Tagged: 1981

Real-World Italian: 1981 Ducati Darmah SD900 for Sale

1981 Ducati Darmah L Side

The Ducati Darmah was just about the end of the line for Ducati’s bevel-drive v-twin motorcycles, aside from a handful of Hailwood Replicas and S2 models, before the move from gears and tower-shafts to simple, rubber belts. The change made plenty of economic sense but, while the Pantah engine is considered one of the most charismatic engines of all time, it certainly isn’t as good-looking as that earlier Ducati powerplant.

1981 Ducati Darmah Tank

The Darmah was introduced in 1977 to replace the unloved 860GT and has a definite 70’s Superbike vibe about it, with the upswept tail and wide bars looking much more like the Japanese competition than the angular, futuristic 860. But unlike those bikes that offered comfort and straight-line speed, the Darmah could hustle through the turns on its Marzocchi suspension and pull up short with its Brembo brakes.

1981 Ducati Darmah Clocks

And it wasn’t just about style: the Darmah included evolutionary updates to the basic platform to improve function that included an electric start and a redesigned shift lever that did away with the cobbled-together crossover previously used to convert the bike to left-side shift. Combined with the comfortable ergonomics and torquey v-twin, those changes made for a very appealing package for folks who want to ride, rather than just admire their motorcycles.

1981 Ducati Darmah R Side Engine

This particular example isn’t completely perfect, but appears to be in very good, very original condition. The Darmah featured an improved build-quality compared to earlier Ducatis, so you should get more “patina” and less “corrosion…”

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Darmah SD900 for Sale

Very nice Darmah here. I also have the Silentiums that it came with, the pipes on it are Stainless. Always maintained to a high standard. Valves set, new chain and sprockets, clutch plates, steering head bearings, tires and cables. Calipers rebuilt and stainless front brake lines added. 1981 models are actually rare in the US and you get some nice features for this year: FPS wheels, stronger transmission, upgraded clutch and the motor is exactly the same as the 900SS version. That means you get the SS rods (beamed) and the wide stud heads with larger ports. Earlier versions did not have these features, using 860 rods and small port heads with narrow stud spacing.  

Everything works and the bike is the smoothest Ducati I have ever ridden with a perfect riding position. Seat has been recovered with new padding and it is comfortable. Bike also has the excellent Marzocchi shocks these came with and they are smooth and leak free. Same with the forks. Paint is perfect and the tank is sealed with Caswells. Factory seal is in place on the cases. No leaks, no crashes, never dropped. Shift lever has been shortened to fit a size 12 foot – or smaller. Backs of the mirrors show wear and one of the headlight ears has a spot in the chrome that is flaking – shown in the pictures.

You can buy a cheap one and spend more than this bike costs to get it this good. This is not my first Bevel and I have owned multiple versions since 1980. Nobody has ‘learned’ to work on a bike that owned this. I am an old man and have taken very good care of the bike, never planning to sell it. It is part of a collection that I planned to keep forever. A current massive construction project is forcing the issue. I have an open title for it and can give a bill of sale also. Buyer is responsible for shipping. If you want one of these, buy this one.

1981 Ducati Darmah Tail

The Darmah used to be the only affordable way into classic bevel-drive Ducati ownership, and I guess it still is. But, with a Buy It Now price of $13,500 it’s just that “affordable” means something a little bit different than it used to… While the Darmah may not have the sexy, race-replica lines of the Super Sport bikes, it does offer something those bikes don’t: comfort and practicality. And unless you plan to just show your Ducati off in the living room, the Darmah is better at doing just about everything a motorcycle is supposed to do…

-tad

1981 Ducati Darmah R Side

Far Ahead of Its Time: 1981 Bimota HB2 for Sale

1981 Bimota HB1 R Side

As sleek and sexy as exotic cars and motorcycles may appear to the uninitiated, it’s under the skin where the really beautiful stuff generally lives. After all, you can cloak a pedestrian four-banger Fiero in fairly convincing Lamborghini bodywork, but pull the bodywork of this Bimota HB2 and the bike is perhaps even better-looking.

1981 Bimota HB1 Engine

While the GSX-R is generally thought to have brought endurance-racing looks and monoshock frames to the masses, they certainly weren’t the first to actually build a bike like that for the road. That honor would likely go to Bimota and one of their lightweight Japanese-engined racers. This was at the tail end of the era before the Japanese Big Four really got their act together and made big bikes that could handle, and Bimota was happy to take their powerful and nearly unburstable powerplants and put them into packages that were uncompromisingly fast, lightweight, and devoid of mass-production compromises.

