Day Of The Jackal: Moto Guzzi Has That Special `Something’ – Orlando Sentinel

3 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Day Of The Jackal: Moto Guzzi Has That Special `Something’ – Orlando Sentinel


Moto Guzzi Jackal

2-Wheel Test Drive

The Exotic Italian Has The Right Sort Of Intangible Stuff To Turn Heads At Stoplights.

January 4, 2001 | By Bill Andrews, Special to the Sentinel

When it comes to Italian motorized vehicles, you can always expect to get a certain level of performance, matched with a certain level of exotica, which always equals a certain amount of. something. Unfortunately, that certain amount of something has always cost a certain amount of cash that few of us could afford.

Whatever something is, it sure sells Italian machinery. Guzzi is celebrating 80 years of motorcycling.

To learn a little more about where Guzzi came from click here: motoguzzi-us.com.

Sometimes something comes from the feeling the machine evokes when you look at it. The Guzzi Jackal has beautifully flowing curves and lines. The long, 5-gallon, teardrop gas tank flows up and back to just under the saddle.

The fenders flare out a little at the end, a style that has grown in popularity. The speedometer face has elegant graphics, and spoke wheels complete the look of a custom cruiser.

From the rider’s position, you can’t help but notice the engine heads sticking out on each side of the gas tank. Most bikes’ engines are hidden from view while riding them. On the Guzzi, both visually and audibly, you’re constantly reminded that you’ve got a big twin down there.

Music is known to evoke certain emotions. In the case of the Jackal, the music emanating from the big 1064cc, 90-degree V-twin is a low sub-base thumping sound. Folks in low-rider cars could dance to the sound of the Guzzi.

The twin is mounted horizontally in the frame, which means while revving the engine at a stop you’ll notice a distinct pull to the right. Once the torque is applied to the rear wheel, this all but disappears. But it is unique to most horizontally mounted engines and may add another special something — the fact that the bike literally feels unlike just about any other motorcycle out there.

Handling is crisp. That’s not too surprising considering the Guzzi motorcycle company’s historic commitment to speed and handling. Up until the ’80s, Guzzi was a major powerhouse at the racetracks with unique and innovative designs.

What we get in the Jackal is a cruiser with a racer’s soul.

The low fuel light doesn’t just pop on but rather starts to glow when you drop below the two-gallon mark. The warning light gets increasingly brighter as the next couple quarts of fuel get used. The light stays on at full brightness with about a gallon and a half left.

Then there is the cost effectiveness of the Jackal. Yes, the Jackal is a truly stripped motorcycle with nothing but the bare necessities. To some, less is more.

Moto Guzzi Jackal
Moto Guzzi Jackal

But, if down the road you wish to add components you missed the first time around, Guzzi has ingeniously provided kits, and placed tabs on the bike that allow the owner to add on.

Want a tachometer? Guzzi provides all the hardware to remount the speedometer and mount the tach, as if you had bought the bike stock that way. Want stopping power?

You can purchase a twin front disc brake kit, and the caliper tabs are already on the lower left fork.

There are plenty of touring accessories and polished bolt-on shiny stuff to customize the bike as well. At $8,495, the Jackal is an inexpensive platform from which to start whatever your customizing heart desires.

Lastly, the Guzzi is one of the few machines out there that the general public recognizes as having something. At a stoplight, a pickup truck driver was giving me the thumbs-up in approval. That sort of thing happened a lot wherever I happened to be stopped.

Recognition like that doesn’t happen often, or with just any machine. With the Guzzi, it’s probably attributed to the sound, the looks, or. something.

My only real complaint about the machine, and the easiest to change, is the seat. The Guzzi saddle simply doesn’t match the ergonomics of the rest of the bike. The seat is rather harsh, and its design plops your entire weight onto your tailbone.

Thank goodness for aftermarket parts.

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