Posts by tag: air cooled

Honda May 12, 2019 posted by

Hold On: 1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA

Rare bikes are, well, rare. The whole point of RSBFS is to highlight those unique rides that exist in only limited numbers. And while the world is a relatively large playground, it is not unusual to see repeats on especially rare offerings. Today’s Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance replica Honda CB900F is one such example. Last seen on these pages over two years ago, this interesting offering is the product of Belgium racing family D’Hollander. Constructed in the spirit of the racers that competed in such events as the aforementioned Bol d’Or 24 hours, DHOLDA-prepped bikes were also competitive at the 1000 km at Mugello, the 24 hours of Francorchamps (Spa) and the 24 hours of Barcelona.

1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA for sale on eBay

Being that this is a 1979 machine from a bespoke builder, it is impossible to tell what has gone into the engine from simply sitting on the sidelines. Even if we had a build sheet, the likelihood of a 40 year old machine remaining truly as delivered when new is pretty scarce. Still, as recounted in our earlier article from 2017 on this exact bike, DHOLDA was known for building hot rods that could go the distance – and this one continues to accumulate the miles.

From the seller:
Jean D’Hollander “Dholda” Racing of Belgium raced and won the Bol d’Or in 1978 and 1979 on a modified Honda EU-spec CB900F bored out to 1000cc. D’Hollander created replicas of this race bike and sold them to the public, calling them Dholda. Bike is currently registered and inspected in Vermont with a clear Vermont title. Has recent Michelin Pilot tires, battery, and full service showing some $1653.54 in work done.

Not sure exactly what was done to the engine by D’Hollander but it is very fast and sounds amazing through the 4-1. The mechanic noted he estimated hp in 120bhp range but has not been dynoed. I imagine there is a race cam and porting with race carbs and velocity stacks, perhaps a lightened and balanced crank. Does anyone know more? Valve covers have a “220” stamp, which maybe is the compression ratio. Euro spec KPH speedo showing 13,554 km or 8,422 miles. Bodywork in excellent condition with one small spider crack on the fairing lower. Local bidders are welcome to inspect in Vermont. I can email service records and previous emails from Dholda Racing. Carbs rebuilt, and new fork seals installed.

*During my last ride I noted the indicators are flashing together only and the lights work under flasher but not high/low. I expect a switching problem for both but have not looked closely yet. All bulbs are getting power and light up, just not through the correct switch circuit as normal. Tires were new 2017 but have a slow leak at rim-bead and need tubes or remount.

eBay records show that this bike sold back in January of 2017 for $5,300 – well below the $11,900 Buy It Now number. The sale number seems to be impossibly low given the history of the tuner, and the shape this CB900F is in. But that is always the problem with extremely rare and one-off motorcycles; there is just not enough sales history on which to nail a value (or even a prediction). This example now has one recent sale (eBay 2017) and just 161 additional miles. The pictures are all new, and thus should be considered as the bike in current condition. There is also the video (see above) to show you how the bike sits today. Finally, there is the service receipt, which shows some care and maintenance. The Buy It Now figure on this rare model is set at a mere $5,900 – which still feels like a bargain for such a unique niche machine. Check it out here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Hold On:  1979 Honda CB900F DHOLDA
Yamaha May 11, 2019 posted by

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo

Someone bought-it-now Friday afternoon – a reader ?   -donn

It was a short bandwagon but early 1980’s was the time for early turbo systems, and Yamaha developed the XJ-650 Turbo but resisted the urge to break the bank.  This Phoenix example is quite clean with just a couple of foibles and barely 10,000 miles.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo for sale on eBay

Using a relatively low-tech two valve four as a base, the blown 650 used carburetors instead of injection and was rated for 90 hp and 60 ft-lbs. torque.  The YICS intake control system capitalized on the speed of the charge air to improve combustion.  Air cooling limited boost to 7.7 lbs., adding a gentler push than some of the competition.  Exhaust is simplified with one muffler dedicated to the wastegate, emissions kept quieter in the other single muffler.  Despite the higher speeds and weight of the turbo bike, brakes weren’t upgraded from the normally aspirated model.  Styling was one area where the Seca Turbo excelled, with and integrated fairing with a sport touring windscreen and locking glove boxes.