1981 Bimota HB1 Side Plate

The HB2 was, as the alpha-numeric name suggests, the second Honda-powered bike built by Bimota. Only 10 HB1’s were built, the first made from a CB750 wrecked by Massimo Tamburini himself. 200 HB2’s were built following, making them almost mass-produced by Bimota standards. The HB2 was powered by the CB900F’s 90hp air/oil-cooled, four-valve, four-cylinder engine, wrapped in a lightweight trellis frame that saved almost 70lbs compared to the more traditional donor bike. The exhaust added a dab of power but was mainly intended to save additional weight.

1981 Bimota HB1 Rear Wheel

It takes just 4 bolts and a single electrical connector to remove the lightweight fairing and allow unfettered access to the gorgeous mechanicals, as can be seen from the photos.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Bimota HB2 for Sale

Great opportunity to buy a supper rare and highly collectable motorcycle, one of the first Bimotas,this one was 2nd generation using a Honda engine but was the 1st model Bimota implemented the billet  plate to hold the frame together, was the most expensive and fastest production bike back in 1981. Is a very basic and simple motorcycle, engineered ,design and manufactured with one purpose, to serve one rider and provide the most handling and performance. Has a very cool spider web trellis frame, billet  integrated plates to improve rigidity, magnesium wheels, magnesium legs 40 mm fully adjustable Italia(Certain) fork, billet triple tree and rear sets, one piece fiber glass body with tank cover and integrated seat. Bike is mostly stock with the exception of very rare Dellorto PH32 carbs, original came with Keihin carbs (very cheap and easy to obtain on eBay).

I purchased the bike from a collector, along with other motorcycle and unfortunately can’t keep them all, decided to sell a few, including this Bimota HB2.

The bike is very solid and in better than average shape but is not pristine, has scratches, dents, some other marks and scuffs as you can imagine for a 34 years old bike. I encourage who ever is interested to come for an inspection, bike has new tires, carbs and fluids taken care, starts and rides well but I only take  her out for short rides, too precious to go the distance. Only 197 of these babies were made, this is#26 and titled in my name, Illinois title.

I have bunch of period magazine covering this bike and all of them have agreed the bike was a masterpiece and way ahead of its time, for years had no competition, was in a class all by herself/ I would included them with the bike.

1981 Bimota HB1 Dash

Interestingly, these early Bimotas generally used the factory gauges for a less-exotic and bespoke, but far more reliable way to keep an eye on vital statistics: the gauges on 90’s Bimotas were almost comically erratic when they functioned at all. With plenty of time left on the auction, but no bidders and a starting bid of $11,000 there’s plenty of time to get in on a very collectible motorcycle in solid shape.

-tad

1981 Bimota HB1 L Side

Good Things in Small Packages: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza L Side

Although styled to match their bigger siblings, Moto Guzzi’s V35 and V50 models shared few mechanical components and, in some ways, were more refined, sophisticated machines. They shared the longitudinal engine configuration and shaft-drive with the bigger bikes, but used unconventional “Heron” -style heads that improve both manufacturing and combustion efficiency.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza R Front

Heron heads have been used by Jaguar, Ford, and Volvo and were used extensively by Moto Morini. Basically, the surface of a Heron-style head is flat, instead of domed, with valves running parallel to each other instead of angled. Combustion then occurs in the top of the dished piston top and has advantages in terms of fuel economy. The simplified design means manufacturing costs are significantly lowered.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza L Front

The V50 put out 45hp which is certainly enough to have some fun with, especially when combined with the bike’s light weight, strong brakes, and generally excellent handling. The shaft drive is also reportedly less pronounced than on larger models, perhaps because the smaller bike’s drivetrain contains less rotating mass.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza Dash

Introduced in the late 1970’s, the V35 and V50 were primarily intended for the European market, where taxes and fuel prices are generally much higher than here in the US. But some of the littler Guzzi’s did make it over here and although they are rare, often show up in surprisingly good condition. Although I’ve never seen one quite this nice…

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza for Sale

Very rare bike in the US and seldom seen for sale at all, much less in this condition. I rode this bike around the hills of North Carolina and Tennessee for a few years after I bought it, and enjoyed every mile. I then treated it to a complete frame off, full nut and bolt cosmetic restoration to the highest standards. The bike was originally red, but was changed to the gorgeous silver-blue as sold in Europe. The list of NOS parts used was very extensive and cost many thousands of dollars. The only changes from stock are a DynaTech electronic ignition and a pair of rearview mirrors that are much superior to the stock ones. While these bikes maintain the wonderful good looks of the 1000cc LeMans, they are extremely light and nimble at only 350 pounds, and must be experienced on a twisty road to fully appreciate their capabilities. A factory service manual and parts book is included with this sale.

