BMW Motorrad Spezial

Moto Guzzi 850 T3

Moto Guzzi 850 T3 cafe racer
Hal Wiley found this Moto Guzzi 850 T3 in a junkyard in Trenton, NJ, in a very sorry state. It’d been sitting outside for ten years, but he saw its potential immediately and trailered the bike home. After a complete tear down, Hal began cleaning the usable pieces. The aluminum parts were all bead blasted—except the block—and the Tonti frame was sandblasted and painted. After tearing down the engine, Hal got a pleasant surprise: “You could still see the cross hatch marks in the cylinders after 55,000 miles,” he says, “and the advice I got from an experienced Guzzi mechanic was ‘put it back together and run it’. So with nothing more than a new timing chain, gaskets and seals, the engine was back together sitting on the bench in fairly short order.” It turned out that the original 30mm Dell’Orto carbs had been swapped out for a set of 36mm Le Mans items, so these were retained and rebuilt. “The exhaust changes every year,” says Hal. “Right now it has the stock downpipes with a custom larger tube crossover, and EMGO shorty mufflers.” Hal got the gas tank and fiberglass cafe seat from eBay, cut down the stock stainless steel rear fender, and modified a smaller plastic front fender from a Moto Guzzi V50. “I wanted a different look, so I managed to find a set of Lester wheels, which were a popular add on in the 70s and 80s. The Lester rims also give a slightly wider width to suit the Avon Venom tires,” says Hal. “The body parts were painted gloss black … I broke down and spent a little money towards the end of the project, and bought Tarozzi rear sets and a Tarozzi fork brace, and Tomaselli headlight brackets.” It’s a great result but Hal still isn’t satisfied; he’s planning an upgrade to 1000 cc cylinders, with a lightened flywheel to help the engine spin up even faster. It’s almost too much of a good thing.

Moto Guzzi 850 T3 cafe racer

  • Thats a really nice bike – not sure about the saddle details -but the rest of it great. Will borrow some of that paint scheme for my new bike too.

  • Maruice Poonwhiddle

    Lose the cheeseball checkered-flag decals and then you’ve really got something. Why people think that ever looks good I”ll never understand.

  • good job Hal.. nice done.. i like it.

  • Chris

    What a beauty. I would love to have it in my garage, that’s for sure!

  • Woody

    Looks great, but isn’t that kind of a bad spot to put the battery? Seems like in bad circumstances it could get punctured or ripped off.

  • Woody’s right, that battery looks like it’s going to get ripped off when the rider goes over a sleeping policeman just a bit too fast… I’m with Maurice on the chequered flag detailing, though I have to say that the bike looks very good.

  • Tin Man 2

    Very Good Looking Bike!! I like the Racing Flag trim, It just fits the Vibe Perfectly.

  • Nick

    I’m with Maurice as well, that’s like the second bike in that last week or so that’s been tainted by some dorky checkerboard. Its a beautiful bike till you see the shot from above

  • mattro

    sometimes i think i need a break from motorcycles for a few days. at least motocycle internet voyeurism…

    but then i see a bike like this and realize that obsession truly is insatiable.

  • Emmet

    Those lester rims are cool period pieces, He did well matching those EMGO mufflers, I thought emgo would look like crap on anything but this made me change my mind!

  • Carbon-arc

    I like the fact that this a project that may never finish

  • Woody

    What I hear is a lot of guys put the battery under the seat hump. Not sure if a smaller battery would be good enough to turn that huge starter or not, but it would clean things up pretty nicely.

  • Aaron Burke

    Nice bike, but the photos are not doing it justice. The background is too busy and the details on the bike are lost in all the business of the shots.
    A real shame as some better shots may off all the great work the builder has done to make this T3 look good.

  • Glenn

    Very nice.Decals,Paint its his bike he earned the right to paint it lime green with purple vertical stripes if he wants.

  • M.Myers

    WoW What a find and end result. Great Fun. I love those M.G.’s

  • Trevor

    Personal opinion is exactly that – personal.
    What looks okay to one may not appeal to another, so look past the detail and see the whole picture.
    What this man has done is a credit to him and the Moto Guzzi and should be appreciated as such.

  • pushrodmofo

    The low-down battery box is a common Guzzi mod – opens up the space behind the motor where it normally goes. The problem with relocating it to the seat is that the hump would have to be overly large and the center of gravity would be affected – these things need a big battery for cold starts.