Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000

21 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000
Moto Guzzi 1000 Strada

The final incarnation of a legend.

After the introduction of the 850 Le Mans in 1975 it took the 9 years, in 1984, before the engine was uprated to 1000 cc displacement. Again nine years later in 1993, in Mandello del Lario production ceased of the last descendent of the  famous Le Mans.  After 18 years the era of the Le Mans ended, being one of the most important models in the history of Moto Guzzi.

Model History of the Le Mans 1000

In September 1984 became the successor of the 850 Le Mans 1000 cc engine. Moto Guzzi called this model the 1000 Le Mans, but among fans this model is known under the nickname Le Mans IV. The new cockpit, mounted on the handlebars, was developed in the famous wind tunnel in Mandello del Lario and follows the lines of the V65 Lario, that was presented a year earlier, in November 1983.

Following the latest fashion trends was a 16-inch front wheel was fitted.

The 949 cc engine was compared to the 844 cc performance significantly upgraded. Both bore and stroke are increased. The valves were one size bigger and the camshafts derived from the race kit for the 850 Le Mans, to provide more lift.

The original Tonti frame has been given a single modification by a longer steeringvhead and different rear frame. The swing arm was longer and grew in diameter and gave space to the same rear tire size 120/90 18.

The frame geometry had a 28-degree fork rake of 28 degrees and trail of 98 mm. This grew to 1514 mm wheelbase. Fork grew from 35 mm to 40 mm. Like the 850 cast wheels, but with a different pattern. At the fork appear Koni shock absorbers,

Teo Lamers told The fitting of Koni shock absorbers was part of an agreement between the Dutch government Moto Guzzi. The Ministry of Defence for the Army ordered Moto Guzzi V50 motorcycle, and in exchange Moto Guzzi ordered and fitted the famous Koni shock absorbers from the Netherlands.

Plastic panels which replaced the old ones did run to the tail light. The rear angular tail light  resembles that of the 850 Le Mans of the second series, but was fitted with the side ‘wings’ that were hand made attached to the tail light.

The 1000 cc engine is fed by carburettors with Dell’Orto PHM 40 and fitted with very strong return springs. Footrest holder was now in aluminium cast. A special version to celebrate 20th anniversary of the V7 it was released as Le Mans 1000 SE, and had a white / red color pattern.

The model of 1986 was fitted with the non-adjustable Bitubo dampers improving driving stability. Optional was a 18-inch wheel available. In 1988 the Moto Guzzi introduced a new version, the 1000 Le Mans CI. better known under the unofficial designation Le Mans V. The small handlebar fairing was replaced by a fairing attached to the frame.

Finally, the 18-inch front wheel fork returned.

In 1991 Moto Guzzi presented the last model change. The intruments were placed in the fairing. It is certainly the most mature version of the Le Mans 1000.

New controls on the steering bars, improved choke, new Valeo starter, new Marzocchi fork with adjustable Bitubo new dampers, new front fender.

The fairing was redesigned and consisted of two parts securely fitted to the frame. For the first alarm signal switch was fitted. Additional there were some small improvements, such as last update of the front fork and a oil pump with more capacity.

The Le Mans of the last series are especially rare. They are built much less than the 850 Le Mans of the first series! The frame numbers range from 16,350 to 16,994, which brings the total number of this model to 645 motorcycles.

The sales of the Le Mans were very disappointing. In 1992 the factory was faced with huge unsold stock. At the instigation of the Dutch importer Greenib from the unsold stock the 1000 Le Mans Ultima Edition was created, of which 99 were delivered.


In the period of the sporting face of Le Mans Moto Guzzi has some competition is not sitting still. After 18 years of production there are more modern, lighter and much faster motorcycles on the market. compared to the original look of the 850 Le Mans 1000 Le Mans is not only a lot more robust, but also has a much higher weight. The performance was however marginal improved compared to the original 850 Le Mans from 18 years earlier.

On this motorcycle, the Le Mans 1000 CI final edition

This Le Mans 1000 CI is one of the final series built in 1991. Most of this type Le Mans are red, only a few were black. The saddle and the wheels are in white, a special color combination. Later the motorcycle was fitted with original Moto Guzzi bags, made by Hepco and Becker, in corresponding white and black colors.

Finally, the The throttle handle got the same modification as described on the page of the Moto Guzzi 1000S.

Lino Tonti, constructor

Lino Tonti was born on 16 september 1920 in Cattolica in Rimini province and died 08 june 2002 in Varese in Italy.

After graduating as an aerospace engineer in 1937 he was appointed as a technical designer for Benelli. He was soon was transferred to the racing department, and served directly under Tonino Benelli.

During the war he served in the Air Force. After the war he was offered a job as a civil servant at the Ministry of Transportation, but he followed his passion for motorcycles.

In 1947 Tonti built a prototype of his own motorcycle, which he named ‘LinTo’. A single cylinder DOHC with a cylinder capacity of 75cc. The engine was used in several races at tracks across the road in the Romagna region.

In 1948 he designed a futuristic scooter with big wheels. The scooter was presented Rimini in 1950, under the name Swan Linto 125.

In 1956 he collaborated with Mondial, Bianchi and Gilera.

In 1967, Lino Tonti was employed by Moto Guzzi. In that year, Moto Guzzi became part of the investment group SEIMM, Lino Tonti replaced Giulio Cesare Carcano. In the new organisation there was no place for Carcano.  Carcano was the designer of the V7 model series. In 1968, Tonti convinced the SEIMM management of the need for a new model with a design that was capable tot revive the sporty image of Moto Guzzi.

Lino Tonti was assisted by Umberto Todero. The two engineers worked feverishly together on both the frame and engine of the V7 to transform it to a sports machine. The prototype was tested at the Monza circuit and succeeded to establish in only two sessions (June and October), 19 world speed records.

Moto Guzzi 1000 Strada
Moto Guzzi 1000 Strada
Moto Guzzi 1000 Strada
Moto Guzzi 1000 Strada

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