Much like the Ducati 900SS FE we featured last week, today's reborn Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans is a bike for riders who value a bit of history and real-world performance over high horsepower numbers, racetrack manners, and the newest technological acronyms. And when I say "legacy," I mean legacy: the longitudinally-mounted 90° v-twin found in the first twin cylinder Guzzis originally powered a do-it-all military tractor from the early 1960s...
A very evolved version of that venerable v-twin, here displacing 1064cc and producing a modest 90hp and 65ft.lbs of torque to motivate 557lbs of fully-fueled Italian history. That beefy powertrain is backed by six-speed box that was introduced in the original V11 Sport and was worlds better than the ancient five-speeder that preceded it, still driving through a driveshaft to the rear wheel. That longitudinal crankshaft orientation means that, like a flat-twin BMW, the bike responds to throttle inputs with a distinctive twist to the left. It doesn't ultimately limit handling, but it does take a bit of getting used to, as rolling on the throttle coming out of corners has the bike responding a bit differently, depending on whether you're turning left or right...
The Le Mans is obviously just a tarted-up V11 Sport trading on the name of Guzzi's most famous sportbike, but it has the same basic strengths of grace and pace. These were expensive motorcycles when new. Actually, most people would probably describe them as "too expensive," but their values have dropped dramatically in the used market and a good V11 Le Mans offers up a bit of Swiss Army Knife versatility. Carve canyons, do some light touring, pose at your local bike night, it's a bit of a one-bike-fits-all motorcycle, if you've only got room in your garage for one machine.
From the original eBay listing: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans for Sale
Shoulder problems have resulted in me not being able to ride a sporty position motorcycle any longer. This means that my 2002 LeMans is in search of a new home. I do not want to sell any of the parts/accessories separately, so please, no messages regarding that.
Details and link to photos follow:
- "Cristal Cuvèe" color (that would be gold, to you and me)
- 12,500 miles.
- I am the second owner. I purchased it in 2010 (on ebay, from a New York owner) with about 6600 miles on it.
- It was originally sold by Fast by Ferracci in Pennsylvania, 11/12/2002.
- Texas Title is free and clear.
- Bike is 100% mechanically, both original owner and I are maintenance fanatics.
- No crashes, but has minor "rashes" on fairing indents each side (right side from original owner, left side from about two years ago when hot asphalt gave way under the kickstand. (see photos)
- Some cracking and peeling of paint on lower portions of metallic red frame side panels...the well known "Pork Chop" issue. (see photos)
- Continental Road Attack tires, front at about 2000 miles, rear less than 1000
- Original manuals and tool kit
- Shop stand (since the Le Mans has no Center Stand)
- Power Commander III module installed (I have run it with and without...Throttle response seems smoother with it in place.)
- Fast by Ferracci crossover pipe, bright silver ceramic coated (original stock H-pipe included)
- Head pipes bright silver ceramic coated (will not discolor from heat)
- Factory accessory aluminum rear rack (with instructions)
- Ventura Bike-Pack System installed with Grab Bar, Sport Rack and Pack Rack options (Packs and rain cover included)
- Givi Top Case (Was mounted to Sport Rack, but I never used it.)
- Nelson-Rigg RiggPack soft top case with raincover.
- RoadGear Hi-Adventure Jumbo Sport soft saddlebags. (I added 5mm Obechi plywood side stiffeners)
- Hi-Adventure Jumbo Sport Saddle Bags (I added 5mm Obechi plywood side stiffeners)
- Apex Racing adjustable 3" riser clip-ons installed (original factory clip-ons included for stock change-back)
- Motratech forward foot control kit, (again with all original parts included to revert to stock position)
- Guzzi factory accessory cover (red fabric with gold eagle, not weatherproof, for indoor use only)
- Nelson-Rigg outdoor cycle cover.
- Laminar Lip windscreen add on (reduces helmet buffeting, easily removable)
- Corbin Gunfighter solo saddle as well as original factory dual saddle with solo dress cover/backrest
- Spare left hand fairing side (prepainted).
- Real Gaskets silicone rubber valve cover gaskets.
- Spare shifter return spring (these are known to sometimes fail on '02s, but the factory one is still working in this case)
- Full set of factory decals and emblems for eventual repaint or repair use
- Factory brochures and October 2001 Cycle World magazine with 2002 Le Mans review
- Original owner cut holes in airbox, but a complete additional airbox and spare filter is included, for "back to stock" use.
- Crankcase vent tube replaced at 8000 miles
- Monoshock failed at 10,500. Replaced with a (hard to find) new stock unit (failed unit still on hand if you want to have it rebuilt or upgraded).
- Battery replaced with Odyssey PC545, March, 2013.
Just 12,000 miles on the odometer means this bike is pretty low-mileage for a Guzzi, especially considering the touring accessories fitted. The seller is asking just $4,995.00 for the whole package, a pretty screaming deal considering the miles, condition, and extras included. Quality on some of the earlier V11 Sports was a bit spotty, but took a significant turn for the better under Aprilia's stewardship that began in 2001.
It's not perfect, with a few minor scrapes along the fairing edge and some general details, but a bit of TLC should turn it into a very classy and capable machine. I've ridden a V11 Sport and, while they are pretty heavy bikes, they are also very sure-footed, once you get used to the asymmetrical cornering-thing. Which you will.