Tagged: 1984

Mean, Green, and Canadian: 1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R ELR for Sale

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R R Front

Big, brash, and charismatic, big superbike replicas like the KZ1100R put paid to the stereotype that a UJM is doomed to be some sort of boring appliance. Sure, the “Universal Japanese Motorcycle” does sound a bit familiar and unexciting, but the formula flat works. Based on the garden-variety KZ1000J, the original KZ1000R displaced less than that bike’s 105cc, down to 998cc to make it eligible for racing and it featured general updates to the already venerable air-cooled inline four aimed at increasing power and keeping the bike’s reliable reputation intact. But engine updates alone don’t a sportbike make and, although the R was heavy, revised frame geometry gave the bike the agility needed. The K1100R was an update to the original bike, with a bigger 1089cc engine.

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R L Rear

So what about this whole “ELR” thing? Well this lurid green monster was a race replica meant to celebrate the successes for Eddie Lawson, rider for Kawasaki and successful AMA Superbike competitor. The original K1000R was the real-deal Eddie Lawson Replica and, although the K1100R certainly looks the part, purists often seem to consider it less desirable.

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Kawasaki KZ1100R for Sale

Second owner, 1984 Kawasaki Eddie Lawson superbike replica KZ1100R with 20,000km (13,000 miles). Canadian model. Bike starts, runs, and drives excellent. Needs nothing except a new home. original bike color changed from Stardust Blue to Green last year. Top quality paint work with 6 coats of clear and a new decal kit from England. Inside of tank was professionally recoated and guaranteed for life. Every other part on this bike was powdercoated other than the frame and engine. Engine is completely stock and has not been worked on or modified (other than valve cover gasket). Updated brake lines front and back. These beautiful bikes are getting more rare every day. Original owners manual and tool kit included as well as spare keys. Kerker purchased last year. Clean and clear title in hand. All original parts included with sale (I have spent years collecting hard to find parts). See list below for all extras included with sale. 

Extras included:

  • New front tire
  • Set of working carbs
  • OEM front fender (new paint as well)
  • Shop manual
  • Gasket kit
  • Fuel petcock complete
  • OEM crash guards
  • OEM airbox and filter
  • OEM intake boots
  • Spare chain guard
  • OEM decals
  • Decals, cables, and hardware

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R L Tank

The starting bid is $10,000 with no takers yet and very little time left on the auction. This second generation machine represents and evolution of the original KZ1000R Eddie Lawson Replica but was built in greater numbers and is generally considered less desirable. The price is on the high side, but I wonder if the color change is affecting the bidding as well: even a really good paint job isn’t likely to be as desirable as the original paint in good condition and, no matter how high the quality, a change of color definitely has an impact on values. I prefer the green as well but, if the seller was concerned about maintaining the bike’s long-term value, I’d have suggested he keep it original.

Also, the bike’s in Calgary, Canada so that may be turning folks off buyers here in the US as well.

-tad

1984 Kawasaki KZ1100R R Rear

Munch Miles in Style: 1984 Moto Guzzi Lemans III

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III R Side

Guzzi’s LeMans III was the first Italian bike I fell in love with, a fake LeMans I someone made out of a III with the fairings stripped off and a simple, round headlight fitted. The square cylinder heads would be obvious to me now, but I still wouldn’t care: the low stance allowed by the Tonti frame makes it one of the coolest café-styled bikes out there, without compromising useability. It’s fast, reliable, tuneable, and makes an amazing noise.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III L Engine Detail

Produced between 1981 and 1984, the LeMans III was a more thorough overhaul of the bike than the CX100 and featured a restyled cylinder head design and revised internals, along with the distinctive angular styling. In typical 1980’s era emissions-reducing form, compression was reduced, but vastly improved quality control at the factory actually improved performance, and the lower-compression engine made more torque than the older version.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Dash

And I always have to point out: see that little button underneath the row of idiot lights? That’s actually the key: it looks like a normal flat key in your pocket,but it folds as you see in the picture so you can slot it into the dash, and then you twist. Cool right? Just make sure you don’t loose it, since I’m not sure replacements are available…

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

I’ve owned this bike for 15 years.  It is solid and requires minimal attention.  It’s a GUZZI!  And a very, very good one.  I would not hesitate to head across the continent on this machine.  It has had all the right upgrades and runs EXTREMELY well.  Bike has no “issues” and is not a refurb.  This bike has always been on the road and excellently maintained.

