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Old 07-17-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
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Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk1 Series 2 buyers advice requested

I've been looking for a Le Mans 850 for a while.

This one has come up on the scope.

Unrestored Mk 1 series 2 1978, 41K and apparently totally stock.





Looks well used from the photos.

The price is a bit OTT at 6900 GBP or $US 10,500 , however the dealer is well respected in the UK and the price is negotiable.

What should I be looking for in particular when checking over a Le Mans? I'm a half decent home mechanic but never owned a Guzzi and don't know much about the particular issues they may have.

Thanks for any wisdoms.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Bongo
I've been looking for a Le Mans 850 for a while.

This one has come up on the scope.

Unrestored Mk 1 series 2 1978, 41K and totally stock.

Looks well used from the photos.

The price is a bit OTT at 6900 GBP or $US 10,500 , however the dealer is well respected in the UK and the price is negotiable.

What should I be looking for in particular when checking over a Le Mans? I'm a half decent home mechanic but never owned a Guzzi and don't know much about the particular issues they may have.

Thanks for any wisdoms.
well used?Looks bloody good for a 1978 motorcycle!
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:10 AM   #3
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Hey Bongo,

Obvious check the usual, but the weak link on these machines can be the clutch and input hub.

Also, the Le Mans came w/o air filters, and many suffered premature cylinder wear as a result. Maybe do a compression test and take a look at the plugs while you have em out.

There's something going on with the rear turnsignal brackets, and obviously someone's painted the day-glow panel. That rear brake line routing is crazy, too.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer fred
Hey Bongo,

Obvious check the usual, but the weak link on these machines can be the clutch and input hub.

Also, the Le Mans came w/o air filters, and many suffered premature cylinder wear as a result. Maybe do a compression test and take a look at the plugs while you have em out.

There's something going on with the rear turnsignal brackets, and obviously someone's painted the day-glow panel. That rear brake line routing is crazy, too.
Thanks Fred.

Is there any tell tale sign re: the clutch hub such as lash in the drive train?

I assume if it is down on compression and oily plugs / piston slap I've got worn bores. Are they Nikasil or CI? Can I still find barrels/pistons/rings etc for the 850?
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:01 AM   #5
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That one looks like a Mk1. Were they different in different markets?

The Mk2 here in Oz had a bigger squarish fairing, also with dayglow. It also had a fairing that wrapped around the cylinders a bit.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerboy81
That one looks like a Mk1. Were they different in different markets?

The Mk2 here in Oz had a bigger squarish fairing, also with dayglow. It also had a fairing that wrapped around the cylinders a bit.
The one I posted is a Mk 1 series 2. There were two series of the Mk 1, the first is known as the series 1 and had a round tail light, the second is the series 2 and has the rectangular tail light (plus some other cosmetic changes)
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
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Go to this site and ask the same question: http://www.wildguzzi.com/forum/index.php

IMHO price is way to high..that is V7 Sport territory.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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What ever happened to affordable Moto-Guzzis in the UK?

In the '90's I used to marvel at how cheap MG's and BMW's were over there. What happened?

Good looking bike. but imho, I'd find a better deal on a bike offered by an owner. Leave the middle men out of it.

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Old 07-17-2010, 10:10 AM   #9
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Front mudguard looks a bit skew so check it's not been crashed/dropped. Check the lock stops. The original pistons in the brembo calipers are chromed steel and I would think they'll be shot by now (rust on left hand disc may indicate the caliper is seized). The replacements are alloy. Front fork stanchion chrome is poor and pits easily. Rear shocks may be original but I wouldn't think so (don't remember the progressive wound springs) but there are much better aftermarket replacements available. Gearbox level plug is easily stripped.

Price is hiked because it's unrestored which is ridiculous. It looks to me that it needs a fair bit of work and money to sort out some fairly simple things. If it's a genuine Mk 1 then I suppose it's worth 4500
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce
What ever happened to affordable Moto-Guzzis in the UK?

In the '90's I used to marvel at how cheap MG's and BMW's were over there. What happened?

Good looking bike. but imho, I'd find a better deal on a bike offered by an owner. Leave the middle men out of it.

They've gone skywards. I ran this one past the guy whos Le Mans 1 was on the cover of Classic bike last year. He reckons that the price for an unrestored Le Mans 1 is around UK 6K GBP.

This is down to two things.. they are a classic and people are getting wise to it, so prices are going up. The 900SS Bevels are going for 15K UK now.

The other main factor is the depreciation in the value of sterling. It is down ~25% and therefore they seem like good value to European and other buyers (or did).
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Bongo
They've gone skywards. I ran this one past the guy whos Le Mans 1 was on the cover of Classic bike last year. He reckons that the price for an unrestored Le Mans 1 is around UK 6K GBP.

This is down to two things.. they are a classic and people are getting wise to it, so prices are going up. The 900SS Bevels are going for 15K UK now.

The other main factor is the depreciation in the value of sterling. It is down ~25% and therefore they seem like good value to European and other buyers (or did).
10-4 on the classic status. Completely understandable. They're not making any more of them, etc.

Mate of mine has a few bikes he might finally be willing to part with. Original '75 Duc 900SS, '86 Duc 750F1, '68 or '69 (I'm not sure?) Velo Thruxton, '77 Bonneville Silver Jubilee...

Maybe worthwhile shipping to England?

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Old 07-17-2010, 02:06 PM   #12
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Mark I

When I took delivery of my 1976 LeMans, it was not a "MK 1". The real defining point of a 1976 is the tail light. It has it's tail light mount molded into the fender. This light was shared amongst just about every bike that came out of Italy for a few years. As far how long they are called a Mark 1, I don't know. The bike here looks like a good 1977-78 except for the tail light and the wrong paint scheme on the fairing. Has that rear brake line been changed, it don't look right..

Reread this and I correct myself in saying that the bike does have the correct tail light. Duh.....

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Old 07-17-2010, 03:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by King Bongo
Thanks Fred.

Is there any tell tale sign re: the clutch hub such as lash in the drive train?

I assume if it is down on compression and oily plugs / piston slap I've got worn bores. Are they Nikasil or CI? Can I still find barrels/pistons/rings etc for the 850?
If the clutch input hub is worn, the clutch can get hard to release smoothly, and can drag and make the bike creep even when pulled in.

If the plates come apart, not uncommon, they'll let you know more dramatically.

The LeMans 850s had cast-iron or steel sleeves. I think some of the late Le Mans IIs had nicasil. I wish they'd do a run of Le Mans round-fin kits.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:40 PM   #14
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Looks zactly like mine. That is primo money for a non-original bike. It does have the seat but true the fairing paint is not right. Or maybe they didn't do the orange on the Euro bikes. Looks to have the original open velocity stacks so the iron bores may be a bit loose, but that is the good thing about a Lemans 1, they had iron bores so they can be corrected.

I guess you have to determine if it's worth it to you. I bought an identical bike here in the states 2 years ago for $2500 but it only had 20k miles.

I'd say keep looking.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:47 AM   #15
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Some LM2s had chrome plated bores which can be bad news - I don't know about the 76-78 (Mk1s). My LM2 has Nikasil with no sign of wear after 45k miles although I've had K&N filters fitted most of the time
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