Posts by tag: 850

Moto Guzzi December 24, 2020 posted by

Live From New York: 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans

‘Tis the season for Guzzi here on RSBFS, and I couldn’t be happier. In general these are nostalgic way-back machines, using large displacement and low RPM to provide motivation to a long-wheelbase platform. The whole package is a lot heavier and a lot less sporty than more contemporary motorcycles, but in the day these were relatively fearsome machines with true street and track creds. Today these are also eminently collectible.

1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for sale on eBay

The Le Mans came into existence during the DeTomaso years (of Pantera fame – the car not the band), and represented a new, sporty and stylish direction for the brand. All the classic Guzzi elements were already there, but they needed shaping to create one of the most iconic motorcycles in modern history. Retaining the traverse 90 degree V-twin cylinder arrangement bored out to 850cc and paired with a longitudinal crank plus shaft drive, Guzzi was taking it to the likes of BMW and their R90S – who just so happen to have won the 1976 AMA Superbike class in America with Reg Pridmore aboard. And while the Le Mans was a popular bike for racers, it was also a huge success in the showroom, spanning multiple variants and lasting through the latter half of the 1990s.

From the seller:
1978 Lemans 1 – excellent 22,615 miles.
original seat
original shocks
complete tool kit
original paint (except for fairing)
newer gel battery
complete service
everything works

In today’s world, there is very little here that represents a sport bike. Not the weight, not the long wheelbase, not the tiny disk brakes, not the paltry 71 HP, and not the skinny tires on 18″ wheels. But put in context of the cataclysmal technology revolution that was the 1980s, this simple and solid, hewn-from-solid-rock feeling motorcycle was confidence inspiring and reliable. By today’s dollars, these Mark I bikes appear to be a pretty good investment. And with 22k on the odometer, this is an investment that you can ride and enjoy without fear that a few extra miles will detract from future value.

This particular Moto Guzzi Le Mans is a Series II version of the Mark I bike. The original 1976 models can be identified by the round taillight, and represent only the first couple of thousand bikes. After that we see the square lights in the rear as shown by this 1978 model. These also had upgraded headlights to meet American standards, as well as the funky side reflectors. Today’s example can be found in New York, and is listed for $18,500. It has lots of original patina, and does not appear to be a rapidly-restored and flipped model. Of course you are looking at an unrestored 42 year old motorcycle, so expect some character lines. You can check it all out here. Happy Holidays, stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

Live From New York:  1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans
Moto Guzzi September 12, 2020 posted by

Red and Rare – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III

Back after a short break, Moto Guzzi’s Le Mans returned with a raft of updates from the Mk. II.  This Bay State native has been carefully kept in red, and has a couple of nice nods to reality.

1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III for sale on eBay

Though del Lario was never tempted by mere technology, the EPA cajoled Guzzi into a thorough re-design of the longitudinal V-twin, with an eye toward limiting intake noise as much as tailpipe emissions.  There was a lot new aboard the Le Mans III, right down to the Nikasil lining and outer shape of the cylinder heads, though the shaft drive and linked braking system kept it recognizable.  The fairing did a better job protecting the rider, having grown into almost a supersport affair.  Dry weight was in the mid-400’s but the big twin’s torque kept reviews positive.

Showing over 24,000 miles but looking much better, this Le Mans III has been lucky to have a fanatical owner.  Red fork legs are factory, though red head protectors are a little glitzy.  The handlebars look more relaxed than most Le Mans, but expert readers will have to weigh in.  Even the stock seat has an elevation change for the pillion, but the Corbin seems little too sculptural for the trim Guzzi lines.  Can’t argue with the spares or maintenance, however.  Comments from the eBay auction:

Always stored inside. Never seen rain. NO RUST. The bike is insanely clean. YOU WILL NOT FIND ANOTHER LIKE THIS.  All original (included oem seat). Runs and rides great!  Bought from an exotic motorcycle collector many years ago. This bike is beautiful and needs nothing! It is part of our family!  Always babied! Many parts included!!  This is the one! If you know what this bike is and what it represents, this is the ONE!  A beautiful, rare gem. Be part of the MOTO GUZZI LEGACY!! 

RECENT SERVICE/ PARTS INCLUDED-

  • Regularly serviced, Bridgestone Battlax tires, clean pipes, rebuilt carbs
  • Carb rebuild kits
  • Brembo rebuild kits
  • Battery straps
  • Many rubber parts – O Rings, clips, etc 
  • OEM hand grips
  • Original seat and Corbin seat 
  • Coils
  • Gaskets 
  • Badges
  • Brake lines
  • Switches
  • Piston rings and valves
  • OEM seat 
  • And many more parts included ! 