The bike is fully sorted and needs nothing to enjoy as is. With that said, there is one issue that bears mention. It has what I consider to be an inordinate amount of noise in the primary drive. I have asked other Guzzi owners’ opinion on this, and they say it is normal for the model. The noise is reduced significantly when the clutch is pulled in, so if it is out of the ordinary I really don’t know what to blame for it. I have reduced the price $1000 from what I feel is a fair value on this bike to accommodate this issue. 

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza Engine Detail

I’m curious about that noise the seller mentions. Guzzis use an automotive-style dry clutch that naturally makes more noise than an oil-bath clutch and certainly would be quieter once the clutch was pulled in. Without hearing it, or knowing the seller’s experience with other Guzzi models, it’s hard to say, but considering the work that’s gone into this, I think it’s worth taking a chance on.

While this certainly isn’t the fastest classic Guzzi around, I think it’s a great-looking bike, and it’s much more nimble than you might expect, given its chunky looks and that shaft drive. If you’re looking for something weird, collectible, fun, and relatively inexpensive, this little Monza would make an excellent choice.

-tad

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza R Side

Bruiser from Down Under: 1981 Laverda Formula Mirage for Sale

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage R Front

While currently located in New Zealand, this Laverda Formula Mirage has a very American sensibility. In spite of their accents and the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road, enthusiasts in New Zealand and Australia have more in common with gearheads here in the US than they do with European riders. The wide-open spaces found Down Under lend themselves to the same afflictions that plague us here: big, stupid horsepower and straight-line speed.

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Controls

Built by Slater Laverda in the UK, masterminds behind the original Jota, the Formula Mirage was powered by Laverda’s famously charismatic and durable three-cylinder engine. It featured a distinctive, one-piece fiberglass tank and seat unit that looked sleek, but significantly limited fuel capacity, which in turn reduced the range of the already thirsty triple. Several folks online also commented on the steeply-sloped seat unit that sees passengers steadily sliding forward into the rider. A bonus on a hot date, not so great if you’re give your buddy a lift to pick up his bike from the mechanic…

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Dash

From the original, very brief, eBay listing: 1981 Laverda Formula Mirage for Sale

Laverda Formula Mirage, 1 of 14 built by Slaters. Astralites, Goldlines, rebuilt motor . In excellent condition.

Although the seller mentions he believes only 14 were built, I did see mention in a Laverda forum by someone who claimed to have original Slater paperwork that stated 17 were actually created. Either way, it’s a very rare machine, and the parts are all there, even if the sum performs at a somewhat less-than-expected level.

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Rear Wheel

Overall, in spite of character clearly in line with Laverda’s big, burly image, the bike met with decidedly mixed reviews, likely because the market had moved on, and riders had begun to expect both brawn and brains in their bikes: the “bigger, louder, faster, harder” mentality was just too primitive to appeal.

For collectors looking for a classic Laverda that captures the look and feel of the big, manly motorcycles from Breganze, this could be just the ticket.

-tad

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage L Rear

The Anti-UJM: 1981 Ducati Pantah 600SL for Sale

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 R side

Ducati’s original Pantah is perhaps the “anti-UJM”. Where many motorcycles of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s seemed cut from a very similar cloth, with the characteristic unfaired, transverse inline four, and stepped dual-seat, the Pantah is almost aggressively futuristic in a way that set the tone for the decades that followed, although no one would likely credit the fairly low-production machine with starting the trend…

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L Engine

Introduced in 1979 to replace the classic, but conventional models Ducati had been making up to that point, it’s main engineering claim-to-fame was the new engine that was designed to reduce production costs and maintenance compared to the bevel-drive models. While the venerable twin was powerful and very good-looking, the many small parts needed proper set up and needed fairly fine adjustment.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 Front

While the belt-driven Pantah engine did, until recently, famously require very regular belt changes and valve adjustments, both of these procedures are relatively straightforward, and the engines performed as advertised: they’re rugged, respond well to tuning, and make famously cool noises.

