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Old 09-23-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
georgej OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Upstate,N.Y.
Oddometer: 179
1987 Moto Guzzi Lemans Mark IV

Any opinions on these. Someone offered me one in trade for my R100RS.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
Joined: May 2010
Location: Wichititty
Oddometer: 62
my $0.02

That vintage of Guzzi should be reasonably reliable.

The engine & transmissions, if they're maintained properly, can easily go >100,000 miles. The internals are massive (heavy) so they are very under-stressed.

The 'weak' points tend to be clutches, U-joints, and possibly the wiring/switchgear.

It's going to have a 16" front and 18" rear tire so there's not going to be a wide selection of tires to choose from and the handling may feel weird compared to what you're used to riding.

It will have "integrated brakes" where the foot pedal operates the rear caliper and one of the front calipers and the hand brake lever only operates the 2nd front caliper. It can take a little getting used to. If you decide you don't like it, you can convert it to a conventional setup with a set of hoses. Once you get used to it, it's no big deal.

Tune-ups are easy to do yourself if you're mechanically inclined (likely similar to your BMW). Valves are easily accessible for lash adjustment and it probably still has points & condensers so you'll have to check/adjust the timing per the maintenance schedules (or convert to electronic ignition of some sort).

There's probably not much to be afraid of in general but it would depend on the details of the particular bike...

Take a look at it, give it a ride, if you like it, go for it.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
Joined: May 2010
Location: Wichititty
Oddometer: 62
One other thing

The plastic for the bodywork Guzzi used can be a bit fragile. If I remember right, the side cover & tail sections were one piece or bolted together so that they came off in one piece but they had to be spread slightly and they'd crack pretty easily.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #4
Flying Frisian
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Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
Oddometer: 205
Originally Posted by georgej View Post
Any opinions on these. Someone offered me one in trade for my R100RS.
I had one but sold it last year. Loved that bike, it handled good and the engine was great. I love the rumble of a big Guzzi. Easy to maintain and parts are easy to get at Harpers or other Guzzi parts suppliers.

2011 R1200RT, 1983 R65 (winter project)
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:25 AM   #5
Expert Tomfoolerist
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Landers, baby, Landers!
Oddometer: 404
I have a 1983 California II. Other than the crappy handlebar switches on the right side (Lego switches as they are known), it has been very easy to maintain. I swapped those out for a very inexpensive Yamaha set and all has been good. I did have to replace the carrier bearing and U-Joint, a difficult job, on a bike with 36K miles but it had been a side car tug for most of its life and it looked like maintenance was low on the former owner's list.

Parts availability have been almost completely drama free. The knowledge base for old Guzzi's is as deep as my old KLR , maybe deeper if you count the existence of the incredible Guzziology. Guzzis are probably the easiest vintage motorcycle to maintain of any make.

The Tonti framed bikes are like motorcycle lego. You can build the bike you want from parts from various years with little modification.

Of course the saying "You meet the weirdest people on a Guzzi" had no influence on my decision to buy mine at all
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
Cluttered Minimalist
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Everett, WA
Oddometer: 1,634
Very comfortable for LeMans, crap switchgear that is integrated with the rest of the handlebar stuff making easy/cheap fixes almost impossible, heavy clutch and throttle (holding 40mm carb slides up isn't for girlymen).

I'd love one

Your R100RS is a gentlemans tourer, the LeMans isn't much of a gentlemans anything.
'07 Bandit 1250ABS
'78 XS650 with patina
Huge piles of Guzzi that aren't motorcycle shaped.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Scottsdale AZ..
Oddometer: 3,354

I have a Guzzi 2001 V11
I have a 77 R100RS
I have a R nine T
I have a 94 R1100RS

Each one is different .. but the Guzzi always bring out the smiles.

Been looking for a Lemans .. great bike .. and so sexy
BMWMOA 82741 ABC 8418
75 R90S , 77 R100 RS,88 R100GS ,94 R1100RS (Aragorn) 2k 1150GS DMC sidecar,
Rosso Mandello V11 , 2014 R nine T
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