. . Excalibur Impressions . .

Excaliburs, New Yorks

. . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby boris tarpit » 22 Sep 2012 18:23

. . No not my impersonation of the bike just my thoughts after aquiring one . . . I had been looking out for a 501 motor to put in the ol' double drum for quite a while, what I got was a complete low mileage bike for not quite bargain price but less than I've seen 'em fetch on ebay . . . having got the thing home and had a ride on it I can't quite decide what to do with it, I, er, sort of er, actually like it as it is, :oops: . . . All you diletantes out there calling the bike ugly are surely missing the point - it's a dada-ist pastiche of cruiser style not to be taken seriously at all and that appeals to me somehow . . . It steers beautifully, the engine is fantastic - it accelerates like it doesn't weigh anything and sounds just like a Morini ought to . . . there's plenty of leg room but the handlebars come back too far. The seat is like an 80's sofa from DFS and too soft, the tank is like a block of flats. All the chrome parts (exept the exhaust) are plastic. It provokes gales of derisive laughter at the local bike club but is tremendous fun to ride . . . I can't bring myself to take the engine out and break the chassis for spares so for now it's my day to day bike . . .
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby morinipete » 23 Sep 2012 01:33

....I bought a CX500 way back, as a winter 'hack'. Ugly, fat pig of a thing, sounded like a flatulant hippo. Unfortunatley I found myself riding it more and more and it was becomnig my main bike well into the spring and summer............it had to go :oops:
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby MickeyMoto » 23 Sep 2012 06:24

... at the top of the forum there are 5 bikes - a single, a Sport, a Dart a modern Corsaro and even a trail bike, there are no 'customs'. I think that sums up the ambivalence to the creatures. I suppose if you are riding it you can't see it.... :D
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby Morizzi » 23 Sep 2012 12:57

I'd keep it as it is and enjoy! :D I'd love an Excalibur. The bars would be easy to change without affecting its 'patina.'

They are sort of a dated styling design and in doing so make a statement. For the very reasons you purchased the bike they are becoming less common. Soon you will have a collectable classic.

I do have dreams of turning up to a Ducati track day on an Indiana! If you have never seen one then google it and you will see what I mean.

Don't let the 'herd' mentality sway you. Let the smile on your dial dictate your decision.

Rod, not going to Guzzi, Laverda or Morini heaven but plan to have fun on the outside track with like minded souls. :P
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby swtuggle » 24 Sep 2012 21:59

Buncha haters... :wink:
Being an Excalibur owner, I can relate to the pleasure I get from just riding it, especially now that I've finally got the new carbs sorted. I replaced the very 80's rectangular headlight with a 7" roundy, and the large pullbacks with drag T-bars, which have given a little more room, but it's still a compact ride, nowhere to stretch out. Overall, great for commuting or half-day rides, but not very comfy at highway speed for very long, especially without a windscreen of any sort. I have tried scooting up the seat with my feet on the passenger pegs. The riding position then feels like a cafe, but looks ridiculous, not to mention most of my weight over the rear wheel.

The culture in the US towards Morinis, particularly the Northwest, is very different than back there in the UK. Most people, and many riders, here have simply never heard of Moto Morini, let alone an Excalibur.

For example, a couple Sundays ago, I went on the "Isle of Vashon" ride. I'd estimate there were easily 500+ bikes there, and during the whole day, I had less than a handful of folks come up to me, saying "I remember back in the seventies, there was a shop in town that sold Morinis." Furthermore, only one person approached me saying, he too, owned a Morini, a 500 Sport. However, he didn't ride it that day.

Over the past few months, I had been seriously considering converting mine into a cafe racer style, which would require modifying the backbone tube, engine cradle tubes, head tube, and seat/tail section tubes and supports. Not to mention a new tank and seat, different shocks, and modifying or replacing the forks. Not economically feasible.

Of those few who talked to me that day, when I told them of my idea, said "Don't touch it, don't butcher it. Leave it and ride it as is, it's the only one I've ever seen." As the saying goes, "A million people can't be wrong." Well, in this case four... Regardless, I'll take their advice and leave her be and enjoy.

Um, well, truth be told, if I were to come across a 3 1/2 or 500 rolling chassis, I'd be hard pressed not to throw that wonderful motor into such a frame. But the likelihood of finding of one those around these parts is pert near nil.

Steve
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby MarkB » 26 Sep 2012 18:49

Here's one that was prepared earlier... (a scrapped 3 1/2, some years ago, I hasten to add!)

Image

Sacrilege to some, I know, but the combination of 501 engine with a 3 1/2 chassis is something wonderful that creates a permanent grin (even if the bike and I are not in perfect condition at the moment...). Some choppers can look cool, but I'm afraid that I don't think the Excalibur got nearly there. It would be interesting to see what it feels like to ride though.

Regards, Mark.
"I'll have a V please, Bob."
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby swtuggle » 02 Oct 2012 23:02

So Boris, have any of these comments helped you decide what to do with it?

My only complaint with the handling has to do with headshake upon decel. With two hands on the bars or one firmly gripping, it's not a problem, but if I let go or relax my grip and chop the throttle, a progressively-worsening shake is induced. I tightened the top triple clamp hex bolt which threads into the hollow stem, to no effect.

