1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III for Sale

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Red R Side

I happen to be a big fan of the 70’s and 80’s Moto Guzzi LeMans series of bikes. While the shaft-drive, pushrods, and longitudinally-mounted engine may not read like the best recipe for a true sport bike, it could handle with the best bikes of the time, made competitive power, and made an ideal roadbike.

The different versions of the LeMans were not radical redesigns, but rather gradual styling and technological evolutions of an existing platform: the famous Lino Tonti-designed frame was used on Guzzis from the early 1970’s up until just a few years ago! Unfortunately this, along with the relative availability of parts, means that it’s pretty easy to fake various LeMans models, so be careful and do your homework before buying. There’s nothing wrong with a fake in theory, unless you’ve paid for the genuine article.

Twenty years from now, I wonder if the III’s won’t be rarer than the earlier versions, since they’ve been cheap for so long and are popular choices for Mark I-style conversions and hot-rod customs. They have all the higher-spec bits and have been really undervalued until very recently.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Red L Engine

The LeMans III was produced between 1981 and 1984, so this is the final year for this style. It represented a much more significant change to the platform, compared to the LeMans II/CX100 and featured the square cylinder head style seen on Guzzis of today. And while compression was decreased slightly to meet ever-growing emissions requirements, the LeMans III actually made more torque and horsepower due to improved manufacturing tolerances careful tuning that maximized available performance.

I’m still not convinced about the styling of that fairing from the front, but it was designed in a wind tunnel, and allows that huge dash to mount that white-faced tach. And we all should know by now how I feel about big Veglia tachs… The rest of the angular design has grown on me over the past couple of years and the LeMans III’s have been increasing in value of late.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Red Dash

This one isn’t in perfect shape, but looks good and should be easy to put right any details that aren’t.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III for Sale

 This bike sat in a barn for 15 years. Aprox. 39000 miles. I acquired it and got it running and clean up a bit. I am not a Guzzi guy so I have no interest in doing a full restoration even though it is the perfect candidate. What I have done to the bike,(Rebuilt the carbs with all new internals jets floats…, new air pods because thats what it had when I got it, throttle cables, ignition switch, glass wind shield, fuel valves/lines, spark plugs/caps/wires, new used instrument light strip, and new battery. The bike shows great and you could enjoy it as it sits or do a detailed restoration. Runs great, starts right up in freezing cold. I have horns with it but they are not hooked up. I do not know if they are original. Also have a box of parts with some type of plastic deflector, vacuum hose and starter cover. The bike seems to be all original except for the air pods but I am not an expert.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Red Tank

Ooh look: videos! http://youtu.be/tYG_ILgtmL0  ,http://youtu.be/bR4RaFwiTKY

All-in-all this is what looks like a very solid example. I actually prefer the LM III in white, but you certainly can’t go wrong with a classic red Italian sportbike.

Vintage Guzzi sportbikes really are great classic bikes. They can do big miles, handle as well as anything from the period, sound amazing, require minimal maintenance, and are a breeze to work on. With those heads sticking out in the breeze, even serious top-end work is simple, and shaft drive means you won’t need to worry about keeping a chain lubed up during nasty weather.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Red L Side

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2 Responses

  1. Jess says:

    The 850 LeMans III is my favorite Guzzi. Had a red one like this in the mid ’80s. Lightened the flywheel, installed the hotter Guzzi cam, upgraded the ignition, drilled a pressure relief hole in the silencers and Voila! a Guzzi that will run with most anyone. Plus it looks, handles, and sounds Soooo good. Put 60K miles on it, never missed a beat. I have a silver one now that is from Italy, its a keeper! Oh, I always thought the styling of the LMIII was more refined and integrated than the LMI, There I said it.

  2. tad says:

    The LM III has definitely grown on me. The square headlight bugs me a bit, but I agree that the rest of the bike looks like it was actually “designed”, whereas the LM I looks more stripped down. If I had one, I think I’d pull that fairing, set the tach into a simple dash, and fit a nice, round headlight… Nothing wrong with the sound though: I saw one last summer with LaFranconi pipes that sounded amazing.