The creation of a Guzzi racer – for Squadra Mulo

Hi All

The start of this post has been a long time coming, it was always envisaged that I would write a post whilst building up my Post Classic Guzzi racer – however, being impatient when it comes to utilising new technology platforms (WordPress in this case) and short on time has meant this post has only been started halfway through the build, not ideal but that’s the way it is.

Some background – I have always loved Guzzi’s, I guess that was always going to be on the cards, when I was a youngster, practically the first bike I ever rode was my Uncle’s Mk III Le Mans. Given I am on Trade Me (NZ Ebay equivalent) every night the inevitable happened and a 1982 G5 1000 turned up at a very reasonable price – complete with a side-car!!! duly purchased by hitting the buy now button with literally 10 seconds consideration. Two days later I picked the bike up, to my delight (i.e. the listing made little mention of parts) not only had I purchased a complete rig but also a Range Rover boot sized load of parts, new clutch, 36mm dellorto’s, spare forks, LM1 wheels, multiple tanks, panniers etc etc – what a deal.

Upon getting the bike home there was no mucking around in getting the sidecar off – horrible things, let’s hope it hasn’t worn the gearbox out. At least selling the sidecar and leading link forks would enable me to recoup the purchase price – duly done, sidecar enthusiasts are keen, it didn’t take long to sell the parts at all.

The creation of Mulo? At this stage I still wasn’t sure which direction I was going to take with the Guzzi – road legal Cafe race style or NZ Pre 82 Post Classic racer. Having recently completed a nuts and bolt restoration of a Ducati MHR (post to come), I was pleasantly surprised at just how quickly you can get along on these era bikes – to the point of starting to dream about acquiring another bevel to use as race bike project, then I got real, they are a) getting to pricey and b) just too fragile to use as intended on the track (unless you can afford the associated massive  maintenance costs). On the the other hand, guys in Europe have got Guzzi’s going both reliably and very quickly in the classic scene over there.

Squadra Mulo/Mulo (in the title)???? what’s with the name? what’s he on about? a few years before the V7 Special, Guzzi released the Mulo Meccanico (Mechanical Mule) – it had a large capacity transverse V engine, apparently it had no influence on the V7, a bit to much of a coincidence for me. Fairly tenuous I know but I have always thought of Mule’s as being  intriguing animals – Squadra Mulo it is.


The old girl stripped of her ugly appendage – ie sidecar

So, with the decision made to go all out and build a race bike, the first thing was to obviously pull it apart – in rather confined quarters as can be seen in the following pic – not complaining though as it’s only tight due to other projects/toys.


The big stripdown

As we all know, it doesn’t take long to pull something apart – now for the build up, could take six months or maybe…….?????


The dirty lump loaded up into the RR and off to get soda blasted.

After pulling it apart, the first step was to get the engine cleaned up  – ideally I would have got my mate Andre at Jetblast ( ) to beadblast it (my MHR engine and parts came out beautifully), but given I wasn’t planning on stripping it down yet we decided to use the safer inert soda blast option. I have to keep reminding myself this is a race build not a resto – need to find a balance.


A nice clean lump to play with – will detail up the valve covers etc later.

Whilst the engine was being blasted, the frame and ancillaries were away at the powder coaters. Had also at this stage ordered up a new Mk I tank, whilst I want to personalise this build and keep it period – to befit the race class (Pre 82) I am building it up for, you can’t go past the Mk I tank  – in my opinion one of the most beautifully sculptured tanks ever made.

The pic below shows the freshly painted frame united with the tank, motor and another purchase …. an Aermacchi tail piece – this would obviously need modifying at a later date to get it to seamlessly meld into the tank.


Components uniting

Now it was time to start spending some Lira, Deutschmarks, Pounds, dollars – namely Ohlins rear shocks, an alu battery plate, Tommaselli  clip on’s, Tarozzi rearsets, steel timing gears, pattern Mufflers, deep V sump, Switch-able digital ignition, Continental 2CU tyres, Tarozzi fillercap, and lot’s and lot’s of smaller ancillary items like carb rebuild kit’s, gaskets etc etc.

Whilst it hurts sometimes spending vast amounts of money, you do meet/deal with some great individuals/companies when dealing with enthusiasts – guys like Joe Caruso in the UK, Volker Sachs (since sadly deceased), Peter (MotoKiwi), and companies like Stein Dinse, Motociclo etc etc.

Ohlins, muffler

Next up was to make up as many small items as possible before arranging for some locals – Ray and his mates to machine up the trickier parts, the bit’s I could handle were – Seat brackets, rev counter bracket, starter motor blanking plate, muffler brackets. I got Ray onto items such as the battery box, rear master cylinder brackets, lugs for the rear paddock stand to mount up to, linkage rods  etc etc.


Mulo on his first outing after getting back up onto his own two wheels

Upon picking the bike up from Ray the engineer it was straight off to Peter at Custom Chambers for the headers/crossover section to be fabricated, just like Ray’s work what a great job and turned around in two days – if only all specialists were this reliable. Have attached some examples of there handiwork below –

Paddock stand/shock bobbins/nuts

Battery box bracket

Remote reservoir brackets

The updated/relocated rear brake Master cylinder


The Headers


Siamesed crossover pipe

Ok, so we are now back up to date – post wise, have trial fitted everything, the next pic gives you an idea of where we are at progress wise –


IMAG0124[1]Next up, i’m thinking it will be time to fit up a few of the goodies as purchased recently, like the ignition set, timing gears etc  with a view to trial running it – before removing the engine again to fit up the Transkontinental clutch (more on that later).

That’s all for now.

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5 Responses to The creation of a Guzzi racer – for Squadra Mulo

  1. maxyg says:

    I’m feeling all emotional. This is beautifully written. Can’t wait to see the rest of the story, including you riding on track days or racing. Cheers

  2. Don says:

    Emotional sums it up Max — even the latter-day styled megas look right on her. I had a pair sort of similar on my 650 BSA A10 ex-racetrack refugee on the road in my mad teens. Folks could hear her coming from miles away and their ears were still ringing long after she had gone. Do they bother with noise testers at race meets in NZ?

    It probably makes things easier to start the write-up halfway through the project – gives the voyeur an instant buzz when we see her coming together without the road grime and skinned knuckles getting in the way 🙂

    Nicely written. I hope you put your Ducati project on here soon.

    Thanks again – Don

    • superleggera916 says:

      Thanks Don,

      The noise mafia are a little hit and miss – depends on the track location and type of event. A few years ago Giacomo Agostini and a brace of MV’s were brought out for a classic meeting held at Pukekohe (just outside of Auckland), somehow they and a V8 Guzzi were given special dispensation – there is still hope.

      Yes in hindsight it was definitely easier to write up in retrospect – phew.


  3. maxyg says:

    Your post is written with the same attention to beauty and detail that you have applied to your bikes. Good luck with your first race meeting this weekend. I hope to be there with you

  4. Pingback: On the Road (track) again | Tailpipes and Headlamps

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