Frame weld repair

MoT revealed a crack in the front down tube of my 1100i Cali.

I would prefer to swap the frame, but finding a used frame with V5 is proving difficult. Frames without V5 are to be had, but difficulties arise over legitimate title and the fact that the previous owner has broken the rules and used the frame number for his Triking kit. Not worth the bother to get a new V5 and at the same time probably land the PO in the fertiliser. (If anyone is interested then I can post the DVLA position on re-using a second hand frame). Alternative is single vehicle inspection and a “Q” plate which is costly and lands you with an un-salebale bike.

So the logical option is to strip the bike down to make the crack accessible and get someone with the necessary TIG-welding skills to do a “proper” repair.

That is where you guys come in. Anyone that you could recommend in the Derby/Burton locality?

Some sort of custom bike shop should be able to to a good job I would have thought - they being used to frame modifications and the like. Down here I’d use Clive at So-Low (nr. Stowmarket). Not sure about your neck of the woods mind.

I’m not an expert, but I understand it is necessary to actually insert a section of tube inside to achieve good frame strength - just welding up the crack in the existing tube without any reinforcement may not be good enough. As Butch says, though, the custom people are used to doing this.

I got a frame with V5 (T3) from a well known Northern based Guzzi breakers. The engine went to a three-wheeler kit, but the reg wasn’t used on the trike so the frame is pukka and in my name. You could try them, or if it suits you mine might be for sale, though I had planned on keeping it for a future project. May be a tad too old for you though.

You can get a full strength butt weld without an inner backing plate (tube) but the crack would have to be ground out into a V shape before welding. Best done by an expert, as Butch says a custom shop or a frame maker.

Any use i have a spada2 frame with V5

Just a thought, is not the latter 1100i version frame a ‘tall headstock’ type?

As Chris said…needs v ing to fill with weld…give us a pm if you cant find anybody to do it…we in Stoke…

Strip it down, send it to Maidstone Motoliner, they’re THE people in the UK to do this kind of job:

Good call Adam, but the OP is in Derbyshire, there must be top welders within a short car journey? Any ideas?

Dunno, with a frame I wouldn’t mess around. Can’t cost much to courier it to them. I wouldn’t want to ride any bike that had suffered a cracked frame unless I knew it had been seen to by top experts, and not just a welder, but that’s just me…

There is a guy in Hinckley selling a High Neck California frame. I have had a few bits of the bike. It’s been broken as it had a fire in the electrics under the seat and was uneconomic to repair rather than having been wrapped around a tree. I did look at buying the whole bike before hand, but it was a bit of a gamble at the price he was wanting.
£400 is a bit pricey for a frame. I managed to knock him down a bit on the bits I bought. It would be worth a haggle . His number is 07870 984522 if you want to ring him.

This is the listing for the whole bike

"NOT JUST A WELDER " I’ll have you know that unlike most other trades ,welders have to produce a test piece for inspection each year if they are to weld pressure vessels ,load bearing structures and anything that people are supported on .
Any coded welder would know exactly how to repair that crack .

Wups! Apologies for not responding quicker to the replies…

I seem to have caused offence with the “just a welder” line: not my intention to disparage welders individually or as a whole. (I used to manage over hundred of them, plus welding supervision and welding engineers).

What I intended to convey that “just repair or ‘cut & butt’ welding” is not a sensible solution at all in such a critical area of the frame. (Just below the steering head). It is not the same as the original manufacturing joints in a jigged frame assembly.

In any case, and for update I have acquired a frame of the correct model (certified the frame number series via the Dutch Guzzi Owners website database), sorted the V5 and am prepping for blasting and coating. Slow progress due to the bloomin’ cold! Then it is rebuild time. Taking the opportunity to renew the steering head bearings, do the starter wiring mod and tidy up the wiring harness & fuel pipes.

Good Job I have a standby Cali to ride.