Back in RC161 I’d sworn that if I had to choose between the Convert and my beloved 1972 Guzzi Eldorado for a long distance tour to remote places, I’d probably eschew logic and take the Eldorado, even though the Convert has all the advantages of better handling, better brakes, and a far more comfortable seat. But logic doesn’t always play much of a part in motorcycling. If it did I’d have left the Convert in the garage and taken my Guzzi Quota, my Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter… or have sold the lot of them and bought some new ‘adventure’ bike from one of those reliable Japanese companies. But where’s the fun in that?

The Eldorado recently disgraced itself. At a mere 96,000 miles, something in the gearbox had decided it’d had enough. In use, it made nasty complaining noises. When I checked the gear oil, out poured a disgusting slurry, shiny with metal bits. Sooner or later I’ll get around to fixing it, but I wanted to ride. So the Convert it would be.

For those of you not quite up to speed with your Guzziology, the V1000 Convert was Moto Guzzi’s mid-1970s foray into the world of automatic motorcycles. It was aimed squarely at the US police services market although was also available as a civilian model like mine. Unlike many bikes which struggle to perform smoothly during low speed parade duties, with its Sachs fluid torque converter, the Convert is happy to idle along at walking speed or less with no need to be playing tunes on the clutch.

It does have a clutch, mounted between the torque converter and a two-speed

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