Moto Guzzi V7 world record price

A Moto Guzzi V7 world record price was set in the US in December 2023 at US$95,700, just eight months after Bonhams sold one for £32,000.  Let’s look at how this happened, what a 1971 Moto Guzzi is, what it means for Moto Guzzi prices and for the rest of the classic motorcycle market.  Firstly, what do we know from the publicised facts? The estimate was for US$30,000 – US$50,000. This tells us that there were at least two very serious bidders who really wanted this machine and I suspect there were a lot more than two. The ultimate price was nearly double the upper estimate and more than double the price of the one sold by Bonhams in April 2023 at Stafford. Clearly the bidders, however many there were, feel strongly that owning one of these machines would be a great investment and would deliver them a serious piece of motorcycling history. Whoever was after this machine, and those who missed out, clearly see this as a future green frame, 1975 Ducati 900/750SS, Laverda &50 SFC or MV Agusta 750 Sport. Let’s take a look at the machine in question. 

Moto Guzzi V7 world record price
Moto Guzzi V7 world record price

1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport “Telaio Rosso”

The 1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport “Telaio Rosso” does seem to now be joining the list of high value hand built vintage motorcycle specials from Italy. This expansion of such machines indicates more demand for prized, low volume, hand built Italian classics and it demonstrates that there are more people after them.  “Telaio Rosso” means red frame, so its nomenclature shadows Ducati’s hallowed green frame. It was also hand built like the green frame, 1975 square case Ducatis, Laverda SFC and MV Agusta 750 Sport. The front and rear brakes are enormous hydraulic drums with a right hand gear change with one up four down configuration. It doesn’t take a genius to spot this bikes evolution into the early Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1s. This catapulting in value of this prized Italian classic motorcycle will have serious implications on the rare, desirable Moto Guzzis behind it so expect to see Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 prices to increase. As collectors buy up these machines, they will discover how they have either suffered with the ravages of time, or have been poorly bodged over the years. Either way, prices will increase for really good ones and the prices of the scarce spares will increase. 

Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 LHS
One of the first 500 Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 will seriously increase in value after this sale of the red frame.

Classic Moto Guzzi prices will rise fiercely

Classic Moto Guzzi prices will ride fiercely, especially those produced in very low numbers which are highly original and beautifully restored or preserved. Values have been way too low for too long now, so a price rise was always on the cards. All of these classic Moto Guzzis in investment grade condition have been languishing in value far below the cost of restoration alone. Moto Guzzis come with several parts which can’t be replaced, such as the archaic switch gear which is fragile at the best of times. Without these parts, if they can’t be found at great cost, the machine is just not investment grade. As classic Moto Guzzi values have been languishing so low, any historic work will have been done on the cheap and usually very poorly. I don’t say this to knock Moto Guzzi owners, it’s a fact of life that owners will always choose the lowest cost options rather than paying for a repair which costs more than the value of the motorcycle itself. Nearly all of the restorations we’ve seen of these machines have all been done on the cheap with powder coated frames and blow over paint jobs. Although these pushrod motors are simple enough, parts can be expensive and work on any fifty year old motor takes as long as it takes to do the job correctly. Threads still require work, bolts need replacing and age has taken its toll on the aluminium. All of this costs a lot when dealing with these motorcycles and prices will now quite rightly rise to reflect this. 

Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 right switch
The unique switches on the Moto Guzzi MK1 Le Mans really do add value.

Classic Moto Guzzi to buy now

Classic Moto Guzzi to buy now are the rare models, obviously starting with a red frame. This recent sale was not a fluke there were at least two buyers, probably many more at that sale price point, seriously chasing this Italian classic motorcycle. Now really is the time to snap up a Moto Guzzi V70 red frame, as new of this sale hasn’t yet registered, so it’s quite likely that an investment grade example can be picked up still for less than the price of this recent sale, but not for much longer as red frame owners will become aware of this sale. Clearly Moto Guzzi MK1 Le Mans will now increase in value for really good examples. However, the first 500 examples are unique and very rare, so they are the best candidate offering great value if you can find an original one in excellent condition. Finding investment grade examples which are highly original of these first 500 examples will clearly become highly sought after. Most of them were modernised, upgraded, customised and mucked about with, especially when one off unicorn parts broke on the motorcycle. Even finding a decent post 500 Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 is beyond challenging and they will nearly all need an awful Lott of costly work doing to bring them up to scratch. Now is the time to do this work, as it will only become more challenging and costly as time passes. The appeal of the Moto Guzzis tends to tail off after the MK1 Le Mans as the bikes become more….ugly and more refined. 

Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 LHS slight cornering
The MK1 Le Mans is the next most desirable Moto Guzzi after the red frame.

This sale affects the classic motorcycle market

This sale affects the classic motorcycle market as a whole, as it clearly demonstrates that desirable Italian classic motorcycles are in serious demand which just creates more demand. When I speak to the connections I have in the world of classic motorcycle auction houses they are telling me how classic car owners are spotting the value that the motorcycles offer. The motorcycle market is like a wave about to break and has been building for a long time. Although prices have increased substantially and steadily since 2010, the motorcycles are still at about less than 1% to 4% of the equivalent classic car. This cannot go on for much longer as the numbers of buyers in the market is increasing daily and new markets are opening up There will be at least two major articles in the summer of 2024 which will really raise the profile of classic motorcycle investment. 

Moto Guzzi Le Mans MK1 clocks
Even the clocks are unique on the early MK1 Moto Guzzi Le Mans

Investment grade classic motorcycles 

Investment grade classic motorcycles are very like wrist watches and classic cars are like clocks, as a comparison, in the collectibles market. There are very few engineers who can work on classic cars, yet there are far fewer who can work on classic motorcycles. Unlike classic cars, classic motorcycles went through periods when they had little to no value at all, in many many cases this lasted for a couple of  decades and the bikes were seriously neglected. Consequently, there are plenty of pretty machines that look fantastic but are an absolute nightmare once the bodywork is removed. In our experience of classic motorcycles, which reaches back to around 1985, only about 8% of classic motorcycles are investment grade examples. If you want to invest safely in investment grade classic motorcycles, fill out the form below, or contact The motorcycle Broker through the usual channels. 

    Paul Jayson

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