Averaging nearly 20 years for each of its two owners, this XJ650 Turbo has been only occasionally ridden, and looks very good.  The undamaged fairings, pipes, and cases far outweigh the worn stitching and tired trim shown in the owner’s video – here –.  Comments from the eBay auction:

I’m selling my 1982 Yamaha XJ650LJ Seca Turbo.  Low Miles, 10,100  Miles.  Excellent Condition.  2nd owner.  This is the same type used in the James Bond Movie never say never.  Recently serviced.  Runs great!  I also created a video of it running and  a walk around.

James Bond’s stunt double shredded a Turbo in a chase scene early in 1983’s – Never Say Never Again – but the real Seca had a less sporty rep.  The turbo era fizzled shortly afterward, along with a drop in fuel prices.  But each solution had their good points – Yamaha’s showed how 25% more power could be achieved with relative simplicity.  As presented, it’s a lot of bike for the fan, and for the buy-it-now.

-donn

Never Say Never – 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Seca Turbo
Honda May 3, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale

By the early 1980s, inline four engines went from being exotic and relatively rare to being widely available, even ubiquitous, at least among the Japanese manufacturers. Inline fours have more moving parts and that adds weight and complexity, big no-nos for motorcycles that historically relied on simplicity to keep weight down and minimize parts that could fail. But Honda’s original CB750 forever shattered that paradigm and started the superbike arms race that led to the Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or seen here.

If you’re not familiar with the Bol d’Or, it’s a 24-hour endurance race held in France. The name translates to “golden bowl,” and Honda was obviously trying to add a bit of a sporty image by associating it with endurance racing. The CB900F2B is a bit of an odd duck, in that it lives in between the classic and modern sportbike eras, as I’m arbitrarily defining them anyway. Early 1980s bikes in general were the last hurrah for dual-shock frames and air-cooled engines, right before the stylistic and performance upheaval heralded by machines like the Suzuki GSX-R750 that set the template for sportbikes moving forward.

Built between 79-83, the CB900 was an improvement over the earlier four-valve, air-cooled DOHC CB750F, with an updgraded frame, larger diameter air forks, and triple disc brakes with dual-piston calipers up front. The updated inline four used an “undersquare” 64.5 x 69mm bore and stroke that gave 95hp, enough the push the 530lb wet machine to a claimed 135mph, although period tests saw 125-130. All of that is pretty underwhelming by today’s standards, but the bike was known for excellent handling at the time and it was enough to go head-to-head against bikes with more displacement and the long-stroke engine’s torque gave it a muscular midrange.

The F2B or Bol d’Or version of the bike had an even shorter run than the regular CB900F, and was made between 1981 and 1982. With its angular, multi-piece fairing, I get the feeling it was really a way to pump a bit of new life into an old model, since it’s basically the CB900F with some extra plastic. But the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here, and reviews of the bike at the time were very positive.

Call me a pedant [just make sure you look it up before you do], but I’m way more comfortable buying a car or motorcycle from a seller who can at the very least spell the name correctly, and the seller of this rare Bol d’Or even gets the lowercase “d” and apostrophe correct, so we’re off on the right foot!

From the Seller: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale

45,454 mi – $6999.00


Check out this rare 80’s Honda Supersport This was a Europe and Australian market only model referred to as a Bol d’Or model. This one originated out of England, its original owner brought it here to Seattle when he relocated in early 80’s. The current owner purchased it in February 1986 with about 17K miles on it. It has a good paper trail of services performed over the past 30 years along with the $2100 work order we just completed bring it out of a 10 year hibernation.

