Shrapnel Italia
by Ed Milich
Guzzis are among the most overbuilt, understressed motorcycles on the planet. They are still machines, though...and machines break. Below are the results of abuse, neglect, user error, and the limits of modern engineering. Each destroyed part has a story to tell and a lesson to teach. Enjoy the carnage.
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Steering stem from Lemans IV from 40 MPH impact with the side of a left turning automobile,1998.
Ed Milich, California-Lemans IV
Shattered clutch plates from high speed (he claims 100 MPH) downshift to 1st gear.
Mike Curtis, Texas- Daytona RS
Torched connecting rod big end bearings. My hotrod engine torched the bottom end for no apparent reason.
Ed Milich, California-Lemans IV
Cam timing gear from my old V700 that died at 4000 RPM going down a city street. Possibly from a porosity in the casting.
Ed Milich, California-V700
Torched connecting rod big ends and crank- ran it out of oil.
Alice Sexton, California-Lemans I
Destroyed frame and lots of other stuff from 40 MPH impact with the side of a left turning automobile, 2001. Note the new height of top steering head frame member.
Ed Milich, California-Lemans IV
Broken rear brake disc- Went to the pub one sunday lunch, got a bit of vibration, then when I used the brakes they juddered rather badly.
Got to the pub to discover this...

Ian Ellison, UK-1000S
Busted up Lemans IV after an encounter with a ditch
Topi Kuusinen, Finland-LM IV
She skids and dances
Blacktop barks and swingarm snarls
Damned U joint just locked
The ever-popular exploding Universal joint.
Crunched tranny - click on photo for more pics
Wayne Orwig - Cal III
Forks from Lemans IV from 40 MPH impact with the side of a left turning automobile,1998.
Ed Milich, California-Lemans IV
Disintegrated cam chain rubbing block and rooted pinion and crownwheel from an Eldorado
Pete Roper, Australia-Eldorado
Lemans V piston after breaking #2 piston ring
Kevin Foote-Lemans V
Sport 1100 straight cut 5th gear with pitting.
+big block Guzzi grenaded gears.

Pete Roper, Australia- Sport 1100 Carbi
Lemans IV transmission cush drive shrapnel
Pete Roper, Australia- Lemans IV
Centauro clutch pushrod that welded itself to the clutch cup due to insufficient clutch freeplay
Pete Roper, Australia
Why I hate aluminum timing gears (galled aluminum timing gear teeth). The gear on the far right spent only 10k miles in a Spada...
Pete Roper, Australia
Chris Bell* IS the "Quota Exploda"
Sudden failure of a
Quota connecting rod end cap. Everything from the cam to the oil pan was trashed.
Chris Bell , Houston, Texas-Quota
*Credit where credit is due dept: Chris Bell actually blew this up, not Mike Haven, as previously reported. Good job Chris. :-)
High mileage round-fin flywheel-note the grooves that have formed in the flywheel splines.

from the collection of
Alice Sexton, California
The result of a loose front nut on a 5 speed transmission layshaft.

courtesy of
Gordon Klein at MG Cycle, Wisconsin
V50 pinion gear carnage

lifted from the website of
Lalleman,The Netherlands
The result of a low-side - a good example of why guzzi riders should always carry an extra plug and cap in their tool kit
Jason Tucker, USA - V11Sport
Split Borrani wheel

lifted from a French Guzzi website
Failed V11 Sport rear wheel bearing
Jason Tucker, USA - V11Sport
Carb Sport Bell Housing Magnetic Plug
AKA "Eraserhead"

Pete Roper, Australia
What a Carb Sport Magnetic Transmission Plug looks like when 5th gear is disintegrating

Pete Roper, Australia
High mileage clutch components in a Guzzi without a rear wheel cush drive
Rennsport Guzzi guard after a high speed slide on a wet track during a Daytona Heavyweight Vintage Superbike race, 2003.(The bike was in 2nd place at the time...)
note: spark plug snapped off, but head was undamaged!

Stan Friduss Guzzi Race Team, Florida
Cracked Alloy Flywheel
Tom O'Hara, Switzerland
Blown up Jackal Gas Tank. This is why you need to purge a gas tank of fumes before you weld on it. :-)
Mark Etheridge, Moto Guzzi Classics, Long Beach, California
Big gooey puddle of 2nd gear from a V50 Transmission
Bill Voltaggio, Arlington, Virginia
This is the result of a big knock on the right hand head and the forces have found the weakest point witch apparently is the clutch house.

