Tagged: Italian

A Perfect Storm: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S R Front

Built between 1968 and 1976, the Benelli Tornado 650S could be thought of the “Anti-Triumph.” While the basic pushrod 650cc, parallel-twin specifications suggest a bike superficially similar, it is very different in practice. Apparently, the Benelli twin actually has four flywheels, but for most of us, a clue about the character can be found in the hugely oversquare dimensions: 84mm x 58mm. No balance shafts here, but the engine is very smooth and loves to rev, compared to contemporary British bikes.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S R Rear

Amusingly, a bit of 70’s “anti-vibration” tech can be seen below: the long nubs on the footpeg rubber were designed to help isolate engine vibes that might be transmitted through the controls.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Engine

While drum brakes may not have been cutting-edge technology by 1975, the huge, chunky piece here should provide plenty of stopping power for anyone prepared to accept the limitations of vintage brakes.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Clocks

The original listing includes plenty of excellent, high quality photographs that show the bike in great detail. There are some minor blemishes and bits of corrosion, but overall, this bike is extremely clean, with only 60 miles.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S for Sale

In extremely pristine condition this Benelli Tornado 650S is a perfect showpiece for Benelli’s unique Italian design and build quality. Indicated on the odometer, this Benelli has only registered 60 miles! Painted in its original a yellow and black color scheme this motorcycle looks amazing. The paint is original and in ideal condition, only very minor imperfections can be found; but are negligible for original 40 year-old motorcycle. Every chrome and stainless steel accessory is original and in very good condition, almost no aging can be found. A black banana seat allows the rider have a comfortable and relaxing experience, with a natural riding position. Under the seat the original red tool kit is still in place with every tool being accounted for. Original handlebars and Veglia gauges are in excellent condition, the handlebars still retain the factory hand grips too. Front and rear turn indicators work along with the original headlight and taillight too.

It should be noted that this motorcycle was never been titled. It will be sold on Bill of Sale, with the original manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) in hand.

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Tank

$12,900 is obviously pretty big money for a Benelli Tornado. But, as was true for the Quattro that was featured here last week, that might seem like fair money to the right buyer. If you’re a collector and want the best, lowest-mileage example you can find, this has to be one of the most perfect and original Tornados in existence.

-tad

1975 Benelli Tornado 650S Front

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

Racing Heritage on the Cheap: 1975 MV Agusta Ipotesi Racebike

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike L Front

Considering how rare MV Agustas are in general, it’s been positively raining them for the past month, and this Ipotesi [“hypothesis” in Italian] race bike is certainly new to me: we’ve featured several of the roadgoing Ipotesis recently, but this is the first race version I’ve seen. The MV Agusta Ipotesi was produced between 1975 and 1977 and was available in faired and unfaired flavors. It was powered by a relatively unexciting 350cc pushrod, air-cooled parallel-twin engine but did use an innovative electronic ignition system that should remove the headache of points… Unless you need to get parts for it.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike R Front

The bike was styled by famed designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. I’m a huge fan of his car designs, especially the Maserati Ghibli, Alfa Romeo GTV, and Lotus Esprit. His bikes? Not so much. In fact, bikes like his Ducati 860GT and Kamen Rider-styled Suzuki Re5 were notable failures that were quickly toned-down by the manufacturers after disappointing initial sales. I’m okay with both of those bikes, but they’re hardly styling triumphs. The Ipotesi, on the other hand, is a great-looking machine, especially in traditional MV Agusta colors and tricked out with race bodywork and a bum-stop seat.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike Cockpit

The original eBay listing can be found here: 1975 MV Agusta Ipotesi Racebike for Sale

The fragile fairing plastics look to be in perfect condition in the photos, a genuine concern on a bike this rare. Much as I prefer the function of disc brakes, that front drum does look pretty great, and those slightly curved Magni pipes [thanks for pointing those out last time Daniel!] apparently have the qualities you’d expect from Magni, including lighter weight and better sound.

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike L Detail

So far, this Ipotesi has generated no real interest, with just two days left on the auction. That may be because the seller includes basically no history of this particular bike, although some nice photos help to make up for that somewhat. $12,000 seems like a pretty reasonable price for an authentic racing MV Agusta, but some history would be appreciated. Has the bike had any famous riders or notable successes? Does the bike have any mechanical issues? That might go some way to justifying the price, as previous Ipotesis have been listed with starting bids several thousand less.

But whether you plan to run it or just display it in your living room, it seems like a relative bargain, even at that price.