The bike is not perfect but it is in very good condition and running order for a 38 year old machine. The current owner told us that when he purchased it there was a round 2 inch dent on the top of the tank, it bugged the heck out of him, something must of been dropped on the top by original owner. He decided to have a local restoration center do the repair and also clean up the tail piece from previous boot scuffs. In our eye it looks like the white stripe angle is a bit out of alignment with the fairing stripes. We understand that for some this may be a deal breaker, so we have not priced it as if it was a 9 or a 10 collectible Honda.

Here is what we took care of to prepare for sale

  • Replaced tires and valve stems
  • Replaced fork and dust seals with OEM parts
  • Rebuilt carburetors, properly cleaned all OEM jets and internals, replaced all rubber bits.
  • Rebuilt front & rear brake master cylinder, new cup and lid on front and full system flush
  • Checked compression (145 across the board), inspected valve clearance, replaced valve cover gasket and rubber bolt cushions
  • Completed minor service to take care of the basics

This is from a Honda enthusiast website which also verifies this bikes credentials

Honda CB 900 F2B

  • Period: February ’81 – February ’82
  • Engine number: SC01E-2206870 – 2225154
  • Frame number: SC01-4000342 – 4011049
  • Power: 95 PK/70 kW
  • http://www.hondaboldor.nl/cb900f2b/

Here is some more information on this model we found:

For many, however, the CB900F was the perfect ‘Universal Japanese Motorcycle’ (UJM), the ubiquitous, Japanese, across-the-frame four. Although blighted by the perennial Honda cam chain problem, these were steady, undistinguished motorcycles that improved gradually every year. Updates for 1980 saw needle roller swingarm bearings and an air-assisted front fork. Further improvements for the 1981 CB900FB (pictured here) included a larger-diameter fork (37mm) and dual-piston brake calipers from the racing CB1100R.

Among the other 31 improvements for ’81 were a stronger cam chain tensioner and different valves. Also available was the CB900F2B with a 16-piece, three-quarter fairing and leg shields, housing a clock and voltmeter. Although the CB900F lasted until 1983, by then it had been overtaken by the CB1100F. Where the CB900F excelled was as an everyday riding machine. Motorcycles were less specialized in the early 1980s and the Bol d’Or was forgiving, working well as a high-speed sportster, yet delivering the goods in the city or as a tourer.

The suspension and riding position provided a perfect compromise between sports riding and comfort. Factor in exceptional finish and reliability, all for around three grand, and you can see why the Bol d’Or was a success. It may have been bland but, as a representative of the era of the universal motorcycle, the Bol d’Or was one of the best.

Credits cards accepted, up to $150 documentation charge may be added.

Seattle Used Bikes
4905 Aurora Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103
dave @ seattleusedbikes.com
Closed Sun/Mon Find us on Facebook, Instagram and the Web

1980s superbikes have long been extremely affordable, but that’s not the case so much anymore, as you can see from the $6,999.00 asking price for this CB900F2B. But that makes sense, since the original CB750s haven’t been cheap for years, and now these later 80s icons are starting to appreciate. This Bol d’Or is certainly one of the rarest, and I was unfamiliar with the model before this one popped up. Miles aren’t particularly low, but this appears to be in excellent condition, and the seller seems very knowledgeable as well, which always a good sign! Classy and reliable, with real-world performance and comfort, this would make an excellent practical classic.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1981 Honda CB900F2B Bol d’Or for Sale
Moto Guzzi May 3, 2019 posted by

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV

The LeMans series is a legendary model in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Originally designed as a sportier V7 model way back in 1976, the LeMans went through a series of updates and changes throughout its life span. From a small-fairing enhanced V7 of the Gen I to the larger sport-touring (and half-faired) look of the Gen II, to a back-to-basics look with small fairing of the Gen III, and then finally the decade-long run of the De Tomaso influenced Gen IV machine, the LeMans has had a number of facelifts. Today’s example is a Gen IV bike. Let’s explore some of the key differences.