Uffe Juul Motorcycles, Denmark
From the 'who-the-hell-knows' category. Perhaps a victim of L.A. traffic? May prove that the rear drive housing is truly not bullet-proof.
guzzipower's own,

Todd Eagan, SoCal
"Why plastic bearing cages are a bad idea in a transmission bearing" The bearing on the right had a cage failure and the resulting debris ripped up my tranny input seal.
Ed Milich-Lemans IV, California
Failure mode of a Voltage regulator- It allowed the charging system to operate at up to 16 volts.
Andrew Gray-1000 Lemans, Los Angeles, California
A very expensive,very light 89mm, 360 gram Arias piston, and it's scored and now junk.
Alice Sexton, Los Angeles,California
Toasted clutch components, piston and rear drive pinion gear.
Karl Hartmeyer, Denmark
This is the crank from a friends' LM1000 that broke during riding. 'The engine started running roughly...' Possibly caused by a bad grinding job?

Lars A. , Oslo, Norway
Sport 1100 combustion chamber after swallowing a valve.

Patrick Stirling, USA
This is the front half of the crank pulley on a 74 Eldorado. Probably the result of overtensioning the belt.

Patrick Hayes, California
This is what's left of the front main bearing journal of my '96 Sport 1100 after only 56,000 miles.  No apparent reason other than because it could. I suspect the nitriding oven might have been running a little cold that day, as the step height is about 0.006 inch and the ID of the bearing is very chewed up, but still within tolerance so the crankshaft is the only thing that wore out. All the other bearings in the whole engine are still OK.

Howard Rhinehart, US
Bent Cal III valve due to valve collar gear failure

Topi Kuusinen, Finland
Here is a photograph of my Centauro after a bath of midnight in a mudhole with Noirmoutier !

Pierre LE BALC'H, Bretagne - France
Oh the joys of racing...

Pete Roper, Australia

A bush of a LM2 rod after 85000km !!!
Chelmi Ryu, Paris, France
Pinion & carrier out of my T-3 Cali.
The previous owner had drilled a hole through the splined  shaft.                             
NICK, Down Under
Last summer a friend and I were hacking through France to meet with some fellow Guzzi owners in the Alps, when 100kmís short of Dijon the left cylinderís con rod let go and came though the side of the crankcase!!!!

Cary Vallance,Derbyshire, UK
The results of a bad 2nd under regrind of a 78mm crank                    
David McMillan, Scotland
I had the tranny warranty work done to my 00 V11 sport.  Replace a couple of pieces to prevent a transmission lockup.  I had all the springs replaced while they were in there.  When I got the bike back the neutral indicator light would come on randomly.  Turns out a clip had broken that holds a shifter cam onto a pressed fit shaft on the cover.  While I was riding out in western MA on Tuesday I noticed transmission oil leaking from the shaft, so I kept an eye on it and headed home, stopping 5-6 times to check it. On the Mass Pike at around 75 MPH  the shaft fell out of the case onto the road.  I happened to look in the mirror and see smoke billowing out the back.  I knew I blew a seal or something and the rear tire would be soaked with oil.  I slowly pulled into the breakdown lane.  I used the front brake to slow down to about 50 and downshifted, not realizing the shifter cam had fallen into the tranny.  BOOM and a nice controlled rear wheel lockup for about 150 ft...
Tom Halchuck, Boston
This winter, I wanted to have a twinspark modification. Didnít have much money, so I gave the heads to "someone who could do the job for little money"....and I knew...One sparkplug is to deep, the other one not deep enough, one sparkplug is slanting, oil passage at the pushrods leak and put silicon in it...Also, he drilled one hole at the wrong location, after that, he  "fixed it" by screwing in a bolt or can be seen in picture 17 and 2.

I foolishly lent my 750 S3 to someone to do this year's Giro d'Italia
in Sicily - on the third day he went straight on and too quick at a bend,
over an embankment, and down a grassy slope, and the bike flipped over a
couple of times. Seat broken in 3 places, rear mudguard ripped completely off
(amongst other damge to cylinder heads, tank etc) - if anyone comes across
an original S3 speedo with 90.000km on it while wandering through long grass
somewhere in Sicily, it's mine!! Testimony to the Guzzis strength though, forks were fine, Borranis were fine, frame is fine!!

V50 valve failure
Derek Reynolds, Scotland
Quota exhaust valve failure
Wallis Sholar, Los Angeles
850 Lemans Bevel Gear Wear
Doug McLaren, UK
V50 Polizia Exhaust Valve Failure
Floris Grootendorst
A sound like thunder
Carrillo through engine case
Where is my piston?
Scura Clutch Failure
Lifted from
German Guzzi Racebike Failure
Lifted from
Previous owner of my SP1000 mounted a LM swingarm with the original
driveshaft (20mm too short). I drove about 4000 miles with this shaft till
it broke. U-joint failed too, spline is still usable but the bearings

Hans, Holland
Ujoint from '72 Eldorado, Previous Owner said he "hadn't noticed" any vibration in the drive.
Steve Farris, USA