Posts by Category: Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi August 27, 2015 posted by

Red Survivor – 1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 Mk. IV

Almost 20 years on since the introduction of the V7 and the big V-twin was still the basis for the Moto-Guzzi range.  Alejandro De Tomaso took a personal interest in the machine, displacement was increased from 850 to 1000cc, and the front wheel size reduced to 16 inches in the interest of quicker handling.  In various minor revisions and special editions, the Le Mans 1000 carried the marque until the early nineties when fuel injected models were ready.

20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv right

1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 Mk. IV for sale on eBay

20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv left

Sporting a more angular but bikini-style fairing, the Mk. IV Le Mans looks back at the sporty cafe racer it was when introduced in 1976.  The red-orange paint, now extended to the frame and forks, recalls earlier 850 models.  Small body fairing and chin scoop direct air over the cylinders.  Larger valves and 10:1 compression ratio gave a nice bump in power from the 850, needed as weight had creeped up to over 500 lbs.  With shaft drive and the fairly high-geared 5-speed transmission, if not super quick the 1000 was plenty fast with a top speed of almost 140 mph.  Steering was enhanced with the 16-inch front wheel, though not all riders considered it an improvement to the long heavyweight the bike had become.  Early linked brakes were a safety enhancement, handlebar lever operating the right front brake disk, and pedal gave you left front and rear brake together, each disk 270mm.

20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv right front  20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv right rear

Sparklingly presented by a Nashville dealer, this Le Mans has only 5,100 original miles and appears unrestored.  The eBay auction lists a few updates and repairs:

This Le Mans is in fantastic original condition and was just picked up from the second owner. It is bone stock with the exception of the leather bags and upgraded exhaust (comes with original exhaust as well, in poor condition) The paint is all original and is very glossy with very few minute blemishes. The tires are new Metzlers, 500mi ago. The brakes lines were all replaced due to age (original included) and the rear master cylinder was also recently replaced. Comes with all it’s original keys, 2 ignition, and two for the neck.

20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv right engine detail  20150826 1985 moto guzzi le mans 1000 mk iv binnacle

Though a mature design at the beginning of the sportbike “revolution”, the Le Mans 1000 is still a looker, and can still perform.  The bombproof twin and shaft drive make it a cafe racer for the long term…


Red Survivor – 1985 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 Mk. IV
Moto Guzzi August 9, 2015 posted by

Freight Train coming through – 1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 on eBay


If you like being the guy on something different, here is a nice way to stand out.  Full of character, history and heritage, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer still in constant production.  Guzzi’s are described as an “acquired taste” full of idiosyncrasies that set them apart for better or worse from other motorcycles.  The most obvious thing to jump out at you is the longitudinally mounted 1064cc v-twin engine which, in theory, should allow for a shorter wheelbase.  As you can see, this didn’t exactly play out.  The Sport 1100 is big, it’s long and it’s heavy.  It is not quick to turn, but once it’s cranked over, it holds a line extremely well.  Contributing to this stability is the outsourced WP forks which also hold Brembo brakes.


This particular Sport 1100 is showing a very low 2300 miles and is in near flawless and original condition, down the to 20 year old OEM tires (you may want to address this if you plan on doing any actual riding).  It is striking to look at, and like many Italian bikes of the era, would make a great Sunday cruiser, but is probably not very practical for daily riding.  You can check out the eBay listing here:  1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 on eBay.







Freight Train coming through – 1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100
Moto Guzzi June 25, 2015 posted by

Big Iron – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corse

Set the way-back machine for 1975 and attend EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori) in Milan, there you’ll see the original bikini-faired Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans, the iconic basis for the long line of Le Mans-badged machines.  The torquey long-wheelbase heavyweights were ( and are ) the cornerstone of Guzzi’s line-up.

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse right

2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corse for sale on eBay

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse cockpit

The Racing Red model is part of the V11 series, the most recent to wear the LeMans name, and was produced until 2006.  Before that the 850 Le Mans went through three updates from 1976 – 84, and then the 1000 Le Mans was built until 1991.  All have been based on the 45-degree pushrod V-twin, pushing a single-plate dry clutch and shaft drive, the V11 displacing 1064cc and worthy of 91 hp.

