* The Weekly Image Thread 22 07 29 #705 *

Started Jul 30, 2022 | Photos thread
R Liewenberger Senior Member • Posts: 2,002
Re: Guzzi etc.

Rich Z wrote:

I had a Guzzi 750 Ambassador, then a 850 Eldorado, then a V7 Sport.

Ah, the good looking old ones! Very nice! My little local dealer, where I bought my 90/6, used to have one, a white V7 Special, like the one in the third picture in this link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moto_Guzzi_V7 In winter he usually used it with a side car.

I worked for the Los Angeles Police Dept. on their motorcycles after they got Guzzis in the early 70s. The motor officers did not like the hard 18 inch rear tire on the Guzzi and I made a good living modifying the police Guzzis to take a 16 inch rear tire like the Harleys had. I would re lace the wheels to the smaller rim and that didn't come cheap as very few shops laced and trued spoke wheels.

Hmm, sure very nice for you, Rich, lol, but why didn't they simply change the tire brand and not the entire wheel?? It sounds like the Guzzis came with something like Bridgestone or another (in those years!) dubious brand, but I never heard people complain about something like the good German brand Metzeler 4.00-18. I used them in that size all the time for the rear wheel of the 2-cylinder BMWs. Harder ones might have lasted a little longer, but for rainy days and wet roads the Metzelers were always the best choice. Only with the 4-cylinders and their different tire sizes, Michelin became No 1. The Michelin lasted about 3,500 km on the rear wheel and 5 - 6,000 km on the front wheel.

The L.A.P.D. officers loved the Guzzis because they were comfortable, fast, and could go around corners like a Harley cannot.

Hmm, corners with a Guzzi here on our narrow roads up and down the hills -- a Guzzi wouldn't be my first choice! Tried the 850 T5 a few times, but -compared to my K 100- it always felt like the difference between a truck and a bicycle to me! Only a lightweight little Yamaha RD 250 was even better (a GF used to have one). That bike had a very thirsty engine but was a lot of fun!

Then in 1973 there was a long and protracted dock strike in Genoa. Guzzi could not ship out anything. No new bikes here, but more importantly, no parts. The L.A.P.D. couldn't get parts to service their bikes and dumped all their Guzzis and bought Kawasakis. That lasted over a year and Moto Guzzi lost favor with civilian buyers, too. Resale value on used Guzzis plummeted, mine lost much of its value. Moto Guzzi have never recovered here in The U.S.

Interesting, but what a sad story! A simple dock strike killing the whole brand in the US!

I finally bought a new BMW R100 in 1978 and I still have it. BMW U.S. offered a deal, $3995. including Luftmeister fairing and Krauser bags, and I got the dealer to throw in a pair of crash bars.

In 1977 I bought my first brand new one, a 1976 model R 90/6. Because it was last year's model it was down to DM 7,500 (then about $ 3,750). It looked like the blue 60/6 in that link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_R_90_S

Included extras were crash bars and the second disc brake in the front wheel. Didn't survive the next day, as a drunken car driver ran over it when parked on the side of the road in front of a bar. The repair (paid by his insurance) was another DM 7,500. Was a nice way of getting the much better looking seat and gas tank of the newer 90 S model!

After the repair, from blue to red color; a scan from an old print:

My new R 100 came in 1981, in 'Atlantic-Blue-metallic', a beautiful very dark blue color. It was also DM 7,500, if I remember correctly. Re-imported by a German dealer from Belgium, where BMW sold them for less than in Germany; here it would have been close to DM 10,000. Before buying, I made sure I would enjoy the same warranty as if I had bought it in Germany.

Another scan from an old print:

I liked that color so much that some years later I had one of my K 100s also re-painted in that nice blue:

Krauser bags, yes, good name/good brand! I also had them on all my 2-cylinders. I think the early BMW bags were also made by Krauser.

Looking up the old scans now, I am a little surprised seeing I had two different versions of bags on my year 1982 R 100 RT:

Btw, all these old pics were taken with my Canon AE-1 and the 80-200/4.

Luftmeister may sound German but is more or less totally unknown over here. Before BMW started selling their own fairings (on the R 100 RS and then on the R 100 RT), those who wanted one usually bought something made by Gläser. Most police bikes of these days used to come with such a German Gläser Verkleidung. I always thought they look rather ugly! This link shows the average Police bike Gläser Fairing: https://www.bike-urious.com/bundesgrenzpolizei-1974-bmw-r606-polizei/

The Guzzi V8:

A (German language) Wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moto_Guzzi_V8

Technically probably great for the fifties, but that sound, hmm, not really my cup of tea! There are some examples on Youtube.


Aug 7, 05:05 GMT

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