pretty small (sadly).
     
  10. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    My 98 Centauro sat in a bike shop for years with only 1500 miles, staintune exhaust & modified chip.
    I bought it in 2017, changed all the rubber hoses, oil & filter (1998 stamped on it), put petrol in it & immediately added another 1500 miles.
    They are cool machines being basically a Daytona in "Drag"Ididnt like the styling (particularly rhe rear), So now has 1100 Sport tank & rear fairing (bolts straight on if you lift & space the rear of the subframe), with 70's full fairing & rebadged 992 Sport.
    Well worth the money - these iconoc 4 valve motors are the heritage of the modern Guzzi's & in my opinion one of the best looking.
    I now need to change the belts for peace of mind & add more miles listening to that wonderful Guzzi beat.
     
  11. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    Good to hear. I am also a fan of the older 4 valve motors. They have a feel, like a hot rod tractor, that the newer Guzzi's don't have. Not that there is anything wrong with the new ones, but they are a little too refined sometimes.
    My Daytona has a V11 rear subframe and seat section on it. It took a little doing, I had to make some adapt-a-kit for it. But it is more comfortable for the old guy that rides it.
     
  12. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Yep Agreed.
    This ol bugga has gorilla arms (long reach in Archery terms) so am comfortable with the riding position of both (even repostioned the V10 pegs same as my 96 Sport).
    My tuned 96 Sport runs smooth & pulls so hard it would be hard to beat as a long distance 2up tourer.
    Happy to stay with both for a long time to come.
    Changing the V10 belts looks challenging - just trying to get the front cover off now - sheesk.
    Think I would be bored if I couldnt twiddle with them.
     
  13. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Be sure to index mark everything for the installing the new belts. If anything moves, there is hell to pay setting it back up again.
     
  14. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Thanks John,
    Can appreciate that & notice the valve gear has a lot of rotational input.
    But here's my conundrum.
    The bike now has 2980 miles on it, the last ride being a 500 mile round trip.
    Because of what I have read & the bike is 20 years old, I bought new belts from TLM last year & note neither the belts or the receipts states any date of manufacture.
    Having just inspected the belts in the bike - they look as good as any new ones.
    There was only a slight dust film in the cases, belts have no creases, splits or cracks and the long untensioned side can be twisted to 45 degrees by hand so they have good tension, also there was no rusting of the teeth of the lower drive gears.
    The tension rollers had a few black marks which I cleaned up easily & I have wiped out the dust film in the cases.
    What's to say these belts won't do another 1000 miles b4 a re- inspect, & how do I know the new belts I purchased were not made in 1998?.
    I inspected thoroughly turning the motor by hand & am inclined to go with this descision, unless there are previous cases of aged belts self destructing, in which case I'm not to pigheaded to listen to better advice.
     
  15. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Bigbear,

    There is probably no accurate way to predict failure. The rubber in these belts is not exposed to sun light, but are exposed to heat. You may be OK doing an annual inspection. However be warned, it one fails while running it will make a real mess of that side of the engine. Do store the replacement belts out of sunlight and in a controlled environment (no large temperature swings).
     
  16. johnno

    johnno Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I have been looking into buying a Daytona and have been advised to change belt to the latest type which I believe have Kevlar in . For the sake of a bit of money I wouldn't even start the bike up ,if it does go bang that's a lot of money to find .
     
  17. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Hi Johnno,
    I hear you. Any heads up on who sells such belts??
     
  18. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Hi
    Hi GuzziMoto,
    Just read a thread of yours Dec 2017 re collectors for V11 & Todds subsequent reply & link to Dyno tests of V11,s with & without airbox plus different. Exhaust crossovers.
    Very enlightening, so I really must save some cash & stick my 96 Sport on a Dyno to satisfy my own curiosity.
    Have been constantly doing small tuning upgrades over the years, & one of the biggest improvements was ditching the Mistral crossover for the original SS collector, which then required minor re-jetting / needle changes, (after reading a Dr John comment that the 1100 made more hp from the collector than any other engine mod ) obviously has some merit after reading Todds dyno link results.
    The result is a very smooth tractable bike that just gets into the groove at 4500 rpm ( no flat spot) & really lights up after 5000 rpm, so much so that if I'm silly enuf to give her WOT she will pull through to 7000 rpm so rapidly I must upshift quickly to ovoid seeing 8000rpm - I want my bike for a long time - not a short time.
     
  19. 56Steve

    56Steve Just got it firing!

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    Well it is finally in my garage, along with it's cohort a 98 EV. The EV will get attention first, the trans was out so that had to be put back together and rolling before I get to the Centauro, plus it winter just set in and it's cold out in the garage.
     
  20. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    No how you feel about working in a cold garage - that why it's taken me 2 years to finally finish my conversion from Centauro to 992 Sport.
    there's a lot that can be done to tidy every thing up when replacing all the old fuel lines. Like why did Guzzi put the fuel pump out front & the filter ( which needs replacing occasionally) under the spine & fuel tank?! (So now I have a quick release mounted filter at the front).
    I've learnt a lot doing all this - & no better place than this forum to ask - lots of helpful people.
     

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