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse binnacle  20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse right front

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse  seat  20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse right front wheel

Outstanding components set the more recent Guzzi’s apart, Marelli ignition and injection, Ohlins forks and monoshock, Brembo brakes, La Francona exhaust.  All are a little bigger than you might expect but make sense for the long, heavy machine.  The handlebar fairing has grown into the upper part of a sportbike fairing, and complementary monoposto cover reveals a pillion seat.  Exotic red anodized valve covers and frame connectors work well with the fade-out checkered flag paint scheme.

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse valve cover  20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse left detail

20150622 2003 moto guzzi v11 le mans rosso corse right detail

This particular Rosso Corse is basically new, with not even break-in miles.  Hard to pick up any deficiencies in the pictures.  From the eBay auction:

2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corse  767 miles. Ohlins suspension. Limited production collector quality big twin. Bike was traded to Pro Italia on a new Moto Guzzi. No stories, it’s near perfect. Anodized red parts are unfaded. Our shop only needed to fit a fresh battery to make ready for sale.

More of an exclusive cafe’ racer than full-on sportbike, the V11 still handles well, shading toward stability more than maneuverability.  Likely to be the only Guzzi and almost certainly the only V11 on your next Sunday ride…



Big Iron – 2003 Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corse
Moto Guzzi May 4, 2015 posted by

Quintessential Cafe – 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

The oldest European manufacturer in continuous production of motorcycles, Moto Guzzi has an impressive history, from their founding in 1921 by two Italian Air Force pilots and their mechanic, championship-winning 250, 350, and 500cc racing machines, to the present-day large displacement fuel-injected street bikes.  Long a technical innovator, the company developed a 500cc engine with one overhead and one side valve, a 500cc V-8 motorcycle, pioneered the rear swingarm, and was the first motorcycle manufacturer to build a wind tunnel.  The V11 Sport uses some of their most durable developments, the longitudinal V-twin and shaft drive.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right

2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right front

The booming twin displaces 1064cc and weighs almost 550 lbs. fueled, but a lightweight flywheel allows the air/oil-cooled pushrod twin to rev happily, though the wide torque band ensures some giddy-up is almost always available.  A revised 6-speed gearbox, fully adjustable suspension, and three big Brembo brakes make this a 21st century bike which hasn’t forgotten its roots.  The V-twin and shaft drive have been part of the lineage since the 1967 V7, and the bikini fairing recalls the 1976 850 Lemans.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right rear  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left detail

Treated to a few nice updates, this Moto Guzzi has carbon mufflers, a power commander ( making fuel injection 1.0 and Y2K emissions better to ride ), braided brake lines, and bar-end mirrors.  Honey-where’s-our-bike paint with red frame and gussets.  Neat factory pillion cover.  Certainly a rider with 31,000 miles, the paint looks good and the bike appears mishap-free.  Forks and shock have been rebuilt.  Sporting a Moto Guzzi National Owner’s Club sticker is some reassurance the oil changes and valve adjustments haven’t been ignored.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport cockpit  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport rear

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport right rear  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left detail

From the eBay auction:

This is a very strong running exotic Italian V-Twin with 31,xxx on the clock located near Akron, OH. 
Well cared for, this Moto Guzzi is a work of art for pleasure riding as well as track day adventures. Like the idea of having the rumble of a Harley with the ride of a sport bike? Moto Guzzi is the answer.

20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport left grip  20150504 2000 moto guzzi v11 sport under seat

Over on the cafe racer side of the sportbike universe, the classic look and sound of a V11 Sport have the makings of a fine weekend afternoon.


Quintessential Cafe – 2000 Moto Guzzi V11 Sport
Moto Guzzi January 14, 2015 posted by

Guzzi Racers: Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US



As we have posted before, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles.  However most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago.  Guzzi has made the occasional attempt to recognize and even revisit their racing history and this post is about two of these efforts, a 1993 Guzzi Daytona available in the US and an uber-rare 2004 MGS-01 for sale in Japan.


1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on ebay

First is a 1993 Guzzi Daytona located in the states. We have posted a few of these here on RSBFS but for those unfamiliar with the Daytona edition, in the mid 1980’s an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using a Moto Guzzi.  Witnner’s Guzzi efforts resulted in wins in both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship and Wittner eventually went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi.  One result of his efforts was the Guzzi Daytona edition, which had an updated engine that was in a new spine frame based on Dr. John’s race bike design, including a monoshock under the seat and Brembo four-pot calipers with 300mm dual discs (two-pot/260mm rear) provided stopping power.  The result was a significantly improved ride over other Guzzis of the era, with power available whenever you open the throttle.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here.

