27 Years in Storage: 1973 Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado

070516 Barn Finds - 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado- 1

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This 1973 Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado is in Streator, Illinois, two hours southwest of Chicago; depending on traffic it could be four hours.. It’s listed on eBay with a current bid price of just over $3,500, but the reserve isn’t met. There are only 24,400 miles on this black beauty; it’s barely broken in. The owner says that this bike “starts instantly and runs great.”

070516 Barn Finds - 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado- 3

The current owner/seller says that this beautiful bike “sat in dry garage for 27 years” before they purchased it. The Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado was the successor to the 750 Ambassador and it was called the 850GT in Europe; only the American market got the Eldorado name attached to the 850GT. This bike has a new old stock “Faring w/Windshield, Brake Pedal, Shift Pedal, Turn Signals w/Brkt, and Handle Bars”.

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The Eldorado, like the Ambassador before it, doesn’t even come with a kick starter, it’s all-electric start! That was a pretty gutsy move, but they figured that all of the bugs had been worked out of it. And, if all else fails, I guess a person can always push start it. Let’s see a show of hands for everyone who has had to push start a motorcycle? I thought so, me, too.

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This sure is a beauty, what a bike! The seller says that the “tank has been relined and painted w/ hand-painted striping.” And, the “engine has been completely disassembled and gone thru. Checked chrome cylinder lining for issues and were found to be absolutely perfect. (No evidence of flaking what so ever).” That’s nice, as is the “new alternator” This is a nice, big motorcycle. I know, it’s not a four-cylinder and sometimes that’s a good thing. Have any of you ever ridden, or better yet, ever owned, a Moto Guzzi Eldorado? Or, any Moto Guzzi?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dave

    Nice bike, would love to have it, to bad I’m all the way up in Ontario, Canada. By the way I have push started one of my bikes before….a goldwing, it was heavy !!!!!!😀

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    • Daniel

      I bought my 1971 750 Ambassador in 1972 with 14,000 miles on it from a David Miller who bought it new in Ohio. David wanted a 1972 850 El Dorado so he could pull a sidecar. David lived in a Puch travel trailer which he pulled with the bike. I fell in love with the and still have since rarely sell anything. I also have a 1972 Eldorado, basket case, a 1977 T3, 21,000 miles with frozen brakes for which I have all the parts and no time to fix. I bought a brand new 1998 1100EV brand new, 14,000 miles on it in first year and sitting the garage since 2000 due to remodeling our new house. I love the way they run. HATE ITALIAN WORKMANSHIP! I also have a DB Ms Piggy fairing by David Brown.

      Like 1
  2. Hans Grafftenberg

    I own 4 Moto Guzzis and I recently had to roll start my ’70 Eldoarado which has been upgraded to 1000cc’s. It was a real bitch.

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    • ticketgeorge

      What are your other Guzzis?

      Like 0
  3. tirefriar

    The Eldorado is one of the bikes on my short list. This would be a nice cruiser to go down to the beach on and then just cruise the PCH to Oxnard or even beyond. Of course all of this has to be done with little or no traffic…

    Yeah, I had to push start a bike once – a full HD dresser along with its 250 lb owner striding it. Took two of us but we got him going after his battery passed a ghost

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    • Barbara

      Have one for sale in South Bay. Dry garage storage. No idea of condition.

      Like 1
  4. geomechs geomechsMember

    One of my school buddies had one and he practically lived on it during the summer. Haven’t seen him for 30 years but the last time I saw him he was riding away on that white Guzzi. He had 40K miles on it then.

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  5. Luke FitZgerald

    Magnum force

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  6. Paul R

    So did Moto Guzzi copy most of the engine /drive train design from the BMW boxer bikes or was it the other way around? Other than the cylinder heads at a 45 degree or so angle over the horizontally opposed flat twin BMW, the bikes share many similar features.
    Both are excellent machines!

