2002 Moto Guzzi Le Mans ride report

9 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2002 Moto Guzzi Le Mans ride report отключены
Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans


I have been on the for a new bike to replace my K75. I a few months ago that I was bored it, and driving a boring motorcycle is to the whole thing, so I should do to change that. I’ve through a number of plans, I won’t enumerate here, but to say that recently, one of them getting a Moto Guzzi Le which is the subject of this

The Le Mans is basically a V11 Sport a fairing attached. It’s got quite a few differences, but that’s the one. Read the Cycle review to get the full scoop. intended to fill a sport-touring niche — it’s got the of a sport bike, with the comfort and amenities of a full-on Of course, in reality it must do but must provide a compromise in the middle.

Moto Guzzi oriented this bike towards the sport side of the definition.

I’m not sure I can say other-brand bikes the Le Mans with. BMW doesn’t have quite like it (although I the R1100S comes close). has the CBR1100XX, although they it a sport bike, and charge $2,000 less for it.

Yamaha has the but it’s both a better bike and a better tourer looking at specs) for over less. Moto Guzzi, is Italian, which is worth a amount just in prestige. certainly the Guzzi engine is interesting by leaps and bounds you’ll notice there are references to Japanese bikes on pages, and I can only barely an interest in BMW’s oilheads.)

I a test ride on one yesterday, and to share my impressions with the Here you have it.

The engine and transmission

Moto has been making the same a 90 degree V twin, for many I think it’s been at since WWII, but I’m not — it’s not terribly to the subject at hand. It’s a basic engine by modern with pushrod valve two valves per cylinder, and hardly a in sight.

The current crop fuel injection, so Guzzi has entered the computer age (not a good thing, but worth

On the bike I rode, which is on the V11 Sport, the engine is 1063cc. Guzzi claims it puts out 91 HP, and World claims it puts out 77 HP at the wheel. Whatever numbers you I found the engine to be fairly It propelled me forward with acceleration and a beautiful sound, it’s not the deadly speed I had expecting — perhaps I was by riding the brain-rupturingly fast Sabre V65.

But the Le Mans was enough. It wasn’t so fast I would put it in the same class as a which Geico has apparently (they wanted to charge me for a year of moderate-coverage insurance, $250 for my R100; Dairyland they’d provide the same for $790, so I think Geico is being melodramatic).

I do want to however, that the engine has a sound. Whatever Moto did to achieve that lovely they did it right.

The transmission was nice, although again, I have been spoiled by reviews. It shifted very once rolling, but getting the into first gear was as difficult as on my R100 or K75. The was pretty close on the transmission, so I found it hard to tell gear I was in, and rapidly lost among the other things I was to compensate for.

This is a problem that go away with experience, sure.

One particular problem I had was as I was rolling up to a line of stopped shifting down through the the shifter lever stayed in the down position, in about 3rd I couldn’t budge the thing! My choice was to rev the engine up and start in 3rd, and hope I didn’t the clutch.

It worked, and once again, I was able to downshift, but I was unhappy with having the in the first place. Doesn’t like a smooth, slick should have such a (and potentially hazardous)

The suspension

When they put bike together, I think Guzzi must have around and figured out what was replacing stock suspensions They picked very forks and rear shock, should equate to an excellent

I found, however, that the was pretty poor over but smooth pavement — but on smooth pavement, it handled like accelerating and hard quite nicely (braking in was a treat, almost no dive, well controlled). I suspect the suspension would have greatly improved if I had taken an hour to get it set up right for me — a big guy, at 6′ 1 and probably 230 in riding gear. Although it bottomed out, I think was some tuning I could done to make things comfortable.

The brakes

The brakes on this are excellent. Brembo is basically the brand I’ve ever and these felt top notch. I got in a really hard stop due to the I was riding in, but they felt precise, with a good bite (without being too and good stopping power.

I every confidence that could stop the bike quickly.

The electrics

There are two parts to the electrics that I to mention: the switchgear and the electrical proper.

The switchgear was quite I’m sure it’s a setup, but coming from the ve luf beink different camp, it was a change. The horn switch was it should have been, the signal switch was good, I the trigger high beam etc.

Top marks on the switchgear.

The system proper, however, me cringe. I only saw it from the and it may be excusable by a discharged battery, but oy! I started the bike, the fuel was glowing slightly — I it was just about to flip to glowing brightly, and that I had gas left to go 10 or 15 miles.

It turns out I was wrong, and I ran out of gas after 5 miles. I really hold that Moto Guzzi or the dealership, I should have mentioned it to (I thought about it, and decided doing it.)

When I on the turn signals, I couldn’t they were on. Looking at the light directly, I could see it blinking on and off on the dash — and was a dark, cloudy day, hate to see it when the sun was shining. refueling, I was just randomly with the trigger high switch, having never one before, and noticed that the would dip from 1000 RPM to 500, then recover a second, or when I let go of the switch.

The engine tone didn’t so I’m pretty sure was an electrical problem.


This bike is being as a sport-tourer, but it’s missing a few elements that I’ve to expect in a sport-tourer.

Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans

Hard . First and foremost, a sport-tourer be able to tour, and as it stands, not going to happen unless you all your clothes at once. You can get soft panniers from but they’re small and, soft. I don’t know how they’d hold up in a downpour, and I wouldn’t want to load too heavily.

Hard bags can be had either (or possibly both of) and Hepco and Becker, but I suspect look pretty kludgy and

Heated grips . This is my BMW-snobish self talking, but you’ve ridden with grips (and Honda has this out on the Gold Wing), never go back. They’re the thing in the world when cold out, and you never to unplug yourself from the I don’t think Guzzi thought about the idea.

handlebars/seating . As of this writing, are supposedly bar risers under but nothing has been offered. will never tempt BMW away from their bikes without offering way to sit more upright, and with a comfortable seat. I didn’t any problems, but I’m pretty I’d hate spending than a few hours in the saddle on the Le

ABS . This is one of those things I’m not surprised they offer it, but it’d sure be if they did. Any motorcycle can spare the extra 20 pounds benefit from ABS, and a seems like a good to at least have the option. with the funding from Guzzi can get around to making available (although I haven’t seen it mentioned).


In the Cycle World review. the says that he found bike to be thoroughly comfortable, a ride-all-day seating position. We be approaching this thing opposite ends of the spectrum.

I that my legs were up underneath me so that I couldn’t any pressure on the pegs, half my was on my wrists from leaning so far (and once again I had to ask that the levers be rotated to fit me properly), and my neck was cramping up bending so far upward. It didn’t that my jacket collar was with the helmet, so that I had to press against that to keep my head in the right

I was not meant to ride this

However, other than the position itself, this was great. I had a really good (ignoring the pain I was in) riding enjoying the engine’s roar, faster than everything in sight, etc. Except for little episode with the the ride itself was nearly

I found that, and this is for me I had to spend a lot of effort getting to the balance of the bike. It felt top-heavy than either my or the K75, but I think that’s I would have gotten to without much trouble. It was disconcerting at the beginning of the ride.


As a motorcycle, I give bike 7 out of ten stars. It loses for the electrical gremlins, and for the transmission lever getting stuck Other than that, a great bike.

I only I fit on it.

A final word on pricing. Guzzi says the list is $12,690 on their website, means you’d be paying $14,000 and $15,000 for one once covered shipping, setup, licensing, etc. I think a bit high, considering what getting.

I would have had I seen this bike and its sheet without seeing the to have paid about out the door, at the top end. I guess you’re paying for is the marque, and the of having an Italian bike. Not good enough for me.

But, as that’s just my opinion.

by Ian Johnston. Questions? Please me .

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