While the Daytona was a big move forward for Guzzi, it was still essentially a big Guzzi, more of an homage to Wittner’s Guzzi racing success than a pure racer.  As reviewers noted;

The Moto Guzzi Daytona isn’t a real race-replica, it is instead more of an homage, a traditionalist’s GT-class machine. It excels everywhere by not doing anything wrong; the suspension offers a good balance of compliance and control. Mid-corner throttle changes have almost no consequence whatsoever on the chassis. Whacking open the throttle while leaned over makes the rear end squat slightly, just like a chain-drive bike which is amazing considering the shaft drive.


The buyer includes a fair amount of info about the bike, including the following:

  • Single owner since new
  • Everything on the bike is stock including the Stage 2 Moto Guzzi upgrade kit.
  • The original tires were on the bike, but were just replaced out of safety concerns.
  • All of the fluids have been just changed by the owner and a new battery installed.
  • Mileage is listed at a low 7,126 kilometers/4,427 miles

Overall the condition looks to be very good except for some surface rust on the rear rotor which is probably due to climate and what appears to be an aftermarket exhaust.  It is interesting to note that like other US buyers of the Daytona, the buyer wasn’t happy with DOT mandated changes and had the dealer convert the headlight to the European specs which included the head light assembly and upper fairing.

guzzidaytona14 guzzidaytona16

Okay, now usually in these posts this is where I post the “so whats it worth part?”  The Daytona isn’t a bad bike in any way, is always popular among people who like good engineering and want something that isn’t a torture to ride.   Prices for these seem to vary between 8,000-11,000 USD depending on condition.  These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.

But what if you wanted a true Guzzi race machine?  Well there was an actual short-lived effort by Moto Guzzi to produce a true race machine.  Moto Guzzi was acquired by the Aprilia motorcycle company in 1999 (Editors note: along with my beloved Laverda) and Aprilia was at this time working hard on large displacement bikes including their RSV Mille.  It was during this period that Moto Guzzi produced the uber-rare and non-street going MGS-01 pictured here.

guzzi 1

2004 Moto Guzzi MGS-01 for sale in Japan on goobike

The MGS-01 (Moto Guzzi Sport model number one) was intended to be the future of Moto Guzzi. It was fast, beautiful, exclusive, expensive, basically you typical piece of Italian exotica. A detailed explanation of the MGS-01 can be read here but to suffice to say that when bike was introduced it caused a sensation.  Sadly, only 150 of the MGS-01 managed to make it out the door before new owners of Aprilia the Piaggio group shut down production in 2005 to focus on more profitable ventures.  Efforts continue to keep the idea alive via the Millepercento group but those aren’t official Guzzi products.

guzzi carbon

This particular MGS-01 is located in Japan and there is almost no info provided about the bike other than a few pictures.   Perhaps a RSBFS reader located in Japan could get more info for us.  Asking price of 42,000 USD is actually in line with the few that have been posted on RSBFS before. With only 150 of these being built and some undoubtedly being used as true race bikes, the chances of acquiring one of these will probably only decline going forward so serious collectors should take note.

In conclusion, while from a styling standpoint its hard to believe only 11 years separated the 1993 Daytona and the 1994 MGS-01, they are both modern motorcycles and each one has their own type of appeal.  I suppose the Daytona would be easier to own and enjoy while the MGS-01 is certainly a true piece of unobtanium.  Perhaps some lucky Moto Guzzi fan will be able to acquire them both and enjoy the Daytona as a regular ride and the MGS-01 as living room art.


Guzzi Racers:  Moto Guzzi MGS-01 in Japan vs Moto Guzzi Daytona in US
Moto Guzzi December 14, 2014 posted by

Gentleman’s Express: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L side

Moto Guzzi is famous for manufacturing quirky, long-legged sports machines like this Daytona RS. The Daytona featured Guzzi’s 992cc four-valve, SOHC engine that was also found in the bizarrely-styled Centauro. Fans fast Moto Guzzi’s from the 1990’s are probably most familiar with the Sport 1100, the lower-spec, lower-cost version of this machine that was fitted with the bigger two-valve pushrod motor. The fuel-injected engine had a higher, 9,000rpm rev-limit as shown on the white-faced tach but the powerband reportedly featured a frustrating flat-spot at 5,000rpm, right where you’d expect to find yourself on the road. This flat-spot was exacerbated by the standard, not-particularly-slick Guzzi five-speed gearbox that made it difficult to simply ride around the problem.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS Dash

While the frame and chassis were big improvements compared to earlier Moto Guzzis, by the late 90’s, the rapid pace of sportbike evolution had left them in the dust and the Daytona was too heavy, too clunky, and too slow to keep up with the new kids on the block. Ducati’s sadomasochistic sex appeal and cornering poise allowed it to compete against the Japanese but, compared to its direct rivals, the Daytona RS was really a “slow, old bus.”

