£10,000 As stated
UK Limited edition C&H version
The Le Mans 850 café racer, or Le Mans Mark I (never officially labelled Mark I), was first shown at the Milan motorcycle show in November 1975, and sales began in 1976. Like the 750S and the 750 S3, the Le Mans 850 was developed from the 53 bhp V7 Sport model of 1971, but power was increased to 71 hp. The power output measured at the back wheel was 71 bhp, giving a top speed of 130 mph. Compared to its roadster sibling, the T3, the Le Mans had higher-compression domed pistons, larger engine valves, and Dell'Orto 36 mm pumper carbs with filter less velocity stacks.
The Mark I had two production runs with slight modifications. The first run, Series 1, had a round CEV taillight and continued until at least September, 1976, but fewer than 2, 000 of these were made. The Series 2 run totalled some 4, 000 bikes and had these modifications: a De Tomaso-designed rectangular taillight, a modified rear mudguard, black fork sliders and a more generous dual seat. The seat was a one-piece item of injection-moulded foam. Most Le Mans 850 bikes were red and black, but a few were metallic blue, and even fewer were white.
The MarkII was similar to the MarkI, but the small 'bikini" fairing became a larger half-fairing incorporating indicators. The fairing had been tested in Moto Guzzi's wind tunnel (which had been used to test race bike fairings in the 1950s). The new fairing had a rectangular headlight, rather than the earlier round item. Cylinder bores were coated with Moto Guzzi's patented "Nikasil". Front suspension became air-assisted. The brake calipers on the front wheel, previously mounted on the front, were now mounted behind the forks. A new dual seat could now carry a pillion. Further changes included a revised instrument cluster derived from the 1000cc SP. Brakes were linked, with the handlebar lever operating the front right caliper and the footbrake operating both the front left and rear caliper.
At the heart of The Moto Guzzi is the venerable V-Twin engine, originally designed for agricultural use it’s become a legendary motorcycle power plant, raw, powerful and definitely not for the faint hearted, this is an old school superbike. Even today, forty years on at the heart of every Moto Guzzi is the same engine configuration, they are now of course far more user friendly with electrical systems that actually work, plus fuel injection but it shows that when its right its right and with this bike you really can go Back to the Future.
This is a bit special. Purchased at auction this late example is one of the limited run of black and gold machines, I believe to be unique to the UK. It was restored by the original owner to as near original condition as possible. Alloy timing gear has been fitted as has a new wiring loom. Accompanying the bike are over fifty invoices that at a rough guess total over £6500 relating to its restoration plus what I have undertaken which includes a recent £1000 service and MOT (passed with no advisories). The Mk2 has never been as popular as the Mk1 Lemans even though the Mk2 is a superior motorcycle. Looking at this bike it’s impossible to believe that its nearly forty years old, sitting on new tyres and with its black and gold paintwork gleaming I doubt there is a better Mk2 anywhere in the UK, it’s pretty close to concours condition and represents for the original restorer very much a labour of love that I and any the new owner can enjoy.
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Exceedingly original early UK supplied example now restored
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