MAINTENANCE OVER PAST 2 Seasons-

  • Meticulous oil changes
  • Cleaned carbs
  • New tires
  • New battery

No fault of its own, the 850 Le Mans was shortly superseded by the 1000cc variant in 1984.  For every grinning twist of the wrist, there might be a wish that the bigger bike was just a little more nimble.  The Mk. III was a more modern ( in Guzzi’s way ) Le Mans, and helped keep the model in production until 1993.  Looking great in crimson, this 850 Le Mans is just in the middle of a long run.

-donn

Red and Rare – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III
Moto Guzzi September 10, 2020 posted by

Florida Cafe: 1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

For those readers interested in some old school cafe racer action, one need look no further than the classic original – the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1. These big, air cooled, v-twin cruisers are the antithesis of the smaller two stroke set (such as this Honda NS250F). Powered by a 850 cubic centimeters of push rod, two valve goodness, the Moto Guzzi is built to eat up the miles and excels at high speed runs.

1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for sale on eBay

Although Moto Guzzi’s origins go way back to 1921, it was DeTomaso of the Pantera car fame that recreated Guzzi in the 1970s as the classic icon for which it is known today. This is the era that introduced the Le Mans series, based on the already successful V7 Sport model. So popular was the Le Mans that it spawned several different generations, up through the late 90s. Today, the earliest generation of the Le Mans models have become highly collectible, with rising prices to match.

From the seller:
For sale is a 78′ 850 LeMans in excellent condition.
MK 1 version of the Le Mans, built between 1976 and 1978
Everything works as it should, no issues
Recently services, new battery, new tires, fresh oil, etc.
Engine is perfect, very strong.
Take a look at the pictures and you be the judge.
If need more pictures or video just ask

There are actually two distinct types of the original 850 Le Mans model. For the initial production run the rear taillight utilized a round unit that was similar to the V7 in the home market. Estimates place that as approximately 2,000 units. The following 4,000-ish bikes have the more popular and stylized rectangular model and slightly altered rear mudguard. Those were the only changes during the original model run, with some conjecture that the earliest bikes were the rarest, and therefore worth a slight amount more. In truth, all of first Le Mans models are of high interest to collectors.

Today’s particular Le Mans, one of the later versions of the original model, is no exception to the “highly collectible” category. It looks to be very clean, pretty original, and not missing any pieces to note. The most substantial non-stock item that I can see is some metal polishing. That is only a problem if you consider overly-clean to be an issue – which usually is not a deal killer. The asking price is a lofty $17,900 which might be a deal killer for some, but the truth is that pricing on these models (and the early V7s) continues to climb. Located in Florida, the seller is open to offers so check out all of the details here and let us know what you think of this original bad boy. Good Luck and stay safe!!

MI

Moto Guzzi July 3, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans with Under 2,000 Miles !

Update 11.4.2020: This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Just the “next thing” at the time, Moto Guzzi’s 850 LeMans turned out to be a dynastic European sportbike, with legs that ran until the 2006 V11 version.  RSBFS reader Scott’s example is a first-year model with just 1,825 miles on the clock !

1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans for sale on eBay

Based on the ’71 V7 Sport, itself a little sportier than BMW’s of the day, the LeMans expanded the longitudinal V-twin to 844 cc’s with 10.2:1 compression and 81 hp.  A robust backbone frame cradled the engine and 5-speed trans, with an automotive-style clutch and shaft drive.  Beside being healthily-sized at 300mm front / 242 mm rear, the brakes were innovative with the rear brake pedal also actuating the right front disk, claiming a dramatically shorter stopping distance from 62 mph.  Lowish seat and clip-ons accommodated may riders and the now-classic bikini fairing at least kept the wind and rain out of the Veglia instruments.

Scott’s LeMans was basically a barn find, having been in a Tulsa dealership’s warehouse from 1976 to 2007.  Though Scott had to go through the fuel system and replace several rubber items, the years in storage were kind to his LeMans, with not so much as a scrape to show for it.  Since then it’s been a once-a-year affair, wry comment on the New Hampshire riding season.  Scott’s comments from the eBay auction:

You are looking at one of my favorite bikes in my collection. It’s a 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Lemans with less than 2,000 original miles. I purchased the bike from Atlas Cycles in Tulsa Oklahoma in 2007 with roughly 1,000 miles on it. I was told Atlas sold it new in 1976 to a customer who then traded it back in six months later claiming it was too much motorcycle for him.

The owner of Atlas really liked the bike so put it in storage at the dealership. He was selling the dealership in 2007 and I was able to acquire it. It needed a good cleaning, some rubber parts replaced, new tires, carbs cleaned, and fluids changed. Since then she’s been in my collection, started once a year, ridden occasionally hence the 2000 miles. I just had her serviced, new battery, carbs cleaned, and fluids changed so she’s ready to go.

