Posts by tag: shaft drive

BMW April 8, 2018 posted by

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S

Lots of young men had Farrah Fawcett posters on their walls in the mid 1970's, while those with the two-wheeled affliction might've had one of a sexy R90S.  The bike was BMW's return to /S machines and was made only for a few years, but won Daytona and the inaugural AMA SuperBikes championship in 1976 under Reg Pridmore.

1975 BMW R90/S for sale on eBay

A descendant of BMW's venerable R75, the R90 was bored out to 898cc's and the helpful addition of Dell'Orto carburetors brought home 67 hp.  The first production year retained the Type 247 engine's kickstarter, but the 1975 update deleted that and added drilled brake rotors and a strengthened crankshaft.  The R90S was an early design of Hans Muth, who went on to many machines at BMW and then for Target Design.

This Tennessee /S has been comprehensively restored, every part NOS or newly painted, polished, or plated.  The owner started with a tired example with a rusty tank and missing its fairing, but has achieved a rare level of mechanical and cosmetic completeness.  From the eBay listing:

Bike was completely taken apart down to the bare frame and ever component rebuilt, restored or replaced. The complete motor, transmission, forks, wheels and carbs were rebuilt by Guenther Wuest in Indiana. He is a well know BMW motorcycle restorer.  Almost ever part replaced was replaced with parts from BMW thru Max. I have all the receipts and most of the packaging they came in. 

The only parts that are not BMW are the rear shocks and exhaust. I have all the original parts that were removed and replaced including all fasteners and are included with the sale.  Bike did not have a fairing or mirrors and had some kind of custom seat pad when I received it.  It also only had three aluminum  blinkers with no internals. The original gas tank was rusted beyond use so I went searching for a tank and came across a complete set of Daytona Orange body parts including a fairing.  The parts were re-painted some time ago but are in very good shape.  There are a few small chips on the tank and a couple small cracks on the fairing.

Front wheel was rebuilt with a new rim from Max and stainless steel spokes. The rear wheel was replaced with an original rebuilt Weinmann wheel I bought from Guenther.  Tires are new and wheels are balanced.  Every cable, nut, bolt, clamp, hose, seat, blinkers, bulbs, wires and complete brake system including the master cylinder is new. Also found a NOS tire pump that is included along with some new BMW tools.  Bike has only been ridden maybe 2 miles since completion and it starts right up and runs very smooth.

The R90S reviewed as a great all-rounder - not the fastest or most powerful, but handled well and was comfortable to ride through the 6 gallons of fuel on board.  The bikini fairing was borrowed widely though most did not include the thoughtful clock and oil pressure gauge.  The design was soon superseded with fast-paced engineering updates leading to the R100S and RS.  Likely this one will be for show only, though the restoration has prepared it for the road as well...

-donn

Ab Fab – 1975 BMW R90S
Featured Listing March 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

Update 4.15.2018: Now listed on eBay for $18,500. Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

These days, Moto Guzzi is pigeonholed as the Piaggio Group's resident bearer of the sporty retro banner, building the Italian equivalent of Triumph's classic Thruxton, Speed Twin, and Bobber. Which is a damn shame, given Guzzi's history of legitimately competitive racing machines in a wide variety of classes. Of course, they almost always seemed to have that classic "speed through comfort" thing going on, even with their single-cylinder racebikes. But with very nice, but unintimidating fare like the current V7 and brutish retro-crusiers like the Griso and El Dorado, it's easy to forget that the original Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans was, at the time, a very serious sportbike.

1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

With distinctive styling that looks a bit like some sort of sleek, antediluvian racing tractor, the Le Mans was an update of the earlier V7 Sport and 750S, and used the same Lino Tonti frame and longitudinal v-twin, here punched out to 844cc and fitted with high-compression pistons in chrome bores, along with a hot cam, bigger valves, and larger carburetors. The resulting 71 rear-wheel-horses were corralled by a five-speed transmission and routed to the ground via Guzzi's now familiar shaft drive. Stopping was managed by a trio of disc brakes, and the Le Mans used a simple linked-braking system that sometimes causes sportbiking purists to turn up their noses, but is very effective in practice.

Obviously, "two-valve," "pushrod" and "shaft-drive" aren't words generally found in the description of a sportbike, but the Le Mans most definitely was one. It wouldn't likely impress anyone used to modern performance bikes, but in 1976, a top speed of 130mph meant the Le Mans was a legitimate player in the high-performance world, and a direct comparison to the contemporary Ducati 900SS suggests the simpler, pushrod Guzzi motor is actually revvier and the Le Mans handles just as well.