Dyna electronic ignition, Dyna coils
Dellorto 40MM pumper carbs, Delran manifolds, Heads have been flowed
Bub head pipes, Lafranconi Competizione Wizzer mufflers
Heavy valve springs, Chrome Moly push rods (Raceco), Augustini cam
Lightened flywheel, Harpers outsider oil filter kit, Steel braided brake lines
Marzochi 38MM fork assembly, Tarozzi adjustable clip-ons, Fork brace, Koni adjustable shocks
Gaman seat, Euro Motoelectrics starter,  U-joints replaced, Front brake rotors and calipers replaced with new.
Lots of original parts included.

Note: Lemans III chin fairing is included.  I have it off the bike because I think it looks better without.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III Front

Like so many Guzzis, this one isn’t strictly stock, but the modifications are thoughtful, subtle, and should improve the overall package. Also: the noise those cannon-like Lafronconi pipes make should be pretty epic. Mileage is at 55,000 although Guzzis are built to go the distance and this appears to have been very well maintained. The III is definitely not the most desirable of the LeMans bikes, but prices are on the rise: there are just two days left on the auction and bidding is at about $5,000 with the reserve not yet met.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans III L Side

Classy Little Italian: 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Front

If you’re looking to ride something a bit different and don’t have a ton of cash to spend, you can’t go wrong with a Moto Morini like this 350 K2. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Morini’s v-twins were available in both 350 and 500 flavors. This example is clearly a child of the 80’s, but the styling is relatively restrained for the period and very tasteful.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 R Rear

Powered by a little 72° v-twin that was more compact than the 90° engines from Ducati and Guzzi but was still very smooth, the 344cc engine generated a respectable 37hp and it put those horses through a six-speed gearbox and dry clutch combo. While pushrods were a slightly low-tech feature, the engine was otherwise very sophisticated: the camshaft was driven by a toothed rubber belt and Heron-style heads helped provide excellent fuel economy, as well as yet more interesting trivia for bike-night discussions.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 Dash

Largely overlooked here in the US because of their small displacements, Moto Morinis made up in handling what they lacked in outright power. Famously nimble and sophisticated, they’ve been overlooked by collectors for a very long time, although prices have been on the rise in recent years. Morini twins featured both kick and electric start but, as the seller mentions: the “electric leg” was always a bit temperamental…

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear2

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 for Sale

If you are looking at this, then you already know that these Moto Morinis are renowned for their razor-sharp handling and their nimble, fun-to-ride nature. This one is no exception. The V-twin is surprisingly powerful for a 350 and road tests had their top speed around 100 MPH. The 6-speed trans is a delight to use, snicking up or down with a left-hand shifter that was much improved over earlier versions. The dry clutch is easy to pull but it never slips. It starts easily with the kicker and it also has an electric starter that works-sometimes. These engines have a reputation for reliability and durability. They need very little maintenance with their electronic ignition and simple screw-type valve adjusters.

When I bought the bike four years ago I was amazed at its excellent original condition. When I got it home I changed the oil, cleaned the oil filter and adjusted the valves. Since it had the original timing belt, I changed it for a new one that I got from North Leceister Motorcycles. They are the experts on these and they have a great stock of parts. They hold the K2 model in very high regard.

I have since put about 750 miles on it. Some of those were from riding it in the Cycle World Rolling Concours at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012. It was in the Modern Classic class along with some really over-the-top restorations, so I felt almost guilty about it winning 3rd place since all I had to do was wash it!

The bike shows well, but there are the inevitable imperfections that one finds in a used, original bike. The windscreen is cracked. The flopping keys have worn the paint away at the ignition switch. There are a few nicks, the worst is shown in the pics.

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 L Rear

Bidding on this is active, although at just $1,500 or so, the reserve has not been met. Which is no surprise: aside from a couple minor scuffs, this thing is in amazing condition and is very rare. Morinis are rising in value, but are still very affordable. If you’re looking for a quirky, collectable Italian that you will definitely not see at your regular bike meetup, give this one a serious look.

