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Hey all, found this forum by accident while looking for a place (online) to search for whoever the guy was that rebuilt the top end on my 1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador. I just want to let him know he did an outstanding job because it is still doing it's thing 25 years later. As you Guzzi heads out there know, the early motors had major issues with the chromed aluminum bores blistering and flaking etc. Well, this motor has cylinders with steel liners and supposedly Chevy 350 pistons. I've never had to do more than pull the heads off so have not seen more than the top of the pistons and cannot verify the pistons as Chevy but if it ain't true it's still a great story. In any case, I love my old guzzi and will keep it going as long as I can keep ridin it. It owes me, 'cause after working my ass off for 40+ years, raising 6 kids with my wife and co-signing for more student loans than I care to mention (6 bachelors and 4 masters degrees worth). I am ready to do at least some of the miles I've missed out on all these years. I look forward to making some friends here and sharing the knowledge I've gained as a machinist and mechanic over the years that has kept my cars and bikes going when I sure couldn't have afforded to pay somebody else to do the work. All the best, Pete "the guzzi guy"
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Sweet. Nice story.
My 53 Bentley had similar case hardening at the top of the bore. The machine shop drilled the block and pounded in liners from a Cat diesel. We had similar problems with the Yamaha 2 stroke race bikes. Was a good idea that did not work. An upgrade for your bike would be a decent disc or two up front. By now you will have the electric issues figured.
They were a nice steady bike to ride, and I preferred them to the BMW of the era. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sweet. Nice story.
My 53 Bentley had similar case hardening at the top of the bore. The machine shop drilled the block and pounded in liners from a Cat diesel. We had similar problems with the Yamaha 2 stroke race bikes. Was a good idea that did not work. An upgrade for your bike would be a decent disc or two up front. By now you will have the electric issues figured.
They were a nice steady bike to ride, and I preferred them to the BMW of the era. UK
Liners from a Cat diesel sounds like a Burt Monroe trick. I love that stuff. I hope to be firing up this bike by the weekend after 5 long years of not riding due to illness. I have thought about changing the front end but there's never been a lot of dough to put into it so that's still just a thought. The original drum front brake has a lot of stopping power IF you have enough grip strength to make it do its' thing. I used to ride a chopped 76 sportster with a 7 over girder, that had a single disc set up and would lock the wheel without much effort. Not something I like to do,
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so a drum that makes me work harder to stop faster is ok by me. Nice to touch base with someone so quickly, I think I'm going to enjoy this site more than I anticipated. Take care, Pete.
 

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Welcome to a fantastic Forum.
Sam:)
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Thanks Sam. I take it you're from MIssouri. I'm just north of Boston, Ma. Nice to meet you.
 

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I had a good friend in HS that was from Boston... his mom was a deep accent Boston gal.. everytime he parked his car in the stree in front of the house, kinda half way in the yard... we would hear her get home and yell in that Boston accent, "Matt, I said stap paaking yr cara in the yaad"

Ahh good times.. Welcome Sir!
 
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Although much of the Boston accent is for real, it's very easy to get carried away with some of it. When I was in the navy I was an accent sponge, I soaked up everyone else's accent. When I got out it took 6 months or more to stop pronouncing water as "wurter". Now I just say wata😂
 

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Fejrock, I believe that to really solidify our new friendship that you immediately send me a crate of LOBSTA, Various local Clams like my FAV, the quahog and a side order of fresh Clam Chowda. 😁

I traveled from Southern California many times to Boston and loved it there, second to the great sea food and hospitality in the Irish BAA's was the ancient history, everywhere ya looked! SALEM rocked my World and was a Paradigm shift because the first time I did the 'Witch hunt' tour, it was Foggy, cold and dreary and just thinking about what happened there was frightening! My Digital pictures looked otherworldly.

PS: I ate enough LOBSTA just across the border in Portland Maine, to KILL the average Gentile but I'd do it again if given the opportunity!

I've had 89 motorcycles in 59 years of riding but never a GOOTZIE but I will someday. Our nearest dealers at any compass setting are 150 miles away!

Sam🤠
 

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I've had 89 motorcycles in 59 years of riding but never a GOOTZIE but I will someday. Our nearest dealers at any compass setting are 150 miles away!
Sam🤠
I never owned one, but I rode and sold a bunch off them. Including the model the OP has. UK
 

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Welcome aboard.
 

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Welcome aboard, from Texas. Always wanted a gootzie but never managed to get one.
 