As the tires are thirteen years old, I would put a new set on if you plan to ride the bike. Other than this all that is needed is a good cleaning/detailing. Because the original seat is very fragile and hard to come by, I stored it when purchased and bought a Corbin, it comes with both. The bike is a blast to ride, smooth, lots of low end grunt, great brakes and entertaining. It’s pretty amazing for a forty four year old bike.

In pre-Covid times this Guzzi would’ve been at a Bonhams or Mecum stadium auction, but Scott welcomes your best offer on the eBay auction – here –  and offers this walkaround video –

The LeMans put Moto Guzzi firmly in the superbike sweepstakes, at least for a while.  It reviewed as going well, stopping pretty well, and the dual crossover exhaust is like music.  Weight at 435 lbs. dry isn’t out of line for an almost-liter of the era.  Mk. 1 LeMans, aren’t getting any easier to find, and after tires, Scott’s could be a rider.  At least for one day a year, before re-joining your collection.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans with Under 2,000 Miles !
Moto Guzzi March 11, 2020 posted by

Storm Trooper – 1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III

Some lucky rider bought-it-now last night but still worth a look !  – Donn

Would that it were so all venerable GT’s could be shared among a group of like-minded owners as this 1983 LeMans.  With 50K-ish miles, it still looks sharp and raring to go.

1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans for sale on eBay

LeMans fans were left asking in early 80’s while Moto Guzzi re-designed their 844cc engine to meet emission regulations, and though the CX100 liter was available, the LeMans III’s return was eagerly awaited.  The angularized heads had bigger valves and more efficient cooling, and 36mm Dell’Orto carbs whispered through an intake silencer.  76 hp were on tap, with a single-disk dry clutch and of course shaft drive.  Suspension preload was air-adjustable though damping didn’t change, and the linked braking system worked better than most of its type.  Guzzi designed the modern fairing in their factory wind tunnel, and reviewers loved the way it cut through a cross-wind.  A large white tach dominates the binnacle, which relies on warning lights for everything else except MPH and Volts.

This example has been among friends, knowledgeable fans who took excellent care.  The paint and pipes look excellent, and I’d expect updated shocks as well.  From the eBay auction:

This is the last series for the 850 cc motor.  This particular bike has been sold and bought among a group of Pittsburgh area Moto Guzzi enthusiasts who are all aquainted with each other since it was new.  The odometer shows 12,000 miles but it actually has about 50 K on it, the odometer was replaced a number of years ago.  I have the original bill of lading from Italy from 1983.  I’ve owned the bike since 2005.  I had this serviced at Westmoreland Moto Guzzi before it went out of business a few years ago.  The dealership installed a new clutch assembly and I had them go over it back in 2007. The bike has a lighter flywheel than stock, clip-ons, newer tires and a new battery.  The Corbin saddle was added a number of years ago before I purchased it.  I installed lighter throttle springs, but I have the originals also if you really feel the need to exercise while you ride.  It was painted by a pro in 2009.

While Moto Guzzi re-grouped, several new players nailed down the mass-market, and the company segued into a niche sort of fan base.  Having relinquished the sporty ideals, the LeMans still provides a classic GT sound and enough fury.  Lucky for this particular bike to have fallen into the hands of these owners, and fortunate for the next rider as well.

-donn

Storm Trooper – 1983 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III
Moto Guzzi September 21, 2019 posted by

Tales of the Unridden: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans I

Perhaps a little older than most of the bikes we post, this 19977 Moto Guzzi 851 LeMans has but 2,049 miles and represents a fantastic opportunity to own an unmolested and unmodified version of the iconic high-speed hauler. From the tiny bikini fairing with period round headlight, to the the traverse cylinder layout, to the exterior crankcase webbing, the LeMans strikes a pose from almost any angle. Performance is adequate by 40-something year old standards, but with 71 horsepower pushing you along with a relaxed urgency be prepared to be blown off by the current crop of 250s and 300s. This bike has an interesting story to tell, so I’ll turn it over to the seller to filling some of the details:

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans I for sale on eBay

From the seller:
History, I bought this Moto Guzzi LeMans 1 with less than 400 miles on it from the Bank/Receiver of a closed Indiana Moto Guzzi Dealership in January 1979. It has been covered and stored since 1982. Yes, the total Mileage is 2049 and it has never been titled. At the time I drove it with a dealer plate from a good friend also a Guzzi Dealer. Because of Military, College, and extensive travel I rode it very little for 2 Summers. I then moved to Florida and had the Guzzi shipped here in 1982, got married and raised a family.

