Local to me owner with an

My local VMCC section (Northants) newsletter had a request for help from a local guy that has recently bought an American import 1971 V7 Ambassador.
I have had a chat with him and he has a couple of issues.

Performance - He is saying it seems to be a bit sluggish, mentioning it will cruise at 70 but seems unwilling to do much more. It’s a 4 speed box and he’s saying it seems reluctant to accelerate when in top. What sort of performance should he be getting from an old loop frame? I’ve told him to strip and clean the carbs, which he is going to tackle soon. He’s gone through the basics, timing is spot on, compression seems to be good. It does have cone type filters instead of the standard air box.

He says the twin leading shoe front brake is disappointing, I have read these aren’t great, but can be improved with new linings and careful setting up. There was a recent thread about a similar bike that recommended Friction Services near Bristol. Any particular tips for setting up the twin leading brake? I’ve never owned one myself and I don’t think he has either.

I’ve recently refubished a 1968 v750 Ambassador. I’m not too far away in Tring (Herts) . Mine also was and import from the states…I feel his pain.

Performance- You should be able to get well north of 70mph with ease. Check the balance of the carbs. I bought a couple of spiggots from ebay so I could connect a decent balancer. Might also be worth stripping the carbs. Mine had odd slides and needles. It was as if they just slapped in what was lying about the shed. I’ve got a copy of Guzziology, it might be of help to make sure you’ve got the right jets and slides.

Four speed box- It clunky but it works… once you’ve got the hang of it. The plus side it rarely gives any problems.

Front brake- I’ve spent alot of time setting mine up(again with th instructions from Guzziology) and have put new shoes on it. When you pull the lever it still feels like a request to decelerate.
Basically setting them up…remove cable, diconnect the bar between the two levers. Push the levrs so the shoes are against the drum. Refit the bar after you’ve wound it out the the right gap…that’s it.

Most of the infomation he needs will be found in Guzziology or Loop frames - Moto Guzzi - Topics - Gregory Bender .

Good luck

I agree with the comments about the twin leader brake, my bike has one on the back wheel. I also have a twin leader on the front of my Triumph. If the shoes are not acting together then the brake is worse than a single leader. I need an assistant to help me set it up properly, take off the linking rod as noted above and then with a mole wrench on each lever the willing assistant holds the shoes tight to the drum whilst I replace the linking rod and adjust to suit. If your levers are decorative and highly polished then wrap the mole wrench jaws with stout cloth. After setting the brake up like this adjust the operating rod/cable to suit.

I always consider my drum brake as decorative as I can lock the back wheel by swiftly changing down a couple of gears. This used to happen regularly until I swapped the gear and brake lever sides to match my Triumph. When I get the Guzzi back on the road I suspect the same thing will happen again as I am now used to the other way around having had 1100 Sport, Spada III and now a Stelvio since riding the old girl! :unamused:

Has he done the timing static or dynamic with a strobe? Presumably valve clearances are all ok?

I think he said he had done the timing by strobe. He did say he followed some instructions he found on Greg Benders This old Tractor website.

Hi Chris, I’ll be happy to act as your assistant. I’m in Essex, as you know, and I’m now retired, so I have plenty of time on my hands.


Thanks Richard, but I still have the forks, swinging arm and wheels to fit before I start thinking about brakes! :unamused:

Don Spada
Maybe worth trying it without the filters on.

I’ve not heard from him for a while to see how he got on with cleaning the carbs out etc. It must be time for a catch up.