1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV for sale on eBay

At the heart of the LeMans IV is a full liter of v-twin torque. Upgraded from the 850cc power plants that preceded it, the Mark IV version of the LeMans was bigger in nearly every dimension – except the front tire. Utilizing a 16″ front wheel which was in vogue at the time on GP racers and hyper sport bikes, De Tomaso sought to re-image the LeMans as a sportier machine than it was. Unfortunately without chassis geometry changes, the LeMans IV simply became a bigger, more angular machine with a smaller front end. Handling remained stable – as is the Guzzi tradition – but there was some edginess lost as the LeMans grew older, and performance was nearly on par with the previous generation 850s.

From the seller:
1986 Lemans, totally sorted out. Runs and rides perfectly, very well looked after. New tires, new clutch, ceramic coated Bub exhaust sounds amazing. Very strong running bike. Everything works as it should. Not a show bike, but a very, very nice rider. Needs nothing. I have sold several bikes here and my feedback tells the story. Thanks for looking.

While it is easy to deride the later generation LeMans offerings as being uglier than their predecessors, the LeMans of any configuration is still a good looking motorcycle. Purists may discount the De Tomaso years, but the resultant machines were modern, reliable and long lasting. This particular 1986 example has 58,000 miles on the clock…but certainly does not look like it. These are classic motorcycles to ride for the joy of riding. You are not likely to beat many peers in your riding group on a LeMans, but if you are looking at this that probably isn’t your goal. Pictures are relatively few and there have been some noted modifications, but the auction is currently at a paltry $2,550 at the time of this writing with reserve in place. This could be a sweet bargain Guzzi in the making depending upon where the reserve is set. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments and share some LeMans stories. Which generation is your favorite, and why? Good Luck!

MI

Talk to me Goose: 1986 Moto Guzzi Lemans IV
Ducati May 2, 2019 posted by

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Ducati’s two-valve “Desmodue” may not be the most powerful engine, or the lowest-maintenance, but there’s a reason it’s stuck around from the 1980 Pantah all the way through to today. Besides the obvious budgetary reasons: some of that tooling is probably long paid off… Joking aside, today’s Desmodue is heavily evolved, compared to the original version, now punched out to 1100cc and packing dual plugs per cylinder and modern electronics. But the qualities of the original are still there, and make for a very entertaining ride. Ducati’s mid-90s 900SS SP may not have been a powerhouse and was handily outclassed by every Japanese sportbike available at the time, but the aging thoroughbred still offered stable handling, good brakes for the period, a punchy midrange, and plenty of dry clutch rattle.

At the time, the 916 was making headlines for its ferocious performance on and off track, but the Supersport of the same period was a much better motorcycle to actually live with. Compared to the painfully focused 916, the 900SS almost felt like a sport-tourer. Along with the Monster it gave Ducati a range of bikes with real racing heritage, but without the expensive maintenance, high-strung histrionics, and performance most riders didn’t really need anyway, especially on the road.

By 1996, the 900SS was available in two flavors: the cost-cutting 900SS CR that generally came with a stylish half-fairing, and the higher-spec 900SS SP seen here. The engines were the same, but the CR used non-adjustable forks from either Showa or Marzocchi on later machines, while the SP had a carbon front fender and three-way adjustable suspension up front and at the rear. There were other minor details as well, like a narrower 4.5″ rear wheel on the CR, versus a 5.0″ hoop on the SP. If you’ve got a CR, don’t despair: suspension swaps between models and even years is pretty simple, and upgraded valving kits for the Showa forks are available. Unfortunately, the famously horrible Marzocchi units on the later CR models are pretty much best abandoned in the wilds to be savaged by wild dogs.

Ownership isn’t necessarily as much of a headache as you’d expect. In spite of their reputation, the two-valve Ducatis are generally pretty bomb-proof, and you’ve got to be riding like a bit of an idiot to overrev one. First of all, no valve springs means no valve float! And second of all, in spite of an indicated 9000rpm redline, any remotely standard carbureted 904cc Ducati engine runs out of puff way before that. Power was a claimed 80hp with a pair of Mikuni CV carbs, and 75hp at the wheel from a strong example. More is available via head work and tuning, since these were originally built to race, although performance gains won’t be particularly cheap.