ID on frame plate states manufactured 1977. Inquires to eBay recommended to use “the year of manufacture”. Picture of plate in listing states MFG year 1977 and Model 1978. I made further inquiries with several DMV’s in Florida and other states as what year they would assign to this M/C and all replied “either year of manufacture or the year it was first titled or registered”. It has never been registered or titled. It will be up to the buyer to decide this.

More from the seller:
Stored since 1982, Rode it into my garage and Covered up. never down or ridden hard. Drained Tank,removed the battery and Oiled Cylinders yearly, then turned over engine by rotating rear wheel while in gear. Never Titled, Have Original Notarized Importers and Mfg’s Statement of Origin, see pictures. Never painted or touched up. Original tires etc. No modifications, it is as it left the dealer. Some blemishes and minor imperfections, typical Guzzi thin paint on frame and mufflers. Note that the Dayglo paint on fairing is Original and Not Faded. Due to the long inside covered storage it will need “waking up” as they say. All systems ,hoses, etc will need to be checked out and serviced before operating. The cover on the light switch came off during storage, switch works,, cover, spring etc., are pictured, should be an easy fix. I Encourage personal inspection and/or calls with any Questions…

More from the seller:
Engine has good compression. Original battery was bad, I bought a replacement, the dry charged one pictured was never charged, given to me in 1979 under the Guzzi Warranty. I was allowed to remove all LeMans items from the closed dealership, see pictures including the Complete Workshop and Parts Manuals, Unopened Original Tool Kit, Etc. It would be hard find a lower mileage, fully documented LeMans 1 with all that is included with this bike, anywhere. LeMans Clock was a later purchase.

Note** Both sets of Original Keys and Carb Stacks, Dealer had installed air filters as shown and I never removed them.
Reason for Selling, I have other projects I want to devote my time to. My son wanted it, he lives in Manhattan and has no way of keeping it so it’s “Sell it Dad” My health is excellent, I have plenty of storage space and selling it is not going to change my lifestyle so, I will not entertain any offers.

This 850 LeMans looks to be a true period piece, with the bike in clean and complete condition, as well as full set of documentation, manuals and tool kit. There is a lot of nice stuff in here that is difficult to find today. Guzzi enthusiasts will point out that this is not the most desirable of the Mark I 850 machines, given that the rectangular tail light identifies it as a second generation example – but it is still a magnificent piece of kit to find. Recommissioning may not be a simple affair of battery and tires given that it has been sitting for so long, but it seems like it would be worth the effort to hear this bike fire in anger again. Bidding starts at just under ten grand with zero takers at the time of writing (although the fence sitters and watchers are gathering). Check it out here, as it is pretty rare to come across the first iteration of the Moto Guzzi 851 LeMans with this kind of interesting history. Good Luck!!

MI

Tales of the Unridden: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans I
Moto Guzzi May 20, 2018 posted by

In White Satin – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles !

In remembrance of the Bal d’Or from 1971, when a Moto Guzzi 850 made a podium finish after 24 hours, came the Le Mans 850.  This Mark 3 has all the good stuff, revised heads with bigger valves, air-charged suspension, full-featured dash, and still wears its early 1980’s emissions and noise regulation gear.  Complete as only a refurbished barn find can be.

1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles for sale on eBay

More often seen in the factory’s favorite orangey red, this Le Mans is white with clean aluminum castings and black rubber, and original decals.  It has the newer “square” heads ( with tip-over protectors ) and the crankcase has its stiffeners on the outside.  Guzzi norms like shaft drive and linked braking system were an inside job.  Air suspension was new for the III but reviewed as too stiffly sprung.  God help you if you keep the turn signals on with the size of the reminders on that dash.

A recent restoration from Alabama, this Le Mans looks very close to NOS, but it’s almost all original.  From the eBay auction:

I have recently changed all fluids- brake fluid, engine oil, transmission oil, final drive oil and replaced all rubber parts as well as all operating cables. The foot peg covers and bar grips had deteriorated with age. New Pirelli Sport Demons are installed as well as new brake pads that replaced the original pads. The valve lash has been set on all valves and the head torques checked. The carbs have been cleaned and tuned with mercury stix. Everything looks great and it runs like a dream.

All numbers are matching and it does not appear to have ever suffered any notable wreck damage. It has the stock air box intact as well as the totally stock exhaust system.

Still marching to their own drummer, Moto Guzzi has pinpointed the motorcyclist in many of us.  Fans of the brand are individualistic and self-reliant, and as the model reviewed – fast and stable.  This one is offered on a serious buy-it-now without the “make offer” button – independent perhaps to a fault…

-donn

In White Satin – 1983 Moto Guzzi Le Mans III with 3,364 miles !
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