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1976 Moto Guzzi LeMans

For Sale: 1976 Moto Guzzi Lemans 850

Given the positive responses to a few of the recent Guzzis posted here on RSBFS, I made an extra effort to another one. Never let it be said that we don’t respond to our readership! It would appear that my efforts have paid off with this beauty, a 1976 850 LeMans. Sure, it is reaching thirty-something status in life, but it is still a looker.

This example, powered by the ubiquitous air-cooled, two-valve Moto Guzzi 850cc v-twin, shows only minor alterations from stock. As the seller notes, this may be one of the earliest LeMans models imported into the country!

From the seller:
This is my Guzzi Lemans, which I have enjoyed for about 10 years. This is a very early Lemans, VIN# VE70505. I have not confirmed this but the bike may be the fifth Lemans imported into the USA.

Updates I have made along the way

All three calibers are updated Brembo’s with single 10mm bleader
Beautiful Delrin intake manifolds

Powder coated wheels, fork legs and rear caliper bracket
Progressive fork springs

Stainless brake lines
Freshened brake cylinders

Electronic ignition

I am the second owner the bike was purchased Portland Cycles Yamaha: Portland, Maine. The fairing and side covers still have original blue paint. Original carb bellmouths. I mostly ran K&N’s which come with the bike.

There are scratches on the front fender, a crack in the rear fender, and a small dent in the tank…please see pictures.

I want to adress a question before it comes up, the wheel color. This is my second Lemans, all Lemans’s I have seen have had silverish wheel color. To my surprise this bike had a cream color wheel, with the outer rim polished. I color matched the wheel and omitted the polished rim. Again I feel that this Lemans is not typical of later versions.

This is really a great looking bike, with a unique stance and presence all its own. Collectors seem to be snapping up these old relics, and pricing has certainly been on the rise. These old M-G machines might just be the blue chip investments of the sport bike world, and the resurgence of the cafe racer movement certainly does not hurt!

If you are ready to join the lumbering world of the big v-twin, or simply enjoy an experience that is decidedly different, then this might be the bike for you. Bidding is now in the $7500 range, with a reserve still in place. There are more pics and more info available – just click the link and

MI

5 Comments

  • […] beautiful Mk I bike was pointed out to us by the lucky new owner of the last LeMans we covered (click here for details), who just so happens to also be a RSBFS reader. And as is common with the rare models we seek, you […]

  • […] more modified, and a little rougher than the other two LeMans Mk I bikes we posted earlier (see HERE and HERE). While the big-bore kit does not raise the value of the bike, it does add to the torque […]

  • I originally commented on one of the photos but will re-post here on the main page.
    This is a very nice example and Ice Blue to boot, much rarer than the red.
    The seller states this bike as perhaps the fifth Le Mans to reach the US. The seller is basing this on the number 70505 which in reality is the number Moto Guzzi assigned to the engine. The true frame number can be found stamped on the head stock. Le Mans production began with VE11111. The Berliner Corporation who imported Moto Guzzi at that time for some odd reason decided to use the engine number instead of frame number as the “official” VIN for DMV records. The frame number which is telling for production lineage and remaining most important for collectors is found stamped on the headstock and in most cases, is either partially or completely is covered by the later applied riveted plate. The 07**** this seller mentions is of little concequence to the actual production sequence of the bike. Their claim that 070505 indicates their Le Mans as number five can easily be disputed for two
    reasons. First, VE70505 is the number that Berliner assigned to the bike and not Moto Guzzi, and second, if looking at number sequence, there are two Le Man’s in my area with 07**** engin numbers well below the 070505 number stated above. In one comparison, 255 engine units behind 70505, and compared to my own Le Mans, over 300 engine units behind. I believe the seller here is basing this information on an incorrect statement found in a well known Le Mans coffe table book which incorrectly states that Le Mans engine numbering (VIN in the US) began at 070500.
    Despite the above, oval tailight Le Man’s are rare indeed and well worth the investment….including investment of fun!
    It’s always suggested when purchasing one of these bikes to ensure it’s true pedigree by looking at the VE111** number sequence stamped directly on the hard steel of frame steering tube.

  • Oops! Iphone mistakes again. I stated “behind” 70505 when I actually meant before, as in over 300 engine units before.
    Again, the Guzzi factory frame stamp VE11111 or above according to Moto Guzzi expert Ivar de Gier is the only one that matters when discussing historical significance or production lineage of the bike.

  • I am the proud owner of 1976 Moto Guzzi Mk 1 Le Mans with the VIN# 70501 and a Le Mans production number of VE11577. Does that mean it was the first import? I doubt it, but that would be unique.

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