Cure for Sticky Calipers

Or An Ode to the Lowly Grease Gun

My latest project involves an Italian motorcycle from the Seventies (yes, apparently I do have too much time on my hands). It’s a 1978 Moto Guzzi V50 that I bought in relatively good condition with 14k miles. It’s very complete and pretty much unmolested– meaning the fenders haven’t been buzzed off or removed. Of course, it’s still over 40 years old so… well, there are issues.

Moto Guzzi V50

The first issue I dealt with was stopping. Moto Guzzi’s unique “integrated braking system” is a linked arrangement where the foot pedal operates the rear and front brakes. The hydraulic plumbing to achieve this involves a pair of hoses on the rear brake cylinder- one attached to the rear caliper and one attached a single front caliper. The front master cylinder is then connected to the other front caliper.

I’ve ridden Guzzis with linked brakes before and the arrangement has always left me less than impressed. Mostly because I’m not used to it, partly because it’s so “non standard.” Grab a handful of front brake and… you slow down. Slowly. I’ve owned BMWs with partially linked systems, but the front brake lever is linked on those bikes. Almost every other motorcycle in the world stops via the lever on the handlebar, not the pedal— but that’s an argument for another day.

This poor little Guzzi didn’t just have a wimpy front brake, it was basically worthless. The foot brake seemed to work fine and hauled the bike down from speed quite admirably. But the front brake (remember – we’re only operating one front caliper) seemed to hardly have any effect. Can it really be that bad?

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Need a Lift?

Transforming your garage to a full-fledge automotive workshop has never been easier.

The QuickJack BL-50000SLX is an electric lift that raise 5000 pounds of vehicle 18 inches off the floor. It arrives in three boxes and plugs into a regular household 110VAC electrical outlet.

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New E-Bike from Zero

This Zero is All Zip

Zero Motorcycles has once again raised the bar for all-electric bikes.

Zero SR/FThe all-new 2020 Zero SR/F is a naked streetfighter boasting 110 BHP and 140 ft/lbs of torque. Tipping the scales just under 500 pounds the SR/F offers a range of 161 miles in standard trim. Zero calls it the first fully “smart” motorcycle. 


Source: This Zero is All Zip