Moto Guzzi Frame Numbers

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:

I dati dei Modelli Le Mans sono stati aggiornati e corretti grazie al prezioso contributo di Fabrizio Angelelli che ha trovato delle incongruenze con i dati distribuiti ufficialmente e ha permesso di risolvere questo errore di segnalazione rilevato dalla stessa casa del Mandello

850 Le Mans (1976-1978)

dal telaio VE 11111 al telaio VE 17311 

  ( dati errati dal telaio VE 11111 al telaio VE 13040)

850 Le Mans II (1978-1980)  

dal telaio VE 17312 al telaio VE 24788

  ( dati errati dal telaio VE 13041 al telaio VE 24086)  

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:

The information on the Le Mans models has been updated and corrected, thanks to the valuable help of Fabrizio Angeleli, who found errors in the official distributed information.

This made it possible to correct the frame number error, that has been mentioned by the factory itself.

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

850 T

VC 11111 - VC 13793

850 T3

VD 11111 - VD 26537

850 T4

VD 21345 - VD 26537

850 T5

VR 11111 - VR 13115

850 T5

VR 14001 - VR 14400

850 T5

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

California II

VT 11111 - VT 20479

California C.I. - carb VW 30001 - VW 30500
California II inject VY 30001 - VY 30510
California III VT 32542 - ........
California III

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.

----o----

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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