Italians: For every solution there is a problem – column

Dear Classic Lover

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I'm not a real tech. But I'm pretty handy. But anything electrical can count on my honest suspicion. Despite this, I have ridden on old, fat Guzzi's for the past 25 years without any problems. The electrical problems that occurred were effectively tackled by continuously leading new electrical cords directly to their thought ignition points. This effectively bridged all kinds of inconvenience like the original switches, relays, fuses and more of that nonsense. It got a bit of pressure on the positive terminal of the battery in the end, but it worked.

The trend break

When I bought myself a small Guzzi I thought life would go on just as smoothly. But my V65C turned out to be blessed with bizarre solutions where the problems were just thought of. A jiffy with a tip-over guarantee, an air filter that seemed to be replaced only by a trained gynecologist with fingers like tubifex. A rear tire that didn't fit between the swingarm legs… Some more of that posturing. And electrically there was also something to do left and right. But that was a matter of some tweaking of things tests. And that was fine to live with.

Neither mechanical nor electrical

There were also some caveats in terms of carburetion. With 1 in 12 is a quietly ridden 650 cc twin quite thirsty. Fortunately, the V65 T has a small tank. So refueling remained affordable, but still. The installation of the K&N filter – Jan Robers sent them in with the accompanying nozzles – did not do much good. The engine was running so rich that the nose of the left (why the left?) spark plug tended to get so wet that the spark plug kept tripping. NGK spark plugs can't stand wet noses. But mounting Bosch spark plugs with a somewhat larger self-cleaning character did not change much. Not even when the needles in the carburettors were turned down a notch. But it turned out that there were once extra thirsty Dell'Ortos for V65s. Teun Beuzel supplied a set of other used carburettors under the motto: “Try those”. After that, the Guzzi ran something from 1 to 16.

In the meantime, the V65 got a fresh battery and a new starter motor

The starter motors of Starting and Charging are Chinese Valeo imitations and they cost €59. The problems persisted. On the left, the V-twin was as unpredictable as a drunken mob with a stiletto and bad temper. That turned out to be due to a failing ignition coil. Then came fresh starting problems. Even with the fresh battery, pressing the start button often resulted in a despondent 'tick tap' from the starter motor relay. At least: If the engine didn't fire at first glance at that start button. The charging current was 13,2 V. That seemed a little low. But the battery voltage was all right. And then that hassle. The Guzzi's have always been my daily runners. But this story faltered.

In case of despair & panic: Call Jan!

If you can't figure it out yourself, there are internet forums and there is youtube. I am very careful with the posts on forums. The MGCN site is very informative, but that didn't get me going either. But if despair is really near, then I dare to bother Jan Keijzer. Because where I want to hide crying under a rock, Jan gently raises an eyebrow and at least has a clear analysis and a suitable solution. So I took advice. And then you get something very surprising. A story as you can only get with Italian motorcycles and cars:

Hi Jan,
The charging current of my Guzzi is max. 13,2 V. That seems rather thin to me. Of course I bought new carbon brushes from JR and I hope that solves the problem. I'm going to set it up soon. Putting a new 9V battery in my AVO immediately gave a happy result.

So the question is: Are they indeed the carbon brushes? Or in your esteemed view could the voltage regulator also be the culprit?
Sometimes start a bit rough. Some yodeling on the start button then gives the relay tick. But at a certain point he does pick up and of course he walks nicely.

In the meantime, the thing is so good that it deserves a fresh rear tire?
Thanks in advance for the spiritual help,


Hello Dolf
I wouldn't worry about 13,2 volts. That starting (or rather not wanting to immediately) has a different cause. There is a story about this at the MGCN Forum in the Vade Mecum.
What it roughly comes down to is that there are too many consumers running over the ignition.
For the starter relay, both the control current and the main current, there is so much voltage that the relay on the starter motor does attract something, but not enough to close the main contact. The solution is to get the main current for the auxiliary starter relay directly from the battery and only the control current from the ignition.

But almost every Guzzi rider knows how to start it with a teaspoon. Engine on contact and connect with the spoon to the thick plus and the tab on the back of the starter motor.

Greetings Jan

Okay: so a highly original, surprising and pointless approach ex-factory

That's what Mandello's men have apparently focused on. I think with a relay and a British Style start button I'll just pull a direct connection to rule the Italian madness. But just to be sure, I first take them out of the cutlery drawer with a teaspoon.

For the rest I'm still happy with my V65C. It's all 'character'. You can live with that. And the longer you are together, the better you get to know each other. I believe in long relationships. And in the end everything will be fine.

Wiring harness with new twigs

A Chinese Valeo

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    • A smart phone is handy. Then you can call family, friends or the Road Guard to tell them where you are now. In practice, it often works. But I've ridden fat Guzzies for 25 years with almost no problems. My 650 is a lovely thing. And I'll get those quirks out. MW motors have a lot of knowledge, Teun Beezel has all the used parts and the forum of the Guzziclub is the only forum I dare to use blindly

  1. If that plug spaghetti is still the case, I would really start remediating here. In other words: you don't have to be afraid of the police..., you have to be afraid of the fire brigade 😟😟

      • Not unfamiliar to the fire brigade at a Duc, I myself experienced twice that after switching on the ignition, the wiring completely melted away and all fuses (6 pieces) in the headlight were still intact. How is that possible. The fire brigade was not necessary, but a few good air fresheners for the shed to get the smell out.

      • That's a nice conclusion, Dolf.
        When I saw the plugs I immediately thought of the Freya. But that was an Italian train, not without risk.

        Ps I'm just kidding 😉. But bad plugs can cause a lot of trouble, I just wanted to say.

  2. don't forget UK Lucas, the Prince of darkness and also everything Bosch is a great droublemaker,
    indeed Japanese electronics are the most reliable!

    • On the other hand: I had a Suzuki XV or Vx 800. And 1990-1991 was apparently the time Suzuki had cut back on electrics. Never had so many problems with that thing! Left or right: we are of course just busy with old stuff. That's what makes it so much fun.

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