Original Owner! 1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans

As only 1 of 1,737 Series B models made for the 1978 model year, this 1978 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans is quite a bike. About a decade earlier, Honda fired a shot heard around the world with its 1969 CB750, arguably the first production, factory “superbike” but for those who prefer the exotic, this Moto Guzzi can be found here on eBay in Chowchilla, California, the current bid price is $13,000, and the reserve isn’t met yet.

I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison to match up a four-cylinder Honda CB750 with a V-twin Motoguzzi 850 Le Mans. If you’re on your way to the other side of the country, the Honda may be your best bet as far as being a smooth highway traveler and one with rarely a hiccup as far as being high-maintenance or finicky. The Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans would work for that cross-country trip as long as you accept the fact that it will be a more exotic experience all the way around.

Moto Guzzi made the 850 Le Mans starting in the fall of 1975 as a 1976 model and they were a bit more powerful than the 750S or 750 S3. This is known as a Series B model which would have been made for the 1977 and 1978 model years and they had a square tail light, a dead giveaway compared to the round tail light of the Series A models. Next in line would be the – let’s say it together – “…the Series C model”. The Le Mans or Le Mans I model is arguably the one to have compared to the later Le Mans II or Le Mans III, at least for collectors.

The company made this model until 1992 although some sources mention 1993. I have never owned anything this exotic or cool, at least motorcycle-wise. I mean, my Honda Motocompo is cool but in a different way (crickets). The owner says that they have had this one since new, that’s pretty incredible today in the buy-and-sell internet age. They restored it in the mid-1990s and everything works as it should. Hagerty is at $13,100 for a #2 excellent condition example.

The engine is Moto Guzzi’s 844-cc overhead-valve V-twin which would have had 71 horsepower. The seller says that it runs great, idles great, and sounds great and I don’t doubt any of those things at all. There have been a lot of modifications on this bike along with a wicked huge list of additional OEM parts and pieces. Please check out the eBay listing for the scoop on this incredible machine. Are there any Moto Guzzi owners out there?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Dats a nice a “Goose”, eh Tony? All ethnic slurs aside, I’ve heard them all, the “Goose”, nicknamed that because Americans pronounced it “Goosey”, I’ve heard Gooch too, incredible machine, the “Ferrari of motorcycles”. I know, I pick on Italian vehicles, mostly unwarranted ( thanks dad) but the Guzzi is probably the most practical one. Simple engineering, on par with ANY other motorcycle. I’m not a fan of the “crotch rocket” version, although fully capable as one, I had a friend with a touring model, put HUNDREDS of thousands of miles on it, with nary a glitch. It looked worn, but never let him down. Oddly enough, coming from Harleytown, USA, the “Goose” was one of the bikes that was allowed in the “group”, in a touring form, that is. This, not so much, too Asian looking and I don’t recall seeing many like this. While there may be unexpected anxiety buying a vehicle you’ve never driven, I can almost guarantee, you like bikes, and powerful, well handling/stopping ones, you shan’t be disappointed here. Cool find.

    Like 9
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I know I’ve mentioned this before but between the sale of my 74 Ducati 750GT and my purchase of my 1978 Ducati 900SS I owned a Le Mans for a couple months. Yep a couple months. It was a personal preference choice and had nothing to do with the build quality of the Guzzi.

    I preferred the chain driven, 90* V twin power band and the way it all came together to make a potent road weapon…for me. I will say that the shorter wheel base (compared to the Ducati) of the Le Mans made it a very “tossable” bike in corners, especially quick transitioning “S” turns. I wasn’t really bothered by the shaft driven horizontally opposed torque of the Guzzi as I often rode a friend’s R90S when we would play swap-a-bike

    Like 2
  3. FrankD Member

    Nice shape!

    Like 1
  4. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Just to clarify, I know the Guzzi is not a horizontally opposed engine. It’s a V. I just meant the torque effect and was comparing to the horizontally opposed Bim

    Like 1
  5. geezerglide85

    I had ’71 850 Eldorado, that thing was built like a tank. Definitely not high maintenance or finicky like high end Italian cars. The original Guzzi V-twin was designed after WWll to be used in 3 wheel dump truck, all heavy duty stuff.

    Like 2
  6. D. Nieuwenhuis

    I have a V50 Monza, just like the Le Mans but smaller. And a V11 Sport, a more modern version.

    Like 2
  7. Campbell L Usher

    Awesome bike , mate of mine has one since new , purchased from Stolaskis in Perth , Western Australia. I rode it out to Kalgoorlie once & overtook a tourist bus at 120 mph , didn’t realize I was going that fast & the Laffranconi exhaust would’ve woken a few passengers lol

    Like 3
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice looking ride, never had the chance to saddle one up. I bet it would have been fun. Ended:Jul 05, 2022 , 2:00AM
    Winning bid:
    US $16,900.00
    [ 44 bids ]

    Like 2
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Mike!

      Like 1
  9. Mitchell

    A hot pocket rocket. Providers of a Ducati mono shop are deep
    into Moto Guzzi maintenance. Certainly.

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