BMW Motorrad Spezial

Moto Guzzi 850 T5

Moto Guzzi 850 T5 cafe racer
Of all the Moto Guzzis of the 70s and 80s, the T5 has perhaps the worst reputation. Yes, it had that wonderful V-twin motor, but it was also a parts bin special. Components from the T3, T4, Le Mans and V75 were scattered around, and worst of all, the T5 was initially fitted with 16” wheels—a sop to fashion that did not suit the character of the bike. So you might be surprised to discover that this purposeful custom started life as a 1984 T5. The owner is ADV Rider forum member KaiWE, and when he bought it, the bike was running 43mm Showa forks from a 1999 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Even better, it had 17” rims. (The rear wheel is a Suzuki item, mated to the familiar Guzzi shaft drive with a kit from German specialist Guzziladen.) A huge raft of changes and a restoration followed; the stock bars were replaced by clip-ons, while the tiny fairing and dual headlights add a slight streetfighter touch. The tail unit is styled after the Ducati 916 item, and the amazing tank comes from The Tank Shop in the UK. The result, as seems to be the case with so many Guzzi customs, is a knockout. [Head over to this thread on the always excellent ADV Rider for more details of the build.]

Moto Guzzi 850 T5 cafe racer
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 cafe racer
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 cafe racer
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 cafe racer

  • It’s really cool. Love the pseudo-café/streefighter look

    But i dislike the look of the rear shocks and that oddly part in the swingarm… It kills the rim view. Maybe in black could be a little better.

  • Yak! I love the Ducati tail unit….but not on this bike…bent skyward like a banana…NO!

    The Twin light unit is growing on me, and is strangely becoming!

  • bsual

    So it’s still a parts bin…

  • llamacide

    Looks pretty good but after looking at his build up on the Adventure forum I’d say he needs to work that suspension… he’s so big it compresses the front forks way too much…. there is very little travel left!!!

  • This is the first street fighter, dual headlight bike I have liked. Very cool.

  • Overall, a very nice effort. Personal tastes aside, I dig that someone took something as unloved and uncool as a Guzzi T5 (talk about yak!) and lavished this much devotion on it. There is hope for ugly bikes everywhere. Where’s the cafe’ V65 Magna? =)

    There are many speed parts for the engine. That’s what I’d do next- .

  • Mick

    I’ve always loved Guzzi’s, the headlight bit is f*cked though.

  • Turgut

    I think of this bike as a bike with lots of potential but has not yet completed its evolution..

    Tail piece better stay on the other italian brand, this one needs its own design.
    Like the headlights, but without that deflector piece.

    Loved the shiny tank though, and the stripes around it.

  • Turgut

    Nolan, I couldn’t be sure if this is the bike you were talking about? :)

    Amazing how a motorcycle can turn into a nightmare in wrong hands.

  • ethan

    Just a simple all upholstered cafe seat would look sooooooooo much better. Here’s my 10 sec MS paint mock up:

    Do not like the tail section.

  • Mingh

    the front is great, the back is okay, but they don’t fit together. Saw an 850 T3 in original state today, what a looker. One would be hard pressed to mess that up

  • KaiWE

    llamacide: the suspension is up for some major adjustments, thats for sure!

    And regarding the headlights/tail comments, I must admit that I share a lot of your thoughts. This is as someone commented still very much a parts bin special, done mainly from parts i had lying around in my garage. My goal was to get the best possible looking bike on the lowest possible budget, spending most funds on motor/suspension/wheels/brakes etc. to get a well functioning bike.

    Being a traditional cafe racer guy at heart, it took me quite a while to get used to the dual headlights and the tail, but I have actually grown quite attached to it after a while.

    We are in for a long winter season here in Norway, and I guess i’ll spend some time trying out some alternative front and tail designs, but I think the chances are quite good that I end up with some slight revision of the current look :)

    Thank you for your comments guys, all feedback (positive and negative) is very much appreciated!

  • @KaiWE,
    I like all of it, it looks great. That said, I hate the tail.
    Keep up the good work.

    You just had to post that link, didn’t you?
    Now I have to go bleach my eyes, dammit.

  • david

    what supplier are the silencers from?