As for Ducati’s infamous lack of reliability: the valves do require regular maintenance, although they tend to stay in spec after the first couple adjustments. The toothed rubber timing belts require biennial replacement to prevent an expensive transformation from motive force to paperweight, but many competent home mechanics find these tasks aren’t too difficult to tackle. Italian bike electrical components, however, generally deserve their poor reputation, and it’s worth regularly checking connections and using a bit of dielectric grease to make sure your lights light and your starter starts.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale

Excellent Condition, always well cared for, Ducati Limited Edition  500 SS SP SUPERLIGHT.  Low production number 47 of 500 made.

Full fairing, floating cast iron rotors and original factory oil temp gauge. New tires, carbon fiber mufflers. Includes owners and shop manuals, Hand written previous Owner records of services dating back to 8/12/97 with 2363 miles. 

Fresh timing belt, starter relay. Runs excellent sounds even better. Also have stock pipes to go with sale. This is a beautiful , air cooled, dependable, dry clutch classic example that will put a smile on your face.

Bike is currently on consignment at local Dealer in S.F. Paperwork to be  handled by them upon sale. 

The 900SS used to be an amazingly affordable entry into Italian bike ownership, especially if you’re fairly handy with basic tools. The only cheaper Ducatis are the original Monsters, but both have started to climb in value, especially for nice, low-mileage examples. This one has 13k or so on the clock which, if it’s been maintained by the book, means it’s barely broken in. Higher-resolution pictures would be nice but, from what I can see, it looks to be a very clean example. Get one now, while they’re still fairly cheap, since clean examples are getting hard to find.

-tad

Simple Pleasures: 1996 Ducati 900SS SP for Sale
Moto Guzzi April 23, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk III

Spring is certainly in full swing given the number of fantastic bikes we are seeing enter the market. The RSBFS Featured Listing schedule has been chock-a-block full of the best of the best – and today’s offering is no exception. This 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans model Mark III looks incredible – and despite this model’s penchant for eating up the miles today’s example has but 7,700 miles on the clocks. For those unfamiliar with the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer in continuous production (some minor stops and starts notwithstanding), the longevity of these large v-twins is legendary, meaning that this one barely has break-in miles under its belt.

Featured Listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk III

While the original LeMans was an 850cc derivative of the V7 Sport model, the design evolved quickly into its own personality. the evolution of the model was not exactly linear, however. From the original prototype created way back in 1975, the Mark I models established the bikini fairing, the monstrous cylinder heads sticking out from under the tank, the long flat seat and the distinctive tail. The elements meshed together in a unique design that has become the hallmark of the brand. In many ways the Mark II machine was both a technological leap forward, as well as a leap in the wrong direction. Hours in the wind tunnel created a larger fairing with streamlining around the engine lowers – and far more of a sport touring look than the Mk I. Thankfully the Mark III took up where the original LeMans left off, offering a return to the sporting side of riding. Dominated by the new, smaller and angular fairing, square headlight, the huge Veglia rev counter off-center in the dash and the trademark flat seat and tail, the Mark III version is arguably the best looking of the LeMans models.

From the seller:
1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk III

Original toolkit and manual
Second owner – 7,792 original miles
LaFranconi Competizione exhaust system
EnDuraLast 450 Watt charging system
EnDuraLast electronic ignition
Rebuilt front calipers, stainless steel brake lines
Powdercoated valve covers
Tommaselli clip ons
Repainted and new decals 5 years ago
Denali LED Auxiliary Lights
YSS Shocks
Located in Staten Island NY

Price: $10,000

Contact: dansciannameo@gmail.com

You are looking at a two owner bike here. Think about that. This bike has been out in the wild for 35 years, yet has been ridden fewer than 250 miles for each year it has been around. It has not been sold on through multiple owners, but rather cherished and cared for throughout its life. This particular bike does offer some interesting upgrades including a revamped electrical system and additional lighting. Is it me, or does this amazing machine look ready for a run at an Iron Butt event? The seller has included a walk around video of the bike here. Turn up the sound!