-tad

1984 Moto Morini 350 K2 R Side

Best of Both Worlds: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side

When is a vintage Guzzi not really a vintage Guzzi? When it’s a combination of the old and the new, like this Moto Guzzi LeMans café bike. The relatively slow pace of development among many smaller manufacturers is at times very frustrating, and bikes at the end of a glacially slow production cycle can seem like dinosaurs.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe R Side Rear

But that same slow change can pay dividends down the road: long periods of slow improvement mean that those same dinosaurs are pretty well-developed by the time they’re finally replaced, and many updated components can be retrofitted to earlier machines, allowing a modern builder to take the best of each era and combine classic looks with improved reliability and performance.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Dash

This is definitely true of the Tonti-framed Guzzis of the 70’s and 80’s, and the builder of this example has combined the classic look of the original LeMans with the updated, square-head motor from the donor LeMans III, here bored out to over 1000cc’s and fitted with twin-plug heads.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Engine

The word “agricultural” gets thrown around a lot with Guzzis but, in this case, that’s no bad thing: the tractor-like torque this nearly 1100cc motor should put a big smile on your face. And don’t assume that the pushrod valvetrain makes this thing a low-end-only proposition: a number of comparisons I’ve read between the LeMans and the Ducati 900SS comment on the fact that the Guzzi is actually the revvier of the two motors.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Front Brakes

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Café

True cafe racer and not only in looks. This bike was built in California with little expense spared. Based on a 1984 Lemans III, Allegedly over $10k spent on the engine, 1060cc, extensive twin plug head work, reworked gear box with silky smooth shifting, heavy duty starter, Olin shocks, twin floating front discs, single floating rear, Alloy tank from the Tank Shop in Scotland, Lemans I faring and Agostini tail piece, new Mikuni slide carbs w/chokes, wire rims, open exhaust, frame powder coated, battery moved to bottom of bike for better balance. I am selling this for a friend and although I have not ridden it I have ridden with him/it and BEHIND it, which is not  a common position for me and my modified BMW R1100s. It is a very fast bike. And I think for an experienced rider, in my opinion.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Shock Detail

I’m not the biggest fan of the tail section on this bike, but that could easily be changed by the new owner, and the aluminum tank makes up for it in any case. There is a very minor dent as shown in the photo, but slight imperfections are part of the charm of a part like that.

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe Tank Detail

I’d say if this goes for anywhere near the starting price of $6,000 it’s a good deal, considering the development that’s claimed to have gone into it, although at some point I’d want to see more documentation of exactly what went into the engine build.

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi LeMans Cafe L Side Front

Some Assembly Required: 1984 Laverda Triple Project Bike

1984 Laverda RGA R Frame

I wouldn’t normally include someone’s unfinished project like this Laverda Jota RGA here on CSBFS: too many questions, too little information, usually not enough photos to even get a good idea what you’re getting. And what you’re getting is usually in pretty sad shape: boxes of rusty, seized parts, battered bodywork, and grungy, hacked-up wiring. Claims that the project is “85% complete,” with those missing 15% comprised of completely unobtainable bits…

1984 Laverda RGA Engine

Plus, you’re all coming here to drool over the coolest old bikes on the internet, and it’s sometimes hard to get excited by an unfinished project. It’s like looking at a countertop covered with flour, eggs, and blocks of baker’s chocolate, trying to get excited about the cake that could be made from those ingredients…

But when the ingredients are as nice as this, it’s hard not to imagine that the finished article would be spectacular, so use a bit of imagination and join me in fantasizing about what could be!

1984 Laverda RGA Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda Jota RGA Project for Sale

At auction is a 1984 Laverda Jota RGA, Orange,120 degree triple, project bike, disassembled into major components and sub-assemblies, in 15 boxes. Includes new Sprint full lower fairing, unpainted. I have owned this bike for about 10 years, bought fully assembled and in extremely original but tired condition. After acquiring, an orderly disassembly proceeded, frame was powdercoated, along with bracketry, handlebars, all aluminum (sideplates, Etc.) polished and boxed, many special stainless fittings and fasteners from Motalia included. Carbs disassembled and vapor cleaned, includes all new parts. Rebuild kits for Brembo brakes included, Speigler lines included. Tires are new Dunlop tt100’s and tubes mounted on newly powdercoated wheels. New stainless exhaust system included, fully polished. New Witt electronic ignition included. All new spares included with the bike, generally sourced from Wolfgang Haerter in Canada or Motalia in England. Everything has been stored in heated/ air-conditioned storage, no sunlight. All seat parts and upholstery are unmarked, no cuts or tears.

