If you do a Google search for “Moto Guzzi Le Mans,” chances are the first couple pages of results will be people desperately trying to buy one for themselves. That’s just how popular the LeMans really is!
A History of Endurance
Moto Guzzi, an Italian motorcycle company, first produced the Le Mans in 1976, giving it the name of the infamous 24-hour motorcycle race that has taken place annually since 1923.
Built with the goal in mind of outclassing other superbikes of the time, the LeMans initially had a rocky start due to its dangerously poor handling at low speeds. However, if you managed to live long enough to get it up to speed, the LeMans became an agile force to be reckoned with.
Designed to Last
The Le Mans line proceeded the 750 S3 and bore many similarities to earlier models. A few of the key differences, however, included the revamping of the V7 Sport engine, which increased horsepower from 53 to 71, bringing the new top speed to 130 miles per hour.
A Uniform Timeline
About thirteen generations of the LeMans entered the market between 1976 and 2005, with the core series ceasing production in 1993.
- 850 Le Mans (1976-1978)
The original model came with a modified V7 Sport engine with an 844cc displacement, parallel carburetors, and a whopping 81 horsepower at 7,600 rpm.
- 850 Le Mans Mark II (1978-1982)
The Mark II underwent severe design changes including everything from the headlights to the fenders, many of which were purely cosmetic; however, this generation managed to keep true to the general design of the model.
- 850 Le Mans Mark III (1983)
Once again, the designers at Moto Guzzi reworked the cosmetics of the Le Mans, this time producing the Mark III, which had different seating, a subtly altered frame, and a new signature tachometer.
- Le Mans 1000 (1984-1993)
The LeMans 1000 was the first time the Le Mans experienced any significant structural design changes, although the frame itself was not altered, despite the introduction of a smaller front wheel.
- Le Mans 1000 SE (1986-1988)
The special edition of the Le Mans entered production in 1986. It had almost the exact same specifications as the Le Mans 1000 but with signature cosmetic features and somewhat rearranged gearing.
- Le Mans 1000CI (1988-1993)
The final generation motorcycle of the core lineup of the Le Mans series received upgrades and updates to modernize the technological specifications of the Le Mans. Other than that and the cosmetics, this series almost never really changed.
The Le Mans in the News
Back in 1977, professional racer Roy Armstrong rode a Le Mans to victory in the Avon Production Machine championship. Since then, most of the news for the Le Mans has been in the form of what new versions will be based on it in the future, if any.
A Hollywood Icon
The 850 Le Mans wasn’t just famous for its street capabilities; its acting was famous too! Between the years 1978-1999, the 850 Le Mans appeared in a combined total of six films and TV series.
If you’re looking to talk to others about your fascination with the Le Mans series, there are plenty of places online to do that. One of the best locations is this Facebook group with almost 2,000 members.
The Moto Guzzi Le Mans – an Unchanging Classic
Not even the designers at Moto Guzzi were able to alter this timeless classic’s trademarked appearance, and they sure won’t be able to alter its membership among the classics. Between all of the Le Mans series’s hollywood credits, horsepower, and performance, this superbike is certain to live on.