Gregory Bender

Shock length

Moto Guzzi V700, V7 Special, Ambassador, 850 GT, 850 GT California, Eldorado, and 850 California Police models


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The length of the original shocks was 12 inch (center-to-center).

Shorter shocks

A person must be very cautious when fitting shorter shocks so that the angle of the swing arm always runs downhill from the transmission to the rear drive. Should the swing arm run uphill from the transmission to the rear drive (or even parallel), the gear oil within the rear drive will be pumped out of the rear drive and into the swing arm: where it will serve no useful purpose and the serviceable life of the rear drive will be greatly reduced.

Longer shocks

I've always believed that 13 inch (center-to-center) was the longest shocks that could be safely fit. Any longer and I feared the u-joint would bind on itself. However, Dave Washburn has some real world empirical evidence with 13 inch (center-to-center) shocks. In Dave's own words:

Quote from a post by Gregory Bender:

I'm impressed that Dave W has 13 inch shocks on his...

I was pretty impressed with myself when I got them on!

Quote from a post by Gregory Bender:

I always thought the swing arm would be a too much of a angle for our ujoints to handle. Dave W, please comment

I have been running the same u-joint since ‘99 and it wasn't new then, just the best one in the box. As you can see from this photo:

Photo courtesy of Dave Washburn.

there is quite a bit of air under the rear fender at rest but the center stand still works fine and a lot of that extra travel goes away when I sit down ;)

The oil is likely to stay in the rear drive where it belongs so I make sure to lube everything well during my seasonal engine pulling ritual.