It’s sufficient to mention the name to immediately evoke an image of sportsmanship and dedication, a name that is drenched in the vintage flavour of races run by great car drivers and bike riders, but that for people like us who have a very special place in our hearts for the “Eagle of Mandello”, it takes on an even more intriguing and legendary meaning, and that name is Le Mans.
A saga bearing the Moto Guzzi brand name that has the ability to increase the heartbeat of many riders around the world and made up of performance, exclusivity, mechanical purity, attractive minimalism and an essential charisma that no one has yet been able to withstand.
The story of the Moto Guzzi Le Mans pretty much follows the path originally established by the V7 Sport dynasty and the commitment of the brilliant technician Lino Tonti, but already at the time of the surprise unveiling of the prototype – at the Premio Varrone awards ceremony late in 1971 – the bike clearly showed its sporting heritage and its close links with the official bikes that were racing in the Bol d’Or at that time. In the early Seventies, the legendary endurance race was run at the Le Mans circuit and September 1971 witnessed the Brambilla-Mandracci duo finish in third place after having led the race for more than ten hours on their V7 Sport fitted with an engine that had been bored-out to 850 cc.
This was the initial embryo that, some years later, led to the commencement of production of one of the most highly acclaimed sports bikes of the Seventies and Eighties, a bike that not only maintained its track heritage, but enhanced it with style and technological innovation. In fact, this was the first Moto Guzzi ever to be conceived in a design studio and the first to be fitted with Moto Guzzi’s famous integrated braking system.