On the list of Italian classics we’d love to own, the Moto Guzzi Le Mans ranks high. We’ll even forgive the questionable mid-80s plastics of the Le Mans 1000 model, just for the chance to hear its exhaust howling along a mountain road.
The boys at Ton-Up Garage feel the same way, and have delivered a real treat for Guzzisti—a long, low LM 1000 that would look right at home in a 1970s pit lane.
Pedro and Daniel like to spend their weekends exploring Portugal’s beautiful mountain and country roads. And they reckon a Guzzi Le Mans is the perfect steed.
“It’s one of those bikes that awakens your emotions, and continually pushes you to go faster and faster.”
So they decided give their Le Mans a classic endurance racer vibe—evoking Moto Guzzi’s racing pedigree. It’s a tad quirky, but in a charming way.
Looks aren’t everything, so the guys have ensured that it packs a punch too. “The first time we tested it, it seemed the engine just kept revving with really strong torque,” they say. “We knew right there and then that this one was on its way to becoming what we were aiming for: a fast, classic bike.”
The engine has been punched out from 949cc to a full 1000cc. Ton-Up then added an electronic ignition, race carbs and a pair of velocity stacks.
The exhaust system is completely bespoke, creating a soundtrack worthy of the V-twin’s extra grunt.
The bike should handle better now too, thanks to new Öhlins shocks at the rear. The wheels are matching 18-inch Borrani rims, laced with stainless spokes, and wrapped in Avon Roadriders.
Ton-Up also redid all the wiring and upgraded the electrics, adding a Lithium-ion battery and a sprinkling of Motogadget componentry.
Then it was time to redesign the bodywork. “Guzzis were originally quite ‘long’ bikes,” the guys explain. “So we’ve redesigned this one to be more like its ancestors, fluid and long.”
The stretched-out fuel tank and tail unit are hand-made. The tank hides the new battery and electrics, while the seat itself has a cutout to access the key (tucked away underneath).
There’s a new fairing out front, with a set of Marchal spots hanging in the breeze, true to Ton-Up’s vision.
The cockpit’s kept clean with minimal switches, integrated LED warning lights, Ariette grips and clip-ons from Tarozzi (who supplied the rear-sets too).
The finishes are subtler than your typical classic racebike, with a green and gold scheme and asymmetrical pin stripes. We like the small touches too, like the leather tank attachments, and the fairing fasteners near the tops of the cylinder heads.
You could pore over the details for hours, but the real question is: How does it ride?
“To get a feeling of what it could do, we entered some illegal street races,” Pedro and Daniel report. “The bike smashed some newer model bikes—showing that age doesn’t mean a thing.”
Sadly, this Le Mans 1000 has now gone off to its new owner.
But it’s not all bad: “He’s a thrill seeking rider who loves strong emotions and riding fast.”
“Just as much as we do.”