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Thread: LM850 Restoration

  1. #1
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    LM850 Restoration

    Having been prompted by Iron Butterfly and Azazl, I figured I should get organised and start a build thread for the Le Mans.

    I've had the bike for a few years now, having bought it from a manic Guzzi collector in QLD.
    He had 30 or so Guzzi's at one stage, but sold a good few off over recent years.

    The bike was originally a US delivery, so the frame number matches the engine number.
    Built right at the very end of the Series 1 (Sept '76) production run, the bike has all the atypical Series 1 parts and is largely original with the exception of the right hand switch gear (now unobtanium) and the original seat, which I still have but is in VERY poor condition (so I have a reproduction seat fitted these days).


    Having got the bike over from QLD I did plenty of runs, a bit of the usual maintenance and generally just enjoyed the bike.

    10177400_10153330693890110_4058045832503805488_n.jpg10393157_1543086402576082_4211544201162977223_n.jpg12039607_10153640475679882_5088069507328961014_n.jpg
    Last edited by AndyS; 04-02-2017 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    Now all these photros make the bike look in pretty good condition, which to degree it probably was.
    In honesty it looked like a genuine bike from 1976, there was a great patina on the frame and components.

    The problems however were two fold;

    The paint - some twit had repainted the bike before it was ever imported into Australia. The finish was 'interesting to say the least, perhaps the worst case of orange peel on both sides of the tank I've ever seen !!
    People used to look at the bike, and say "how did you get that paint finish, I've never seen anything like it "

    The motor - the guy in QLD, concerned with the moisture in Nth QLD decided to roll his bikes out of his workshop every month or so, start them, give them the once over and spray the whole bike with WD40.
    It was successful, there was no rust to talk of, but the 1000 plus layers of WD40 on the motor and wheels turned into varnish.
    The wheels could be cleaned up, but the motor simply couldn't be - the castings of the LM motor is just too tricky to get every part of that motor back to its original (no yellow varnish) look.

    This photo probably shows the paint on the tank as well as any other - surprisingly I didn't photograph it often, it wasn't a feature I was that keen on

    12039607_10153640475679882_5088069507328961014_n.jpg
    Last edited by AndyS; 04-02-2017 at 05:46 AM.

  3. #3
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    So knowing that the tank, fenders (which had been creatively repainted with pinstripes and black lower sections) and side covers (which were a different colour to either the fenders or the tank) would all need to be repainted,
    AND knowing that we would have to split the engine cases to get rid of the vile yellow gunk, it was clear that a full resto was the only option, otherwise what was left untouched would stand out like the proverbial.

    So piece by piece the bike was disassembled, everything was bagged up, 100's of photos taken and an initial list of replacement parts made.

    As the bike was torn down, the evidence of general wear and tear over 40 years was clear. None of the damage was bad but it was clear that a good cleanup and sort out would do wonders for the overall condition of the bike.

    IMG_1023.jpgIMG_1024.jpgIMG_1025.jpgIMG_1039.jpg
    Last edited by AndyS; 04-02-2017 at 06:26 AM.

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    Last edited by AndyS; 04-02-2017 at 10:53 AM.

  8. #8
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    So first job was to start splitting the cases and seeing what the damage bill for the motor would be !!

    IMG_1172 2.jpgIMG_1174 2.jpgIMG_1175 2.jpg

    At the same time, start putting together all those incidental parts that needed re-painting or anodizing.

    IMG_1177 2.JPGIMG_1180 2.jpg

  9. #9
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    All the parts that needed painting or coating were set aside,

    IMG_1197 2.JPGIMG_1198 2.jpg

    Engine was finally full disassembled down to the cases and the heads and barrels were set aside so Mario could give them the once over;

    IMG_1207 2.jpgIMG_1210 2.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member azazl's Avatar
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    You are certainly doing it right. Building it yourself you know exactly what it is like.

    I did the same to my 750S but the paint is still original. The front left frame down tube had a hairline crack, so it was cut sleeved and rewelded. Otherwise frame and body were good and suspension rebuilt.

    The original seat, swan neck bars, tail light assembly, brake MC and single bleed style brake calipers have been stored and replaced with replicas.

    It didn't have the original mufflers having been replaced with (I understand) Stucchi fabricated ones. They are packed away as well and replaced with Lafranconis. I've not sourced the 'shark gill' type and probably wont unless they fall in my lap.

    The original borrani wheels are still on and will be replaced at some stage when I source (and can afford) a matching set.

    I didn't do the mechanicals myself. It went to TLM in Nijmegen in 2010. Any engine, gearbox and drivetrain component over about 40% wear was replaced. I wanted it to run like a new bike and it does. They stripped it, laid everything out on a table and we went through each part deciding what would be replaced. Very happy with the result but I could have bought a new Jap superbike for the money.

    Looking forward to yours being completed. The first Le Mans 850 was a special bike.
    The Mexican Cabal:
    no jugar bien con los demás

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