Posts by tag: 850

Featured Listing July 3, 2020 posted by

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

Sale fell through, back on eBay. Links updated. Good luck to buyers 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
Norton January 3, 2018 posted by

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player

Reaching back a bit further than regular RSBFS fare, today’s bike is a great example of a rare, motorsports-themed repli-racer. Sure, it’s nearly 44 years old, but an iconic model of a legendary marque will always have a home in a collector’s heart. In this case, a Norton-Villiers era British twin celebrating success in the death-defying Isle of Man TT, sponsored by a well known brand of cigarettes, John Player. Put all of these fun facts together into one bike, and you have a the very limited production John Player Norton of 1974.

1974 Norton John Player Special for sale on eBay

Based on the successful Commando model, Norton attempted to go racing with a bespoke factory effort. Success was limited, although Peter Williams managed to win the Formula 750 Isle of Man TT in 1973 on a semi-monocoque framed Norton emblazoned with John Player sponsorship. This bred the idea for a limited edition replica, and in 1974 the JPS Norton was born. Only 200 examples of this bike were built, with the distinctive dual headlight fairing mimicking the racer’s Peel Engineering-designed unit. While the livery and aero bits resembled the racer, the road going JPS model was much closer in DNA to the 850 Commando. Sadly Norton was unable to compete financially given the rise of the Japanese and the onslaught of the Italians, and racing exploits ceased as British motorcycle companies consolidated to avoid total insolvency. Norton joined forces with BSA and Triumph, forming Norton-Villiers-Triumph. The oddity that is the JPS Norton is a classic remnant of the time.

From the seller:
Rare chance to own an original, unrestored,numbers matching, 3 owner Norton JPN with 6,411 original miles. One of approximately 200 built to commemorate Norton winning the world championship with Peter Williams aboard. Current owner has owned over 25 years. Bike has always been garaged. Bike was last ridden 11 years ago, and was prepped for long term storage. Beautiful bike. Age and health forces sale.

We don’t see too many of these JPS models moving at auction. This is partly due to the one year only, limited production of the bike. It is also due to the age of the bike in question; we tend to see older bikes as strictly collectors (rather than riders), and as a result they change hands much less frequently. The history and mileage of this example supports the theory: 44 years old, only 3 owners and 6,411 miles. This particular bikes is available in the US, and looks to be complete. Pictures are not the greatest we have seen, but there is enough there to get the basics (interested buyers should contact the seller for more details). The best part of this JPN auction is the price: the BIN is only $14,500 (which is definitely in the ballpark, re-commissioning costs notwithstanding), and the seller is open to offers. Check it out here, and start the New Year with a ghost of Christmas past. Good Luck!!

MI

Players Club: 1974 Norton John Player
Moto Guzzi February 20, 2017 posted by

Alternative Transport: 1983 Moto Guzzi LeMans III

In the world of big-bore bikes – man sized machines – Moto Guzzi has always stood out with a unique style of individualistic and rugged beauty. The oldest continually operational motorcycle manufacturer in Europe, Guzzi was formed in Italy in 1921 with the intent to build motorcycles after World War I. Comprised of the triumvirate of Giorgio Parodi (the money man), Giovanni Ravelli (the racer and promoter) and Carlo Guzzi (the guy who designed and built the bikes), Moto Guzzi began with a simple partnership agreement between the three. Sadly, Ravelli lost his life in a plane crash immediately following the end of the war, and would not take part in the venture. His spirit lives on, however, as the Guzzi logo incorporates wings meant to honor and commemorate the original, fallen partner.

1983 Moto Guzzi LeMans III for sale on eBay

The Le Mans series of machines drew from Moto Guzzi’s great racing heritage and paid homage to the famous 24-hour race. These bikes were created during the De Tomaso era of Moto Guzzi (which lasted through the end of the 1990s). The first generation of 850 Le Mans bikes was introduced in 1976, utilizing the now familiar 90 degree V-twin that has been the Guzzi hallmark since the 1960s. Through the decades that were to follow, the Le Mans series was steadily updated, culminating in the 1000cc Le Mans Mark V in the 1990s. This bike, a Mk III edition, is the more spiritual successor to the original Le Mans model than the Mk II bike, which incorporated a larger fairing and other aerodynamic bits. Power from the longitudinally-mounted twin is modest (mid 70 HP range), but a flat torque curve aids the motoring experience. Novel features included shaft drive and an interlinked braking system whereby the rear brake pedal also activates one disk on the front.

