ADAMS HERITAGE MOTORCYCLES
Nick Adams' Motorcycle Miscellany
1972 MOTO GUZZI ELDORADO
I bought this bike in 2008. It had been in storage since the 1980's but had been well looked after so there was no corrosion and other than gummy carbs and sagging springs was more or less ready for the road. It has been, and despite my other bikes, continues to be my machine of choice for long distance trips.
It is immensely comfortable for long distance riding. The relationship between the saddle, pegs and handlebars is about perfect and the cadence of the engine lends itself to long days in the saddle and large distances.
This bike started life as an 850, but many of the early V-twins from Mandello suffered from a problem with the chrome cylinder lining detaching and flaking into the oil. The cylinders were replaced on this bike by the previous owner with new jugs with cast iron liners. It now displaces 949ccs - which provides considerably more torque than original at the expense of the smoothness. It is definately a bit lumpy throughout the rev range, only smoothing out past 4000 rpm. Nevertheless, the lumpiness has now become part of its character and doesn't detract from the riding pleasure.
Loop frame Moto Guzzis (Ambassador, Eldorado, early 'Police' Californias) are an excellent useable classic, only let down by their weak brakes which make negotiating modern traffic a little hazardous. However, if you ride within the bikes limits, all is fine - just remember to start braking for traffic lights when they're still on green!