Either there's another nut hidden under the top triple clamp that needs tightening or it's just a result of the chest-level steering head geometry.

Steve
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby boris tarpit » 07 Oct 2012 12:05

. . . MarkB that's a very nice bike you have there and something like what I had in mind for mine . . Swtuggle, I'm keeping the bike as it is for now, mostly because it's the only thing I have that's fully road legal at the moment . . I did try a flat track seat and tank unit on it and worked out how to fit both silencers down one side, it looked OK but would require moving all the electrics from under the tank and junking the airbox which I'm loathe to do, I always fancied an Evel Kneivel replica like the little plastic one I had when I was 10 . . (what is the record for jumping a Morini over a bus??) . . . As I said I quite llike the kitch plastic and dinky feel to the bike it's naffness is a source of much merriment, I may remodel the tank if I can find one for sale, it would suit a much slimmer shape . . .

. . Swtuggle the stability of my bike is exempary either hands on or off the bars, even with a well worn front tyre, maybe you've got a mis-match?? . . Incidentally the main jets in my bike are number 76 presumably with all the airbox restriction in place, I've taken note of the settings you've given for yours, so thanks for the development work there :lol: .
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby swtuggle » 09 Oct 2012 05:20

I've tweaked the jets even more since my last jetting post. Here goes...

Toyed around with 40 and 50 slides, finally settling on the as-supplied 50 slides, best all around, especially once I got the idle/pilot jets figured out.

Regarding the pilots, I was still experiencing a mild lean surge at 1/8 to 1/4 throttle in 5th and 6th gear with 47s.

I decided to drill out a pair of 42s, which are way too small for this motor, even with a choked up airbox. Here's my confusion; I bought a couple of wire drills, no. #75 and 76. They measure .021 and .020" respectively. That equates to .53 and .51mm. I assumed the Dell'Orto pilots are numbered according to their mm size. However, even the #75/.53 drill easily fits into the 50s that came with the new PHBH28BS.

Regardless, after installing the "51s," the 1/8 to 1/4 top gear leanness was lessened, but not eradicated. So I installed the "53s," which finally allowed smooth cruising in any gear. Now that the weather's cooling down, there's still the slightest 6th gear surge on cold mornings. I may try drilling another set of spare jets out to .57mm (#74 drill) for cold weather operating, but that may be simply too large. I'll try it anyways. I wonder if anyone else changes out warm and cold weather pilots?

Regarding the mains, I opened up a pair of 112s to 1.32 with a #55/.052" drill. She now pulls very hard up to at least an indicated 7500 rpm. On public roads, I can't pay close enough attention to exactly when it stops pulling, due to posted speed limits and more importantly, oblivious drivers just waiting to pull out in front of me.

Along with the 132 mains, I've found the as-supplied X6 needles and 268T atomizers provide very good throttle progression, except mine work best on the 4/4 groove versus Dell'Orto's 2/4 setting.

Characteristics: Doesn't require choke for cold start; tickover around 1100 rpm; smooth cruising from 2000-up; very smooth transition/progression circuit at 1/8 to 1/4 throttle; no bog, lag or stumble when throttle is opened, either slightly or whacked open; goes like a scalded dog when you put the coals to her. Not very scientific, I know.

I feel using these carb settings as a very effective baseline should save a lot of effort and time for anyone running an otherwise-stock 507 with deflowered airbox with lightly-baffled exhaust.

Steve
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby EVguru » 09 Oct 2012 09:30

Twist drills give quite inconsistent results on brass and it's hard to dubb (zero rake) the cutting edge on such small drills.

I have a set of Stahlwille jet reamers (jewlers broaches) which give a good bore finish.

There are a lot of poor quality Dellorto jets around, some supposedly originals and some pattern, with incorrect orifices.

You can solder old jets up and re-drill/ream them. Soft solder is great for tuning, but perhaps silver solder would be a better choice for long term use
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Re: . . Excalibur Impressions . .

Postby swtuggle » 09 Oct 2012 15:14

Thanks EV, all good info. It is strange that only with the pilots have I found inaccuracies, and these were jets I ordered from the American Dell'Orto importer.

I believe it was Morizzi who said his 500 Sei wouldn't run with the jets I listed, but it has taken these sizes (however out of spec they really are) to eliminate the stuttering I was experiencing at specific rpm/throttle positions.

Rode into work this morning, temp was about 45F, and it still mildly rapid-stuttered (sounds like a muted Thompson submachine gun) in 6th at 60 mph and 4000 rpm, right in the 1/4 throttle transition point. I'll try reinstalling the factory "50s," since the orifice is a bit larger than my bored out "53s."

Over the weekend, I tried some pod filters apparently designed for ATVs. The rubber throat had a 27-28mm narrowed shoulder within which completely choked the motor when she hit 5000 rpm. Not to mention the lack of support and resultant vibration that EVguru has mentioned before. So it was back to the stock airbox, proving it's a very good design (once the flower pot is removed and the inner throat cut down).

While it was apart, I tightened up the valve clearances from a measured .1 to .05. As EV also mentioned, using a feeler gauge doesn't provide the most accurate gap because of the rocker to stem contact width wear pattern. It's now considerably quieter, and runs the same from idle-up, so I assume I'm not hurting anything. I plan to do a compression check to help alleviate any concerns of hung valves.

Steve
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