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Fejrock, I believe that to really solidify our new friendship that you immediately send me a crate of LOBSTA, Various local Clams like my FAV, the quahog and a side order of fresh Clam Chowda. 😁

I traveled from Southern California many times to Boston and loved it there, second to the great sea food and hospitality in the Irish BAA's was the ancient history, everywhere ya looked! SALEM rocked my World and was a Paradigm shift because the first time I did the 'Witch hunt' tour, it was Foggy, cold and dreary and just thinking about what happened there was frightening! My Digital pictures looked otherworldly.

PS: I ate enough LOBSTA just across the border in Portland Maine, to KILL the average Gentile but I'd do it again if given the opportunity!

I've had 89 motorcycles in 59 years of riding but never a GOOTZIE but I will someday. Our nearest dealers at any compass setting are 150 miles away!

Sam🤠

delivered to your door... fresh Main Blue Crab
 

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Hey all, found this forum by accident while looking for a place (online) to search for whoever the guy was that rebuilt the top end on my 1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador. I just want to let him know he did an outstanding job because it is still doing it's thing 25 years later. As you Guzzi heads out there know, the early motors had major issues with the chromed aluminum bores blistering and flaking etc. Well, this motor has cylinders with steel liners and supposedly Chevy 350 pistons. I've never had to do more than pull the heads off so have not seen more than the top of the pistons and cannot verify the pistons as Chevy but if it ain't true it's still a great story. In any case, I love my old guzzi and will keep it going as long as I can keep ridin it. It owes me, 'cause after working my ass off for 40+ years, raising 6 kids with my wife and co-signing for more student loans than I care to mention (6 bachelors and 4 masters degrees worth). I am ready to do at least some of the miles I've missed out on all these years. I look forward to making some friends here and sharing the knowledge I've gained as a machinist and mechanic over the years that has kept my cars and bikes going when I sure couldn't have afforded to pay somebody else to do the work. All the best, Pete "the guzzi guy"
I've owned an 850 Le Mans and SP1000. As I understand it, the chrome bores were quickly replaced with Nigusil, which is a nickel-silicon alloy applied to the cylinder walls.

If you want to keep the bike 'period' maybe look for a set of cylinders to match your bike...and NO...don't change the front end. Absolutely nothing wrong with leading shoe drum brakes.
 

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I've owned an 850 Le Mans and SP1000. As I understand it, the chrome bores were quickly replaced with Nigusil, which is a nickel-silicon alloy applied to the cylinder walls.

If you want to keep the bike 'period' maybe look for a set of cylinders to match your bike...and NO...don't change the front end. Absolutely nothing wrong with leading shoe drum brakes.
Care to post the stopping distance of an 850 with drum brakes.
The Yamaha road race bikes had 8 leading shoes, four on each side. Took a while to set up. They switched to a disc. UK
 

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Care to post the stopping distance of an 850 with drum brakes.
The Yamaha road race bikes had 8 leading shoes, four on each side. Took a while to set up. They switched to a disc. UK
There were no 850 Le Mans with front drum brakes.

Oh, and I did say: "If you want to keep the bike 'period'...
 

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You guys may have differing opinions but keep it civil please.
 

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To be clear.
I was the first to respond to the OP, and I said. " Sweet. Nice story "
I may also be the only person here, who sold Guzzi in that year, assembled and rode the bikes in that year. Further I said that I preferred them to BMW, which I also sold in that year. The Guzzi had the hardened liners that had similar problems to other manufacturers, and I mentioned Bentley and Yamaha, of which I owned both.
The Guzzi had a drum brake, and required 180 feet to stop from 60. A slightly newer CB400 took about 130 feet.
This is searchable for those that would like to do so. Guzzi were not the only poor stoppers of that era. Triumph and Norton were about as bad, but they weighed less. I owned a 71 Norton with a drum, and also sold Triumph. Triumph, Norton and Guzzi switched to discs, but the CB750 had them in 1969, a few years earlier. What the OP or any owner of these early bikes does with the front brake is their own choice.
My current XS400 is not that great at stopping, but still better than drum brake bikes.
My 68 Norton, had a 12 inch Lougheed, and a CB750 master cylinder and weighed about 320 pounds. It stopped okay.
We usually get a few Guzzis at the bike gang meetings every Sunday, including the newer bikes, and the old 850.
Sweet bike, and I would love to have one, but would probably go for a newer LeMans. UK
 
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