There is some serious misinformation out there regarding genuine Moto Guzzi le Mans models, unfortunately an article published in the Moto Guzzi Le Mans Performance Portfolio 1976-1989 is perpetuating this problem.....
eg. "These earlier 850cc Le Mans rnodels
are now recognised as Classic Motorcycles, but please buyer beware!. Many Mark I
and Mark lI's are really 850 T3's. To ensure you get what you have paid for keep
these engine and frame numbers up your sleeve and you won't buy donkey.
Mark I From 1976: Frame VE IIII To 1978: Frame VE 13040
Mark II From 1978: Frame VE 13041 To 1980: Frame VE 24086
Mark III From 1981: Frame VF IIII To 1984: Frame VF 20700"
WRONG and it is time someone published a correction as this misinformation can give owners of a genuine le Mans a lot of heartache.
Guzzitech Denmark has done everyone a favour by checking this misinformation and published the following...
When you are shopping for a used Moto Guzzi its advisable to check that the frame number fits the model. That can give you a hint on if the bike once had a crash and has been equipped with another frame, or if something else is fishy.
Le Mans 1 is the most wanted (and most expensive) of the Tonti framed Guzzi's, and because only a few parts has to be changed to make a Le Mans look-alike, there's many copy's out there on the streets.
Its no fun to invest your bankroll in a nice Le Mans to discover later that's its really a T3 with the small valves in the cylinder head. Some people say that there are more LM1's today than the factory ever built !
Use the chart below to see what model Moto Guzzi you are actually looking at.
The official frame # list states that the change from Le
Mans 1 to Le Mans 2 happened at frame # VE 13040.
This has always been doubtful, because considering the production years of the LM1 and LM2, and the factory's production capacity, it simply must be wrong.
The following was seen on: http://www.motorold.it/storia/telaiguzzi/1954.htm:
With a little imagination you can guess the meaning of this, but to be sure I asked Mikkel Hollænder to have a look at it. (He has a University degree in Spanish, which should make him a lot better in Italian language than we, the poor mortals, that only know Danish, English and German)
Mikkel gave the text to a Professor in Italian language (who loves Opera), and he came out with this:
So the frame # list is corrected till somebody prove it wrong.
Frame # list
|V7 Sport 'Telaio Rosso' (Red frame)||VK 11111- approx. VK 11261|
|V7 750 Sport||approx VK 11262 - VK 13842|
|750 S||VK1 11111 - VK1 12315|
|750 S3||VK2 15000 - VK2 15998|
|850 Le Mans 1||VE 11111 - VE 17311|
|850 Le Mans 2||VE 17312 - VE 24086|
|CX 100||VU 111383 - ........|
|850 Le Mans 3||VF 11111 - VF 20700|
|Le Mans 4||VV 11111 - ........|
|Le Mans 5||VV 14000 - VV 16994|
|1000 S||VV 50001 - VV 51190|
|1000 S||VV 60000 - VV 60058|
VC 11111 - VC 13793
VD 11111 - VD 26537
VD 21345 - VD 26537
VR 11111 - VR 13115
VR 14001 - VR 14400
VR 30001 - VR 36416
|850 T5||VR 40001 - ........|
|V 1000 I Convert||
VG 11111 - VG 25693
|V 1000 G5||VG 18744 - VG 25693|
|1000 SP & 1000 SP-NT||VG 18781 - VG 25693|
1000 SP II
VH 11111 - VH 12229
|1000 SP III||
VN 11111 - VN 11901
|Mille GT||VT 24596 - ........|
|1000 GT||VH 30000 - VH 34685|
|1000 Strada||VN 20001 - ........|
|850 T3 California||
VD 11478 - VD 22640
VT 11111 - VT 20479
|California C.I. - carb||VW 30001 - VW 30500|
|California II inject||VY 30001 - VY 30510|
|California III||VT 32542 - ........|
VW 11111 - VW 17350
|California III C.I. inject||
VY 11111 - VY 11450
|California III inject||VY 50001 - VY 50785|
|V11 Cal. EV||WM 1..... - ........|
|California 1100 inject||XM 1 ..... - ........|
|V11 Jackal / Bassa||YM 1..... - ........|
On the round fin engines its easy to check if the cylinder heads installed on the bike actually are the Le Mans type with the bigger valves:
Le Mans cylinder heads have the inlet manifolds attached by 6mm bolts, on a small valve cylinder head the manifold is attached by 8mm bolts.
For example my le Mans was registered in 1978 and the frame number is VE16774...I have had it since new, it was registered in 1978 with that number and has never been modified.
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