-tad

1975 MV Agusta Iptotesi Race Bike R Front 2

 

 

A Deeper Shade of Orange: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

1977 Laverda Jota R Side

I’m not generally a purist when it comes to colors: I actually prefer my Ferraris in subtle hues like greys and earthy metallics. I’m not a huge fan of British Racing Green. And silver is a great color for daily-driver Mercedes, it’s a bit bland if you’re spending over $100,000 on a car or bike. But when it comes to Laverda, there’s only one color for me: orange. That’s not to say bikes like this Laverda Jota don’t look amazing in red, or silver, or green. It’s just that, if you have a good excuse to own a bike slathered in screaming tangerine paint, it seems like you should fully take advantage.

1977 Laverda Jota L Side Detail

The original Jota is a bit of a hot-rod, built up by Slater Laverda, a dealer and tuning shop based out of the UK. Laverda’s 981cc triple in the 3CL was clearly understressed, and Slater saw the performance potential just waiting to be unleashed. They took the basic, rugged package and upgraded it with high-compression pistons, higher-lift camshafts, and a free-flowing exhaust.

1977 Laverda Jota R Tank

The modifications resulted in 90hp and a top speed of 146mph. For a time, it was the fastest bike in the land. And even after it was superseded by faster machines, it was still the manliest bike in the land: early machines used a 180° camshaft that had the outside pistons rising and falling at the same time, which made for wild power and a raw feel that has been likened to an inline four with a miss… Controls were heavy, seat height tall, and they were generally unruly, but characterful beasts.

1977 Laverda Jota Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

This Laverda Jota was built in July 1977. This particular bike was originally sold in Southern California. I bought it a couple years ago and thought I would ride it here it Texas however things have changed and I am now offering it for sale. I have owned three previous Laverda’s: a 1976 3cl with Jota cams etc., and a 1978 3cl, and a coveted 1974 SFC (the last new one on the planet in 1978). However this Jota is special and has super low miles.

This bike was set up to race at Riverside in the 80’s but never got the chance (AMA changed the requirements) so I am told by the previous owner. The bike was completely disassembled and modified slightly. If you look closely on the pictures you will notice the frame was reinforced in the air filter area.  If you look close at the exhaust down tubes you will see another reinforced cross tube installed. These frame modifications stabilize the bike at higher speeds.  There are custom made foot levers for the gear shifting and the brake assemblies.  You can see that the rear disc brake was also modified in an upside down configuration. One off parts to accommodate the mounting. All the modifications are done with forethought and implementation. The powder coating on the frame, wheels, and fork sliders is very thick and shiny.

This bike sounds incredible, idles perfectly, and runs like a Jota should. Handles beautifully. It is robust and throaty. The paint is excellent. One imperfection on the back tail piece is a hairline crack near the mounting screw. Probably overtightened at one point. Tires are in good shape.

I located new Vox bell horns and they will be included along with a mirror, purchased from Wolfgang. I forgot to take a picture of under the seat area and battery. It is as nice as the rest of the bike. Any questions shoot me an email.

1977 Laverda Jota R Rear Detail

So while I’d prefer my Laverdas to be orange, this looks to be a really great, although not completely original example. But really, the Jota wasn’t a factory model anyway, and varied from region to region in terms of specification, so what are a few more performance updates between friends? The work looks to be a very high standard and, color aside, this is one of the nicest Laverdas I’ve seen in a while.

-tad

1977 Laverda Jota L Side

 

The Very Definition of Exotic: 1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport 4C75 for Sale

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport L Front

MV Agusta’s racing heritage is at the heart of their fame and, for a long time, their exotic, multi-cylinder engines were available only to factory racers. So when they finally produced a roadgoing four-cylinder motorcycle, expectations were pretty high. Unfortunately, the 600 that was released was hideously ugly, massively underpowered, and hobbled by a heavy shaft in place of the usual chain-drive.

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport R Rear

The later 750 corrected two of the three problems, keeping the shaft drive that was supposedly a measure to prevent privateers from simply buying a bike off the showroom floor and racing against the factory machines. None of MV Agusta’s four-cylinder roadbikes can really be considered serious sportbikes: they’re just too heavy. But they’re gorgeous, make expensive shrieking noises from the four-into-four exhaust and cam gears, are extremely rare, and handle well enough for owners to take them out for the occasional canyon ride.

