Thursday, August 6, 2015


The process of changing a front tire is nearly as straightforward as the rear, but adds a few steps. The center stand will be required along with some kind of support under the skid plate. 

The lift table with this size bike is more difficult than it's worth. You can back the bike into the wheel chock and jack up the front. The center stand eliminates this need and makes the process easy. I use a Handy Industries scissor jack under the skid plate to keep the front off the ground. I run the jack up so the rear tire is touching the ground to keep the bike stable. Be careful as the center stand is not very wide and the bike has the possibility of falling over. 

I was able to get 15k miles out of the front tire and the calipers were in need of a cleaning.

Removing the mud guard for cleaning everything and more room to work...

Remove the axle nut and nearly remove the (4) pinch bolts. Tap the axle out while supporting the tire.

I remove the caliper pins and pads to ultrasonic soak the calipers themselves. All the hardware from removing the tire goes into the ultrasonic cleaner as well to remove all brake dust funk.

I had an issue with some slow speed brake pulsing due to some pitting at the same point on both rotors. I removed, roughed up all brake surfaces, and offset the pitted spot to help reduce the pulsing. This allowed a good cleaning of the spokes and brake discs. Be aware of the directional arrow on each disc and the ABS wheel. 
25NM torque. 

 Re-install axle, torque nut to 50NM, tighten pinch bolts CAREFULLY to ONLY 10NM. 
Reinstall the assembled calipers at 25 NM.

Mudguard back in place, ABS wire re-attached to the brake line on right side, test ride to verify install. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


The process of changing a tire is straightforward on the Stelvio due to the sidestand and single sided swingarm. Not too difficult, but the process is shown below.

I perform all of my work on a motorcycle lift table. This holds the front wheel steady, but prevents the use of the center stand. Using a small jack carefully on the suspension pivot allows the stand to be used while on the table. This job is rated as a one beer (cider) job.

I also tie the forks to help stabilize the bike on the table. Running a 1" pipe through the table base at floor level can also add some lateral support to prevent table flip-over if performing some more involved work.

Prior to removing the wheel, the caliper needs to come off first. These are (2) 13mm bolts to easily slide the caliper out of the way.

I check the brake pads for wear (15k miles here), remove the pads, clean the caliper, re-grease the floating pins.

Prior to reassembly, the caliper (minus pads) goes for an ultrasonic soak. This does a fantastic job of cleaning the entire caliper. Solvent temp is raised to ~100-120 deg F by a stainless fish tank heater prior to a 5-10 minute ultrasonic run.

Check the fluid level and look for any water contamination in the CARC oil as long as we are in here...

Buttoned up and ready for the front tire...

Monday, July 13, 2015


Somewhat common issue that some NTX owners are finding- blowing out exhaust gaskets on the connection to the cross over pipe. 

Due to the engine vibration and heat cycling of the pipes, all owners should be prepared to deal with this, usually at the worst time. Running with a blown gasket isn't a problem short term, but the noise is not always pleasant to the rider or people around the motorcycle.  Getting in front of this is best handled by checking the two crossover clamps on a regular basis as well as the crossover to muffler clamp. The two joints in the first photo are the most problematic.

Parts needed:
Exhaust Gasket (Cross over x2) Guzzi #GU06123500
AF1 racing ($26)
MG cycle ($23)
Kawasaki part will also work ($12)- #11060-1330

Exhaust Gasket (Head to pipe x2- not usually needed) Guzzi #976376
AF1 racing ($6)

Exhuast Gasket (Cross over to Muffler x1- not usually needed) Guzzi #GU05128230
AF1 racing ($40)

MG cycle ($39)

Below is viewed after you are aware of the problem. The problem begins fairly quickly (noise) and the gasket will be gone in less than a mile of riding.

The gasket is not found after pulling the pipe apart. 
The right side gasket was this problem. This procedure can be used for both sides.
Remove O2 sensor- This will make getting the pipe fully out much easier. Follow the connector from the O2 sensor, unplug connector, re-route wire, and remove from head pipe.

Remove the two nuts/washers that retain the headpipe. Be careful not to damage the head exhaust gasket by pulling straight out. Be careful not to damage the gasket on the studs or frame.