In spite of the fact that Lino Tonti's frame made for a very effective sport and street motorcycle for an impossibly long time, motorcycle frame design and suspension geometry have come a long way since the early 1970s and although the Le Mans is famously stable, it does, according to at lease one magazine article, "turn like a plank in a swimming pool." But who cares about agility when you're running tires this skinny and looking this good? Tonti-framed bikes are especially beloved of the cafe crowd due to their naturally low overall height, due to the jutting cylinders: even before you start modifying one, it's already impossibly low and lean. The downside of the Le Mans' widely-used frame and desirability is that they're pretty easy to fake, with most of the unique parts pretty easy to source, so verifying that you're looking at the real article is key before you make a purchase.

Moto Borgotaro did a pretty good job describing the bike themselves, as you can see below... The seat isn't the original part, but that's not really all that surprising, considering the originals used a newfangled closed-cell foam in their construction... that promptly disintegrated in many cases. This one looks like the earlier 750S style, so it certainly has the right character and seems a popular replacement part for Le Mans that have suffered catastrophic seat failures. Other than the modern, folding bar-end mirrors that some might not like, this thing is in pretty immaculate shape, down to the US-spec protruding headlight that is accurate, but something I'd personally try and swap out for the European version.

From the Seller: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

THIS MOTORCYCLE'S STORY

— By Peter Boggia and Tim Parker

Tonti, essentially a “frame man” made a plan to meet De Stefani’s goal of “200 kilometers per hour, 200 kilograms, and five speeds.”

That’s 125mph, 440lb and 5-speeds in American. His plan was the V7 Sport first seen in 1971. Sure it met the goal but it was also a looker, and the frame was masterful, low, stiff and with good ground clearance, and tight to the engine – but with the lower frame rails removable. Watchword: balance.

“While the specially prepared Guzzi 750s were roaring round and round the Monza speed bowl in October 1969, breaking the records Moto Guzzi had set in June, Chief Engineer Lino Tonti, Managing Director Romolo De Stefani, and President Dore Letto were discussing how Moto Guzzi could follow up the new records.”

"Beautifully restored paint, original brakes, upgraded suspension, all original switch gear... this is a three owner Le Mans"

MOTO GUZZI 850 LE MANS 1 DETAILS:

  • VIN VE 070505
  • 19,781 miles
  • First year 850 Le Mans, not designated as the first series until the advent of the second series.
  • Repainted by current owner at 18k mi
  • Lafranconi exhaust 
  • FAC front fork upgrade
  • Velocity stacks
  • Excellent rims and newer tires 
  • Serviced 
  • Newer seat
  • All original switchgear in perfect working order 
  • Ikon shocks

www.motoborgotaro.com

Piaggio at least seems invested in Moto Guzzi's success, but dreams of a modern sportbike like the one that was rumored in the 90s will have to remain on hold for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, bikes like the Le Mans are still around to rally the faithful and keep the dream of "what could have been" alive. Sadly, the Le Mans is no longer an affordable classic, although it still is a very practical classic, with the speed to comfortably keep up with modern traffic and parts available to keep one running. It's a comment on Guzzi's famous reliability that this 20,000 mile example could probably be considered "low mileage." The crew at Moto Borgotaro aren't the usual bike-flippers, or a modern dealer looking to liquidate an estate-sale collection: classic sportbikes are their stock in trade, and this Guzzi appears to have the expected quality.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale
Moto Guzzi March 4, 2018 posted by

Grey Goose – 1984 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk. III

Rare as an air-cooled Moto Guzzi Le Mans is these days, a square-head Mark III is not often among them.  And you wouldn't be faulted for expecting orangey-red or black, but this example was re-done in a very BMW-ish grey metallic.  The overall condition, trim Mk.III fairings and black wheels mask the age of this well cared-for Guzzi.

1984 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk. III for sale on eBay

The Le Mans has had such a long run that every example can be a history lesson.  The Mk.III was a substantial revision, angular from cylinder heads to fairings, with slight changes to engine and chassis geometry.  What weren't changed were the Le Mans paradigms - shaft drive, linked brakes, clip-ons, stable handling, and generous torque.  Gas rear shocks and coupled air forks were a notable addition, as were 18-inch wheels  front and rear.

