Some time ago I organized a trip from Berlin all the way through mid-Germany and the Dutch border to find a proper vintage Guzzi. My first choice: The simple but timeless V7 850 GT.
I started early in the morning to have a first view on a promising bike near Frankfurt. The red old lady made a good impression at first glance but the ride told a bit more about her abilities. The engine did not pull properly and some further details were rubbish: The engine was painted in silver and its maintenance history was questionable. Finally, the price did not match my budget. Next one, please.
Spontaneous inspiration brought me directly to the Dutch border. Not a short trip from Frankfurt. But Hans, a former gardener with a huge collection of vintage bikes, offered two V7 850GTs on his website. I paid him a visit in his bike sheds. Literally hundreds of old and nasty bikes dozed in the dark. A slight shine of daylight on the gas tanks told forgotten stories: Guzzi, Ducati, Laverda, Morini, Triumph, BMW, Honda…! Both Guzzis did not run and were in a state that “in need of some TLC” was a huge understatement. Hans himself did not hide any details but there was no history to tell on the bikes. One could have made great rides out of them but it would take big efforts in advance – without being able to calculate costs. Next one, please.
Time passed by so I had to hurry directly to Dortmund. The bike was owned by a Harley man who planted a T3-engine into his 850 GT. Not a good choice as the generator sits on the crank and spoils the looks. It was a good test ride, but definitely no love at first sight. Additionally, it was a little too pricey for the bike´s state so… Finish.
There was no more time left to give any other bike a chance. Over 1.500 km on the Autobahn in a 50-hp-Ford was enough for the day so I steered back to Berlin. The day´s perception was that finding a matching machine is quite a task. Not easy when you know what you want.