Removing rear wheel from a loop frame

An embarrassing neophyte question here.
I’ve recently acquired a 1973 Eldorado, and haven’t ridden a bike in close to 25 years.
Just trying to bring it up to ship shape condition at the moment.

A previous owner has fitted a 16" rear wheel, but I also have an 18" wheel that came with it, and want to put that back on.

Is it possible to remove the rear wheel without taking off the mudguard or tipping the bike over on its side ? I tried today, but didn’t get too far. Just can’t get the wheel out, so I reassembled everything.

Have read that putting some blocks of wood under the centre stand would help. Any truth in this ?

I’ll be back with more very basic questions over the next few weeks.
Thank for any info.

Not specifically an Eldorado owner, here, and hopefully one will be along with spot-on guidance, but able to share experiences as a “neophyte” in the same boat, a few years back, with a 1000SP.

First off, if you don’t already have one: a parts diagram is a great aid in understanding what bits go together (and how) in the various assemblies - I get mine from TLM[.]NL - Moto Guzzi Onderdeelboeken - TLM Nijmegen

I tried the “blocks of wood” trick, and found - on my own - that I got into one or two rather precarious situations. In the event, I came to learn that taking the mudguard assembly off (my bike) was actually less fraught, and gave me the additional bonus of the opportunity to clean that area more thoroughly, inspect, and - in my case - consider the location of the connectors for the rear electricals (making it a slightly more QD assembly).

I also found a ‘scissor lift’ under the sump to be useful for all manner of operations. Example: Motorcycle Scissor Stand with Pad, 450kg (04991) | Draper Tools

Having an extra pair of hands stood by, drinking tea, is a good bet, too (o;

16" wheel? Did it once have a sidecar fitted, perhaps? Wonder if that implies anything else that might deserve adjustment/replacement/removal? Others will know better.

Enjoy your Eldorado!

Thanks, Barry,
Only thing really stopping me from taking off the mudguard is the wiring, which seems to come straight through to the tail light without any convenient connectors. More investigation needed at the weekend.

The 16" wheel is interesting.
This is a US import, and an ex-police bike. Now while most US police departments were happy with the standard rear wheel, I’ve read that the California Highway Patrol specified a 16" wheel on their Guzzis. Why I don’t know. So it could originally have been a CHP bike.

Alternatively, the Cycle Garden website says they often put a 16" rear wheel on bike to give a “lowered” look. Anyway, I hate the look of it, and an 18" wheel came with the bike, so I’ll be putting that on.

One problem it raises is that it’s pretty much impossible to get the bike on the centre stand with the 16" wheel. Not enough clearance to get the stand down. I end up rolling the back wheel up onto a plank so I can get more ground clearance and get leverage on the stand.

“the wiring, which seems to come straight through to the tail light without any convenient connectors” - I know what you mean, hence “consider the location of the connectors” on mine. They weren’t in a convenient place, they now are (o;

Appreciate the “tell us more” on the 16" wheel. I see your dilemma. You’ll be happy to have that resolved, I’m sure (o;

Yes, you can do it without taking the mudguard off.
Mine has panniers so I normally take those off, and the silencers. They come off as a pair with the balance pipe more easily than just taking the left one off.
But you need about 4 inches of ground clearance to allow the wheel to drop down before you can wriggle it out from the swinging arm. Best would be a bike lift with removable rear section, but I have used a block of wood under the mainstand which can be potentially unsafe. My better option has been to use 2 short planks and run the bike up onto them so that the front wheel and mainstand are on one, and the rear wheel on the other. Once the bike is on the stand, remove the rear plank.


Changing from a 16 to 18 inch wheel is going to have a significant effect on the gearing. Have you ridden it on the road yet? Is it undergeared? Changing ratios in a bevel box is not possible. An interesting situation

The 18" wheel would be the stock one.

The 16" is not original.

Posted this same question on an American Guzzi forum and among the replies was this…

Put the bike on the center stand and remove the front wheel and set the bike on the front forks. Your back wheel will be up in the air to easily remove. I do it all the time with my V11 EV.

I had the same issue with my Cali Vintage but found that my removing the two screws which hold the front of the rear mudguard I could rotate the mudguard as I rolled the rear wheel out. I appreciate that the frame design at the rear of your Eldorado is different from the Cali V but maybe a slight variation of this method might work for you.

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