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport Dash

While the red, white, and blue colors might be garish and tacky on another bike, they work really well here. The simple metal dash is very elegant, with just a central ignition key and I also love that the clocks have such similar markings: the tach reads to 120 and the speedo to 150, which probably looks pretty cool when you’re winding it out in top gear…

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport 4C75 for Sale

FRAME: MV4C75214054

ENGINE: 214-047

EXTREMELY RARE, HISTORIC, IMMACULATE.

Motorcycle is located in a temperature controlled facility in Port Huron, MI.

Purchase includes Factory Sealed Promotional poster. 

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport L Rear

While I fully respect that sellers of rare and exotic machinery expect that buyers already know the general history a bike before they drop more than $115,000 on a motorcycle, a bit more history about this particular example might be in order here. Maintenance, updates, personal experiences? Has the owner ridden it? It’s an old motorcycle, so does it have any quirks or interesting characteristics? And what’s the story with that fairing? Is it original?

There’s less than a day left on this auction, so you’d better move quickly if you happen to have an extra $100k or so burning a hole in your pocket and an MV-sized hole in your collection, your bike is waiting!

-tad

1971 MV Agusta 750 Sport L Front Fairing

Practical Classic: 1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah for Sale

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah R Side

After the humiliating failure of the parallel-twin 500GTL project, Ducati was quick to introduce the v-twin Pantah that had been developed in secret by Fabio Taglioni, who was convinced that the parallel-twin wasn’t the right direction for the company to pursue. It kept the iconic, smooth 90° “L-twin” configuration, but replaced the bevel-drive and tower-shafts of the earlier motor and substituted cheap and quiet toothed rubber belts. The upside was greatly reduced production costs, the downside was relatively short service intervals, although belt-changes are a pretty simple operation and many owners do the work themselves.

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah Dash

The new bike had impressive specs, with a claimed 50hp from its 500cc engine and a five-speed gearbox. Unlike the earlier bevel-drive bikes, all of Ducati’s twins now featured their Desmodromic valve actuation. Wet weight was 443 lbs. and the bike could reach a top speed of 115mph. The 500 was superseded by the 600 in 1981 that, thanks to revised gearing, had an almost identical top speed but better midrange punch, with power increased to 57hp from the 583cc engine.

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah Speedo

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati 600 SL Pantah for Sale

I bought it in 5/12/2006 from a collector and I kept it the in garage all this time without riding it. The previous owner did ride it and the motorcycle has normal wear on it. It is otherwise in great condition.

Also included are two original Italian helmets.  Buyer is responsible for pick-up.

Obviously, a couple old helmets are best for display, but still pretty cool to have. Keep in mind that, if this has been mostly sitting since 2006, it may need some attention before being ridden: hoses dry out and crack, tires get hard, electrical connections can corrode, and gaskets can leak. That being said, the bike does run, and the seller includes this video of the bike running.

For a long time, these were very inexpensive to buy, although not all that easy to find. Considering the relatively high miles, I think the seller might be aiming a bit high with a $6,700 Buy It Now price. But these are ground zero for Ducati’s modern bikes, and provided the foundation for virtually every two and four-valve twin produced, making them historically significant and the ideal practical classic, with good parts availability and real-world ability.

-tad

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah L Side

 

Affordable Exotic: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side

Although vintage MV Agustas like the 750S command hefty sums when they trade, it’s easy to forget that they also made a range of other bikes, generally of much smaller displacements. These bikes are also extremely rare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they command commensurately high prices. Several of these Iptotesis have graced our pages and, considering how rare they are, can be had for surprisingly modest amounts.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side Detail

The Ipotesi, or “Hypothesis” was first shown in 1973 and produced between 1975 and 1977. It was powered by an air-cooled, parallel twin with overhead valves. It was styled by Giugiaro, whose automotive designs were generally better-received than his two-wheeled creations. This particular bike though features a clean, elegant design that is pretty successful.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Front

Unusual among bikes of the era, the Ipotesi featured MV’s electronic ignition instead of points and was available with or without the fairing shown here, so don’t let the minor damage put you off, since you could certainly show or ride the bike without it.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

Fast little bike. This bike was imported from Belgium 3 years ago. It fires right up and is happy to rev and shift, stop and steer like only an Italian thoroughbred can. Quite a surprise to ride, seems diminutive but a credit to the race engineering legend of MV Agusta. It has some minor cosmetic issues from shipping on left fairing and muffler. Priced to sell, bid only as much as you are prepared to pay, will send second chance offer if not sold at auction to highest bidder. The title reads as a 1975 model year, if this is a problem for you, do not bid.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Detail

The title issue he mentions seems to be pretty common among older bikes, likely the result of examples sitting in showrooms for several years before being titled. The last one we posted came with an asking price of $10,500 so it looks like the seller means it when they say “priced to sell.” The Buy It Now price is $8,950 with bidding currently up to $6,100 with just over 24 hours left on the auction. These are very rare, and although certain parts might be tricky to source, this Ipotesi looks like it will provide lots of entertainment for a relatively small outlay of cash.

