Adrian's Aprilia Pegaso 650 1995 - Issues
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- By the time I rode the 130 miles home the Pegaso stank of oil which covered most of the engine, and my boots - The oil is held in the
frame and it had been overfilled as a result the oil return hose was leaking badly. I had to clean the engine several times and replace
the oil return pipe. When I changed the oil I was careful to add the correct amount. Cleaning the engine enabled me to discover two
other 2 oil leaks from the Rocker cover and eventually the Cam Chain Tensioner.
- Oil leaking from Cam Chain Tensioner cover - This was the last leak I found, it only occurred a full temperature and was very difficult
to trace with the radiator in place so it took a lot of time to identify and fix.
- The Pegaso user groups say the Head Bolts must be checked every 12,000 km which means removing the exhaust camshaft else the
head gasket goes (Remember my engine was covered in oil from 3 leaks) - I completed the check, everything was tight, and the head
gasket is not leaking, phew!
- Fuel dripped from the fuel tap in all positions - This was a big problem, I eventually discovered that the bolts holding the fuel tap had
been done up so hard they had warped the plastic fuel tank. So I bought a sheet of 3mm cork, made a new gasket and bolted it up
sympathetically. I then discovered a second smaller fuel leak where the wire for the fuel light exited the fuel tap I was able to fix this with
epoxy repair putty for petrol tanks.
- During my first ride the Pegaso ran out of fuel on a downhill slip road just as the reserve light came on.- It took me ages to work out
that the bottom of the fuel tank is below the level of the float bowl so on low fuel on the flat the bike will hiccup and start to run lean,
start riding uphill and the engine runs normal, start to go downhill and the engine dies. My Pegaso was impossible to start with less
than a third of a tank of fuel. I have since fitted a low pressure pump (as used on old Honda XRV750 Africa Twins) so the fuelling is
now consistent and the Pegaso starts first time, every time. What an utterly crap design causing misery to owners.
- Reserve lasted for a whole 2 miles - I removed the fuel tap and extended the stack pipe with 7mm aluminium tube to enable the tank to
hold 3 litres of fuel when the Pegaso runs on to reserve.
- For weeks I had intermittent problems with the carbs flooding. I took the carbs off, then had to drill out 3 of the 4 screws holding the
float bowls due to corrosion. The brass fitting the float needle sits in was lose in both the Mikuni carbs so one or both would randomly
fall down into the float chamber causing flooding then occasionally the float would lift it back into position. I stuck the fittings back with
Epoxy putty designed to fix fuel tanks. There is a tiny fuel filter where the fuel pipe connects between the carburetors. This was
partially blocked so disguarded it and fitted an in line filter. Fuelling now sorted.
- Fuel light is intermittent - It's an Aprilia, it's Italian, it ain't never going to work reliably.
- Bad corrosion on all the cycle parts - The quality of the finish is so very poor. This is my winter hack so I am not too bothered.
- All fixtures and fittings corroded solid and all fastenings damaged by previous owners - This has been such a big issue, absolutely
nothing wants to be unscrewed first time so I have to work out how best to undo fastenings without damaging the bodywork. I then
replace the fittings with stainless for a few pence. Not expensive but so very time consuming.
- Most blind rubber fairing insets were perished and corroded - I had to work out how to remove the blind bolts, then I replaced every
- The Back brake was sticking badly and the bleed nipple was snapped off in the caliper - Another big problem, I had to buy a
secondhand caliper, new organic brake pads were fitted.
- The Rear Disk is badly scored and worn thin - I located a good secondhand disc but there is no way the 6 bolts holding the disk will
ever be removed, they are corroded in solid with the six Allen sockets already rounded. I have tried everything, heat, impact driver,
cutting a slot in the rounded socket bolts etc. I have given up because the hub casting will be damaged if I try any harder.
- Front brake was poor - Now working well with new pads fitted,new Dot 4 oil and air removed.
- The headlamp is useless - I fitted a daytime running light and an LED replacement bulb. I now have 3 times more light and use half the
- The rear shock was very harsh with no damping - The gas seals had blown in the Sachs shock, these are rebuildable but cunningly no
one is supplied with spare parts to facilitate a rebuild. So a new Hagon shock has been fitted for £300, the rear swinging arm bolt was
also corroded in place which was another challenge, fortunately all the linkage bearings were good.
- Front forks only used a third of their travel - I removed the oil, they had been filled with 50w or worse, the correct amount of lighter oil
means I now get 75% of travel. I also fitted air bleed valves.
- Clutch pull is hard - I will try Chinese CNC leavers and maybe a clutch reducer.
- The Sidestand was far too short, bike almost tipping over when used - I had to weld 15mm on to the foot of the Sidestand. Do any
Italian manufacturers other than MV fit decent side stands? Years ago I remember watching a brand new Ducati fall over at the pumps
when the owner filled the tank with petrol.
- The Handlebar Grips were shinny and worn our so I fitted my favourite ProGrip 801's
- The seat cover was very slippery, very stretched and it let in water - I purchased a cheap, fancy seat cover from Poland on eBay and
used my well honed MX seat covering skills.
- The plastic Air box had a big hole in the bottom where the aftermarket exhaust had melted it - I discovered this when servicing the
bike. I made an aluminium plate and glued it over the hole.
- The Air cleaner is foam, easy to service yet very dirty - Am I the only person who bothers to clean and re-oil air filters?
- The Radiator fan blades catching were on their lower mounting - Just a poor design that does not hold up to long term use so I bent
the brackets to raise the fan and restore the 3mm gap.
- Radiator fan switch not working - Easy to replace
- Radiator top-up bottle Cap broken - Easy to replace once the fairing fasteners have been undone
- Battery was unable to hold charge - I bought a so installed a so called Lucas battery which lasted 3 months, it's replacement is a
Numark battery which is doing much better.
- The Pegaso came with a horrible old Micheline tyre far too wide for the rim so when fitted it was pulled round. Even after spirited riding
I had one inch chicken strips. The front tyre was some cheap unknown Chinese thing - I fitted Heidenau K60 tyres which are marvelous.
- Chain tensioners fitted upside down in swinging arm and rusted up - Removed, cleaned, painted and re-installed correctly.
When I went to collect the Pegaso it looked very presentable. Nice and clean, no signs of road rash and
the paintwork is good. The Pegaso started first time, no smoke and it was great to ride. But it is an Italian
bike made in Italy by Aprilia back in 1995 so I expected to have a number of issues to fix.
In reality I have had so many snags to fix, this is part of the fun to fixing up an older bike. The Pegaso had
covered very few miles in recent years, probably because of persistent fuelling issues. Unfortunately it is
also the frustration of owning an older bike - having to sort all the long standing problems, made more
difficult when previous owners have damaged every crosshead screw, nut and bolt.
|Fuel Tap see cork gasket ,new hoses and clips
|Fuel Pump zipped and glued in place
|Fuel Tap with raised stack pipe to increase fuel capacity on
reserve. Epoxy putty to fix leaking fuel light wire.
|Horrible rear tyre when purchased bike
|Exhaust cam removed for Head Bolt torque check
|Really bad corrosion on the cycle parts. I have used acid cleaners and all sorts of other products. I only
have to park the Pegaso near a puddle and the white oxidisation returns. Triumphs are so much better.
|I welded a new foot on the side-stand and welded additional
metal to widen and strengthen the footpegs