Originally a 500cc engine, the new twin made 50hp and could push the 443lb 500SL to 115mph. In 1981, displacement was increased to 600.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Pantah 600SL for Sale

Up for sale this week is a very nice 1981 Ducati Pantah 600 SL. It was just repainted and a new factory decal set was applied.

I acquired this bike a few years back from a noted West Coast Ducati collector, having searched for 3 years after regretting selling my previous one. It is the only Pantah in stock configuration that I have seen for sale on ebay since 2009.

According to the previous owner, this bike had been gone through mechanically within the 2 years prior to my purchase. The engine runs strong, and I’ve never had an issue with any of the electrics or ancillaries.

 The bike is beautiful, one of my favorite designs of all time. The engine presents beautifully, and the few places on the frame where the paint has rubbed off have been touched up.

The odometer shows 59,000 Kilometers. That’s 36,000 miles. It neither looks nor rides like an old bike.

The reason for selling this bike is two-fold. First, at 6’1”, my knees touch the fairing. Secondly, at 57, back issues have forced me to give up riding anything remotely café-style. Much as I love this bike, I’m not operating a museum over here, so she’s got to go to a new home.

As I said, I haven’t seen another stock configuration Pantah available on ebay in 5 years. If you have been looking for one, this is the one. I have set a fair reserve based on the condition and availability of these bikes. You can be confident that this bike won’t disappoint.

These bikes were until recently dirt-cheap to acquire, although they’ve been headed ever-upward in value: this one is looking at a starting bid of $5,000. They represent the perfect useable classic, with real performance and handling, good parts availability for the engine, and even a bit of wind protection.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L Rear Wheel

If 36,000 miles on the clocks puts you off, it shouldn’t: Ducati’s two-valve twins are very rugged and can reach 100,000 miles before needing any significant internal work, assuming they’ve been properly cared for.

This one looks ready to gas up and ride.

-tad

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L side

Very Rare 1981 Honda CB1100RB for Sale

1981 Honda CB1100RB R Side

This Honda CB1100 needs a bit of work, but is rare enough to make it worth while for the right buyer. I try not to post up too many project bikes here, but this one is pretty cool, pretty handsome, and pretty complete. Unfortunately, being rare and collectable, the original parts needed to complete it might cost as much to replace as some really nice aftermarket or custom parts from Sanctuary… I mean, have you seen their custom exhausts?

1981 Honda CB1100RB Dash

The Honda CB1100RB was designed as an homolgation special, and just over a thousand were sold in 1981. Powered by a 1062cc version of Honda’s air-cooled four, it made 115hp and weighed a claimed 520lbs dry, so it was no lightweight. But it was dead stable at speed and fast enough to take the fight to Kawasaki and Suzuki on track.

1981 Honda CB1100RB L Side Rear

A classic Honda hot rod with tons of upgraded internals, a reinforced frame to counter the usual bendiness of these big bikes, and Honda’s first use of dual-piston calipers to bring the beast to a halt quickly, everything was geared towards endurance racing, so this isn’t simply a bored-out 900 with racy bodywork slapped on.

1981 Honda CB1100RB Rear Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Honda CB1100RB for Sale

This bike was imported from France as part of my personal collection currently supplied with import papers a bill of sale and original French documentation, I can provide a new clear registration if required at buyers cost.

There are 64748kms on the bike but it has been relatively well looked after, there are some issues as described below.

The fairing has been modified and as such is incorrect.
The paintwork is good but also incorrect (this was done by a Honda dealership in France!)
The downpipes/headers are original but the silencers are not present.
There are missing fins on the barrels and some screwdriver damage the cylinders and cases (some people!!!!) but these can be repaired.
There is a new battery installed and new rear tyre.
In all I would consider this to be a restoration bike but it is complete, and a good starting point.

There’s also a video of the bike running: Honda CB1100RB start and run.

1981 Honda CB1100RB L Side Engine

These were never officially sold in the USA, and this one is hiding up in Canada at the moment. As always, do some research if you plan to register this for road use in the USA. If you’re just fantasizing, don’t worry about it.

