’86 Moto Guzzi Le Mans
Everybody has a list of motorcycles they want to own in their lifetime, and everybody’s list comes from a different place. Some riders look back fondly at the motorcycles from their youth; a bike a friend had, a bike you sat on in the dealership until they told you to leave, a ‘faster than yours’ race bike, the bike you really wanted but your step dad talked you out of it (that one comes out of my own personal list…), or a bike you read over and over about in the magazines and have lusted for ever since. Other guys want the newest latest greatest bike there is; the touring bike with every gizmo and gadget imaginable on a rolling land yacht, or the latest in computer technology in a sportbike, the lightest, high flyingest motocrosser or the newest big cruiser that comes stock with a 500 page catalog of enough chrome goodies to keep the entire chrome industry busy into the next millenium. Maybe your list includes very specific bikes that go along with your ‘collection’; Italian single cylinder race bikes, Harley Davidson lightweight 2 strokes, Honda CB350’s or pre war English vertical twins. Wherever you come from you have a list, I know you do, and if you don’t, well…you need to see a psychiatrist, soon.
My personal list does include bikes from my youth, as well as motorcycles built throughout my riding life. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to acquire some of the bikes on my list, some I still have and some have gone on to someone else so they can check it off their list. I have bought motorcycles that I truly believed I really wanted, maybe even needed, only to find out once I got it home that I needed to get it into the classifieds as fast as possible. Last year I was able to check one more bike off my list when I brought home a beautiful BMW R90s. This motorcycle is all I hoped for and more so I don’t see it going to anybody else’s list any time soon, if at all.
As I look through ebay each day, cruise the various motorcycle list’s I’m on and talk with friends, I’m always on the lookout for a bike that is on my list or maybe should be. This morning I found a bike on ebay that in one version or another is on my list and has been for over twenty years. The Moto Guzzi Le Mans.
The Le Mans started life as an 850cc machine but in the mid ’80’s grew to 1000cc to be more competitive in the current market. Even a well tuned, a 1000cc Le Mans was no match for a Japanese 750. But, if you rode a Guzzi you had style, you weren’t riding some soulless UJM, you were on a Moto Guzzi. A Guzzi always attracted attention no matter what model. The look, the sound, those big cylinders sticking out…a very high cool factor, and if you rode up to your favorite Sunday morning bike gathering on a Le Mans, you would have a tough time getting off your bike because of the crowd around you and your Italian Stallion.
This particular Moto Guzzi I found on ebay today is an ’86 Le Mans Mk4. Here’s the good, and there’s lot’s of it…new tires, cables, clutch, u-joint boot, all seals, brakes, an added external oil filter ( a huge improvement! ) and rebuilt carbs. Here’s the bad, and there isn’t much of that…it just needs some minor cosmetic love. That’s it. As the owner says in his listing, fly in and ride home. The bike is located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Back in the early ’80’s I lived in Rio Rancho, it’s just outside Albuquerque so it easy to get to. If you live on the west coast and you get lucky or smart enough to buy this Guzzi…the buy it now price is ONLY $3000!…I can help you with some fantastic routes home. You don’t want to ride this motorcycle on I40, that would be punishment for you and the Guzzi. If you would like some great routes from New Mexico to California send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested in a very cool Italian sportbike check out this Le Mans. Click on the pic’s for a lot more pictures and the sellers contact info. This is one of the best buys I have seen of late.