2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport

25 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport
Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport

2008 Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport

July 11, 2008 Posted in 2008 Bike Tests | Comments: 0

MOTO GUZZI BREVA 1200 SPORT

As the old saying goes: “ You never get a second chance to make a first impression ”. The Breva need not worry as it makes a very memorable and positive one. After my first glance I thought “ Wow, this motorcycle’s like a piece of moving art work ”. The lines of the bike are sculptured perfectly and the way all of the components flow into one another has to be seen in person so one can admire all of it.

From the single front headlamp nestled under the slim wind screen to the beautifully arched gas tank to the rounded rear and single sided swing arm, care was taken by the engineers and designers to get every angle just right. A testament to the values that Carlo Guzzi set nearly 90 years ago.

Moto Guzzi has a long history of producing high quality motorcycles. The company dates back to 1919 when the first prototype was built (known as the G.P. which was named after founders Emanuele Vittorio Parodi and Carlo Guzzi [Guzzi-Parodi]) in the Mandello del Lario workshop. In 1921 the “ Società Anonima Moto Guzzi ” was created, to “ Fabricate and sell motorcycles and other activities relevant to or associated with the metal and mechanical industries “. This core principal from years ago still holds true today with the introduction of the Breva 1200 Sport.

Hop aboard the Breva and you’re presented with instrumentation that’s extremely clear and concise. Insert and turn the key and you’ll notice the Moto Guzzi logo appears in the digital dashboard which is embedded in three large analog gauges. One for the tachometer, speedometer and gas gauge.

On top of the gauges are the standard warning lights to show the status of the turn signals, high beams, neutral indicator, hazards, oil and ABS (if so equipped [Europe models only]). Each light is color coded so if a potential problem arises that calls for your attention, you’re made aware of it; otherwise the lights are unobtrusive and fit nicely with the whole theme of the motorcycle.

One item you won’t find is a redline indicator on the tachometer as a red light will flash once you approach the rev limiter. I came across the red light a few times (what? I had to test it) which made me conscious that it was time to shift so the desired effect (capturing your attention) was achieved.

While the logo is still displayed, watch the needle indicators sweep from 0 to 180 degrees and back to 0 again. Push the starter button and the 90° V-Twin, air cooled 4 stroke motor comes alive. The rumble the 1,151cc engine creates is a symphony of sound and with a compression ratio of 9.8:1 it will extract every pony it can from its displacement.

Most manufacturers use a high compression ratio in today’s engines because it allows an engine to produce more power; although this may lead to engine knocking. With the volume of the fuel/air mixture being compressed to approximately 1/10th of its normal volume when the piston reaches the top of its travel the Breva creates good usable power without any complications. Bore and stroke is 95 x 81.2 mm which gives a bore/stroke value of 1.16.

Thus the engine is slightly over square or considered a short-stroke engine which is a positive trait, since a shorter stroke means less friction and less stress on the crankshaft.

A 2-1 exhaust system (with catalytic converter) comes standard and has a faux carbon fiber cover. I would’ve preferred Moto Guzzi use real carbon fiber instead of fake material or at the very least leave the system in its bare metal form. The Breva has sophistication on its side and this makes it appear cheap and average looking.

Fuel injection is handled by a Magneti Marelli unit; along with 45 mm throttle bodies, Weber injectors, Lambda control (oxygen sensor) and twin spark ignition. Throttle response was crisp and there appeared to be no lag between my wrist revving the engine and the rpm’s increasing. Fuel injection is something we all take for granted today and it’s a hard science to master but fortunately for us Moto Guzzi has struck the right balance of fuel atomization.

Click through the six speed gear box and you’ll soon become aware of the ample torque (73.75 ft. lbs. at 6,000 rpm) that’s available to you. Combine that with 95 HP at 7,800 rpm and you have a motor that can be as docile as you want it to be or come alive like a fire breathing dragon. I chose the former since I didn’t want to bin a brand new motorcycle as I made the journey home after picking it up.


Of course that mentality soon disappeared as I became more familiar with my new steed.

Speaking of the gear box it’s been quite some time since I’ve ridden a shaft driven motorcycle. My first bike (a 1983 Honda Custom 650 CX) was a shaft drive and to say it was a unique riding experience would be an understatement. Thankfully times have changed and the Compact Reactive Shaft Drive that the Breva uses is flawless.

Shifts through the double disk, dry clutch were quick and easy with all the power being transferred to the rear tire effortlessly.

Now let me ask the question for you since I know it’s on your mind: What’s better, shaft drive or chain? The answer: it depends. Your choice will depend upon the decision on whether or not to have the ability to change the sprockets and chain or to just go out riding with minimal effort about maintenance.

Knowing those facts, the Breva’s transmission works extremely well so prospective buyers shouldn’t be alarmed by a shaft driven motorcycle.