Laverda’s Jota was basically a hot-rod version of their 981cc 3CL. Powered by an overhead-cam triple, the bike was very fast right out of the box. But UK tuners at Slater Laverda saw that there was even more potential in the engine, and developed the Jota using high-compression pistons, wilder cams, and lots of very orange paint…

Jotas do vary in specification, depending on where they were sold, with US versions notable tamer than the original UK bikes. And after 1982, the triple featured a revised crankshaft that smoothed power but also tamed the beast slightly, making the earlier bikes more desirable. Although this is not the original, 180° “true” Jota, all the variations of Laverda’s three-cylinder motor are packed with character and performance.

1984 Laverda RGA Carbs

The RGS that followed was an attempt to recast the big Laverda in a more civilized light and the RGA was a slightly less expensive version of the bike that featured a slightly awkward bikini fairing, instead of the fully-enclosed bodywork. I’d probably leave that bit off if this were my project… Although painted up, the included Sprint lower fairing could make for a very cool look as well: it features a classic, dual-round-headlight look that is much more stylish than the standard RGS square unit. When finished, it could look something like this bike we featured a while back: Laverda RGA Sprint for sale.

1984 Laverda RGA Bodywork

This basically looks complete, with all the hard work done. It’s a shame the seller never got the chance to complete this project, but this looks like a very good project for a handy individual to build a snorting Italian sport-touring motorcycle from the ground-up!

-tad

1984 Laverda RGA Fairing

 

 

 

Lightning Strikes Twice: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver L Side

Wow, another RGS for sale, this time in silver!

Laverda’s RGS was basically a set of new clothes and a new mission for their rough-and-ready three cylinder engine. Earlier triples were famed for being brutal, “manly” bikes: some race-prepped examples apparently featured multiple steering dampers to keep them properly under control! Thrown around by the scruff of their neck, the Jotas and 3C’s that ventured onto the race track ground down ancillary covers and generally terrified riders and competitors alike.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side Engine

But, unable to really keep pace with the merciless progress of the Japanse Big Four, who had begun to put something called “handling” into their street bikes, Laverda headed in a different direction. They capitalized on the perceived style and sophistication and their Italian racing heritage to create a machine that didn’t try to compete directly with the sometimes boring perfection coming from Japan…

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver Dash

I spent the weekend baking in the heat and humidity of South Jersey, watching vintage motorcycle raceing, so I have Laverda on the brain today. I post these up whenever I find them, but they really are actually pretty rare. This one looks very well maintained by a knowledgeable owner: I know there are mechanics out there that can be counted on to do good work on these, but you can’t argue with the Slater name when it comes to Laverda!

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

I’ve owned this Laverda for several years, and am unable to give it the riding time it deserves as I have several other motorcycles as well.  This motorcycle is currently registered in my name in the state of California.  It is really in excellent condition and I cannot find any dents, dings, or scratches.  There are no known mechanical issues with the bike.

The following upgrades have been done to this bike that now has 16,181 original miles:

Wolfgang Haerter slip-on mufflers – sounds great! (I have original mufflers)
DMC ignition
530 chain and sprocket conversion (have originals)
Stainless steel brake lines
Ikon shocks (have original Koni’s)
Gustafson windscreen (have original)
Odyssey battery always on a tender
Front brake rotors have recently been machined within tolerance and there’s no pulsating.
I have a shop manual for this model, along with the owner’s manual and tool kit.

It’s had, within the last 250 miles, a major service done by a mechanic who used to work with Slater’s in England.  This included:

Valve adjustment using new shims
Complete rebuilding of carburetors
New cam blocks
Brakes bled
Oil change
New cavis fuel lines
New intake manifolds
New head gasket
New choke cable
The cam chain was checked and found to be well within spec.

