1975 Moto Guzzi 850T (844 cc 90 degree transverse V-twin)
68.5 bhp, 445 lbs and 120 mph
In 1957 Moto Guzzi design head, Ing. Giulio Cesare Carcano, started designing a new V-twin engine, many features of which - as a 500 and 650 cc - were eventually incorporated into the Fiat 500 car. In the early 60s the Italian police put out a tender for a bike to replace the Moto Guzzi Falcone (a 500 cc single) - this needed to be more powerful, reliable and easy to maintain. The earlier design work was further developed into what became, in 1964, the V7 - a 700 cc transverse V-twin with 9:1 compression (7.5 for the police), 12 volt electrics and electric start only. This won the police tender, however, only went into regular production in 1967, given turmoil at the Mandello factory during 1966 (arising from market challenges and the need for modernisation) which resulted in Moto Guzzi going into receivership. Management changed and Lino Tonti joined as designer. Engine size increased to 757 cc and there was USA market success (as the Ambassador) as well as a push at world endurance speed records. The bikes for the latter being much stripped down and which lead to the V7 Sport and ultimately the Le Mans range.
In 1973 de Tomaso acquired Moto Guzzi and questioned the future of the big twins. By then the engine size had grown to 844 cc and this became the premier model as the 850GT and in the USA the Eldorado (touring) and California (police). Tonti had also designed a more sporty lighter chassis and this evolved into the 850T in late 1974. This was substantially slimmed down from the touring bikes, had a Brembo front disc, Borrani wheels, a pair of VHB-30C Dell'Orto carburettors, 9.5:1 compression and quite some performance (13.8 second quarter mile at 98 mph). This performance combined with the shaft drive, easy maintenance and good handling made for a very attractive package. 5,301 850Ts were produced with the 850 T3 replacing it during 1975. The V7 and the 850T were the platforms for most Moto Guzzis for decades to come.
This bike was acquired in 2013. It has matching numbers and is relatively faithful to the original (apart from colour, some of the electrics and the air filters). 2WheelsMiklos has focussed on ensuring good performance, working electrics and reliability.