When Alan Stulberg of Texas-based Revival Cycles bought this 1978 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mark I, it was an unfinished restoration project. “The owner literally kissed it and bid it farewell when I handed him the cash,” says Stulberg. “It was sort of emotional …”
Unfortunately, the Le Mans was held together by zip-ties. “It was simply a rolling parts rack with everything finger-tight. I had it apart in less than an hour.”
Stulberg is a pure-bred Guzzisti and usually has at least four Mandello products in his garage at any given time. But he sold his treasured 1975 T3 to pay for the Le Mans. And the original intention of a complex build evaporated when the Revival Cycles crew decided to take the bike to the Barber Vintage Motorcycle rally. “This gave us about two weeks to build a custom bike that needed to run. That’s something we could never do with a client bike—we simply can’t make decisions fast enough with a client in-tow.”
Work started apace. The frame was de-tabbed and cut down, and a custom aluminum tail and seat pan was built. The seat itself is black suede; it conceals an RFID sensor under the Revival “R” logo acting as a keyless ignition switch.
The seat also hides a Motogadget M-unit. “The bike does not have a single fuse or relay to complicate the electrical system. It single-handedly allows for simple wiring, because it controls the ignition, headlight, brake/taillight operation, starting and everything else,” says Stulberg. “This piece alone makes a vintage bike so much more modern. We sell them, and I can’t say enough about how much this changes the game of vintage bike wiring.”
Revival then fitted modified Tarozzi rearsets and relocated the rear master cylinder, cleaning up the rear ‘triangle’ section of the frame. The center stand came off, and a custom stainless 2-into-1 exhaust went on—complete with a Cone Engineering silencer.
Two red LEDs in the rear frame act as taillights, and there’s a trick LED headlight up front. “It makes a huge difference to safety and keeps the charging system load very low.” A Dyna electronic ignition and lithium iron battery provide instantaneous starting power.
The revalved vintage Marzocchi rear shocks are upside down because they wouldn’t fit with the factory rear brake caliper. And the flat-toned grey color? “It resembles the Porsche 356 color that I’ve loved for years,” says Stulberg. “I don’t think most people would paint aluminum, but sometimes you don’t just use aluminum tins for bragging rights. The tail was smooth and ready for polishing, but this color was more what I was after.”
Revival will be doing more work to the Le Mans soon, and plan to fit an alloy racing-style fuel tank. They’ll also be stripping the bike back down to the frame again, to have it properly powder-coated and sealed. And although the Le Mans isn’t for sale, there are three more custom Moto Guzzis on the Revival work sheet. If they’re half as good as this one, they’re worth looking out for.