Tagged: Lino Tonti

Tonti-Framed Masterpiece: 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side

The current café racer and “brat-style” bike craze works hard to create a low, street-racer silhouette, often at the expense of suspension travel. But Moto Guzzi’s V7 Sport had low-and-lean included, with no additional charge. With the cylinders of the big, longitudinally-mounted v-twin jutting out to the sides, the frame and tank could sit in the valley of the vee, instead of having to take the long route over the top, for a low center-of-gravity and sleek good looks as standard.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Detail

Earlier “loop-framed” Guzzis like the V700 handled well enough and were great touring machines, but they weren’t light enough or low enough to really cut it on track. So Lino Tonti created a brand new frame to wrap around the slightly smaller, sportified twin that had 52hp measured at the back wheel. Detachable frame rails allowed the engine to be easily serviced, and that same design was used in one form or another well into the modern era.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Clocks

Surprisingly, shaft-drive was retained and has become something of a signature for Guzzi. While shaft-drive is great for touring bikes and require less maintenance than a chain and set of sprockets, it’s generally not used on sportier bikes as it can add significant weight, and the torque-reaction can cause unfavorable handling characteristics. But while the rotational mass of the engine and driveshaft can be felt when rolling on or off the throttle in corners, the effects are generally very mild and riders quickly adapt.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

This is a 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. It has dual front disk brakes from the factory, superior stopping power, so this is probably one of the last before they changed to the Lemans sport model. I have owned it for over 12 years. during which time I upgraded the electrical system to a much more dependable one. I changed the ignition system to an electronic one with the matching Dynatek coils. It has a solid state voltage regulator. The front brakes lines has been replaced with stainless steel brake lines. The front fork cartridges have been replaced with the much more consistent FAC cartridges and progressive springs. The old cartridge type steering damper has been replaced with a newer, more solid version. The mirrors are Napoleon Baren TT. Other than that the motorcycle is pretty much stock. It has 41,000 miles on the clock which in Guzzi time frame, it is still a baby. I have done a major fluid change and valve adjust recently. This bike has been cared for and serviced on time all of its life, I am its third owner and I can say that it has never slept outside, always garaged and cared for. This is one of the 152 V7 sports brought to the US in 1974. The bike runs great and handles even better. I love this bike but I am parting with some bikes now and this one has to go.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side Rear

Interestingly, this is one of two nice V7 Sports for sale at the moment, and although the other features the very classic drum-braked front, this example has better photographs. It’s also the less expensive of the two, although with a Buy It Now price of $17,840.00 it’s not cheap. It is, however, in very nice original condition and those dual front discs should probably work better in real-world riding than the more stylish drum. Mileage isn’t particularly low but this, as the seller mentions, is no concern for a Guzzi.

All-in-all, a worthy addition to anyone’s real or fantasy garage.

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side

Low-Mileage Italian: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Front Fairing

Designed as a follow up to Moto Guzzi’s V7 Sport, the 850 Le Mans was much more evolutionary than a brand-new machine. It still used the famous Lino Tonti frame, as would many Guzzis up into the modern era. The engine too used simple changes to net more performance, including bigger slugs with higher compression, larger valves, and a set of 36mm Dell’Orto carbs. These changes gave 71hp at the wheel and a top speed of 130.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side Engine

Interestingly, comparison tests pitting the Ducati 900SS against the Le Mans suggest that the Guzzi actually had the revvier engine of the two, in spite of the pushrod architecture and generally low-tech design.

To slow things down, the bike used triple disc brakes that included Guzzi’s linked braking system: the foot lever operated the rear and one of the front brake calipers, with a proportioning valve to prevent premature lock up of one or the other, and the bar lever operated the other front disc. The system was simple, but worked surprisingly well, although many Guzzi owners have removed the system and replaced it with a more conventional set up.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans Dash

Today’s bike is a very original, low-mileage example of the first-generation Le Mans. These early bikes are often referred to as “Mark I” bikes, but this is a later edition to the name since, at the time, Guzzi obviously didn’t know they’d be making a Mark II version!

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans L Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

This is a completely original and unmolested 1977 Moto Guzzi Lemans 1. This bike has only 10,206 miles on the clock. There have been no modifications to this bike and all parts on this bike are as it was delivered to the dealer in 1977. Every part and piece is as delivered from Italy, right down to the footpeg rubbers.

The turn signals have been removed and are still with the bike and will be provided to the new owner. This bike was owned by an ex Guzzi dealer who rode the bike for a few years and then stored it early in its life as he moved on to other bikes throughout his time as a Guzzi / Ducati dealer in Texas. He was very active in the Moto Guzzi club and treated and maintained all his bikes very well.

This is a rare chance to own an original, unmolested Lemans 1 with such low miles. I would doubt there are but a small handful of Lemans 1’s with 10k miles out there as most of these bikes accumulated serious mileage on them as they were and are a very robust motor.

This bike will make a fine rider as is, or a great bike for a full restoration. Paint is in decent shape for its age.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side Rear

The original listing indicates that the bike, while in excellent running condition, hasn’t been used much and will require basic maintenance to the brakes to make sure they’re up to snuff. The seller also mentions that the clutch does drag a bit, and a new clutch will be included, along with a set of stainless brake lines.

The seat foam, a notoriously short-lived material, is original and in decent, although not perfect condition. What you see on these bikes is not a vinyl cover over padding, but a molded material meant to simplify production. Unfortunately, the foam quickly developed splits and very few bikes survive with their original seats intact…

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans Front Wheel

Overall, this a solid, unrestored example of the classic Le Mans and has the lowest mileage I can remember seeing on a bike that wasn’t a display piece. These bikes were extremely durable, long-legged sportbikes and many have accumulated the mileage you’d expect from such a useable machine, so this is a rare opportunity, if low-mileage is your thing. Bidding is up north of $10,000 with the reserve not met and several days left on the auction.

-tad

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side

Low and Lean: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport

http://ebay.com/sch/i.html?_dcat=6024&_fsrp=1&_sop=3&_nkw=(r1100s%2C+r1200s%2C+fzr%2C+ducati%2C+aprilia%2C+bimota%2C+cbr%2C+cb%2C+rc51%2C+rc45%2C+rc30%2C+vfr%2C+yzf%2C+fzr%2C+ninja%2C+rd%2C+rz%2C+rzv%2C+rg%2C+rgv%2C+rare%2C+two+stroke%2C+guzzi%2C+yamaha%2Czx%2C+zxr%2Cgsx%2C+gsxr%2C+nsr%2C+tzr+)&_sacat=6024&_from=R40&rt=nc&Model%2520Year=1977%7C1978%7C1979%7C1980%7C1981%7C1982%7C1983%7C1985%7C1986%7C1987%7C1988%7C1989%7C1990%7C1991%7C1993%7C1994%7C1995%7C1996%7C1997%7C1998%7C1999%7C2000%7C2001%7C2002%7C2003%7C2004%7C2005&LH_TitleDesc=0&Make=Aprilia%7CBenelli%7CBimota%7CBMW%7CBuell%7CDucati%7CHonda%7CMoto%2520Guzzi%7CMV%2520Agusta%7COther%2520Makes%7CSuzuki%7CYamaha&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&siteid=0&campid=5336355465&toolid=20008&mkevt=1&MBDACmisc=VSUIbu

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green L Side

To me, old Moto Guzzis like this V7 Sport are just about the perfect vintage bikes: they’re rare, but parts are available to keep them running. The styling is classic, but they’re relatively reliable, and dead-simple to work on. Construction is rugged and durable, but the bikes are still sporty and agile compared to their contemporaries. They’re sportbikes, yet can actually rack up miles, since they’re not highly-strung or fragile. And the innovative frame design by Lino Tonti that allowed the engine to be set low for handling and cornering clearance, also just happens to make for the lowest, meanest-looking bike of the period.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green R Side Detail

Although some very odd folks have occasionally been known to race the earlier “loop-framed” Guzzis, they were primarily sport-touring machines, and Guzzi wanted a piece of that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” pie, so they needed something with a bit more handling. They knew the powertrain would do the job, but the frame of the V700 was just too tall to be competitive in racing.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green Dash

So Lino Tonti designed a very low frame with detachable bottom rails to improve handling, the engine was punched out from 703cc’s to 748 to slip in under the 750cc limit for racing, and a 5-speed gearbox was fitted. The generator was moved from the top of the engine to the front and replaced with a compact Bosch alternator, freeing up room for the frame top rails. A huge front drum was fitted and adjustable “swan-neck” clip on bars allowed the ergonomics to be tailored to suit the rider’s mood.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green Rear Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Mostly Original Great Vintage Motorcycle 24592 miles!

This is a very close to original bike, although recently repainted.  Has been stored indoors, as a collector on display, for many years.  If you want this one to run, it would need to be gone through, battery, etc.  But otherwise you can leave dry and add to your collection.  

Due to the misplacement of a single box during the painting, the gas cap box locks and pet cock are not included.  If/when that box is found, those items will be included.  Please see the photos and let us know if you need any more.

The original run of Telaio Rosso [“red frame”] bikes were basically hand-built, with details not found on later bikes, including sand-cast engine cases. And while those few bikes represent the Holy Grail for Guzzi fans, the production V7 Sport was made in enough numbers to make them a realistic goal. Prices have more than doubled in the past ten years, but they’re still relatively affordable and very usable bikes, with plenty of replacement parts.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green Front Wheel

As always, it’s especially important to do your research before plunking down cash on a V7 Sport: the Tonti frame was in production for more than 30 years, and tanks, fenders, bars, and exhausts are all available, so many replicas exist.

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Green R Side Detail2

 

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side

There’s possibly only one thing more frustrating than realizing the potential value of something after it’s already appreciated: recognizing that potential ahead of time, but lacking the funds to buy in! I remember when V7 Sports, Laverda SF’s, Le Manses [is that even a thing?], were all very affordable…

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Tank

Moto Guzzi’s V7 Sport was the company’s first v-twin sportbike. Earlier racing efforts used the old “loop-frame” as their foundation, but it was clear something better was needed. Engineer Lino Tonti designed a new frame that allowed the longitudinally-mounted twin to sit very low for good handling and stability, with the side benefit of looking lean and purposeful. Servicing the engine is a snap, with the heads sticking out in the breeze and relatively easy access to the timing components. And the Tonti frame features detachable lower frame rails to make major service relatively straightforward.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side Engine

Café racers and specials featuring this frame and powertrain may have become cliché, but there’s a good reason for that, and I still want one, although I still plan to just build mine from a less expensive starting point.

It’s hard not to be sold on the bike just from the very nice, high-res photography. From the original listing: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Overall, the bike is in very good condition and runs very well.  The engine has a little over 140psi compression in both cylinders and doesn’t leak anywhere.

The transmission shifts nicely (for a Guzzi!) and is a five speed, with the old right hand shift, one up, four down shift pattern.

Original levers, switches, controls, etc. all appear to be in good condition and operate as they should

 All the electrics work fine including, lights, horn, turn signals, brake lights, etc.

Paint is in very good to excellent condition. Both tool boxes use the same key and lock correctly and securely.  The frame does have a few scratches here and there, but overall, the paint on it is in nice condition. 

Front and rear stainless fenders are in very nice condition (no dents or dings that I noticed).  Chrome is very nice for a bike of this age, but it is not perfect (again, it’s Italian and wasn’t perfect to begin with) and shows some “patina” in some areas (see pics as I’ve tried to show where).  

The mufflers are original “shark gill” Silentium’s (they are NOT repops).  They are in very good to excellent condition with no flaking or pitting on either side.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Tail

Price is $21,800 with one offer so far. It has some minor chips and scratches, but the bike still looks terrific and just suggests that the bike has been used as intended. Guzzi’s sportbikes make great classics: they handle well, have good brakes, heritage and racing history, and you can ride the hell out of them. While $22,000 isn’t exactly chump change, it seems like a small price to pay for something this beautiful and this timelessly classic. A bike you can show off, and use to go places.

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side