Modern riders accustomed to Japanese liquid-cooled hardware might be taken back by the valve train noise in the video, but that is part of the allure of these great air cooled machines. Valve clearance is important; “Better to hear some clatter than burn a valve” is one of the key lessons I was fortunate enough to be taught (rather than learn by experience). The video simply underscores the visceral nature of the LeMans – this is not merely a bike you ride, this is a bike that you experience. If you are serious about truly classic machinery, give Daniel a shout out. This Mark II Guzzi is a wonderful offering in a steam punk sort of existence. What’s not to love? Check out the pics and videos and Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mk III
MV Agusta April 20, 2019 posted by

Hypothesis: 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi

In the way cool archives of rare bikes there are undoubtedly some weird and wonderful ones. There are always surprises and bikes not many people have heard of, and there are always some real gems hiding behind the uber popular homologation crowd. Today’s find, a 1976 MV Agusta 350 is the perfect of example of the weird and wonderful. Looking a bit like a single (it’s a twin), a bit like a two stroke (it’s a 4-cycle) and a bit like a much larger bike, it is clear that this MV Agusta is all Italian by the “nothing extra is needed here” style.

1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for sale on eBay

The Ipotesi is a small scale parallel twin. It has an overhead cam (only one) to operate the two valves per cylinder. A pair of small Dellortos handle the intake side of things, while a pair of chrome pipes take care of the exhaust. At 350cc this is hardly a powerhouse. but with air cooling and appropriately sized components, it is hardly a heavyweight. With 30-ish HP on tap (comparing reasonably to the current crop of small-bore bikes), the little 350cc engine is pushing only 350 pounds of bike. Brakes look tiny (those are 220mm rotors all around), but with less weight and speed comes less need for larger, heavier hardware. Clip ons are low and tight; perfect to practice that aerodynamic tuck!

From the seller:
This 1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi was purchased by me from the original owner in the U.K. in the late 1990’s. It has about 6,500 km on it but not long ago I had the speedometer repaired and it was reset to zero km. The current speedometer reading of 394 km is from my riding of the bike after the repaired speedometer was returned to me. This motorcycle has a California title and current California registration. The bike is an easy kick starter and I ride it frequently around San Francisco and the Bay Area. The bike is fully sorted and needs nothing: you can get on it and ride it and enjoy it! The motorcycle is entirely correct and original and unrestored. There are some minor paint touch up areas on the tail section behind the seat. The most noticeable paint flaw is the touched-up area on the rear edge of the front fender, shown in one of the photos. I wanted to keep all of the paint on this motorcycle original, so I did not repaint the entire front fender. Some of the paint on the instrument panel is worn, but I wanted to keep that paint original and have not touched it up. There is a photo attached of the instruments and the surrounding panel. Other than these paint issues, the bike is in extremely good original condition. The Heidenau tires are nearly new, but they are the correct size per original. You won’t find a better Ipotesi for sale in the US or another Ipotesi for sale in the US: MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles were never officially imported to the U.S. so any here now would have been privately imported. Therefore, there are very few here. Of the few MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi motorcycles in the US, I doubt too many are fully sorted and have current registration and are being ridden such as this one is.

We don’t see many pre-F4 MV Agustas in the States, much less anything that displaces less than 500cc. This Ipotesi is a fantastic looking motorcycle. It seems impossibly narrow, yet retains the classic proportions of a much larger bike. The paintwork shines in the sun, and the odd elements of what make up this little 350 blend together to make something special. It’s far from museum perfect, but it still looks great anyway. Value? Too rare in the US to really put a number on it; we simply have no historical data on which to base an assumption. The seller is asking for $11k OBO – that might seem high for a 350 scoot, but not a lot of dosh for a very unique MV Agusta. Check it out here, and then jump to the Comments section and share your thoughts on this cool little bike. Good Luck!!

