Moto Guzzi has been producing heavy V-twins since 1967. And those early fat Moto Guzzies are now just as reliable and deployable as in their young days. And in the meantime, they have been valued as classics and are well priced. Classic Guzzi driving is also possible on an anorex budget. Because the 'small' V twins of 350-750 cc? They are very affordable to cheap. While they are real Guzzis.
The series of light (er) V-twins was born in 1977
In the beginning they were two models: the V 35 and the V 50. The 350 was primarily intended for the home country because of tax issues. 350 cc is not really something to pull the vowels away. The 350s did not come in our direction en masse. So around 1980 there was a fairly large gap between the 500 cc models and the - then heaviest - 850 cc Guzzis.
The management decided to solve this problem by producing an 1981 cc V-twin in 650, the Moto Guzzi V 65. Just in the margin: once I bought a V65 with a flared crankshaft bearing for very little. That problem seemed simple to fix. NOT! Moto Guzzi did not deliver inferior bearings and the stool could not be vaporized or welded on. And another crankshaft? It could not be found. In 1985, the 850 cc models were almost all replaced by 1000 cc units, so that the "gap" grew again and there was a need for an 750 cc model.
The small Moto Guzzis range from normal 'naked' touring models with a slightly classic character to truly sporty machines such as the Lario 650 with its eight-valve heads. Those heads were a thing of the early eight-clappers. They really broke because of the rubber component in the valve stem. That is why 'a lot' still runs from home with eight-valve models with two-valve heads.
Pretty nice things, by the way, that Lario's
And then there are of course the Nato 500s that are fun for people with a highway phobia. Another thing from the little Moto Guzzis. The rear fork is mounted in the block. The universal joint of the cardan also lives nearby. A worn universal joint can have so much play that it cuts the rear fork leg. Cardan drive is low-maintenance, non-maintenance-free. In addition, steel inset buses have been devised from the world of enthusiasts to prevent the alloy fork from breaking through.
The V50 but also the v50 I to III remain recommended
Certainly because they are simply not expensive, while they are very real motorcycles. But 100% Italian. Something you should pay attention to at Moto Guzzi's from the 80 is the relatively poor quality of the gearshift gear; a heavy rain shower is sometimes enough to properly disable light and start switches. Another thing about cords and plugs: the Motoplat ignitions were known because they broke. Or were. There are alternatives. Set off the purchase of this during the purchase of the engine of your dreams.
The 'custom' models?
They remind many people of something small that does too much to look American. A toddler trying to look tough. They are not very big either. The large California's may seem American.
These light American look-a-likes are usually purchased for change to make Caféracers, bobbers, streetfighters or more of that inconvenience. And that is actually a shame.