As the seller mentions, these are $20,000 bikes when restored. But with the work needed to make it really complete, maybe this would be the perfect opportunity to do a tasteful resto-mod? Honestly, I’d be really tempted to just email Sanctuary and have them send me a complete exhaust for the bike. Once I’d mortgaged my house…

-tad

1981 Honda CB1100RB R Side Rear

1981 Laverda 1000 Jota

1981 Laverda Jota L Side

Another Laverda just popped up for sale! There’ve been so many of these lately, you’d think they were easy to find in nice shape.

They aren’t.

Laverda was never all that popular in the US, and they’re correspondingly rare. There aren’t a ton of shops that specialize in them, but in this internet age, there’s plenty of information and a strong online community. These are well-built bikes, and many owners are comfortable turning a wrench on them.

1981 Laverda Jota R engine

The Jota, one of the most iconic Laverdas, isn’t really even a factory model. It was a hot-rod 3C whipped up by Slater Laverda in England and was introduced in 1976. The name “Jota” refers to a Spanish dance in triple-time, and the bike is, in typical Laverda fashion, brutal, slightly heavy, and very stable at speed.

Of course I want one.

1981 Laverda Jota Dash

This one’s supposedly a real-deal Jota, although I’m not sure he’s clear on exactly what he has… From the original eBay listing: 1981 Laverda Jota 1000 for Sale

Laverda 1000 Jota 120° (The real Jota)

This bike have been in my garage for the last 15 years.

The motor is in great condition, completely overhauled just before I put the bike away.

The chassis could use some service, it’s still in running condition.

Please look closely on the pictures.

The bike has no battery, it died of high age.

The bike has a new electronic ignition system, the standard comes with the bike but it makes the bike almost impossible to start.

I assume the seller actually means it’s a 180° bike, since it’s actually the later, post-1982, 120° version that’s more tame and not a “real Jota…” The original Jota featured the 180º crank with “one up, two down” pistons that basically ran like a four with a miss. Nevertheless, the configuration gave big power and manageable vibration…

Update! Since I started writing this, the seller has corrected his “degree” mistake in the eBay listing!

From the photos, it looks like he’s got the original fairing as well, should you want to return it to the factory style. I prefer the naked look, but that bulbous fairing should make for a more practical ride… As if a burly, vibrating Italian triple from 1970’s is anything like practical…

As always: do your homework. 3C’s are not inexpensive, but they’re far less than a nice Jota and it’s not difficult to fake one.

-tad

1981 Laverda Jota R Rear

 

1981 Honda CBX for Sale

1981 Honda CBX R Front

Designed ostensibly to capture the glamour of Honda’s six-cylinder racing bikes, it seems strange that the CBX to evolved into the angular, faired monoshock machine you see here. But the bike never really did have any real links to the GP machines, aside from the engine layout, and the CBX certainly couldn’t hang with the true scratchers of the day on back roads.

1981 Honda CBX Engine

Introduced in 1979 and, in spite of appearances, it was supposedly only a bit wider than Honda’s 750 four. The 1047cc, 24 valve, straight six was powerful and made a fantastic sound, but the sophisticated design was offset by its nearly 600 pounds and typically primitive suspension.

1981 Honda CBX Dash

Recast in 1981 with a full fairing and monoshock rear suspension, and hard bags, the CBX became a sophisticated sport-tourer, a role that perhaps suited the platform better. Luckily, the imposing engine and its headers remained on display, leaving no doubt as to what powered this bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Honda CBX for Sale

This is a nice original 1981 honda cbx, there are some minor paint chips here and there, normal wear . The gas tank has a small bubble at the bottom right side of tank, the right side cover decal has a small scratch in it . The tires have been on the bike since 1992. the exhaust is in rough condition and has been repaired where the pipes meet the mufflers, this was due to water build up in the lowest part of the exhaust after sitting for a few years. The side bags are missing. This bike was last on the road in the state of New Jersey in 1992. It was repossessed about two and a half years ago for reasons I don’t know and a friend bought it from the holding company and traded it to me. The carburetors were professionally done out in California at a cost of $1,000. I had to rebuild the starter because one of the brushes was stuck in its carrier. I turned the armature, replaced the brushes and the brush springs. I installed the carburetors and the new air box plenum. Put fresh gas in it and fired it up, runs good, goes through all gears smoothly, all brakes work. Chain should be replaced as well as the tires, brake fluid and fork oil should be changed. This bike has been sitting for some time, it only has 5,787 miles on it.

