1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

4 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1972 Moto Guzzi Eldorado — Classic Italian Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
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Moto Eldorado

Years produced:

Total production:  15,000

Claimed power:  64bhp @

Top speed:  116mph

Engine  Four-…, overhead-valve V-twin

Weight  261kg (580lb)

Price  $1,985

Price now:

With a trail of hamburger used to be his hide, retired Highway Patrol trooper Moraga bought and paid for the to say whatever he wants about the Guzzi Eldorado.

In 1974, on his day of on-the-street training, Moraga was along the MacArthur Freeway in Calif. when the driver of a 1959 Cadillac pulled out in of him and jumped on the throttle like Crosby on a Ho Ho. Moraga hit the siren, the throttle and was somewhere north of when the bike went a wobble that wrenched the from his grip and sent him 317 feet along the pavement. He avoided serious injury, but home a few ounces lighter the asphalt ate through his riding in spots.

So what’s his assessment of the that could have his life?

I sure liked it, he It was so clean and so smooth with shaft drive; just a nice bike. I just I hadn’t had such bad luck it.

Moraga didn’t bump his during the accident: There are perfectly logical reasons he hold a grudge against the For starters, he thinks his accident was an possibly brought on by a rare defect or a bad spot of road — or a of both. And despite the accident, the earned Moraga’s respect by many of his colleagues faithfully for years.

Another reason Moraga’s fondness for the machine is it was a much-needed alternative to the Harley-Davidsons of the Seventies.

Harleys were terrible at the time, he says. broke down all the time, leaked oil all over the place, the was so bad you couldn’t keep your on the boards. Later, the FXR in the Eighties was a machine.

But those old Electra-Glides junk.

Although Moraga had a interest in the Harley-Guzzi war of the Seventies, of civilians shared his take on the Eldorado. The pinnacle of a line began with Moto V700 loop-frame cruiser of the the Eldo hit a vein of popularity in the States after going with Harley-Davidson for markets had previously been the American domain: Long-range motorcycle and law enforcement.

Moto Guzzi was foundering back then, Greg Field, owner of Moto Guzzis and author of the book Moto Guzzi Big — A Color History . The Italian and even the European market not doing well, and the company at the American market as the key to success. The distributor went to Guzzi and to go after the big-bike market.

buyers were hungry for an alternative hog that Moto reportedly sold as many as Eldorados a year from until the model was pulled in — not a … blow to Harley, but a kick in the teeth.

A void at the top

Through the 1950s and Harley-Davidson faced no serious from foreign manufacturers in the market. The British ruled the class but steered clear of cruisers during the Fifties, and the followed suit when began sweeping across in the Sixties.

BMW tourer motorcycles of the Field says, weren’t enough to haul two passengers and gear.

Enter Moto importers Mike and Joe Berliner, who owned the New Jersey-based Premier Corporation. Acting on pleas domestic distributors for a foreign-made bike to break Harley’s on the class, the Berliners shopped the to overseas manufacturers and got a couple of A Ducati V-4 concept failed to get off the but a prototype of the Moto Guzzi grabbed the Berliners’ attention and was put testing in 1965.

Production 1966, and the V700 went on — with a sticker price of — that year in American A 750cc version, designated the for the United States market, in 1969.

The 850cc Eldorado, in 1972 with a price tag of would be Moto Guzzi’s potent weapon in the battle Harley. The new cruiser was built on the same chassis as the Moto Ambassador but featured a five-speed — as opposed to the Ambassador’s four-speed — and an that boasted far more than the 750cc V-twin. The oomph came courtesy of a new with a throw of 78mm of 70mm, driven by completely pistons that increased the ratio from 9:1 to 9.2:1.

features included a “police’’ box, offering several terminals for accessory circuits.

Although the Eldorado suffered pains such as transmission that led to the first 1,500 being recalled, it was an instant

The first Eldo in 1972 was an Ambassador with a bigger and a five-speed transmission, but the torquier and the new transmission gave it a different Field says. Compared to the the Ambassador just feels an older bike. Then, in Guzzi came out with the with a front disc and a different set of forks, and that took it to the next level of modern feel.