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    • Doug Towsley

      To answer your question Paul, Guzzi is in its own class, Research them. The motors were designed for small cars, agriculture aps and military apps. Its basically a small car engine. VERY well built and robust. The only real weak spots are the early type Italian electrics. Also you have to be careful about the oil filter. All easily addressed.
      Guzzi if well taken care of will go 80,000 miles before major overhaul needed. I know guys up to 500,000 miles on theirs. I have a 76 850T and rebuilding next year with a 1000cc kit and lighten the flywheel and ring gear, cams and some other tricks. I worked on a few that were just amazing. Some prefer all stock. However VERY heavy flywheel effect and when getting on it hard damn near changes lanes. So many guys lighten them which makes them very sporty. NOTHING Is more sexy than one of these with a Bub exhaust, cams and some tuning. Sounds like a AC Cobra on steroids. The exhaust will make your knees weak and women swoon,
      The worlds leading authority is my friend Dave in Seattle who runs a shop, stewards the national club, and wrote the MUST HAVE bible “Guzziology” Guzzis are awesome! Im a british bike guy mostly, so push starting bikes??? Hellooooo! Joe Lucas? “A gentleman does NOT motor about after dark!” But im a big fan of Guzzis. Do some research interesting company. Agricultural, Acft, military. Some really cute little singles in the 50s as well. Look up Moto Giro events.

      Like 1
  7. Rando

    A friend of mine had almost this exact bike and restored it in the 80s. He sold it and the new owner reworked it into a pretty cool custom job. Nice ride.

    Like 0
  8. Dan10

    Worked with a guy that over 200,000 miles on his 850 that over time ended up being much larger due to multiple rebuilds. He would take a cross country trip every year and used it as his only transportation for many years. I wonder if this one comes with the rear bags.

    Like 0
  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Great bikes. I’m always surprised at how relatively cheap Guzzis are compared to all their contemporaries

    Like 0
  10. Robert White

    Great bike and a nice Barn Find. This bike is worth about $12k easy.


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  11. Doug Towsley

    Heres one cafe customized, There are MANY more variations. This one is cool here as well, Nicely done El Dorado. See: http://www.bikeexif.com/moto-guzzi-3

    Bike exif features some REALLY COOL bikes and worth checking out and custom Guzzis are on there a lot.

    Cafe racer Italian bikes???? Isnt that like Pasta & Marinara? The Italians are goofy on some things but they design some of the most amazing cars and motorcycles.

    Like i said, one of the leading experts and authorities in the US for Guzzis is Dave Richardson, See this guy, send him so love, your money and order his book.
    See: http://www.motointernational.com/dave-richardson-and-guzziology

    Like 0
  12. Mark S

    This would be a great candidate for a vintage sidecar tug. I had a freind that had one of these, his was a 1970 750cc. I remember him telling me that he had some grief with valve guide wear and ended up having the head machined and insert guides installed. This is a very nice looking bike we have lost this classic look on most of our new bikes, good find

    Like 0
  13. geezerglide85

    Back in the early eighties I had one of the 1st 850 Eldorados. Mine had the 4 speed trans. Guzzi guys will tell you 4spd is a 750 5spd was an 850. But the first few 850’s were 4spds. 1 up and 3 down. If you really cracked the throttle in 3rd the bike would lean over to the right. All kinds of torque, I think it climb a tree at 55mph in 4th. Don’t know if the alternator is o.e.m. mine had a generator but that was a ’71. Good upgrade either way.

    Like 0
  14. Fogline

    Really like this and easier to hide from the wife than another car. Hmm…

    Like 1
  15. Scott F.

    My dad bought a ’74 just before the 50th Sturgis rally that ran but needed some assembly. After getting it assembled he offered to let me ride it to Sturgis that year as I was without a bike at the time. That was easily my best time there. Partially because of the 50th but the bike had a lot to do with it. I had recently been riding sport bikes but that Eldorado had such a laid back character that it really made it easy to enjoy the ride.
    Unfortunately someone offered to buy it from him after we got back and it went down the road. I still remember it as one of the most enjoyable bikes I’ve ever ridden.

    Like 0
  16. Mike

    Yup, had to “roll start” my Honda 750 many times but I lived at the top of a hill so it was easy. Have always admired Guzzi’s and this looks like a great bike just a ways up the road from me – might have to go get it! What I would really like to find is one of the old LAPD Guzzi’s that isn’t all beat to hell.