Owned by a BMW wrench and evident mega-fan, this 850 Le Mans was treated to many performance enhancements and charcoal urban camouflage - looking very good for 30, thank you.  Original parts to ( gasp ! ) return it to stock are also included.  From the eBay auction:

It has been treated lovingly, always stored in a heated dry environment. It has been owned by a BMW Motorrad Master Technician (myself) since 1989. It was ridden briefly a few days ago to take the photos you are viewing. It definitely needs to get out and stretch its legs a bit but it has been registered as non-op here in California (it is fully insured however) and it needs tires as the Metzelers mounted on it are vintage as well.

It has been treated to the best, most desirable upgrades in the time I have owned it. Almost all of the upgrades were carried out in 1990 and 1991. The upgrades include RaceCo (Brooklyn, NY, RIP)  helical cut gear-driven camshaft, Ohlins piggyback shock absorbers, TeleFix adjustable handlebars (NLA), Agostini alloy rearset footrests (NLA), de-linked brakes with custom Kosman brake lines, K & N individual air filters, brand new Dyna ignition (with good used spare), new Lucas coils, and TeleFix fork brace. It includes one Albert sport bar end mirror that is shown in the photos. It also received new rings, a full de-carb and valve guide seals a few years back. I am including all of the original stock parts that I hung onto including the airbox, Marzocchi shocks, footrests, coils, cam sprockets, handlebars, etc. See photos for details. The photos are part of the description and I do not state that everything is included to return it to stock trim. If you don't see it, it is not included.

The paintwork was done by the legendary Mike Stolarz at Bavarian Cycle Works in 1990. It is as gorgeous as the day it was completed. It is charcoal metallic and silver metallic with hand painted gold pinstripes. The decals and pinstriping were clear coated with the rest of the paint. It contributed to winning a trophy at the Corona Del Mar bike show despite having been ridden all the way from San Francisco the day before and competing without the benefit of a wash!

Even in the mid-eighties the Guzzi's were idiosyncratic, using their own measures of an exciting ride rather than the yardstick of the stopwatch and race results.  The Mk. III was replaced for a few years by the 948cc CX-100, while the company completed development of noise and emissions-compliant airbox and carburetors.  The early-80's reintroduction was a homecoming for fans of the model, and continued almost for the rest of the decade.  This Mk. III looks to have received the star treatment right from the very beginning...

-donn

Grey Goose – 1984 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk. III
Ghezzi-Brian February 11, 2018 posted by

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia

In operation just since 1995, Ghezzi-Brian has capitalized on Moto Guzzi's long history beginning with the SuperTwin race bike.  Their naked-sport Furia served fans of the brand with a lighter street package which just happened to be a looker as well.

2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia for sale on eBay

For '02 the Furia used Moto-Guzzi's oversquare 1064cc engine, with 87 hp, 5-speed transmission and shaft drive.  The backbone frame from Moto-Guzzi is updated with Paioli forks and G-B's own monoshock swingarm.  The front end has a Buell-esque rim-diameter disk brake, and the muffler is crafted to echo the silhouette of the oil pan.

Coming out of Virginia, this Ghezzi-Brian has under 6,000 miles and looks complete and undamaged.  The owner states that this particular bike is a pre-production machine, perhaps it was the importer's demo to entice dealers.  From the eBay auction:

-Exotic Italian design, totally stock from Moto Guzzi 1100cc shaft drivetrain
-Lightweight components: naked sport frame, perimeter front rotor, Ohlins shock, carbon fender, hand welded fuel tank & muffler, projector beam headlights
-This 2002 Furia was the prototype & the first model in the U.S. (production began in 2003)
-Velocity Motorcycles received this Furia & one Sport Twin

A long runner in the bespoke European segment, the Furia is still in Ghezzi-Brian's catalogue, and is even available as a kit for an owner to modify their own Guzzi.  The fuel-injected drivetrain and strong chassis are known quantities and a good choice for a custom.  Ghezzi-Brian motorcycles have undeniable rarity, and some neat low-volume touches.  Just the thing for a Guzzi fan with exceedingly good taste.

-donn

 

Gutsy Ghezzi – 2002 Ghezzi-Brian Furia
Moto Guzzi February 3, 2018 posted by

Best Foot Forward – 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11

The wide Guzzi V-twin is instantly recognizable, the big air-cooled heads only lately fuel-injected and in this case protected by tipover guards.  The longitudinal crankshaft machine has a history going back to 1976, long and stable, if not a lightweight.  This V11 has some miles but looks undamaged and well cared-for.