MI

Hypothesis:  1976 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi
Moto Guzzi April 1, 2019 posted by

Italian Sweetheart: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

Moto Guzzi has a long and storied history in the annals of motorcycling. Among the oldest motorcycle manufacturer – and THE oldest if you consider the “…in contiguous operation…” caveat (simultaneously turning a blind eye to the few lean years where they were between owners and technically not in production) – the Guzzi trademark is really the splayed out V-twin look. Turning the cylinders across the bike rather than inline (like an Aprilia, Honda or H-D) allows the power to flow through the crankshaft and provides direct input into the transmission and final shaft drive without having to make any 90 degree turns. Much like a BMW with folded-up cylinders, Moto Guzzi has resolutely clung to this configuration as if nostalgia were the sole meaning of existence. Modern examples of
the transversal V-twin* (* official Guzzi marketing nomenclature) have introduced updated technology, but to this day the twin cylinder arrangement remains as an anchor feature of the M-G brand.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza for sale on eBay

The V50 Monza was the baby brother to the V7 and LeMans models. Displacing a modest 500cc and producing an even more modest 48 horsepower, the Monza configuration provided for bigger valves and different carbs over that of the standard V50. With a dry weight of 355 pounds, the Monza is no high performance scooter. But to compare quarter mile times (somewhat on par with a Toyota Prius) really misses the intent of the V50 platform. Intending to introduce an entirely new group of riders to the mystique and cachet of the Moto Guzzi brand, the V50 was an attempt to create a smaller, more approachable and more affordable slot in the Moto Guzzi lineup. Sadly the buying public did not line up to purchase the V50 (or its even smaller brother, the V35), making this an often overlooked motorcycle.

From the seller:
The Moto Guzzi V50 Monza’s were a real gem that is often overlooked. There are said to be only about 100 of them that were sold in the United States. They are essentially a baby LeMans, but their lower weight and smaller size make them a very nice bike for back roads or local cruising. They are smooth, dependable, reasonably fast, and the design is very attractive. You just have to love the alligator-patterned seat vinyl. No plastics (to speak of) and lots of beautifully cast aluminum.

I’ve had this 29,895 mile bike for 5 years and its one of my favorite drives. We have rebuilt the carbs and done all maintenance regularly. There are no mechanical or electrical or cosmetic issues. The tires are a few years old and have nearly all there tread. While the bike has a lot of miles, it is impeccable. There are no paint blemishes, wear, scratches, or fading of any sort. This is a pristine survivor. No excuses.

I’m not sure the silencers are OEM, but they came with the bike. It sounds great, The Guzzi sound is pretty unique. There is no other bike that sounds like these narrow sideways V’s. Sort of an Italian Harley sound. The bike made a fair amniunt of power for the day. The 45 hp motor was in part due to the fairly novel use of Heron heads. The other small bike of the era that used them was the iconic Moto Morini 3 1/2. Incredibly smooth ride due to the shaft drive (which is beautifully enclosed in the right rear swing arm).

My only additions to the bike was to install the beautiful Alberts bar-end mirrors, new tires, and a new OEM windscreen.

Time is said to heal all wounds, and eventually makes (nearly) everything valuable again (ever surf eBay for fun?). With 38 years and nearly 30,000 miles behind it, this 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza looks pretty incredible. The colors are vibrant and the instrument cluster looks unblemished (and no rash on the top of the triple trees!). There is some discoloration and staining on the cases and cylinder heads which is simply an indication of normal use. From the pictures this looks like a time capsule, and with legendary Guzzi longevity this would be a bike to putt around on for decades to come. The current bid on this beauty is a paltry $3,200, with reserve still in place. Depending where that reserve is set, this baby Guzzi could be a bargain in the making. It’s hard to believe the seller would let it go for peanuts after lavishing such care on this Italian beauty, but as we see so few of these rare models come across our pages it is definitely worth a look. Into classic Moto Guzzi models? Check this one out here, and then be sure and jump back to the comments and share your thoughts and experience with this lesser known example. Good Luck!!

MI

Italian Sweetheart:  1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza