As Seen On TV: 1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe Racer

1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe R Front

Every time a Tonti-framed Guzzi comes up for sale, particularly the T-models, I feel the need to launch into my spiel about how they’re such a great platform for customized café bikes and roadsters because of their sleek silhouette and low stance. Well, with this 1977 Moto Guzzi T3, it looks like someone’s already done the work for you, and the results speak for themselves.

1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe R Tank

For the uninitiated, Lino Tonti’s new frame was designed in 1971 to house their v-twin in the V7 Sport. It was designed to provide rigidity, a low center of gravity, and ease of service, with lower frame rails that detached so the engine can be easily removed. It was so effective that Guzzi was able to use it for the next forty years in various iterations of the Sport, Le Mans, and T-series bikes, and this allows for pretty good parts interchangeability between models.

With pretty good aftermarket support, a solid range of performance upgrades, and classic good looks, these Moto Guzzi models provide an excellent platform for building everything from a really great resto-mod backroad blaster to a vintage track bike.

1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe L Side

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 T3 Custom Café Racer for Sale

This is the custom Grey Dog Moto built Moto Guzzi 850 T3 featured on Cafe Racer S4 Ep1. The episode and bike can be viewed on YouTube.The Guzzi GP racer Ben Bostrom test rode at the Alameda Naval Air Station at 114 mph and commented was one of the best bikes he had ridden for the Cafe Racer show.

Also, on the cover and in City Bike Dec 2012, featured on Motorcycle Daily in March 2013, and in the current issue of Cafe Racer magazine Dec/Jan 2014.
I bought the stock Guzzi in January 2011. The engine had less than 31,000 miles, fires up without a choke, runs with a ton of torque but needed front end work, brakes, and miscellaneous odds and ends. I approached my mechanic Patrick Bell with the idea of customizing the Moto Guzzi as a cafe style bike. Patrick picked up on the vision and everything feel into place for the build and the TV show. One of my requests was that the bike fit me a bit better at 6’3″and all legs. Also, I wanted to eliminate the floor boards, get up on pegs, and be able to move into a more aggressive riding position.

Please view the show or read the articles for more background and additional details.
1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe Clocks

Not a huge fan of the tail section and I’d prefer a different gauge: you should be able to ride a big Italian twin without one eye on the tach, but I prefer a big rev-counter just for aesthetic reasons, something by MotoGadget if I wanted modern multi-functionality or a big, white Veglia for classic style. But that tank and paint look perfect and this should be tons of fun to ride, combining Guzzi’s famous long-legs with modern-ish performance and very modern brakes, courtesy of the R1 front end and brakes.

1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe L Front End

And if you want to get a good idea of how much care really went into its creation, you can just watch the show! Seriously, even if I had the money to buy and any interest in those overstyled chrome abominations from Orange County Choppers, I’d never buy one after seeing how they build them…

$18,000 is pretty steep for a T3, but if you think of it as a one-of-a-kind motorcycle you could ride every day, it starts to make more sense. The seller describes it as a bike to ride, not for one show and we wouldn’t want a Guzzi any other way.


1977 Moto Guzzi T3 Cafe L Rear

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Ray says:

    That price is completely off base for a custom bike designed for a 6’3″ guy. If you are going to ride daily, may want to invest in turn signals.

  2. Rob Van Gemert says:

    Looks cool as most Guzzi café racers do, however. you would be nuts to buy a T3 for anywhere close to that price. Go find a nice original V7 sport for about $15K, and you would be light years ahead.

  3. GorillaBiskit says:

    Great looking build!
    Pretty close to what I want to do, plus (as already said) directionals.