-tad

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side

Better Than New: Fully-Restored 1974 Ducati 750GT for Sale

1974 Ducati GT750 R Side

The Ducati GT750 was the first street Ducati to use their famous “L-twin” engine, so named because the 90° v-twin was oriented with one piston pointing forward and the other directly upward, forming the shape of the capital letter “L”. Introduced in 1971, the 748cc engine produced a claimed 60hp and could push the unfaired bike to a top speed of 125mph.

1974 Ducati GT750 L Side Front

Looking back, it is a bit less glamorous than the Sport and Super Sport models that followed, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the GT is boring or bland: those later bikes, while possessed of sexier styling, were also far less comfortable and practical. For most riders, the GT was a do-it-all bike for weekend rides, commuting, backroad scratching, and even light touring, offering character along with reasonable comfort.

1974 Ducati GT750 Dash

Today’s Ducati GT750 strikes a balance between originality and function. The restoration by Austin Vintage Cycle keeps the spirit of the original bike, but manages to improve it in subtle ways that might be lost on casual viewers because they are so well executed and suit the bike so well.

1974 Ducati GT750 R Side Front

There’s a ton of information about the restoration over at the original eBay listing: 1974 Ducati 750GT for Sale

We purchased this bike from Arizona and it was a bit of a mess when we received it. It was missing a few parts as the previous owner had started to take it apart for some unknown reason. The decision was made to take it completely apart and restore as much of the original hardware, fasteners, and parts that were original to the bike. We also made the decision to perform and add a few very minor upgrades. These were the things that we would have done back in the 70’s just to give the bike a cleaner look and a bit better performance.

Our goal with this build was to build to show / museum quality, but also to the level that we expect to have in a bike that we would ride. This bike can be ridden with confidence if one chooses to do more than just show it. It has undergone a complete nut and bolt restoration with every part and piece of the bike disassembled, cleaned, painted, massaged and sorted. There is not a single part on this bike that has not been touched in some way.

As much original equipment as possible has been retained in this restoration. All of the original levers such as kick start; shifter, brake etc. were cleaned and re-chromed by a reputable chrome shop; original center axle Marzocchi forks with rear mounted Scarab type caliper mounting flags. The headlight bucket and ring were also re-chromed. The motor still had its original seal on the crankcase, but we decided to split the cases anyway as it has sat for so long and we wanted to make sure that there were no sins lurking inside. The good news is that the crank and rod assembly were in very nice condition and did not need attention. This did however give us the chance to check and replace bearings, assure all transmission gears, splines, shafts and bearings were ok. We removed the sludge from the crankshaft sludge trap.

We decided to go back with the original bright orange/ black color scheme on this restoration. All of the original aluminum parts have been cleaned, and or polished. No expense or time has been spared in this restoration. Ignition and wiring has been upgraded to modern standards. The following is a list of what has been done to this Ducati.

The motor starts first kick and settles into a very nice, smooth idle. This bike runs and shifts better than the day it was delivered from the factory.

1974 Ducati GT750 Engine Detail

Restorations of old vehicles can be tricky: sometimes, “original” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”, and the temptation to improve factory flaws or performance can be hard to resist. But where do you draw the line? A modern ignition system is virtually undetectable in most cases, and improves performance significantly. But what about cosmetics? What amounts to tasteful, and what amounts to heresy? To me, this bike walks that line perfectly, and Ducati fans seem to agree, with bidding north of $24,000 at the time of writing.

-tad1974 Ducati GT750 R Side

 

Honorably Discharged: Ex-Military1955 Moto Guzzi Airone for Sale

1955 Moto Guzzi Airone L Side

For collectors and modern motorcyclists, the phrase “Italian motorcycle” conjures up images of sleek, exotic, motorcycles with shrieking engines and fragile beauty. But in the aftermath of World War II, there was a real need for cheap, reliable commuter motorcycles and Moto Guzzi, like many other manufacturers of the period, were there to provide practical transportation with the inevitable dash of Italian flair.