Surprisingly with the added weight of the aforementioned transmission, the Breva didn’t feel like a large overweight machine. It weighs in at 504.85 lbs with a wheelbase of 58.50 in. and a width of 33.06 in. Not a super sport lightweight by any means but not a heavy cross country tourer either. Those concerned with ground clearance need not worry as there’s 7.28 in. of room.

The seat height is 31.52 in. so if you’re vertically challenged you might need to adjust the suspension accordingly and/or purchase a custom seat. I normally don’t concern myself with this since I’m 6’ 2” so flat footing a motorcycle is hardly an issue for me. My biggest problem tends to be the rider triangle (the relationship between the seat, handlebar and foot pegs) where my legs and arms get cramped.

Here again the Breva shines as I neither felt cramped nor fatigued during long periods of riding.

A tubular cradle, high tensile steel chassis forms the skeleton. Suspension setup in the front is a conventional style fork 45mm in diameter with TIN surface treatment (Tinalox – titanium nitride and aluminum oxide). It’s adjustable for spring preload and has 4.7 inches of travel. Out back is a Sachs shock absorber which is adjustable in rebound and preload only. I found the suspension a little soft for my tastes in its stock form but very capable none the less.

Although I would’ve liked to have more granular adjustment capabilities, after a few changes to stiffen up the Breva it felt sportier and less like a cruiser.

Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport

Front brakes are standard mounted (as opposed to their radial mounted counterparts) Brembo twin 320 mm stainless steel floating discs (wave type) with 4-piston calipers. The rear brake is a single 282 mm steel fixed disc with a 2-piston caliper. Steel braided brake lines aid in stopping power (eliminating the rubber lines help reduce lever squishiness).

While I’m used to brakes that require very little effort in terms of lever pull to haul down a liter bike from triple digit speeds, the Breva’s combination appears weak but does do a satisfactory job.

To keep you connected with the road the Breva has Marchesini three spoke, light alloy wheels shod with Metzler Sportec M3 tires. Having had the chance to sample all weather conditions the M3’s were confidence inspiring and felt great whether they were traveling on gravel or on a newly paved roadway. Standard tires sizes are used (120/70 ZR17 in the front and 180/55 ZR17 in the rear) so replacement tire options shouldn’t be a concern.

When the early morning sun was upon me riding was on the agenda. I made a plan to do a mixture of long distance riding along with a few short trips. I was curious to see whether or not the Breva was better at one or the other or did both equally well.

I decided to map out routes which consisted of highways, bridges, different types of pavement and of course curvy roads. Out on the highway the Breva was rock solid and the suspension changes I made gave me good feedback so I knew exactly what was going on underneath me.

As time passed and I become familiar with all of the Breva’s subtleties I ventured off to roads that had multiple bends and long sweepers so that I could pick up the pace to see just how composed the 1200 Sport really was. Compared to a true race replica it will show signs of ineptness but other bikes that are in its class should be warned. This is one calm, cool and collected motorcycle that gives the rider the ability to enjoy riding at a rapid pace without fear since the only limiting factor would be ones ego (and local law enforcement).

The Breva feels most comfortable between 5,000-7,000 rpm’s and to keep it there I rode around one gear lower than I normally do. Crack the throttle and the 1200 eats up the tarmac faster than you can blink and you’ll soon be approaching speeds that shouldn’t be seen on public roads. Of course staying within the speed limit is just as fun since the Breva has ample amounts of torque ready to be released providing you know how to find it.

I found going to the local mall just as rewarding as a 300 mile ride. Plenty of people would stop and strike up a conversation about how the Breva looks or had questions about Moto Guzzi itself. It was definitely an experience that I wasn’t used to as even though my R1 is distinctive in its own right, there are quite a few around. Not so when you ride the Breva.

You know that when you stop at a gas station or at the parking lot where this week’s bike night is being held at that you’re probably going to be the only one there riding this type of motorcycle.

Now if there just so happens to be another Breva within your riding group or at the local bike night then Moto Guzzi has you covered there as well. They offer numerous accessories like tank bags, lowered seats, luggage racks, alarm systems and my favorite one of them all – carbon fiber upgrades. Now you can rest assured that with these additions yours will certainly be unique.

If performance upgrades are what you’re looking for Moto Guzzi supplies two racing kits. Level 1 includes velocity stacks, a 2-2 racing style exhaust and a remapped ECU. Level 2 consists of level 1 along with polished ports on high-compression racing heads.

With either one of these kits installed HP and torque are sure to improve so the speed demon within you should be satisfied.

Style, beauty and grace. The Breva Sport encompasses all of these characteristics. This is truly a machine for those that love to ride and want to experience the pure essence of motorcycling. All the Italian character and charm you could want can be yours for only $ 13,590 .

Visit Moto Guzzi (www.motoguzzi-us.com ) to learn more about the Breva 1200 Sport and other motorcycle models they produce.

Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport
Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport

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