Original Telaio Rosso
/i/Hidden/Original_TR_Moto_Guzzi_011c.jpg       I had a nice surprise the other day
(September 21, 2009). A friend called who was having a problem with a bike he was transporting from New York Cityout to the Hamptons where I live. It was an original Telaio Rosso V7 Sport. The bike seems mostly original, but it is hard to know for sure since not all of the TRs were exactly the same. This machine is a five speed and has the correct, modified four speed housing, but with a different rear gearbox cover than the other TR that I got a really good look at. I believe both are correct and original. My thinking on the evolution of the parts has changed slightly as a consequence.
      The visit was pretty short and I had a bit of a disaster which made it seem even shorter. For 50 minutes of the hour that the bike was at my shop, I was scrambling to get my digital camera to work. What a nightmare. By the time it started working I only had about 5 minutes to grab some quick pictures. Hopefully I will have a chance to meet the owner of the bike some day and spend some serious time with him and take some more pictures.

       Of course the gearbox was of particular interest to me. This one did NOT have the  special five speed cover designed to fit a modified four speed housing, but had what looked like a standard four speed cover. Closer inspection revealed that it was quite different from a standard four speed cover. Like the four speed cover, this TR cover has only one boss for the speedo drive location which works best with the earlier Loop frame bikes (V700, Ambassador and Eldorado). You can see in this photo and the next that the speedo drive just barely misses the frame tube and the cable rubs on it. The five speed covers had two bosses for alternate speedo drive locations. Later TRs that used the special five speed cover utilized the more inboard or left boss (as viewed while sitting on the bike) as did all the other Tonti framed bikes. The five speed Eldorados used the more outboard or right boss for the speedo drive which cleared the early Loop frame and the Eldo side cover better.

     In this close-up, I highlighted some of the differences in the two covers. To make room for the extra gear added to five speed gear clusters and a new double row angular bearing at the back of the lay shaft, Guzzi made the gearbox cover deeper. Both four and five speed housings have the same interior depth. Four speed covers have the pivot for the clutch arm on the right side of the clutch push rod. The clutch arm sticks out on the left side of the gearbox. This cover has pivots on the left side of the clutch push rod and the lever is visible on the right side of the bike like all five speeds.

     This is a close-up of a standard four speed housing and rear cover, again with some of the differences from the TR cover highlighted.

 

     My friend who was transporting the TR said that he had serviced the gearbox a few years ago and that it didn't have standard street ratio gears in it.

I've seen two sets of differing ratios quoted for the TRs. One can be seen in Dave Richarson's reference book Guzziology. It is a unique set of gear ratios. The other I found on an official Telaio Rosso parts list for the TR gearbox that I have. Those ratios are identical to the standard street five speed ratios. Although the TR has a 16T primary and the standard five speed has a 17T primary, when you do the math, the overall ratios for all five gears are virtually identical. I have a set of original TR gears. The clutch shaft, main shaft, primary gear and all the lay shaft gears plus fifth have the same number scribed on them proving that they came out of the racing department and had been indexed for optimum engagement. I'll get some pictures of them in this section of my web site shortly.

     On this special TR gearbox rear cover the bracket to pick up the lower clutch cable adjuster is bolted to the cover. On the later TR gearbox rear covers that look more like a standard five speed cover, the bracket is part of the cover casting.

    In addition to a set of original TR gears, I have also collected a few TR gearbox housings and covers over the years. Because of way that Guzzi built the Telaio Rosso gearboxes, many did not survive for very long. I have been working for a couple of years on how to modify the housings so that when I build a TR gearbox it will be as reliable as a standard five speed. I'm getting quite close to finalizing my decisions regarding the modifications. NONE of the mods will be visable once the gearbox is mounted to the motor. I guess I don't have to tell you these would be a very valuable addition to anyone wanting a spare for their TR, a replacement for a lost or blown up original or for those of you who have built TR Replicas. Start saving now. They will be rather expensive to build. Check back often on my For Sale page.

      A nice shot of the swan new clip ons, beautiful green fuel tank and the tank decals that are unique to the Telaio Rosso.

     I did have the presence of mind to tap on a couple of frame members with my fingernail and was rewarded with the high pitched ring of thin wall chrome moly steel, instead of the leaden thud of .100" (2.5mm) thick mild steel tubing found on the standard V7 Sports.

 

    I will have more pictures and information coming very soon. All three TRs in the US are in the New York City area near me. I have some pictures of all three now and hope to get more in the future. Check back here often for updates. CC

     Click Here for a technical look at Telaio Rosso gears.