According to book, sales of the Eldorado those of the Harley FLH. poor quality control steered some customers Moto Guzzi, but the Italian didn’t simply live off of castoffs: It earned a market by creating a simple, easily and reliable bike with fit and finish — and by responding to improvements by riders.

Courting the law

Throughout the series’ development, Moto bent over backwards to the bikes suitable for law enforcement. that the California Highway and Los Angeles Police Department national trendsetters in police and equipment, the company spent working with the agencies’ — going so far as to bring at least one to for testing.

There were old-school officers who thought if it wasn’t a Harley, it wasn’t a Field says. So Guzzi some younger officers who had British and European bikes the Fifties and were eager to the Guzzis. And that really

As an indication of the importance of the LAPD in Guzzi’s plans, the company its first two V700s to the department for $1 The strategy turned out to be brilliant: selling thousands of motorcycles to law agencies in California, Georgia, and other states, Moto got free advertising on Los Angeles’

That was part of the whole Touring riders would see bikes on the highway and say, that’s a viable long-range bike,’ Field says.

you didn’t have to go to California to see advertising for Moto Guzzi. The edged its way into numerous movies, sharing screen with actors ranging Robert Redford in The Electric to Cheech and Chong in Up in Smoke .

Moe general manager of Cycle Moto Guzzi in Huntington Calif. put 15,000 to 20,000 on his first Eldorado — more a fair return on the $250 he for the bike.

It was just a beast, he One time, I had an oil plug go out on me when it was and I didn’t have anything to do but run the out of it and get home. When I got there, it have a drop of oil in it.

The next day I the crank back and forth a wrench, put oil in it and it went right out on the road.

Later, I had a seal out on me. On my way home — which was about 50, 60 — I had to go to 7-Elevens and get quarts of oil. But it ran.

It was kind of a noisy, bike, but it ran. But that’s the way bikes are: The more you them and the more you abuse that’s how they like to be

Duenner discovered what and CHP officers knew very The Eldorado doesn’t break often. And when it does, about as hard to fix as an Erector

I like things that are and easy to work on, and that’s attracted me to the Eldorado and the Ambassador, says. Even a mechanic medium skills can figure it out if breaks down on it.

Duenner, who himself the Fred Sanford of Guzzis, still owns the Eldorado he bought. In his three-person he specializes in restoring and producing parts for pre-1975 Guzzis.

seen a lot of other bikes, but nothing else that interests me, he says. I used to go to of the Harley rides here — where there would be or 4,000 Harleys — and the Guzzis always get a lot of compliments. A lot of the old guys the Sixties or Seventies would up and say, ‘Wow, that’s a bike.’

Mike Harper, who has selling and restoring Moto for more than 30 years in the City, Mo. area, rates the and Eldorado among the company’s bikes.

The motor is set a little forward, which gives you legroom, he says. And the engine is very strong. It’s common to see 100,000 miles on engines, and you see some guys who put 200,000 on them.

The Eldo

After Moraga’s 1974 his bike went to a repair whose operator informed him the accident must have caused by rider error. To it, the operator rode the bike to the site and opened the throttle.

At the location at the same speed, he down, Moraga says. I to see him in the hospital and said, ‘I see you found the wobble on my bike.’ He just

The bike disappeared, but Moraga with the CHP through 15 years and around 1 million miles, Harleys and Kawasakis. He never had wreck, but he never complained the Eldorado, either.

I loved those machines, he except for the one I had. MC


The machine eats miles no other motorcycle. Side and pressure front blasts passing trucks don’t it. Ripply pavement and chuck go almost unnoticed. And there’s cruising power. — Cycle . 1972

It’s a bike for continents, not states. It’s a that can carry 200lb of for camping and a passenger at the same And, it’s a bike can eat up 300-mile sections of expressway and the rider free from Cycle World . August

A couple of quick definite and it’s topped the speed It reaches 60 in one-tenth that seconds without straining. shot from guns that cannons’ — a pretty big bike). — Road . January 1973

Mountain didn’t shake our confidence in teh but they did draw attention to the The rear unit is overly Contrasting this is the front drum which fades a couple of panic stops.  — World . August 1973

In it would appear that the basically has everything that it to be a very reliable, dependable Road Rider . October

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