1955 Moto Guzzi Airone Engine

Moto Guzzis of the period were often named after birds, and the Airone or “Heron” makes for a great vintage ride today, with reliability and a broad spread of power from the 250cc four-stroke single that was surprisingly smooth, owing to the significant mass of the striking externally-mounted flywheel. Introduced in 1939 and produced until 1957, it’s also an incredibly long-lived model.

1955 Moto Guzzi Airone Bars

Famous for their reliability, many Guzzis were also used in police and military applications, and this particular bike appears to be one such machine.

From the original eBay listing: 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone for Sale

Very rare and well sorted 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone military model. This is a wonderful 250cc 4-stroke single-cylinder classic Italian motorcycle. It starts easily, idles well and runs strong.

This particular machine is totally stock, original and correct (including the military items – leg guards, luggage rack and more – which I have taken off but will go with the motorcycle to a new owner) other than the Mikuni carb and pod air filter, new battery, and replacement tires.

A few years ago, after a long search for an Airone, I purchased this machine out of long term storage. I spent time and money going through it mechanically – while leaving as much of the original cosmetics as possible – to get it to run well. I replaced the broken Dellorto carb with a new properly jetted Mikuni and sorted out the electrics and charging system. 

It is possible this is only Moto Guzzi military Airone in America – making it an unusual machine for collector or rider.

I replaced the badly damaged muffler with a correct one that looks right on this bike, installed a new clutch throwout bearing, a new battery and rewired the magneto kill switch to a small button on the handlebars. I added an in-line oil shut off valve to eliminate the notorious sumping issue. 

I unbolted the unnecessary military parts from the motorcycle to lesser the weight so I could compete with it in the Moto Giro USA, where it was a strong competitor. 

This classic Italian sport/touring machine features Clubman handlebars and Tomasselli-style levers (front brake and clutch) matched tool boxes and a handy center stand. Good usable tires with little wear, good battery, good charging system, light work, horn works, suspension works. 

1955 Moto Guzzi Airone Rear Suspension

Although these were relatively popular in Europe, very few made their way to the US, likely owing to the American proclivity for big-displacement vehicles suitable for crossing wide-open spaces. Ex-military machines can be a bit of a gamble, often having led hard lives. But Guzzi’s rugged construction is a definite asset here, and I really like the matte green paint and practical look of this bike.

-tad

1955 Moto Guzzi Airone R Side

Italian Thunder: 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans for Sale

1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans R Side

The Le Mans, Moto Guzzi’s famous 1970’s superbike, was an evolution of their earlier V7 Sport, with restyled bodywork and a bigger engine. Introduced in 1976 to keep pace with competition heating up between Europe and Japan, the Le Mans featured the same Lino Tonti designed frame, but saw the engine punched out to 850cc’s. Chrome-lined cylinders, high-compression pistons and other standard hot-rod tricks gave 71hp at the rear wheel and a top speed of 130. While not the fastest bike of the period, it was rock-solid and stable, and could keep that speed up all day long.

1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Engine

Built around an unlikely powertrain that included shaft drive and a longitudinally mounted v-twin, Guzzi’s sportbikes still performed well and are famous for their durability: the two-valve, pushrod engines are easy to work on if you’re so inclined, but are oil-tight and very robust.

1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Dash

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

6800 miles! All original except electronic ignition and Corbin seat, have original seat, still in pretty good shape. See pic. Paint is mostly good with small nicks and chips from 30plus years of life. Small scrape on front ferring. See pic.  I bought another ferring that was supposed to be “excellent”. Isn’t even fair. Will go with bike if you want it. I put on new throttle cables and foot rubbers a couple of years ago. Changed oil over winter. Runs and rides like it should. Might need a battery, its about 3 yrs old and sounds a little week. Your welcome to come see before you bid.

1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Rear

As you can see, there’s a small amount of surface rust on the front rotors, a few dings here and there, and that comfortable, if not original Corbin seat. Note that the seller does have the original seat. Interestingly, these seats are made of a closed-cell foam that did not hold up well to hard use, and few have survived from new. The bike also includes that ugly, but unfortunately original, US headlight ring that projects beyond the surface of the bikini fairing. It’d be my first order of business to fit a replica Euro-styled piece if this were mine.

Bidding is very active and the reserve has been met. It seems like, just a few years ago, these were selling regularly for $6,000 or so. This one is headed north of $10,000 with several days to go. Aside from a few minor cosmetic flaws, this looks to be a solid example of an iconic and very practical Italian sportbike.

-tad

1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans L Side