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. One from the Rocker cover
and eventually the second from the Cam Chain Tensioner.
- Oil leak from Cam Chain Tensioner cover - I found this leak with advice from Pegaso owners on WWW. The leak only occurred a full temperature and
was very difficult to trace with the radiator in place. Hard to identify, easy to fix with a gasket made from cardboard.
- 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 - I 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 top 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.
- 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 replaced both float needle assemblies and all the O rings. There is a tiny
fuel filter where the fuel pipe connects between the carburetors. This was partially blocked so I disguarded it. I have since fitted an in line fuel filter.
Fuelling now sorted.
- Bad corrosion on all the cycle parts - The quality of the finish is so poor compared to my Triumphs.
- All fixtures and fittings corroded solid and all fastenings damaged by previous owners - This has been such a big issue, absolutely nothing wanted to
be unscrewed first time so I had 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 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 them all with new items.
- 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.
- Front brake was poor - Now working well with braided brake lines, new pads fitted,new Dot 4 oil and air removed.
- The standard tungsten headlamp gave a feeble light - I fitted a daytime running light and a replacement LED headlamp bulb. I now have 3 times more
light and use half the watts.
- 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 drained some very thick fork oil and installed the correct amount of lighter oil. As a result I now get 75%
of travel. I also fitted air bleed valves.
- Clutch pull was hard and the lever is a long way from the grip - So I bought some nice, adjustable CNC levers from China for £24.
- 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, a lose fit 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. 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 Michelin 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 was 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 many snags to fix, this is part of the challenge of fixing up an older bike. Looking at the MOTs this Pegaso had covered very few miles in
the last 10 years, probably because of persistent fuelling issues. I have managed to sort all the problems, made more difficult because previous owners have
damaged every screw, nut and bolt when failing to undo them.
|Fuel Tap see cork gasket ,new hoses and clips
|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 to make
it look this good. I only have to park the Pegaso near a puddle and the white oxidisation returns.
|I welded additional metal to widen and strengthen the footpegs
|I fitted ProGrip 801 Grips
|My LED Daytime running light £2 on eBay