1981 Honda CBX Detail

These aren’t especially cheap to buy or run but, when properly cared for, they can provide typically Honda durability. I prefer the earlier, simpler CBX’s without the fairing and hard bags, although there’s something about these big, Goldwing-esque machines that appeals as well. In spite of the low mileage, this one isn’t really in collectable shape, but that might just make it a great candidate for customization or upgrading. Or it might mean you can get that wonderful engine on the cheap, and do some traveling to spread the Gospel of the Straight Six to far-flung corners of the continent.

-tad

1981 Honda CBX L Rear

1981 Ducati Supersport 900 for Sale

1981 Ducati 900SS L Front

Speaking of square-case Ducatis…  There’s not much time left on this 1981 Ducati Supersport 900. The SS models are among the most collectable Ducatis and were the first bikes to feature their signature “Desmodromic” valve actuation that used cams instead of springs to close the valves. Other models featured traditional valve springs, although they still used tower shafts and a bevel gear system to drive the cams.

1981 Ducati 900SS Dash

The 864cc 900SS introduced in 1975 to replace the earlier round-case 750 used the revised “square-case” motor introduced in the 860GT. It was an evolution, as opposed to a revolution and featured elements designed to make the bike more appealing on the world market: the gearshift was now on the left side, mufflers were quieter, and mechanical/electrical improvements were made to improve reliability.

1981 Ducati 900SS Tank

There’s not very much information in the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Supersport 900 for Sale

1981 Mint condition Ducati 900 SuperSport Bevel drive.

Original paint
Original miles
All correct parts
Starts on first or second kick
Runs beautifully
Always stored indoors

Buyer is responsible for pickup

Down payment due within 48 hours

While the later bevel-drive models may not have the class and cache of the round-case bikes, you can’t complain about the style of this machine.  You could also argue that, while any bike at the end of its production run may have been “long in the tooth” or even obsolete at the time they were built, from a collector’s point of view the machine is likely to be as refined as it ever was, with most of the bugs worked out.

With the SS models still increasing in value, this is still a good bet for investors, although the rest of us will just have to drool.

-tad

1981 Ducati 900SS R Rear

1981 Moto Guzzi Monza for Sale with 99 Original Miles?!

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza R Rear

Moto Guzzi is famous for its big, agricultural v-twin machines.  But in the late 1970’s, they introduced their smaller displacement alternatives to the bigger sport and touring machines.  Although big bikes have always been popular in America, where motorcycles are often a luxury purchase, Europeans often find smaller bikes appealing, owing to sometimes high taxes on big bikes and the extremely high cost of fuel.

The little Guzzi’s never sold very well here and are correspondingly rare now.  They’re neat little machines, well-finished adult bikes, not the cheap, plastic learners and commuters we often get as small-displacement bikes here in the states.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza R Side

These little 350cc and 500cc [and later 650cc] Guzzis are styled like their big siblings, but share virtually no significant parts with them.  The big twins are very conventional in design, but the small Guzzis feature relatively unusual “Heron” style heads that improved economy and simplified manufacturing.

The V50 Monza was a true sportbike, just one with a fairly small engine.  45bhp isn’t all that much to play with, but the bike is relatively light, handling is excellent, braking very good, and the shaft drive very un-agricultural…

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza for Sale

Up for auction is this practically fresh from crate 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza with fewer than 100 miles on her.  The original owner purchased this bike from his local dealer in June of 1981. Yet after just a few enjoyable outings on his new Guzzi, he was diagnosed with an illness that kept him from riding.

He held onto the bike hoping to one day be able to enjoy it. Thus, it was kept with fresh fuel, a battery tender attached and on special lift so the tires would not touch the garage floor…

Just this year I acquired the Monza, turned on the fuel, the choke and the key, pressed the starter and she fired up immediately. After a warm up on the stand, I changed what looked like brand new oil. Since, I have topped up the tires, and changed out the brake fluid. A quick detail has been given to the bike and I have ridden it about 10 miles.

I believe this Monza is as nice and close to uncrated condition, without being restored, as you will find anywhere in the world.

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza Dash

This bike presents us with a dilemma: the little Guzzis are great, affordable and stylish machines that happen to be great motorcycles to put miles on.  So when you’ve got one with so few, it seems a shame to destroy the originality by riding it.

But what else do you do with such a fun little machine?

-tad

1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza R Front