1986 Moto Guzzi Le Mans | The Bike That Changed My Life

Rider: George Martin
Then: Traffic signal technician
Now: Construction Project Supervisor

“A Moto Guzzi isn’t a bike for everyone. That said, my journey to motorcycle bliss is ongoing with my 1986 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000. There have been three ‘A-bike’ replacements—two modern Triumphs and a BMW R1200ST—since I bought the Guzzi new in ’87, but it’ll forever be my well-loved 'B-bike.'

“I originally bought the Guzzi as a reaction—maybe an overreaction?—to having owned so many Japanese bikes. I’ve kept it because it’s such a conversation piece. Wherever you stop, a spontaneous conversation starts. ‘Who makes that?’ ‘Where do you get it worked on?’ ‘I used to know someone that rode a Moto Guzzi.’ Guzzis are rare here in Indiana, so people always mistake my aging Le Mans for a new one.

“What the Guzzi really changed for me was my sphere of riding friends. I now have good friends all across the country and in Canada as a direct result of my purchasing this quirky Italian motorcycle. For me, riding is best done in a social environment, and through my Guzzi I have found a very comfortable place amongst the Euro-bike crowd. It’s so much fun to ride, too—there’s hardly a better feeling than to trounce some UJM with 50 more horsepower in the twisties! I’ve got so many stories involving this bike. My blood-red Le Mans has been the perfect partner in crime for 25 years, and now it’s the first vintage bike that’s ever been in my garage!”

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