This is as close to a new RGS as can be found after 30 years, and truly runs very well.  Please pm me if you’d like any additional detailed photos.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver L Side Engine

Perhaps a bit too subtle for me in what looks like nearly flawless silver, but it’s very classy, has been very well cared-for, and features sensible upgrades that should enhance reliability and long-distance capability. Except for the mufflers: those are, I’m sure, intended as a safety feature…

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Silver R Side

Fast and Classy: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS R Side

With most of the places I’d actually want to go on a motorcycle currently at least an hour away, the advantages of sport-touring and grand touring motorcycles are becoming more and more appealing. And you might think that “Italian exotic” and “touring” would be mutually exclusive concepts, but Laverdas typically incorporate the very best components, and are famed for being overbuilt and well-engineered, if slightly heavy.

1984 Laverda RGS L Side Rear

This durable quality means they were fast and stable, if not particularly nimble when used in anger. The early twins did well in endurance racing, and the SFC of the early 1970’s is one of the most collectible bikes of its era. The triple that followed was originally an unruly beast, with a funky, uneven firing order that made for exciting power and a howling exhaust note, but wasn’t so good for the feeling in your hands and feet, or the fillings in your teeth…

1984 Laverda RGS Engine Detail

Later Laverdas like this one are considered a bit tame by those standards, but are still far more emotive than glassy-smooth modern triples. The RGS introduced in the early 1980’s was an attempt by Laverda to recast their slightly moribund powerplant as an exclusive gentleman’s grand touring bike. It was really the perfect way to justify a performance deficit when compared to cheaper, newer Japanese bikes: “How fast is it? Well I’ve never felt the need to prove anything to anyone. I’ve certainly never raced it… And anyway, just listen to it!”

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

This is a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 rare motorcycle. The motorcycle runs well, however this classic beauty would be best in the hands of an experienced motorcycle rider who is familiar with this type of bike. The motorcycle is sold as is with a good title and NO RETURNS. There is no warranty and buyer accepts the bike without guarantee. The buyer should know that the motorcycle is intended for motorcycle aficionados familiar with Italian made bikes and in particular Laverda’s.

1984 Laverda RGS Front wheel

A starting bid of $10,000 seems about par for the course for these. The price seems fair, but demand for these is limited and the seller may have to wait a while for the right buyer. The paint looks a bit faded, but the images are very washed out, so that may just be poor photography, not a flaw with the bike.

It would, of course, look better in classic Laverda orange.

It may not be as sexy as a 1970’s Laverda, but it’s still very distinctive and usable, both excellent qualities to have in your classic steed.

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS L Side


Fast and Orange: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 R Side

I am only just recently coming around to the fully-faired style of the Laverda RGS, although this particular bike could easily make a convert of anyone, with beauty that is far more than skin-deep.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 L Side Rear Wheel

The RGS was the final iteration of Laverda’s chest-thumping three-cylinder engine. While the later 120° crank versions introduced in 1982 were somewhat more “civilized” when compared to the earlier jackhammer-y 180° versions, they were still hugely emotional powerplants that made plenty of power.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Front

Faced with the onslaught of cheap speed from Japan, Laverda managed to adapt: they were never really lightweight, cut-and-thrust bikes, and most of their racing success came as a result of their natural stability and durability. So it made sense for the company to pitch their roadbikes at the sport-touring end of the riding spectrum to well-heeled buyers who wanted a bit of class, some comfort, real character, and the exclusivity of an Italian motorcycle.

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 R Side Engine

The RGS may have been the last of the line, before Laverda’s resurrection in the 1990’s, but what a way to go! Reading the seller’s description, it’s clear that this one is very special: at first blush, it looks like a repainted RGS, but there’s much more going on here than meets the eye.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 TT1 for Sale

I have had several 180 Jotas, some RGS 1000s, a 1200 Mirage or two and the occasional SF.  My general report would be that the 120 triples are a little too civilized for my taste.  Augusto has fixed that!  It is probably not much help but this thing reminds me of a cup car.  I can readily see how just watching the wrench let the clutch out on this one might cause the weak at heart to step back and be content to watch.  This motor feels more like a worked 180 triple and comes on the pipe around 4K like a two stroke.  You aren’t taking a summer trip on this one.  Your neighbors will not like this bike.  I haven’t really measured the fuel consumption but I’d say “cup car” again for a clue.  If you are an RGS guy you will understand when I say that I can’t imagine managing this motor without the suspension and brake upgrades.  Fortunately Laverda was always on the case on frames.  The only thing they changed on the handful of factory TT1 race bikes was to go to chromoly to save a very small amount of weight.  This was at the top of European Formula I in 1982 and not for the faint of constitution.  I am trying to quit.  I’m down to just over a dozen from three times that.  Step right up if you think you are up to it.  People that make these available often refuse to sell to me, offended about how I  might use them after they “saved” them for decades.  Love to see it at the track myself.

