’76 Moto Guzzi 850 T3
There is something about the Guzzi 850’s that has stuck with me since the first time I rode an 850 Le Mans. I liked the sound immediately, the light and quick handling…Italian style,and the side to side rocking while sitting at a stop light…It’s a motorcycle, it has soul. I don’t know what it is, but I really love the feeling of a Moto Guzzi.
I have ridden and owned a number of different Italian motorcycles, (currently working on a Benelli 250) but never a Guzzi, I have ridden Guzzi’s, just not owned one. I need one…and if you haven’t owned one, so do you. My friend Eric bought one on ebay somewhere in the Southeast, flew out to pick it up and then rode it to his then girlfriend’s (now ex-wife…long story) house in Maryland so he would have a bike to ride while he worked on this bi-coastal relationship… but I digress, sorry. Eric is a devout BMW rider but really loves his T3…he also drives an Alfa Romeo in Vintage Car Endurance racing. I think he may be Italian at heart.
The Guzzi T3 has been often compared to the BMW R90s, which is logical (it was the standard of Euro Sportbikes at the time), but the Moto Guzzi is sportier in all ways. Lighter,better brakes (the linked system), and more horsepower…about 10 more!!. I love my R90s but riding Eric’s T3 always increases my lust factor for an 850 MotoGuzzi.
The T3 is also the basis for a great tourer. This sends me on a whole different tangent, thinking of bikes that bikes that make the perfect base for so many types of riding…
The T3 has had many lives…including being the choice of the Los Angeles Police Department for a number of years. The Moto Guzzi 850 motor is almost perfect. Reliability, ease of maintenence, and precise handling…what more could you ask for. All in all the 850 is a great bike. The powers that be in Guzzi World also used it as a platform form for the ‘Convert’..Guzzi’s entry into the automatic transmission motorcycle world, another post for another time.
We all know that my heart lies in the cafe racer world and Moto Guzzi was probably one of the very first to create the ‘Factory’ cafe racer with the Le Mans models. Guzzi upsized the Le Mans to 1000cc but it’s the 850 that works just perfectly. Building a cafe racer out of the T3 is one of my ‘bucket list’ bikes.
So, here’s this bike I found on ebay this morning, a 1976 Guzzi T3 with 48K miles on the clock, not a whole lot of miles really, especially for a motorcycle built like a Moto Guzzi.This motorcycle has a full frame up restoration and then customized. The motor has been completely rebuilt by a Guzzi specialist, new Buchannan wheels, a very cool exhaust system, I bet it sounds incredible (the kind of sound that makes you want to go out into the garage in the middle of the night and start it up just to hear it…the neighbors be dammned…it will make you sleep better). The owner is a bit optimistic on his pricing, as in, I think he’s asking a little much, but that’s just me. However, the bike is really nice and if you got a good third quarter bonus at your job and you’ve got the hots for a very nice Italian ride…go get it it and ride it home. Click on the pics below for more info and pictures.