More assembly and parts gathering – May 2011 to present

I don’t get a chance to work on my own bikes as much as I’d like to, so progress is slow. Then I like to ride as often as possible  – my ’77 XT500 is a great vintage enduro and very handy for “cowtrailing”, my brother’s Aprilia Pegaso is better if I’m exploring farther from home and my ’69 Moto Guzzi 750 Ambassador is great for soothing frazzled nerves after a long week of old bike fettling. Not that I rode all that much this year as I covered less than 5k miles, about half of my usual.

Anywho, I made progress in little spurts as time and finances allowed. A seller on eBay (“tastyparts”) had the correct long brake pedal for a 604 – my bike came with one for a 406 which is way too short. The pedal needed a little repair, so I had my friend Curtis do the necessary welding. The original master cylinder was in poor condition, so I bought a new one from Yoyodyne for $51. A new ball-end joint and some miscellaneous hardware and I was half way to a complete rear brake system.


I picked up a good used rear caliper as mine was severely worn in the area surrounding the pads. The pads just flopped back and forth on the pin – not good. I also bought a new caliper of a different style at a swap meet for less than the cost of a rebuild kit and used the seals, pistons and bleeder screw from it. Found a new set of pads on eBay for $9 from a former dealer’s stock. All that’s left to do on the rear brake is to make a hose and figure out how to actuate the brake light.

Moving rearward slightly I started trying to fit the swingarm but realized I had no pivot bolt or spacers. Fortunately, “tastyparts” had one listed on eBay, so I bought that and enquired about some other things he had as well. I didn’t have an airbox and skidplate so wanted those as well. He put together a “grab bag” of stuff and listed it on eBay for a very reasonable $60 with free shipping. Of course I immediately jumped on it! When the huge box arrived it was like Christmas – skidplate, handlebars, air box and filter, two Acerbis Elba headlights, two rear fenders (one enduro, one with a DOT compliant taillight), a good rear axle and box of misc. hardware. The box of hardware included the engine plates I had spent 3 hours making and a bunch of other useful bits including some swingarm spacers.

The 504 engine I’m using had bushings in the swingarm pivot holes for the smaller MZ swingarm bolt, so those had to be removed. The the holes were still too small, so an adjustable reamer was utilized to open them up. Finally the ATK swingarm bolt would fit and I could loosely assemble the swingarm to the frame!

I wasn’t exactly happy with my rear wheel – the rim was pretty scarred and the bearings were a loose fit into the hubs. So when one much nicer showed up on eBay I was interested of course. But the price was more than I wanted to spend, so I waited two months for the Buy-It-Now to drop and then it went on sale as well. Bought it for $65 with free shipping from – you guessed it – “tastyparts”. 🙂 An almost perfect rim, bearings fit tightly in the hub and it even came with a tire mounted which will make it easier for me to “mock up” the parts.

With my “new” wheel installed into the swingarm and the raggedly looking shock stuck in place, I began to work towards figuring out much of a spacer I’d need inside the shock to lower the bike 2 inches. Works out I’ll need a 1/2″ spacer and I’ll just make it on my lathe when the time comes.

While all of this was going on I collected a few more new parts. A local dealer gave me good discount on some MSR aluminum handlebars, the new Magura 314 throttle was on eBay cheap, my Guzzi parts supplier had the new Domino clutch lever assembly with choke (I’ll be using it as the compression release) and kill/start switch for a reasonable price, I bought a new Brembo front master cylinder from Yoyodyne and the nice headlight/horn/signal switch (with choke lever on the underside) was given to me by a fellow Guzzi owner. Mocked everything up so I could see if it all fit. A little tweaking and I’ll be good to go.

More bits I bought while I had a few dollars to spare: JT sprocket, Baja Designs headlight for the KTM surround, UFO fork guards, used KTM speedometer, starter solenoid (Yamaha) and Pro-Grip 714 grips.

One final photo. Once the swingarm and wheel were in place, I added a few more parts just to see how it looked.

That’s all for now.

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