V-Twin Survivor: 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

We have only seen two 1973 Moto Guzzis on Barn Finds which is surprising given how popular motorcycles are here. We always learn a lot from the readers and I expect that to be the case again with this sweet survivor 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Indio, California and the current bid price is $7,299.99.

The Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850 was made for three short years: 1972, 1973, and 1974. There is an interesting history of how they came to be the bike of choice, or one of them, for the California Highway Patrol in that era. Legend has it that the company sent two of them to the CHiPs in 1972 for $1 each in order for them to test them and they ended up buying many of them over the next couple of years. They were more powerful than the Harley-Davidsons that they were using and the transverse-mounted V-twin gave a smoother riding experience. A few other state patrol units used them, too, not just those in California.

The Moto Guzzi (“Guut’zee”, for the record) V-twins came out in 1967 in a bike that I would love to own, the V7 which isn’t actually powered by a V7… sorry. By 1971, they were developed into the V7 Special, then the V7 Ambassador 750 in 1972, and finally the Eldorado 850 also in 1972. In 1969, Cycle World Magazine said, “If Roman gods rode motorcycles, the Moto Guzzi would be the choice of Bacchus. It is a big, strong, and stylish road machine that reeks of luxurious plenty; a genuine ultra-bike…a large water buffalo with a grumbling stomach.” 

This example looks perfect to me. Not perfect as in ready for Pebble Beach, but a perfect, lightly-used real look to it. I normally like my vehicles to look like new but I love the honest used look of this Eldorado. The seller says that it’s mostly original other than the exhaust, including a few areas that aren’t perfect as you can see. And, original other than having a bit of engine work to keep it running great.

The engine is Moto Guzzi’s 844 cc transverse-mounted V-twin with around 64 horsepower and the Eldorado had a five-speed gearbox which was nice for touring or high-speed perp rundowns… This bike has had the right side cylinder and head replaced and it runs great according to the seller, who has included a YouTube video here. Hagerty is at $10,200 for a #3 good condition Eldorado. Have any of you owned a Moto Guzzi Eldorado?

Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Well, there’s a righteous scoot! I always wanted to see one of those up close and personal but never had much of a chance. I had a friend who bought an 850 model. He rode the hell out of it and it kept right on going. Last time I saw it he had put 50K miles on it and it was still going strong. It seems to me he had some problems with the ring and pinion but that was the only failure…

    Like 5
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Nice bike! When I was “between” my Ducati 750GT and my Ducati 900SS I had a Guzzi Le Mans for a couple months…yes, a couple months lol

    I didn’t prefer them as a sport configuration but in the v7 it was a nice riding bike. More of a cruiser than a racer

    Like 2
    • SMS

      Almost the same story here. Was between a 750ss and a 900ss. Trued out a Guzzi. Wasn’t for me but impressed with the comfort and smoothness.

      Man I can’t believe what those bikes are going for now. Still remember the two flies stuck in the 750’s paint from the factory.

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Those flies were optional…

        Like 9
  3. Timothy Crump

    Bought an early Eldorado in Oct ’72 in Long Beach while in the Navy…previously had a ’70 750cc Ambassador, my first Guzzi…made me a life long fan…
    Have had several…currently have a ’69 750 Ambassador exactly like my first one…
    Also have a 2011 Griso 8V SE….1200cc….the Tenni green version…

    Like 3
  4. Rob

    I have three Moto Guzzi Eldorados, (2) 1973s and (1) 1974. There is a long boring story about how I ended up with three, so I won’t waste your time, but suffice to say I have no regrets. Each of mine has needed various relatively minor repairs (generator bracket on two of them), replacement switches and speedo/tach repairs to the casings, and one of them is getting a genuine Greg Bender wiring harness. The looks are classic, they’re comfortable mile after mile, and the engines will give you 100,000 miles or more with proper maintenance.

    Like 2
  5. Snotty

    Great machines. I had the opportunity to own six or seven. First one I bought was from a buddy of mine for 300. Enjoyed the bike so much, kept on buying em. Once there was one for sale, myself and another potential buyer showed up at the same time, a bidding war ensued and he won it. Used to ride to Sturgis and red river, never let me down. In fact I was working in a machine shop at the time,where I made my own custom dog bones forward floor board mounts and P- pad. Won best European bike in red river. This is the civilian bike.

    Like 3
  6. sterling

    my dad had the 750 as he said it was faster than the 850. he drove 130 or more on his 750. he would have motor sparking on turns at that speed. he drove for speed. he put 70000 miles or more on his. all this and good on gas.
    in person they look better than a photo shows. that is funny with this bike photos just do not show how nice they really were.

    Like 1
  7. Russell

    I bought a ’74 in ’86 while in the Air Force. While refurbishing it, got it running and crashed it around lake Travis outside Austin Texas. Well, I rebuilt it and rode it to college later. Now, it’s hibernating in the basement and I turn the crank every 6 months. Got my own barn find for retirement.

  8. Russell

    I bought a ’74 LAPD in ’86 while in the Air Force. While refurbishing it, got it running and crashed it around lake Travis outside Austin Texas. Well, I rebuilt it and rode it to college later. Now, it’s hibernating in the basement and I turn the crank every 6 months. Got my own barn find for retirement.

    Like 2
  9. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $7,500.

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