With stable handling, good brakes, high-end suspension components, and a generally epic engine, it wasn’t a total loss though. Dripping with character and blessed with a booming exhaust, the Daytona RS was more of a GT and less of a raw sportbike. A flawed masterpiece for sunny morning rides through the canyons while you hold the bike a gear low to keep the revs ahead of that annoying flat-spot, riding a bike that makes you feel special.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side Engine

This Daytona isn’t perfect, but looks to be well cared-for example and includes some interesting features, and the fact that it needs a bit of cosmetic attention wouldn’t bother me, as it’d be a chance to go back to a more traditional eagle logo on the tank. While the bike originally was available with a passenger pad and pillion pegs, this bike’s solo tail is possibly for the best: passenger accommodations were supposedly very poor…

The bike features head-guards, although I’ve never seen this particular, abbreviated style before. On two-valve Guzzis, these actually do more to protect the spark plug leads than the heads themselves, allowing victims of low-speed crashes to get back on the road running on both cylinders. The four-valve engine’s plugs are more recessed, but the guards should still protect the heads themselves in a crash.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS L Termi

The sound of any uncorked Guzzi twin is truly epic, and the genuine Termignoni pipes fitted should give this Daytona the ability to shatter windows from blocks away.

I’m curious about those front brakes: they look like six-piston calipers. The bike was originally equipped with the standard package of Goldline four-piston Brembos common to many Italian bikes of the era, although the Italians are notorious for fitting non-standard bits partway through a production run, so perhaps these are original?

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS FI Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

1536 original miles, clean title with paper work, I was told by a collector that only 308 were made. The bike is in very nice condition, runs extremely strong, but will need to be repainted due to the fact it was dropped over in the back of a truck and has some scratches and 2 indentations in the tank. The turn signal are tucked under the tail fairing, but are still there. This is the solo seat version with a dual Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust system. The motorcycle has just been serviced and will be getting new fork seals before this auction is over.

There are two days left on the auction with no takers yet at the $6,000 starting bid. While the $12,000 Buy It Now price might seem steep for a 90’s Guzzi, this bike shouldn’t be confused with its more common two-valve sibling: the Daytona RS is really the ultimate incarnation of the spine-framed Guzzis. Although this example has a few minor cosmetic issues, the low miles and general quality of the bike make it a tempting place to start if you’re looking to complete your collection with one of the best-looking Guzzis of the era.


1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS R side

Moto Guzzi October 10, 2014 posted by

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side

The story of Guzzi’s 1100 Sport is a bit like the story of Judas Priest and Tim “Ripper” Owens, but with motorcycles. It’s the story of an unlikely amateur being asked to join the big boys on stage, and in this case the “unlikely amateur” was former-dentist-turned-endurance-racing-guru Dr. John Wittner.

Wittner’s heavily-modified Guzzis were very successful in the mid-1980s, running endurance and ProTwins series events in the United States. Asked by Guzzi to develop a new top-of-the-range superbike that incorporated what he’d learned about engines and suspensions during his time in the trenches, Wittner’s Daytona featured the first use of Guzzi’s new-ish four-valve engine and spine-frame that proved a worthy successor to the Tonti-framed bikes that preceded it.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 L Side Rear

By the mid-90’s the bike was followed by the lower-spec, lower-priced Sport 1100 powered by Guzzi’s 1064cc two-valve engine that I’m going to insist is longitudinal, not transverse, since the crankshaft runs longitudinally. I don’t care what Wikipedia or Guzzi’s own website says.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Dash

Often criticized for being “agricultural”, Guzzis can be an acquired taste: if you’re used to clinical precision, you might hate this bike. And while shaft drive is durable and low-maintenance, it contributes to an overall heavy bike. The motor makes a respectable 90hp but, more importantly, a mountain of torque. Which is a good thing, since the gearbox has only 5 speeds and isn’t exactly famed for being pleasant to use…

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front and Rear

Best to just stick it in third or fourth and worry about clipping apexes. Excellent suspension components lend confidence and stability, if not agility, and top-of-the line period Brembos give solid, predictable stopping, although weight hampers the overall performance. The shaft-drive torque reaction is a little weird at first if you’re not expecting it, but you quickly get used to the slightly asymmetrical  feeling in corners.

