Impressions of the 850 T3

Impressions of the T-3 by James Palma:

Moto Guzzi 850T3FB 

The motor Guzzi 850 T/3 I got new in 1977 and still have it. Makes the greatest touring, bike has taken me all over the Northeast. I can honestly say itís the best all around bike I have ever rode or have had. If you look at all the Classifieds here or in Europe you still see them for sale with 15,000 to 150,000 miles for sale ($4000 & UP). How Many bikes can say that after almost 30 years? Except for having the oil changes & adjusting the carbs and cables, it's almost maintenance free. It corners great and even in 5 gear the back end will lift when you come down on the throttle.

 Moto-Euro magazine has voted the Moto Guzzi T -3 6th out of 10 most Practical Classics motorcycles that you can still get parts for and are able to be used on super highways. That is great for a magazine that is pro English that is in love with Norton, Triumph & etc. This is what they say about the T -3. " If you look beyond the British for your classic, then the Moto Guzzi T -3 and its derivatives offer impressive competence. And for some reason, Guzzi enthusiast organizations on both side of the Atlantic are among the go-getting groups we know ( go figure ). The bikes are capable of 100 mph until the cows come home." This is why after close to (I got it new 1977 ) 30 year I still ride my T -3 and I have gone 100 mph up to 10 miles continually on the NEW YORK NORTHWAY (Keep an eye out for NEW YORK TROOPERS). I have a 1998 Sport Centauro that I ride more often and enjoy but my heart will always be there with my T -3.   The T-3 has been serviced at By Top Technician Phil Cheney he put a Dyna III Hi-Performance Electronic Ignition. Replaced  battery cables from #6 to #4, Iridum NGK Spark Plugs BP6ES and MAGNACORE-ING wiring.   K&N air filter # MG0200, replaced tires Michelin ME33 LASER 110/9018 AND ME99A 120/90V18 and balanced both. Replaced fuel filter .Changed all fluids Brake, Motor oil & Filter, Transmission oil and Shaft oil. Installed a stainless steel choke lever from Joe Kenny at . Joe has many things he Machines that are of interest, a great Machinist and a great person to deal with. The bike runs great but I love to go the extra step.  Called Gordon & Richie at needed the original mufflers that were stock (have all the rest of the original parts) with the bike so maybe some day I can return the T-3 back to exactly the way it was in 1977. Then I called Curtis Harper at and got a pair of Valtek Mufflers and they look so sharp am so pleased with the performance. We ran into a problem with the airbox so we removed it got a kit from Curtis Harper which has two air pod filters hose for oil breather unit etc. Then back to my favorite Dyno Technicians John and Mike at .  Mike put it back on the Dyno and had to change Jets, needles & etc.  The changes can be seen of the bikes performance and with modifications at the bottom of the Graph. Graph #1 is before we removed the air box and put air pods and mufflers on. Graph #2 is the Dyno run after the K&N air pods and mufflers are installed. Graph #3 are speed runs. There is a 7+HP improvement on the T-3 and the ride is out of this world. Hope this article helps some one out there. I am always looking for ideas and how others have bettered there Bikes. Please contact me if you have any things you have done to Improved the Performance of your bike or any Dyno runs you may have. I am always learning thanks. TAKE CARE & BE SAFE./James R Palma MGNOC #L-663. AMA #538847. AOPA #00153047.


More Impressions of the 850T3 by Wynand Kruger:

I wish I could say that I've had my 1981, 850T3 from new because that would have meant a lot more years of enjoyable biking. I however only bought it in 1994 from a guy that was a bit pressed for cash and I haven't looked back since.

The bike was in good nick with 25000 kilometers on the clock. Everything was still standard and the moment I took it for a test drive, I fell in love with it. It was totally different to the Jap bikes I had owned previously. It had torque and it was rough. I wasn't concerned about the max speed because I was in cruising mode. I was mostly going to use it to get to work and back because, at that stage my wife (now ex-wife) was not really into bikes and long trips were out of the question. Living at the coast has it's drawbacks and after "mommy" took a leave of absence from my, and the Guzzi's life, I decide to give the Guzzi a good once over. I never touched the motor but only concentrated on the cosmetics and replacing all the frame bearings. Also had to replace the final drive bearings due to my own stupidity and with our exchange rate, what a knock that gave me. It however turned out pretty nice at the end with the addition of a T4 fairing and seat, which I chopped a bit. I also replaced the stock mudguards with fiberglass ones as the rear, metal one, kept on cracking from the vibrations (Page 58 of the visitors pics). All this took me about 2 years because, while I was busy with that, I got clueless and got married again. (There ain't no medication for stupidity).

At the end of the rebuilt, the Guzzi was too beautiful and wife No.2 was on her way out. She couldn't handle, the Guzzi getting more attention than her but, she was mean and she hurt my boney. She dumped some alumina powder into my gas tank. I didn't know about it and, that stuff is worse than grinding paste! I did a 3000 kilometer round trip to one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa without any hassles and, it was only much later that I realized that the Guzzi was using more oil than it should. Thank goodness for Pro-long because, if it wasn't for that, I would have had to rebuild the whole motor. Instead, I only re-sleeved, re-ringed, refurbished the heads and then added a sump spacer, a worked cam and lightened the flywheel a bit. So, now it's running fine once more and although I still use it mostly to work and back, it's a great ride. It now has 85000 kilometers on the clock. Problems? I can't think of anything major except for the boo-boos I made myself and the wrath of a misguided women. There were minor things like charging system problems which I sorted out with an aftermarket rectifier/regulator unit from the UK (don't like it though because, it has no idiot light) and once it let me down because of a battery wire the corroded off Plusses: Its a great machine. It's trustworthy and "moer of a strong" (Expression from probably the best known Guzzi owner in SA - Charley Cooper. Means: VERY strong) It's fast enough for a nice ride and great for cruising.

It sounds great, especially with slash cut pipes I put on and it draws attention. It's great for riding around town although the cam makes it a bit less pleasurable than before but the open road is a breeze. Things I don't like about it: The stock air filter. It's a schlep to replace it so, I chucked it out and fitted K&N's. T he fact that you have to drop the sump to replace the oil filter. The charging system is still not 100% but I got an idea from your website and I might just try it out. The side stand positioned at the front of the frame but, you get use to it. Got a new woman in my life now, but one with a difference. She's crazy about the Guzzi. So crazy that she bought herself one as well. It's a baby (V50 Mk2) but it's a start. I need to take it in hand and put a personal touch to it so you might see it on the visitor's pics soon. It's a learning curve because it's a bit different from the big boy, but, I'll get there. After all, it's still a Guzzi. New Guzzis are available once more in South Africa after a long absence and maybe, one day when I'm grown-up, I'll be able to afford a Cali EV or 1100 Sport but until then, I'll stick to my 850T3 thank you very much. 

Wynand Kruger

Richards Bay

South Africa


Email Wildgoose