A Gray Day for a Guzzi, a Special Shrapnel Feature by Ed Milich

  Motorcycle Nirvana is an elusive quantity. To some folks, it’s pursued on the concours level, and exemplified by an undriveable, yet immaculate motorcycle that has shed its functionality in exchange for a sort of mechanical immortality. The “show bike” is a collection of parts that resembles a motorcycle. Such a device is unworthy of the title “machine”, though. Machines do work. Machines are dirty, greasy things. Machines break.  Show bikes do none of these.

  Another path to Nirvana lies in the pursuit of function. You overbore, port, polish, increase, strengthen, and lighten in a quest for a higher quality of function. Function is often an ugly thing, though. Gears splash in slick, slimy oil. Axles turn in dirty grease. Metal meets metal. Crud happens. Function often opposes Aesthetics.

  Poor Andrew Gray attempted to tip the balance on his CX100/ Lemans towards the cosmetic bias by bead blasting his engine case while he had it apart. Only, he didn’t clean out the glass bead well enough. The results are what you see here. The cylinder heads were the only components that were salvaged. The rest of his 78x90mm monster of a Roundfin motor were relegated to the garbage. Daaaamn!
Note the embedded glass bead in the main bearing. The bearing attempted to absorb glass bead until it reached full capacity, at which time, it became a 6000 RPM abrasive crank grinder!