850 Le Mans chrome cylinders

Hi, I would like some opinions on chrome cylinders please, I know that the nickasil are the ones to have and the chrome ones are prone to flaking I think.
I have managed to get hold of some new genuine moto guzzi mondial 850 Le Mans pistons and cylinders from Italy, (he said he bought all the remaining stock from the factory) when I asked the chap he said they were nickasil plated but when I’ve just looked at them they are chrome plated, I guess that’s the problem with the language barrier, are they worth keeping or should I send them back?
Cheers Chris.

I’d keep them if they aint flakin or pitted…a Le Mans has an oil filter…unlike a Loop frame guzzi…flaking chrome on on of those motors can be a problem !

If they are new and been stored dry then the chrome will be fine and give thousands of miles service - as did originals

Are you sure they’re chrome - some stuff from Greg Bender’s site here, plus a link to a good article with photos. My 850GT has it’s original chrome barrels and seems OK so far after 43000 miles. Doesn’t use any oil and I’ve never seen bits in the sump.


•Chrome - The material will appear shiny and smooth. Hash marks should not be visible. Absolutely no magnetic pull. Peeling be may evident exposing the bare aluminum below.
•Steel sleeved - A ring where the sleeve was inserted will be clearly visible from both the top and bottom. The material will appear less shiny than chrome. Hash marks may or may not be visible. Very strong magnetic pull - just like placing the magnet on anything else that is steel in your shop.
•Nikasil/Nigusil - The material will appear shiny. Hash marks will most likely be visible. Has a slight magnetic pull; certainly not as strong as steel, but definitely a little pull. If the cylinders were made by Gilardoni (aftermarket only, I think), then the Gilardoni logo will be placed between the bottom two fins at the 6 o’clock position nearest the base gasket (visible from the outside).

Thanks for the replys, what i think Im going to do is use my cast cylinders that have just been re sleeved and use the new pistons and the new rings, the rings he supplied were originals for the cast bore, luckly i noticed the part number as i had been trying to locate some for ages! as using these in the chrome bores wouldnt be good!
I would have liked to use the new chrome cylinders but I’m not sure I can trust them because of the bad press they receive, I’m sure they would be ok in Italy where it is warm and dry but unfortunately it’s cold and damp here and that’s what probably contributes to the flaking.

Don’t think 850 Le Mans ever had chrome bores, later barrels were nikasil if you bought replacements (as I did). If chrome must be a different model?

Also not sure how easy it is to tell the difference between chrome and nikasil, just because it’s shiny doesn’t guarantee chrome I’m thinking.

I think you are right saying that the Le Mans had nickasil, that’s why the Pistons I bought from him were supplied with rings for cast bores ( old stock) and I suppose the cylinders were from an earlier bike even though they were marked up as a set, as for telling the difference between the two materials it’s very easy as the two finishes are very different especially when new.
One other thing, I’ve heard that the nickasil cylinder set has closer tollerances than the iron cylinder set, but I can only find tollerances for piston groups ie A and B but Nothing is said about different tollerances for cylinder material. Ie nickasil and iron.