Equestrians have a term for the ideal proportions of a horse: conformation. The conformation of a draft horse is obviously different to that of a Kentucky Derby winner, but there is an ideal for both. And so it is with motorcycles.
It’s what we all subconsciously look for when we see a bike. There are builders who have an instinctive feel for it—like the Wrenchmonkees, Falcon Motorcycles, Rough Crafts, and Classified Moto. And at any given time, there’s a mainstream manufacturer who hits the sweet spot. In Italy in the late 1970s, it was Moto Guzzi with the original Le Mans 850.
This Le Mans resto-mod comes from the Brooklyn-based workshop Moto Borgotaro, and they’ve done a fine job in accentuating the charm of the original.
They’ve also updated the bike considerably, and subtly improved the already impressive lines. The engine is from a 1995 1100 Sport; fettled with Carrillo internals, it’s now hooked up to a lightweight flywheel and close-ratio ‘box. Gases exit via Lafranconi competizione mufflers.
Other Moto Borgotaro upgrades include a Brembo brake system, Motogadget switchgear and Tommaselli grips. The gorgeous paint comes from Cycle Garden and the seat is from a 750 S3, mated to V7 Sport rear fender.
And it looks just perfect doesn’t it? As an equestrian might say, this Le Mans has immaculate conformation. Head over to the classy Moto Borgotaro website to see more of their incredible work on vintage European thoroughbreds.
Many thanks to photographer Ryan Handt.