    Like 0
  17. Snotty

    Had bout 6 of these beasts, they offered a Police and civilian version as shown here. The police had floorboards a Harleyesque side stand and a large single speedo with red and green warning lights on either side,as opposed to the civilian model which had a seperate speedo and tach. Took mine to Sturgis three times in the 80’s and won best European bike in Red River N.M. and didn’t even enter. Came back to the bike to find a plaque on the seat with a letter saying I had won.

    Like 1
  18. Tim Wyrick

    My Dad started with a 850T in the early 80’s, then moved up to a 1000. He bought a side car which we mounted on the 850, then the bigger bike. He built a trailer and we painted it and the side car to match the bike. He took his wife and step-son to Yellowstone one year, and Disney Land another with that set-up.He got older and couldn’t see well, so he parked the Goose and it sat for 19 years. Dad passed a year ago last May. New tires, carbs cleaned, and a tune up, and my wife and I are enjoying the Goose. We took it to Branson ,MO recently for a back road trip. Great bike, smooth, LOTS of torque! Thanks, Dad. See you later

    Like 1
  19. Steve

    I have the same bike in my garage, but with Wixon fairing and bags. I have owned the bike since 1982, when I bought it from the original owner, who was also the original artist for Ernie the Elf of Keebler fame. I delivered typesetting to him at the time and was in the right place at the right time to buy it.

    Like 1
  20. ticketgeorge

    I was the high bidder, but it didn’t hit the reserve. He never responded to my reaching out to him. Still looking for my first Guzzi.

    Like 0
  21. Doug Towsley

    Not responding is usually Toxic on Feebay, no lack of insane sellers. Theres a guy locally who Barnfinds profiled on of his vehicles for sale. A Corvair Pickup if i recall correctly. Still for sale. He has a VW 16 window bus for sale I think ended earlier today and reserve not met at $96800.00 I dont know what they go for but lets just say it seems like it takes forever before anything actually sells.
    So his latest is a 1947? BSA 500 cc single. Very cool bike, But he is asking $9,000 and in reality its worth about half that. (bit has PATINA!) So, clearly rather attched or as they say “Aggressively priced well ahead of the marketplace”. The irony is, I am pretty certain his whole barn find story on the BSA is bull poop. I MAY be wrong, but all his vehicles have implausible stories. And I am fairly certain I know who the previous owner is or was. (Hint-his name is scratched into the paint on the tank) and *IF* its the same bike then i KNOW his story is poppycock. But I have been wrong before,. Happened once. MY wife tells me about it. But 1940 BSA 500 singles dont exactly grow on trees and in the vintage community, Its a very small world.
    I am sure you can find a nice guzzi,.Be patient my son. Contact the national or regional clubs,, put out some WANTED or WTB ads on CL. Talk to specialists. One will turn up.

    Like 0
  22. Norm Moquin

    Mu first real Bike was a “72 R75/5 BMW, which was ok (rode it from Nova Scotia to British Columbia following the Queen’s Hwy) except that I had to adjust the valves every morning. I got pretty good at it only taking about ten minutes. A bud who had a ’77 Guzzi LeMans l, let me ride it one day, That sold me on Guzzis, the sound of rhe 90Deg VTwin, the suspension and the stiff frame It took a couple of years before I found another friend who was selling a ’78 LeMans ll in ’82 (still have it). My second “Goose” I purchased for touring (been across the US from Connecticut to the West Coast a couple of times and to my sister’s place in Grand Rapids, MI afew times. I traveled to Baltimore, MD from CT to buy it. Chintzia is an ’84 SPNT 1000 that had 9,200 mi on the clock, it no has 172 k mi. It still goes along nicely without a clean exhaust. My third “GOOSE” is a ’98 Centauro V10 Sport. there were only 52 red ones brought in by the importer mine was in the first container along with one other red one (there was 52 green Sports, the only other color brought in for’98). The other red Sport went to magazine testing.
    One time at a MGNOC National Rally, (Moto Guzzi National Owner’s Club) as I was nearing the campground there was a group of about 40 Guzzis going the other way all those VTWINS together is what I called “Italian Road Music”. I love my gaggle of “Geese”

    Like 0

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