2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11 for sale on eBay

Rather than ground-breaking, the V11 is reverent to Guzzi's past, the layout the same though the frame now supports the engine from the top.  Magnetti Marelli digital ignition and injection help deliver 91 hp and 69 ft.-lbs. torque.  Various wheel sizes have been used on past LeMans, settling on 17-inch front and rear for the V11.  The addictive torque keeps the signature shaft drive 5-speed transmission in the game.

 

The Idaho owner has kept this Guzzi extra nice for the miles, with a Corbin seat and forward foot controls, an unusual but worthwhile mod for those with adult knees.  From the eBay auction:

Excellent condition, Needs nothing, This past spring ( 200 miles ago ) all fluids changed- including brake & clutch, valves adjusted, new spark plugs, new air & fuel filters, throttle bodies & injectors professionally cleaned, Guzzi Tech reflashed the ECU, Eurocycles adjusted the TPS & sync the throttle bodies, Avon tires in very good condition, shifter spring up-date is done, paint is in excellent condition, Moto Tech foot controls, Factory MG Tank Bag, & center stand.

 

A little more GT than SuperSport, up-to-date fuel injection and premium components have made the LeMans V11 is a winning continuation of a venerable model.  The early 2000's found Guzzi making many special models, but the LeMans is just classic.  With very little in the way of applied graphics, the grays and candy red work wonders.  The owner has done some nice mid-life maintenance on the bomb-proof V-twin, and this looks like a great way to catch the European strain of the sportbike affliction...

-donn

Best Foot Forward – 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans V11
Moto Guzzi October 1, 2017 posted by

Sunday Goose: 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport for Sale

It's a shame we'll probably never see a modern Moto Guzzi sportbike, since they've been nominated official "heritage brand" for the Piaggio Group. Especially disappointing, since Guzzi was active and successful in a variety of racing classes up into the 1970s. Guzzi even had a modern superbike in the works intended to compete head-to-head with the 916. This new superbike engine kept the longitudinal v-twin, but used a narrower angle between the cylinder heads for more cornering clearance, liquid-cooling, four valves, and even chain drive. Until things change, we're got  this roadster V11 Sport as the sportiest production Guzzi of the modern era.

Tractor jokes aside, bikes like this V11 Sport were a definite step in the right direction after the charming, but very agricultural Sport 1100 that dabbled in modernity after the very long-in-the-tooth Le Mans series and the retro 1000S. It still used the company's torquey, two-valve and air-cooled twin, here displacing 1064cc and producing a respectable 91hp. After years stuck with a clunky five-speed box, the V11 introduced a much more modern, smooth-shifting six-speed that, although hampered a bit by the intertia of the shaft drive, could even be upshifted clutchlessly.

Handling and balance were good, although obviously it wasn't as light as naked offerings from Ducati. Considering that it's nearly 550lbs ready-to-roll with a full tank of fuel on board, the V11 Sport isn't a hard core sportbike and wasn't pretending to be. It was a sporty roadster meant to evoke Guzzi's history while simultaneously hinting at a future that would unfortunately never arrive.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport for Sale

Very fine V11 Sport dressed in the stunning green with red frame. I am the second owner. I purchased the bike from a older gentleman who had put very few miles (1600) on the bike. I haven't done much better as my riding miles are spread between a number of bikes. Machine is in stock form except for the carbon fiber mufflers (beautiful music), CRG barend mirrors, headlight protector, and Ventura tail pack. Tail pack is simply removed by two screws as is very handy for day trips. 

Headlight rim and front brake lever have small rash spots due to tip-over.

A friend of mine bought one of these off eBay, without ever having actually seen one in person.

After winning the auction, he asked me, "It's not really that green right? That's just the photos?"

"No man," I said. "It really is that green..."

It's a shockingly vivid color, but it suits the bike. Certainly kids seem to love it, and they always wave when he passes cars, and point excitedly. He still has it, and loves it. The V11 Sport was also available in a subtle silver or a sleek black, but this color combination, meant to evoke the original, extremely rare "teliao rosso" version of the early 70s V7 Sport, is the one I'd have, hands down. Think of it a safety feature. With prices of the older Sport 1100 and Daytona variants on the rise, the V11 is the only game in town if you want an affordable, collectible Guzzi. It's definitely a quirky machine, but if you're looking for something odd and charismatic that can also cut a rug and comes with the trademark Guzzi boom, this is worth a look.

-tad

Sunday Goose: 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport for Sale