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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

3 Comments

  • these pictures are a perfect example of the typical Guzzi owners garage 🙂

  • The LeMans 1000 looks bigger than it’s predecessors because of the bodywork. The Tonti frame didn’t change much over 4 decades of service. take off the plastics and retrofit the older stuff, and the bike looks tiny.
    The 1000 came with40 mm Carbs, bigger valves and the B-10 camshaft that was part of the earlier lemans Race kit. Open up that heavy throttle, and you can totally tell the difference.
    These are not going to be cheap much longer. This one looks pretty nice.

  • Yup they be ugly but 2 things about that-firstly if the ugly gets too much just strip off the offending bits and revert to earlier looks as suggested and secondly when riding you don’t look at the beast

    De Tomaso never invested much into Guzzi which had the perverse effect of keeping the factory in a timewarp – its a shame to think they have spent half a century making V twins, when they made a watercooled V8 Grand Prix racebike in the 50s before Soichiro Honda had even set foot on the Isle of Man.

    Actually, and Im open to correction here, I believe Guzzi began production in 1919 so maybe its time for a party?

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