From the seller:
Extremely nice 1983 Moto Guzzi LeMans III. 27,398 miles. Probably one of the nicest originals you’ll find. Starts, runs, rides and stops exactly as it should. Fantastic example of the great bikes from this iconic Italian company. Prices for the LeMans I are out the roof, and the LeMans II have followed. Now the LeMans III has caught on and they are gaining in desirability and value daily. I have no real desire to sell this bike, but an opportunity has come along for which I could use the funds. That said, selling it is not a must so my reserve is firm. I love the bike and am aware of its value, both now and in the future, so have no problem keeping it if it doesn’t meet the reserve. Bike needs nothing that I know of so is sold AS IS with no warranty. Clear title in hand.

When introduced, these Guzzi Le Mans models were every bit the performance bike as their Italian contemporaries from Ducati or Laverda. However the performance landscape was rapidly changing thanks to the Far East, and the likes of Guzzi would soon be overwhelmed by Japanese fours. The high-speed, gentlemanly cruiser fell to the crushing blow of high-RPM horsepower, stoplight drags and technical revolutions in GP racing. Today, Moto Guzzi still exists and produces motorcycles… but these are often viewed more as nostalgic novelties than outright competitors in the crowded motorcycle marketplace.

Based on the included description, this seller will be holding out for top dollar on this bike. The asking price of older Guzzis (think V7s and the like) are most definitely on the rise. We have seen a slight dip in the ascension of value lately, but there is no doubt that when it comes to the Le Mans model Gen I (often mistakenly referred to as Mark I) bikes command the highest prices. From there, it is much more the preference of the buyer that determines the value. Mark III machines with the bikini fairing and long, flat seat have the same theme as the original Le Mans, along with a host of upgrades – making them an excellent choice as a riding collector piece. I would expect values to continue to rise. This one is up just over $5k with reserve in place. Check it out here to watch the bidding, and then jump back to our Comments section and share your thoughts. Which generation of these magnificent machines is your favorite?

MI

Alternative Transport: 1983 Moto Guzzi LeMans III
Yamaha September 18, 2016 posted by

Super-Sporty – 1996 Yamaha TRX-850

Hoping to jump into the budget-conscious supersport market, Yamaha developed the TRX-850 twin and introduced it in Japan and Europe.  Slow sales kept it from a long history and the U.S., but this private import is a nice example of an interesting bike.

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-right

1996 Yamaha TRX-850 for sale on eBay

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20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-binnacle

Adding the Genesis 5-valve heads to their 849cc parallel twin resulted in 80 hp, and engineers also went to a 270-degree crank design to preserve rotational energy.  A good illustration of how it widens the torque band ( and why a counterbalance shaft was included ) in a parallel twin is here.  The engine also boasts a dry-sump system with a neat integral oil tank just above the clutch.  Beside the nice trellis frame, there was a bit of parts-bin engineering, with right-side-up forks and 5-speed transmission.  Peculiarly, the European models came with Yamaha brakes, but Japanese versions had Brembos, either way they are adequate 298 mm dual disks in front and 248 mm rear.  The supersport picture is completed by an upper-only fairing and solo-plus-one seat fairing.

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-front

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-right-front-wheel

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-right-rear-wheel

The Florida owner brought the bike in and has made a few choice mods, and the auction check-box indicates clear title.  With 31K on the clock it has been well loved, and appears in good shape.  A weekend at the detailer’s and most evidence of carport storage will be gone.  From the eBay auction:

1996 Yamaha TRX-850, these bikes were never imported in the US, I bought this bike in England and shipped it here. As far as I know this is one of only few or only one here in the states!  They were only made for a couple of years, as competition for the Ducati 900ss.  It has a 270* crankshaft so it even sounds like a Ducati v-twin, a trellis frame, and hand made gas tank that resembles a Ducati.  The engine has 2 oil pumps,5 quart dry sump oil tank, and is liquid cooled also. It is a Genesis engine with 10 valves, 5 per cylinder.  New Michelin tires, braided stainless brake lines, EBC carbon fiber clutch, adjustable clutch and brake levers, belly pan, tire hugger, Carbon dash and clamp covers, R6 shock, R1 calipers, 2 windscreen (1 new-1 used), LED tail-light with signals, silicon water hoses, and Stainless steel header with Remus carbon mufflers.

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-right-seat

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-right-peg

A bit of a unicorn stateside, but way sportier than the surviving TDM, the TRS-850 does have a good fan base, and the auction has generated several bids.  Might be a good way for a Yamaha fan to break in to a rare sporty bike without busting the budget…

-donn

20160917-1996-yamaha-trx850-cockpit

Super-Sporty – 1996 Yamaha TRX-850