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1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans For Sale

I was prowling around, looking for something interesting to pick up for my fantasy garage and stumbled across this Moto Guzzi Le Mans.  I’ve written about them before, but this pristine, low-mileage example grabbed my attention.  Then I noticed the “Buy It Now” price…

Go here for the original listing on eBay: 1976 Moto Guzzi Le Mans For Sale

This bike is rare, appears to have undergone a thorough restoration, and looks immaculate, if the photos and the description are to be believed.  The mileage is very low for such a usable machine, but a $24,800 BIN?  That is very serious money for a Le Mans, almost twice what I’ve seen the nicest examples going for previously.  For that money, they could have at least used the European front headlamp that sits flush with the curve of the fairing, instead of jutting out awkwardly…  Damn US safety regulations!

From the original listing:

This bike was found and restored by Guy Fravile in Connecticut, a long time and well respected Moto Guzzi expert. Guy did not spend all this time and effort to sell the bike. When Guy road the finished machine to the Italian Bike Day Show in Sturbridge Mass two things happened that day… Guy won “best in class” and “best of show” and I purchased the bike while still on the field. I have had the great honor of owning it ever since.
The bike has been shown and awarded at the Greenwich Concour, while living on the East coast, and at the famous Quail Concour in Carmel, Pebble Beach, as well as the Quail Motorcycle Gathering and the Concour on Ocean Avenue in Carmel by the Sea.

The owner of this particular machine sounds very enthusiastic, although I’d take issue with his claim that “current Guzzi’s have lost all of their brand magic”: while the engine and transmission have undergone a process of constant refinement over the years, the bikes retain the air-cooled, longitudinally-mounted, shaft-drive layout of the classic Le Mans.  If the V11 Sport I rode recently is any indication of the sound and feel of Guzzi’s current line up, I’d say aficionados have little to fear.

Introduced in 1976, the Le Mans was Moto Guzzi’s premier sporting machine of the era, a follow up to the iconic V7 Sport.  Only about 6000 Mark I Le Mans were made between ’76 and ‘78, most of which were red, with a few ice blue and a couple white machines thrown into the mix.  It was not the fastest bike of the day, but it was characterful, stylish, and capable of making very good time over the road, with a combination of usable power and rock-steady handling.

V-twin Guzzi’s are striking machines, with their finned, air-cooled cylinders sticking out into the breeze by the rider’s knees.  Yes, if you have long legs, they can toast your shins.  And yes, the torque reaction of the longitudinal crankshaft and driveshaft can be felt in turns.  But they have bags of individuality and, now as then, they can be very quick in real-world conditions and you should be prepared to answer questions whenever you stop for gas or a bite to eat…

It’s clearly a very nice bike that’s being offered here, and it appears that no expense has been spared on the restoration or maintenance.  But we’ll see if the owner can find a buyer willing to offer him Ducati 900SS money for this Le Mans.

-tad

  1. Djani_g says:

    Wow! to the bike and to the price. Realistically, I cannot see anyone paying that money today but that’s not to say the bike is not worth it. If it was a 900SS of the same vintage, it would be snapped up like the 77 900SS recently on eBay ( which immediately became available for $35k on the new owners site…) but it’s not a Ducati. The fact that it may well be better than a 76 900SS is beside the point, but I would imagine the collectors out there will soon realize that these old Guzzis are really interesting, just like the old Laverda 3Cs and Jotas, and the prices will indeed climb steeply. Nice find and a nice write up Tad.

  2. Mfred says:

    I noticed this listing as well. Was very surprised about the asking price and thought it rather high indeed! I too own an early LeMans, one of the very first according to the VE number and one privately brought into the US sans the federal headlight regulation headlight bezel. Mine too is low a mileage example complete with a straight cut gear close ratio gearbox plus other race mods indicating a racing career prior to it’s now relaxed life around SoCal. The above listed bike to my knowledge is no longer listed and I’m wondering if it was sold, and if so, what the seller got for it. My hunch is that the seller pulled it because of inactivity due to the high BIN.
    On the other hand…hehe…if he got his asking price, more power to us LM1 owners!!
    Regardless of price, I enjoy mine too much to ever consider selling. These Moto Guzzis really get in your blood!