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Moto Guzzi v65 1981 650 by Guy Vickerman

Forty years of procrastination comes to an end!


Not many can be crass enough to admit to the above. After a shaky attempt to run a Yamaha AT125 with a good motor, great brakes and ridiculous gearing in the very early 70’s at Lakeside I can safely admit that ‘Life got in the way’.

Watching friends enjoying the fruits of their mechanical labours has spurred me on to build a track bike so now is the chance and a highly abused Moto Guzzi V65 came my way just recently. After a few false starts with piles of aging Enfield’s (which are still in the pot) I opted for something which should be reliable and stay together to get a few track miles under my belt before the curtain of grey descends. Familiarity with Guzzi’s and the V50 being light and handling like a dream would be a good starting point if something similar with a bit more ‘oomph’ could be found!

Lots of reading and applying some of what I learned by building an Nb Mini went into the heads, inlet manifolds and pipes, a cam from the usual supplier with a few tweaks and all else standard makes up the package. Neal G gave me a set of clip-on’s and the pegs looked a little low so a convenient gearbox bolt hole provided a new position with a fabricated (I will not say from what) pedal made a brake and folding pegs with lathe, file and drill. A trip to the wrecker found a plastic mudguard for the rear and a rummage in the shed produced a positively ‘twee’ aluminium front guard of indeterminate origin. Safe to say it is MUCH older than the bike it now adorns. The seat is a story in itself.

A complete strip down to find the clutch plate had exploded ( how could you do that to a Guzzi?) and a new thrust race, box and tail shaft are fine, new brake pads and rebuilt callipers and a new set of home made bell mouths for the carb’s. Pipes are not what they seem and had to be modified and fitted to save the neighbours ear drums.

Now we will have to see if it will do the job and the first outing will be the “Big Chill” at Carnell Raceway so we hope to see you all there.

Great racing!   Guy Vickerman

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