The cleaned up pipe, O2 sensor removed, and new gasket. The cross over pipe may need to have the female section opened up to allow the gasket to fit. I used an adjustable wrench to carefully open up all four flanges evenly. The gasket should slip in with little drama. The clamp should go on next prior to placing the pipe back in. 

Get everything in line, tighten the head retainer (make sure the retainer is in the correct direction- see other side), and tighten the exhaust clamp last. Place the O2 sensor back in place, re-route the wire, replace connector, and replace any tie-wraps that were removed. The O2 wire runs by some suspension parts, so be aware of any interference. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Replacement locks for top and side cases

The locks that come standard on the SWM cases (Guzzi standard equipment) are quite bad. These are single bit (single sided) type that have been upgraded to a newer double bit type. The locks are MUCH easier to open and now I have one key that operates the side and top cases.

Thanks to Peter Y for the tip on Wild Guzzi

Twisted Throttle (US importer of SWM equipment) sells an upgraded lock type for the Guzzi side cases. Part number ALK.00.165.16302 for the 6 lock set (including topcase). 

The photos on the web page show the older type, but the upgraded units are what I received. $26 +shipping includes 2 keys, new retention clips, and 6 locks:

Easy to install by prying the old clips off, inserting new lock, and re-inserting the clips.

Old keys/locks on the left, new double bit keys and locks on the right. Major improvement.

The update latch style is shown below and the updated locks should be able to be used as-is:

Owners of the older style latches shown below have mentioned that transferring the older dog-legged 'latch' from the original locks to the new was required for proper operation, but do function once performed:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Big bikes hit the scale

Factory claimed weights can be all over the place...a lot of them can be flat out lies. Checking the bike on a scale usually puts perspective on actual bike heft. Scale is correct with my own weight alone and on each bike (when subtracted from total).

Scale is a truck trailer type. 
Scale rounds to the nearest 10 lbs. 

First up, 2008 KTM 990 ADV. The bike is stock with the following items added: Touratech skid plate, stainless rear rack, Touratech GPS mount with Garmin GPS, rear plate replaced with Pelican case with tire repair kit and mini air compressor. Factory tool kit on board with one or two additional tools. Front tube hidden in faring. Hepco-Becker crash bars and rear rack. PIAA aux lamps mounted to crash bars. Handle bars on ROX risers and filled with lead shot. KTM tank bag mounted, but only rain cover in it.
Tanks filled just prior to getting on the scale.
Weight as described- 570lbs.

Next up, 2013 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX. The bike is stock with all equipment as delivered except the side cases (racks, crash bars, skid plate, aux lamps). Item added: Touratech GPS mount with XM antenna, Wunderlich windshield extension. Factory tool kit and tire repair kit with mini air compressor. Tank bag installed, but empty. 
Tank filled just prior to getting on the scale.
Weight as described- 660lbs.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Revised cross bar for Enduro Engineering mount

The basic Enduro Engineering GPS mount works very well for mounting the Touratech cradle. The bar diameter makes mounting other items a slight challenge without a lot of bulk.

Existing mount with Touratech cradle:

 DSLR camera rigs use clamps for 15mm rod diameters. These clams are cheap and offer 1/4x20 threaded sockets that a RAM ball can be mounted in. New 15mm rod from machined to match Enduro Engineering's stock rod:

DSLR clamp hardware parts were powder coated black to help prevent corrosion.

New crossbar in place with clamps and RAM mount:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Revised rear rack for SWM topcase

The cases for the NTX are made by SW mototech. The factory topcase is difficult to obtain and is identical to the standard SWM case offered HERE

The case attachement is by the universal plate below. This plate uses clamps to hold it to the factory rack. The slots and holes in this plate do not line up with the factory rack holes very well:
A revised version of my original plate in a previous blog post is shown below with holes for topcase mounting:

The topcase latch required the removal of the center bent tab while still allowing the rack to be used as a tie down point when the box is removed. Rack mounted to the motorcycle after the factory plastic cover has been removed: 

Topcase mounted:

A possible change will be to mount an alternate set of holes allowing the plate to be moved slightly rearward to allow more room for a rear rider. A backrest pad is the next to be added.