The motor went to Augusto Brettoni’s works and was brought up in every regard to the factory TT1 specs.  The compression ratio is 11:1 pistons (9:1 RGS), 3 36mm carbs (32mm stock), the TT1 high lift cams with increased overlap, 41mm inlets (39.5) and 35mm exhausts (35), ported and flowed head, lightened crank, close ratio gear box and 3 into one exhaust.  105 hp at 8250 (~80 stock).

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 Front Wheel

The seller’s description hits all the right notes for me: “your neighbors will not like this bike.” I always figure that type of thing is a fair exchange: “I hate your noisy leaf-blower that you use do blow dust into my yard and you hate my exotic, Italian motorcycle. So I’d say we’re about even. Oh, and by the way: your son thinks I’m way cooler than you.” Bidding is just below $6,300 with the reserve not yet met, which is no surprise to me, considering the work that’s gone into this very singular motorcycle.

I’d prefer a lighter blue for the number plate and headlight surround, more of an inversion of the Gulf livery. And those brackets used to mount the more modern Brembo calipers up front look a little off, but there’s otherwise little to complain about here. Honestly, I expect this bike to sell well, and I wish I were in a position to buy it. I’d definitely fulfill the seller’s wish and take this thing to the track once in a while.

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS 1000 L Side

 

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

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III for Sale

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III R Front

It used to be that I wasn’t a fan of the Mark III LeMans, but it’s really grown on me: all origami angles and flat planes, and that white Veglia tach probably doesn’t hurt… And while red is obviously a classic choice for a classic Moto Guzzi, it looks very striking in white.

Classic 60’s and 70’s bikes have been popular for a while now, and it looks these 80’s machines will soon follow suit: Guzzi’s, BMW’s, and Ducati Pantahs all have the same sleek yet slab-sided styling and graphics that seemed designed to enhance the lines, instead of disguising them like they seem to do today.

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III L Tank

The LeMans III was an evolution of Moto Guzzi’s sporting flagship. Made between 1981 and 1984 it was not a complete redesign of the LeMans, but was more than just a cosmetic make-over like the second-generation machine was. It featured a heavily updated engine with square, as opposed to the earlier round, cylinder heads and revised engine internals, along with aerodynamics shaped by Guzzi’s very own wind tunnel.

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III R Engine

In addition, the dash was revised with a more modern look that placed a beautiful white-faced Veglia tach front and center, set into a spongy new dash that was advertised as a safety feature! Well I guess if you have to smack into a dash at speed, better it be made out of soft rubber than a sheet of metal… By the way: that small button-looking thing in the dash below the idiot lights is actually the key: the fob folds flat once it’s inserted. I know this because I lost the key to my buddy’s Moto Guzzi Lario and it had the same one…

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans III for Sale

This is a near original LeMans III with 26,542 miles and in very good condition.

Runs and rides excellent.

Some additional features include:

Bar end mirrors

Fork brace

Cylinder head guards

K&N air filter

Stainless steel brake lines

It has a recent battery, good tires and has been recently serviced

Items to note

Fairing and some body panels were re-painted at some point and the white is slightly lighter than the original paint color.

This is ready to ride, increasingly rare, classic

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III Rear

Price for all classic Guzzis and LeMans models in particular are on the rise. This one is being advertised for just under $6,500 with less than a day to go. It’s been repainted per the listing, but looks to be in very nice condition and 26,000 miles is just broken in for a Guzzi. It may not have the classic café looks of the original LeMans, but the Mark III has a character all its own and take you down the road in style for many years to come.

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III L Engine

Plus you get to have this conversation time and again:

“That’s a great bike. What is it?”
“It’s a Moto Guzzi.”
“Who makes that?”

-tad

1984 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans III R Rear