Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Bike Review-MotorPoint

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Bike Review-MotorPoint

Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

Twisted truth by Mike Emery

Photo shop wheelie Pics by DaveW

OK, Pronunciation. Let’s get this straight from the start. It’s not Guzzi as in Muzzy, it’s Gootzie as in Tootsie (roll).

It’s important to get this right, because we are referring to one of motorcyclings monarchy so respect is due.

Moto Guzzi’s royalty stems from its early successes enjoyed from its initial inception in 1921. From the off, its innovative engineering department produced bikes that were technologically years in advance. Small seemingly inconsequential stuff, like being the first to offer a centerstand, to more technically pioneering things like supercharging and upside down forks.

I’ve always lusted after one of these big twins since a teenager when the Guzzi was a sought after marque to own. It looked and handled like a racer (of its time) and was the stuff of legends. It ruled the European roost for over 35 years and with 11 TT’s and 14 World Championships under its belt, this was an Italian manufacturer that talked the talk and walked the walk.

However, that was yesteryear, this is now.

They say that racing improves the breed. Well, since 1957, Moto Guzzi has been in a self-inflicted time warp. Since it ended its participation in competition in that year, development has been reduced to a continued refinement process as apposed to ground breaking, championship winning engineering advancement. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a different direction.

Different is sometimes good.

Moto Guzzi works from good old-fashioned tradition, hence the use of Italian made running gear. That tradition in hardware choice, and in some respect, design, has halted the modernization program that most manufacturers have enjoyed over the years. We want and like tradition and we like the individuality that people like MG promote, but we also want our cake and eat it.

I don’t care if the bike looks 20 years old, but I do want it to start, stop and handle like this years technology.

Starting at the front the Marzocchi forks were a little wooden in feel and bucked the trend because it only had compression damping in one fork and rebound damping in the other and no preload. I couldn’t help but feel this was a major issue and that it might be being addressed with the new “Scura” edition that has the added benefit of full Ohlins front and rear suspenders. The brakes attached to this setup were Brembo 4 piston calipers with big nasty 320mm rotors.

Feel and power was exemplary, hauling this 500lb bike down from speed never failed to impress me.

If it wasn’t for the dark visor,

you would see a very white face!

Switch gear is a thoroughly modern affair, all electrical wiring and connections looked both substantial and well made. The front fairing is retro in look yet high tech in construction (carbon fiber) it was surprisingly effective in keeping my upper torso clean, especially in bug ridden Florida and at speed (80 plus) it offered some aerodynamic efficiency of which we gladly accepted. The clocks too looked most pleasing in style and efficiency.

We don’t need any LCD doo-dads on this bike, thanks anyway.

The frame is a traditional (that word again) backbone style that uses the engine as a stressed member, red of course, and built for total rigidity. You can’t see much of it, but where it shows its face it’s finished to a high standard. The rear shock is a WP unit, three way adjustable, but with a preload collar buried so deep under the nicely shaped Roto-molded plastic tank, that if your not that mechanically minded, you’d be tempted to set this as a compromise once, then forget you ever knew where it was.

The engine is a Harley-esque V-Twin with a 1064cc displacement and a look and size that would be at home in a compact car, it’s huge. It’s good looking though, it’s dressed well for the occasion and is a showpiece part of the bike. It’s a fairly simplistic air cooled two valve 90 degree twin with a couple of high tech electronic “partners” namely the ignition and the fuel injection. That motor is not hidden away under shards of plastic either, it’s a centerpiece of the bike and the obvious focal point

The clutch is a dry one and is hydraulically operated. Clutch lever action is very good, lighter than a Ducati and very close to its Asian counterpart. Feel is a little “iffy” as sometimes I couldn’t tell if it was completely engaged or not. No real complaints though.

Shaft drive snatch was less than previously experienced. A local Guzzi-sti (?) announced to me that he felt no snatch at all. Die-hard Guzzi lovers opinions aside, it’s good but not yet perfect.

This is a substantial bike and you’ll know you’re riding a bike built with a rich historical background, from the moment you pull away. Don’t be looking for a groundbreaking riding experience here, you won’t find any. It’s old school, but in a familiar and comforting way.

The gearbox is super slick now, a generation or two away from the old tractor pull days. All traces of agricultural pedigree from its ancestry are long, long gone.

In the beans department, it lacked not. It has a punchy delivery and with the instant fuel delivery could be wheelied with aplomb. How about 2nd gear with no clutch? Who said shaft drives don’t wheelie?

I’m riding this how it should not be ridden. Maybe it’s all things to all riders? A middle ground found? Nooo…I’m just a damn hooligan.

It’s really not that aggressive type of sports bike, but it would be satisfying to the owner that if he needed to get down and dirty, he could do without jeopardizing his well-being. Ergo’s are good too. Especially with adjustable hand and foot levers.

Now, I’m not your long distance sort of guy, but I feel I could have done some serious touring on this model. The bars are well placed, and the foot pegs, although rear set, are surprisingly well located on the comfort scale. The seat is well padded and your passenger would be pacified too.

Some soft luggage in the right places could see me seeing parts of the country not seen on a bike to date.

We did experience some vibration at certain RPM. Now, vibration and long mileage are not a good mix. At 80 mph all is good and smooth, but you’re breaking the law. Drop 5 or 10 mph and you’re back to potentially numb wrists.

Best compromise was running in fifth and letting the RPM raise enough to get you out of the annoying rev range. The price? Wear and tear I suspect, and higher gas mileage.

I think a play around with weighted bar ends should be in order because we synced the throttle bodies just in case that was the cause (it was not.) It didn’t bother me too much, but then again, my trips averaged less than 120 miles each.

So the bike has some quirks and foibles, it’s hard to see where this bike fits in. It’s the kind of machine that neatly sandwiches the old boy vintage network and the street style sports rocket. Its stayed pretty much true to the cause by adopting mostly Italian designed and manufactured hardware. That in itself may have hurt its salability or enhanced it, depending on your view and or age.

It’s a nice bike. It’s not a disposable piece of motorcycle genre. It’s a bike to have and to hold (in sickness and in health.) and a bike that promotes mechanical intimacy with your ride.

As mentioned, I always lusted after a Moto Gootzie. This bike did not disappoint.

Moto Guzzi V 65 Florida


Moto Guzzi V11 Sport

Engine: 4-stroke 90 degree V-twin Air Cooled

Displacement: 1064cc

Bore – Stroke: 92 x 80

Gearbox: 6 speed

Carburetion: EFI

Ignition: CDI

Frame: Steel Rectangular Box

Front Suspension: Upside-down 2-way adjustable (rebound/compression) 40 mm Marzocchi fork with 124mm of travel

Rear suspension: Cantilever Swingarm, White Power unit with 124mm travel, 3 way adjustable

Steering Damper: Biturbo Fully Adjustable

Front Brakes: Double Brembo “GOLDLINE” floating 320 mm rotors, 4 piston calipers, braid brake lines

Rear Brakes: Single Brembo 282 mm rotor, 2 piston caliper, braid brake lines

Wheels: Brembo cast aluminum alloy 5.50 rear and 3.50 front

Front tire: 120/65/ZR17

Rear Tire: 180/55/ZR17

Weight: 479 lbs.

Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gallons

Moto Guzzi V 65 Florida
Moto Guzzi V 65 Florida
Moto Guzzi V 65 Florida

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