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Guzzi 1100 Custom build

Me too, for endless beers/cigars/whisky/coffee/brandy, I would be pestering you all the time. Fantastic work.

I miss my old neighbour... He lived next door for 20 years. He was a fantastic engineer, and a good friend. Sometimes I would be on the lathe and he would appear... and say "that tool isn't cutting right" and take it out, grind it up, and walk off! It was great to have someone to talk to, and bounce ideas off...

Sadly, he has dementia really bad now, and does not know who I am... its very sad.
Quite amazing!

but then for years and YEAR’S I’ve read about the English kit car industry and people starting a business out of their Sheds !
Your idea of a Shed and mine are NOT the same :)
8’ x 12’
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seat next… I needed to bend the front to clear the tank bolt… So I made a former to press it into shape. I also made a tool so I could press some dimples where the rivinuts go, to raise the seat a little so the seat doesn’t sit directly on the frame rails…

Things don’t always go to plan… I decided to mount the rear light on the frame, and cover with a piece of alloy… which I did, but then realised that on full bump the tyre would hit the plate! I had designed the rear to cater for full bump, but promptly forgot! I realised I needed to mount the light on the seat base, but I hate wires showing… so I decided to make a conduit out of copper tube so the wires can be hidden under the seat cushion.

The seat is off to the trimmers today. I have not used this guy before… The girl I used for years to trim my seats left the company she worked for… the last guy I used was OK, but no where near her standard. So lets see what this new guy is like… Oh, and here she is in the daylight for the first time in a while…




no matter how I tried I couldn’t get the number plate to look right on the rear of the bike… so on this build its going on the side, which kind of fits with the look I want to achieve…

Its been a while... I tend to have the summer off from garage projects, holidays, days out, bike rides take over! However I had a few spare days and thought I would make use of the warm days and paint the tank. It was badly damaged when I bought it, so I cut some holes in the underside and knocked the dents out. it takes an age to get it to shape, in fact as the metal had stretched, so I cut a 1mm slot in it, planished it, which closed the gap, and then welded the slot up! its nicely to shape, just the decals to put on now

Another little job was to redo the speedo… I want to keep this build as clean as I can and wanted a smaller speedo. I decided to use one of the cheap GPS modules which is just 55mm diameter. I made a new housing for it, and will finish the bracket off when I start the assembly. it been in the car for a week on test!




Beautiful work. You're a true craftsman.:clap:
thank you!

All finished... I always have my heart in my mouth on that last coat of lacquer over the decals!

I know a lot of people struggle with paintwork, its not that hard if you follow a process, so I have written a guide on my blog if anyone is interested...



Out in the sunshine for the first time in a while… I am now happy with the look, and it now all needs to come apart for the frame to be tided up and painted silver (matches my other bikes!) I will be doing a mechanical rebuild at the same time.


Here is the speedo and warning lights finished, I am pleased with how this has come out, i wanted this to be as clean as I could… as with all electronic components I like to rubber mount them… so I have used some small grommets and spacers. The GPS speedo has a nice little feature which tells you which direction you are traveling in!

Autumn arrives… Bike rides become less frequent, and the holiday and days out season slows down, so its back in the garage! the bike is now in the stage where all the fabrication is done and it all needs taking apart and cleaning and painting. Engine removal was quite easy with the removable frame rails and it was all soon apart and the engine and gearbox on the bench. I finished off all the welding on the frame and removed all the unused lugs to get that clean look, and sent it off to the powder coaters.


I will be doing a full engine gearbox and drive unit rebuild, mainly to vapour blast the cases. This of course means making a few special tools! First off was an extra long 32mm socket. I cut down a standard one and extended it with some thick wall tube.


next was a tool to undo the 27mm nut on the gearbox output shaft. you need to hold the shaft as well as turn the but so it needs to accommodate this. I used one of the spare Ducati wheel nut spanners I had laser cut years ago and bored it to shape on my new milling machine. Picture of that to follow!


next up took some thought… I needed to hold the shaft while I undid the nut. It would have been Ideal to use an old UJ but I didn’t have one… But what I did have was an old drive shaft. Out of this I made a stepped broach in the the lathe and then hardened it. With this I was able to broach a set of splines in a block of 10mm alloy, cut to fit a large spanner. It worked a treat!


finally, I made a tool to remove the castellated nut on the input shaft from an old socket, and a tool to hold the clutch hub from an old clutch plate. I think that may be it as far as special tools go!


I have been debating replacing my milling machine for a long time… but I have had it for almost 45 years and its like an old friend! over the years it done a lot of work, but its a 1929 machine and has its limitations! When my wife asked me what I wanted for my Birthday it was an easy answer! The old machine has gone to a good home where I know it will be looked after and used…

What did you use to remove all the pitting ?

Um, The only thing is now you've removed Mass / surface area = cooling.

Being in the Arm chair - I have No idea how much engineering goes into the overall design, computing the surface area and amount of metal used, understanding that it will be able to dissipate X amount of heat...
What did you use to remove all the pitting ?

Um, The only thing is now you've removed Mass / surface area = cooling.

Being in the Arm chair - I have No idea how much engineering goes into the overall design, computing the surface area and amount of metal used, understanding that it will be able to dissipate X amount of heat...
scotchbrite to remove the pitting... I will polish them later

On the cooling front, air cooled engines are designed for a variety of climates.... these are used in the desert so here in the UK they are probably well over cooled anyway. I really don't think it will make any difference
Time to overhall the hydraulics… just waiting for some new bolts to assemble the callipers. everything was in surprisingly good condition, just a strip and rebuild needed. Then onto the job I hate most… Polishing! I have a 2 HP 3000 RPM motor I use for this. Its a long, filthy and somewhat dangerous job. I try to do it all in one day as you get filthy, and its the sort of dirt that won’t wash off with hand soap, so I have to use washing up liquid!

I have also rebuilt the forks and put in new seals and dust covers, and some fresh oil. they are very simple forks, no where near the sophistication of the Ducati ones I normally do!


I have read on a few forums that over the miles the preload on the pinion bearings gets loose, and sure enough it spun Just a little too free. So I removed a thin shim and re-torqued it up after inspecting the bearings which were like new. I couldn’t use a torque wrench so I used a balance on a long spanner and calculated the pull needed for the correct torque.