I love older Moto Guzzi sportbikes. Okay, I like pretty much all Guzzis really: cruise-y Eldorados and Ambassadors, jack-of-all-trade-y T3’s, thumpy old, externally flywheel-d Falcones. But I obviously have a special place in my heart for the sporty V7’s and LeMans bikes. Big, thumping V-twins, long, low looks, stable handling, and bags of personality.
But unlike many famous and desirable vintage machines, the classic Guzzi’s aren’t fragile: their clunky, tractor-like character means they eat up the miles with gusto, and most have racked up some pretty serious miles, by classic-bike standards.
But not this one. 1978 Moto Guzzi LeMans for Sale
According to the seller, this machine has less than 2,800 miles on it from new, and it sounds like he knows his Guzzis:
Check this boy out! I bought this bike from a seller that wanted to refuse delivery after it was paid for because he found out I was putting new tires on it at the dealer that handled the sale for him. He had owned it since 1992 and put not one mile on it. Seems he couldn’t believe I would ride this piece of history. He didn’t. The milage at my purchase was exactly what it had been at his over 15 years earlier. I still have the factory tires that I took off with 2300 miles on them (included). They look new but of course are suited only for display or trash. This bike is totally original and has never been apart. The front brake master cylinder was replaced at the dealer correctly, just before I bought it. I have ownership and service docs from new. The front fender and cowl were repainted in my custody after an enclosed trailer incident (stupid me) scratched them. Perfect undetectable match. Every other bit of finish is factory. It starts and runs beautifully and everything works as it should. I have put about 400 miles on it mostly 10-12 at a time except for a Bear Tooth turnaround (~200). It is quite exceptional as a rider. Light and much quicker steering than Guzzis are typically credited for. Great brakes and actually about the best shifting Guzzi trans I have ridden. That may not be saying much but as tractor like as they often are I think shift quality varies and is a matter of the luck of assembly at the factory that day. At any rate this one is good (I have had quite a number of Guzzis) and certainly better than any of the BMW airhead rock crushers of the day. I have misc odds and ends as well as the tires, docs from new, and the original seat. The seats were one piece of cast rubber with the finish actually in the casting. This one is cracked across just between the rider and passenger seat. I think this was typical. The seat on it is genuine leather and quite nice in comfort and appearance. The boys at MG Cycle have new repops just like the original. I guess if you are collecting you want to call MG. If you are riding you will like this one.
Interestingly, the owner claims the bike has “lighter and much quicker steering than Guzzis are typically credited for.” You’d think it would, considering the bicycle-skinny tires fitted to this classic superbike! I’d read an article in Bike magazine once that old Guzzi’s, owing to their relaxed steering geometry and long wheelbase, “turn like a plank in a swimming pool.” Obviously, these things are relative, and what turns more sharply than a modern 600cc sportbike they were likely using as a benchmark, anyway?
Bidding’s up over $11,000 with a few days to go. This one sounds like a great collector, although it’s hard to tell from the pretty limited photos…
I love Guzzis, but I think I’d just find myself a solid T3 and turn it into a V7 replica to ride the wheels off of: this is one for the collectors out there, since it seems a shame to rack up miles on it.