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1974 850 Eldorado & California - These
2 bikes are very similar.
This is not the California version - Here is a link to the 1974 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Police California 850
Back to Roy's Bike Page
This Guzzi was used by the Malibu CHP substation, and purchased at highway patrol auction at the end of 1976.
The CHP had put a little over 40,000 miles on it. It was in perfect condition except for a broken choke control.
They removed the siren and radio and police gear, but the siren mount is still there. Stock front disk brake, upgraded electrics, rear drive, and all other police edition upgrades for the latter part of 1974. This one had all there was to have in a police edition motorcycle. I have the police saddle bags, owners manual and Police model owners manual addition section.
was repainted in the late '80's and the solo seat was traded off for a more
comfortable 2-up saddle that is a more comfortable ride. It had repair or
replace work done on the clutch, valves, cables and carbs all around 45,000
miles. Currently has 61,000 miles on the bike. Less than 20,000
civilian miles in 30 years.
bike was ridden regularly for several years around the Sacramento hills, a
fantastic area to ride a motorcycle in. I still have the original
windscreen and the original police saddle bags.
'01 it was only ridden occasionally for a couple years until the owner purchased
a newer Guzzi SPIII.
This Eldorado is a solid strong motorcycle and ran without issues or problems and is said to have Never left the rider stranded - not once. (I had a '71 Ambassador that had this kind of karma.) I was told the bike has Never been down - although kids bicycles in the garage have left some nasty scratches on the front fender, which have been touched up and look pretty good now. I inspected and road tested the bike and found it to be extremely fit and in excellent condition. The choke lever appears to be the only thing which is broken and the old rubber ignition boot is torn. Nothing feels sloppy or worn out, Everything else is working, all the switches, buttons, levers, Everything is fine - Steering head, wheels, drive action, transmission are all tight and fluid in movement. Man, this 5 speed transmission is really the ultimate smooth shifter - after 1st gear.
You might notice the missing little tool box in some pics. It is not missing. It was inside one of the saddle bags. Apparently when the bike was purchased the ignition key was broken off in the ignition. The new owner had to get a new ignition & key. He never had a good set of keys and never had a key to unlock that little tool box! He had to cut the bolts off the tool box to remove it. Curiously, he never got a new lock for the little box, and never tried to put it back on - in 30 years. I was able to find a lock w/key and have re-attached the tool box.
There you have it. A little history of this 1974 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Police motorcycle. It is a very spirited "Vintage" motorcycle.
the original owner was helping me load it in my pickup truck he seemed
nervous. He said, "it has never ridden in the back of a pickup
truck". Wow, I was impressed - guess it really never stranded him -
ever. When I got it home I checked the fluids, replaced all the
gasoline with new fuel, and stole my garden tractor battery for it.
I proceeded to pull the plugs to shoot a little oil in the cylinders and
turn the engine but, I broke a spark plug and had to go buy a new pair.
Then I lubed each cylinder, rolled the engine a few times, put the new
plugs in and pushed the button.
2008 - other comparable Eldorado's & Ambassadors are being sold on Ebay or
elsewhere, being sold from $5 to $8,000 dollars.
The '74 LAPD Eldorado Police Edition is the most sought after model bar none. This particular Eldorado Police Edition would sell for $7 to $9 thousand easy on Ebay. But, I hate doing Ebay and much prefer to sell it local if possible. I'll RIDE it for a while and enjoy it before selling it.
Much of the rubber is - old (fuel lines, brake lines, other exposed rubber parts), and should be replaced. The new owner will certainly want to get new brake lines, fuel lines and the like. BONUS: There is a set of brand new rear brake shoes in the saddle bags too.
For years I have been able to buy some really Great motorcycles, even some other Eldorado's, but not an actual LAPD Cop Shop Motorcycle. However, If I keep them, I cannot purchase another one. So, I tend to keep them for a little while and re-sell them so I can have funds to buy the next one, and the next one, and so on. I tend to have way too many projects, not enough room, not enough riding time, not enough passion to maintain all my hobbies and projects. So, I usually do buy - enjoy for a time - and re-sell.
I've been smitten by a Guzzi - again.
I keep reminding myself to find someone who does have some passion for a great vintage machine and sell this rare CHP Eldorado. That is what I must do - eventually. Perhaps it is you, or someone you know. These vintage Moto Guzzi's are definitely collectors items that can be kept running forever. See a good professional presentation of the '74 Eldorado at Cycle Garden and learn Civilian module vs. Police model details.
Update 3/16/08 Pictures of the Cleaned and polished motorcycle with all the goodies attached:
I will enjoy riding just once in a while it until it sells so that I can also have fond memories of the best Moto Guzzi ever built. Hum, the Moto Guzzi National Rally is just down in Malibu CA this year. It would be a fitting adventure to ride this Eldorado back to it's original CHP stomping ground.
Well, today 3/21/08 the Eldorado was sold to Jim Knighten. I was Extremely reluctant to sell it because I know this was probably a Once in a Lifetime find. But, I don't have much money, I don't have a big garage or shop, I am a man of very modest means. So, I took LOTS of pictures and will hang onto my fond memories of this GRAND CHIP Moto Guzzi. I'm sure hope the bike will fair well in the hands of Jim Knighten. About 6 months later I found a '74 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Police California 850
This Guzzi's story lives on: "74 LAPD Eldorado Restoration by Jim Knighten
1974 Eldorado 850 CHP Police model Moto Guzzi