The eagle on the Moto Guzzi logo commemorates a founder who died in a plane crash before the company could get off the ground. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 850-T could let you fly, that is, if its price doesn’t ground it.
It was no surprise at all that yesterday’s whammed, slammed, & thank ya’ ma’am’d 1985 BMW 318i earned a quick and decisive 68% Crack Pipe loss. Stanced cars really are an acquired taste, like saying ‘Yo!’ or not knowing how a billed cap works.
Let’s move on from that morphed Bimmer to a bike that honestly needs no mods. I mean seriously, just look at it!
In 1950, Moto Guzzi built what’s considered to be the first wind tunnel specifically designed to test motorcycles. A terrifying contraption consisting of a windowed tube large enough to hold a bike and rider on a raised pylon, it worked via a three-bladed propeller pulling air - and hopefully not the rider - to the rear.
Moto Guzzi’s interest in aerodynamics sprouted from their racing efforts. The company, founded in 1921, racked up win after win in Time Trial and Moto GP racing both before and after WWII. By the time that financial issues forced the company to pull out of the GP series in 1957 they had won eight world championships.
This 1975 Moto Guzzi 850-T comes from the era when Alejandro DeTomaso (yep, the Pantera guy) owned the marque, and represents the “Tonti” frame design. That replaced the older “loop” frame and brackets the all-alloy 90° V-Twin engine which is also used as a stressed structural member.
The Tonti bikes handled well and were sturdy, both qualities that made them popular back in the day with the California Highway Patrol. Yes, there were Japanese bikes from the era that were quicker, but few that were as cool.
This one looks to be in excellent shape, perhaps needing only a bit of spit and polish here and there. By the way, that’s just a turn of phrase. Don’t actually spit on your motorcycle, they don’t deserve that kind of treatment. Save that for your boots, private.
The ad notes that the bike is mostly stock, with the exception of the K&N cones and Dyna coils. It also says that the Dellortos need to be singing a different tune, but there’s only two of them so that’s not all that big a deal.
Paint, saddle, and chrome all look to be in serviceable if not excellent shape, and the bike comes with a middling 41K on the clock. In fact, if there’s anything at all in the ad that you could dun the bike on, it might be that the tires look to be ancient and as hard as AP Calculus.
Well, I guess you could take issue with the ad’s price as well. The asking is $5,400, which is a lot of Lira to let loose for an old bike. Of course if you’ve ever heard a Moto Guzzi V-twin purr, or have ridden one, you might already be scrounging the couch cushions for coinage to snap up this one.
What’s your take, does this classic Italian look like it might be worthy of its $5,400 price tag? Or, is this a Guzzi that doesn’t get you going?
H/T to Glemon for the hookup!
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