1980 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans II Gets to Meet Its Bespoke Cafe Racer Alter-Ego

Never underestimate a workshop that’s located in a country other than the world’s main motorcycle customization meccas.
Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans II 9 photos
Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans IIMoto Guzzi 850 Le Mans II
In our day and age, Wolf Moto is (primarily) a bike rental service located in the South African city of Cape Town, but the company’s roots can be traced back to the other side of the country. As of 2014, the firm was co-founded near Durban by two guys named Kyle Scott and Chris Clokie – a skillful duo that also happens to take the art of motorcycle customization very seriously.

Once WM had been established, these folks’ way of saying “hello” was to create a breathtaking two-wheeler, which showcased their talent and sheer dedication. That, my fellow gearheads, is how this tastefully reworked 1980 Moto Guzzi Le Mans II came to be. However, the ordeal didn’t end when the creature was fully assembled.

The project’s authors planned on transporting their masterpiece to one of the nation’s topmost motorcycling hubs, namely Cape Town-based Woodstock Man Cave. In case you didn’t already know, South Africa’s landmass is absolutely gargantuan, so a grueling 1,000-mile (1,600 km) journey lied ahead of the Wolf Moto specialists.

Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans II
Nonetheless, their endeavor certainly paid off! To say that WM’s bespoke Guzzi served its purpose would be an understatement; this bad boy was literally the workshop’s ticket for better things to come. The masterful level of fit and finish found on this entity might even have you thinking it belongs to some renowned European enterprise.

To be perfectly honest with you, I initially thought it was the work of Italy’s Officine Rossopuro, but my assumption proved to be utterly wrong after doing some research. We know you’re aching to discover what’s at hand here, so let’s dive in for a comprehensive analysis of the surgical procedures that transformed this ‘80 MY 850 Le Mans II into a sight to behold.

When the donor rang on Wolf Moto’s doorbell, it did so with a mere 15k miles (24,000 km) on the odometer. As soon as it rolled into their garage, the experts began by deleting each and every last piece of its original outfit. With the stock bodywork removed, Kyle and Chris went about performing a thorough clean-up on the bike’s frame, which was then powder-coated by a local craftsman.

Next, the gurus turned their attention to the mechanical side of things. The Guzzi’s longitudinally mounted 844cc V-twin powerplant received a complete internal overhaul and a fresh layer of silver paint on the outside. At the intake end of the combustion cycle, we’re greeted by dual Dell’Orto PHF carburetors topped with foam air filters. The engine exhales via a handmade stainless-steel exhaust system that’s been manufactured in-house.

Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans II
The following step consisted of rewiring the predator using modern electrics and a top-shelf lithium-ion battery from Antigravity, while the ignition setup has also been refurbished. Up front, the standard forks were revised and lowered by about one inch (25 mm) to achieve a tougher riding posture. On the opposite end, suspension duties are taken good care of by high-grade shock absorbers from Ikon’s inventory.

A healthy bit of extra stopping power is made possible by two-piston Brembo calipers fitted on the front brake. The factory wheels were retained, but their rims are now clad with premium Spitfire 2 rubber that hails from Bridgestone’s range. Ahead of the rider, you will find the stock gauge nested inside an alloy housing, along with tweaked clip-on handlebars. All lighting components have been discarded to make room for a premium selection of LED alternatives, accompanied by bar-end blinkers.

Finally, Germany’s Kaffeemaschine is responsible for delivering the magnificent gas tank we see atop Le Mans’ duplex cradle framework. The new garment is joined by a pair of round number plates on the flanks and a cafe racer-style saddle that manages to look the part. In conclusion, it’s pretty safe to say that Wolf Moto surpassed everyone’s expectations with this remarkable build.


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