Get a Guzzi into a fast road groove and it can keep up with much lighter, higher-strung machines. With plenty of cornering clearance, stability, and long legs, the Sport 1100 is really more of a GT and less of a race-replica.

1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for Sale

Here is a very clean 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport. Comes with the original owner’s manual and a clean title ready to go.

The bike has just a little over 31000 miles on it, it is all checked over, and has a brand new battery, fuel pump and fluids. Very nice carbon fiber exhaust sounds excellent as well.

I was used to old Guzzi 850’s before this one and man these 1100’s are fun.  Very high performance oriented, this Guzzi even looks fast. A very good handling machine, tons of life left in her and the value will only increase. This bike is the fuel injected model and is very nice!

I am very busy with all of my vintage builds and have decided to let a pair of these modern 1100’s go to someone who will enjoy them.

I love these bikes, and I love how the half-fairing shows off that hulking engine and transmission. Two-valve Guzzis are very tough bikes, and valve adjustments are a snap, with those cylinder heads sticking out in the breeze! As a bonus, those carbon cans should make a seriously stunning roar: Guzzi twins make a truly epic noise when uncorked. Unfortunately, this example does feature the US-spec headlight. I really love the 1100 Sport, but I’d be scrounging up a trapezoidal Euro unit as soon as possible if I had this in my garage.

Only problem I see here, aside from that headlight, is that Guzzi eagle on the tank: my buddy has a Guzzi, and people keep asking him “what kind of Harley is that?”


1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 R Side Rear

Italian Thunder: 1997 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100
Moto Guzzi July 14, 2014 posted by

Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec

In the face of increased competition its not really surprising that some motorcycle manufacturers are forced to focus on their strongest products and let their racing efforts “fall to the wayside”.  Harley Davidson is probably the most well known brand to do this but on the Italian side, there is Moto Guzzi.  Moto Guzzi is actually the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production and claims it has over 1000 racing victories including 14 world speed titles, 22 world records and 11 Tourist Trophies.  While most of the Moto Guzzi victories came well over 40 years ago, in the mid 1980’s an American named Dr John Wittner decided to try something different and go racing using Moto Guzzis’.

Wittner may have been a dentist by trade but was an engineer at heart, and in the 80’s he began modifying and racing a series of Moto Guzzi’s in the American national endurance championship.  After his bikes won both the 1984 and 1985 U.S. Endurance Championship, Wittner was made an offer he couldn’t refuse – to help Moto Guzzi develop a new world-beating superbike.  Wittner went to Italy to work for Moto Guzzi and many of the ideas from his race bikes were incorporated into the next generation of Moto Guzzis, including the “Daytona”.  (The Daytona was revealed at the 1989 Milan show but in typical Italian fashion it took until late 1991 to go into production).

guzzi daytona 1

1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona for sale on eBay

While the Guzzi Daytona may look like someones attempt to merge a Ducati with a Boss Hoss, it was a significant technological change for the company.  A detailed explanation of all the technical changes in the bike can be read here. Simply put the Daytona was the most powerful road-going Guzzi to that date, returning a top speed of 145mph and recently ranked by Guzzi fans as one of the top 3 most desired Guzzi models of the last 50 years.

moto guzzi 3

This particular Daytona looks exceptionally clean and well maintained and the seller has also done some euro-spec updates, including:

  • Stage B Termignoni headers
  • ECU chip and cans
  • A European fairing with built in crescent headlamp
  • White Veglia clocks/instruments
  • White wheels

guzzi daytona 3

The seller indicates some other items included in the sale:

“will include the original shop manual, an oil filter, fuel filter, custom stand built for this bike by Freeman Cycles at time of delivery, and a key fob that says of all things “Moto Guzzi” without any happy faces or bottle openers. And an oil pan gasket I think.  There’s also a can of moly specifically to be added to the differential when servicing it. That crap is messy.”

These bikes are known for retaining their value so if this one is on your bucket list, this might be the one for you.


Doc’s Daytona: 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona, euro spec