1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1

17 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1976 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1 отключены
Moto Guzzi 750 Strada

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Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mk1

Years produced:  1976-78

production:  6,817

Claimed  71-80hp @ 7,3000rpm

Top speed: (1977 test)

Engine  Overhead-valve, air-cooled V-twin

(dry): 196kg (431lb)

then:  $3,679 (1977)

now:  $7,500-$10,500

Bikes are bigger. That’s not news of but in an age when many cruisers the displacement of a Honda Civic, tough to remember that 750s were once Superbikes.

It’s a tough call as to who the first Superbike, but when jumped on board in 1969 the Honda CB750 Four. it the gold standard. You could Laverda, Norton, Royal and Triumph were there but by 1972 Kawasaki, Suzuki, Moto-Guzzi, MV Agusta and BMW all had three-quarter-liter

It’s said, Kawasaki had its own 750 on the drawing board, but decided to leapfrog its rival, creating the 900cc Kawasaki Z1 and the new benchmark

Norton, Ducati, BMW and Guzzi all pumped-up versions of their engines: 850 Commando, 860GT, BMW R90S and 850T, respectively, all to stem the trans-Pacific tide. In cases, these became viewed by many as the ultimate of European motorcycle tradition. And how the sleek and sinuous Moto 750 V7 Sport became the Moto 850 Le Mans.

Pushing the envelope

V7 of 1971 combined Giulio Carcano’s remarkable transverse with a sleek new frame by Tonti, which required the belt-driven generator be replaced by a alternator at the front of the engine. The was a marriage of brilliance. The V7 Special and were swift and diminutive in the 750 class.

With the 900cc imperative, the gained a longer … plated barrels replacing the iron liners for 844cc, the touring 850T.

The Le Mans the 850T’s engine, but with pistons running in the chrome-lined barrels, larger valves, new and two 36mm “pumper” Dell’Orto Brembo callipers gripped the drilled cast iron brake discs, one of which was to the rear disc through the pedal (the system used on the triple-disc 850T3).

was different about the Le Mans was its The clip-on bars, rearset and humped seat all made it a successor to the V7 Sport. At 71hp and (when introduced in 1976) it may not been as quick as the Kawi, but it see off the Beemer and be just behind the

Deservedly popular in its day and still usable in modern highway the Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mk1 is a true classic that has acquired cult status.

The Tonti-framed Le Mans ran to 1991 and Mark series, with upped to 1,000cc for the MkIV. And of the name lives on in today’s V11 Le Mans.

Going for the Guzzi

The of how Alan Comfort acquired his Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1 on the chance acquisition of a tiny and the selling power of eBay. A in the neighborhood around his east home resulted in a house sale. In the basement, under 30 years of concrete dust and shavings, was a 1973 CT70, offroad, open-frame tiddler.

of the CT70’s fanatical following, made the family an offer.

Moto Guzzi 750 Strada
Moto Guzzi 750 Strada

“I the dust off the odometer and saw 67 miles he says. “I probably could bought it for $50, but I offered $500.

“After I’d paid up, produced the original bill of and laughed. It was for $373.”

Alan had the laugh, though. Some revealed how much a CT70 was to one of the little dirt bike’s of fans. After its fuel had been reconditioned, the diminutive burbled back into

A little cosmetic work, and the looked as good as new. listed it on eBay. It fetched


“I remember ogling when they were sold in North America in the Alan says. “I was riding a ’50 Panhead at the time. I even lithographs of Guzzis when I was in art I’ve been lusting one ever since.”

Guzzis off-limits for some time Alan did the family thing, and he got back into bikes a few ago they were still “They were always out of reach, a little more I wanted to pay,” he says.

good fortune with the convinced him it was time to get serious, so he put his BMW daily driver on the market and shopping for a Le Mans. He found one in a local auto trader

“There was a long period of Alan says, “not price, but about whether the was going to a good home. It until I told him about my and lithographs that he agreed to show it to me.”

Alan expressed some over the bike’s serial which was outside the published for a genuine Le Mans. Imitations of top sportster are sometimes fabricated out of and other mundane Mandello Negotiations suffered a downturn, but two months of back-and-forth finally saw change hands. Though now determined it is a genuine Le Mans, says, “I didn’t care, because it had all the right stuff.”

with Le Mans

So what’s the Le like to ride? “I haven’t smiling. It’s fabulous,” says. “You couldn’t ask for a bike. It goes well and well. And the sound it makes is Luciano Pavarotti on full

Alan says the Le Mans is with a “sweet spot” at 90mph. It’s very at speed and relatively easy to in stop-go traffic. It can stay most bikes in the twisties, the rider gets a real Alan notes.

He even the oft-maligned linked braking

“It’s a good feature 99 of the time,” he says. 1 percent when you’re downhill on a loose surface can be a bit

Aesthetically, there’s no question the Le is a hit. “Long, narrow and low pleasing lines, it has just the amount of upsweep on the exhaust and on the tank. It’s a small by today’s standards; when beside modern sportbikes large section tires, it like a 250. But mostly, Italian and red,” Alan ‘Nuff said. MC

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Moto Guzzi 750 Strada
Moto Guzzi 750 Strada
Moto Guzzi 750 Strada

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