Finally got around to ride the GT380 for the first time. It's been
sitting in the garage for more than a month but thanks to my iffy back
I haven't been able to ride it.
As today was quite a nice day, I figured I might as well try out the
bike and the winter trousers I bought at GLF. After a few kicks and a
bit of swearing the bike started and promptly proceeded to smoke out
the neighbours. Oops.
I used my usual bike 'test route' so after the slog to Barnet, with
the engine warmed up somewhat, I could give it a bit of a
handful. Well, TOG's 380 was smoother as this one vibrates a bit more
than expected but it pulls quite well for an old mildly tuned
stroker. Plus of course it produces the correct 'erect middle digit'
sound. No smokescreen though, the fully synthetic oil seems to help.
The handling is a bit, erm, iffy. I've ridden Mrs TOGs 400/4 on the
less demanding part of the test route and that was noticeably quicker
and more surefooted. The fact that this bike is missing at least some
of the heavy bits at the back doesn't do it any favours, plus I've got
to sit rather close to the tank due to the position of the footrests -
anything else gets too uncomfy. The more demanding part of the route
was interesting to say the least. The back was hopping about like a
march hare on speed, the front generally pointed in the right
direction so the whole thing was still somewhat under control. And I
hadn't even hit 60mph yet!
Thanks to the quality of the road I got both wheels airborne a few
times - on a flat straight that is - before the self-preservation
instinct kicked in and I took it a bit slower. Fun it was though.
The fairing is surprisingly effective, it keeps a lot of the windblast
off but there's an opening in the screen above the light so you still
get a bit of air pressure on your upper body. The engine seems to be
pretty good, once warm it redlines fairly easily, but the idle is all
over the place, and it takes a fair few seconds for the revs to go
down from about 3500 to the idle at 1800 if the engine is warm.
All in all I think it's a good 'un mechanically but the cosmetics do
need attention sooner or later. I'm not quite sure what to do with it
atm, a little devil on my shoulder says 'restore it' but it would
probably require more money than I'm willing to spend on it - several
of the remaining bits of chrome need to be rechromed or replaced (I'd
go for secondhand replacements TBH), the leccy bits aren't quite to my
taste but nevertheless working and the engine needs a good clean on
Of course a GT380 in half-decent nick but say, with a damaged rear
mudguard and seat would make an ideal donor bike...
Anyway, some pics can be found here:
And if anyone here is daft enough and wants to restore it into a
proper cafe racer, well, my email addy is working...
Morini Corsaro 125 | Bimota YB7 | GT380 | ST1100 ABS/CBS/TCS
BOTAFOF #33 TWA#10
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