Moto Guzzi Quota 1000 – Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice –

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Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

Moto Guzzi Quota 1000 (June 2001)

Moto Guzzi’s Quota traillie has always been as honest as they comesimple and capable. Mark Fattore puts the past to the test with the updated ES incarnation

Sometimes, now matter how hard you try, it’s hard to change your spots. Take Mike Tyson as a prime example; he may have the big dollars and lavish lifestyle, but he can’t hide the traitseg losing his temper in interviewsthat re-confirm to all and sundry that he’s probably one of the biggest gooses on the planet.

Motorcycles are like that too. Go beyond the propaganda and a fair majority of the time a superseded model is almost a template of the one it has replacedin a behavioural sense anyway. That’s not necessarily a negative, as I recently found out after sampling the Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES, which has replaced the old 1000cc model.

The staple of this bike hasn’t changed in that it’s still as far from the mainstream as you’ll getin both a mechanical and behavioural sense. But once you work around those traitsthe long-leggedness, longitudinal crankshaft, clangy gearbox, massive bars et althen life is really quite simple. And that’s what I grew to admireagainafter a few weeks in the saddle.

No more wobbles

The last time AMCN put a Quota through its paces was in 1996, when the Ed donned his sparingly-used offroad attire for a few wobbly gravel shots on the 1000cc incarnationpriceless viewing. Those escapades for Wootton are now a thing of the past, and ditto for the old Quota, which was replaced by the 1100ES in 1998, although Australia didn’t see the bike until ’99.

The 1100ES has jumped in capacity by 115cc (for a bore and stroke of 92mm x 80mm). The Marelli fuel-injected donk still utilises a modified version of the California engine, with Moto Guzzi claiming 69ps of power at 6400rpm and a hefty 8.7kg-m of torque at a low 3800rpm. It really is a torque machine, and will pull from 60kmh in top gear (fifth) at 3000rpm.

Anything below that and the pushrod, four-valve powerplant gets a little upset and starts to moan and shake.

There isn’t really a top-end to speak of with the ES, but that’s not a big issue as this is one bike that responds best to short-shifting through the gearbox (watch the false neutrals!) and riding the torque curvedo that and you’ll be setting a pace that any sportsbike rider would be proud of.

Ni pato, you would probably be on the mark if you labelled this bike a sportstourer rather than a big-bore dual-purpose machine. That’s because it’s the type of machine you want to put in top gear, sit back and relaxriding at its simple best. And the Guzzi is up to this type of mile-eating riding, with a strong chassis that is well mated to the engine and suspension.

Just throw on the optional panniers ($1118) and top box ($694) and it’s long-haul heaven.

As the Moto Guzzi press blurb says: The roads wind through green countryside, turning white and unmetalled as they take us far off in search of stones and primordial things. A noble, powerful steed accompanies us on this journeythe Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES. Hands up those who’ve now got a tear in their eye?

By the way, the 1100ES averaged around 15km/lt during its tenure at AMCN, which equates to 300km-plus with a full 20lt fuel tank.

The Quota is still shaft-driven, but it lacks the sophistication of its road-based siblings. That aside, there’s very little shaft reaction to speak of.

Tail-sliding antics

Although the 1100ES may do its best work on the open road, that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of mixing it in the dirtafter all, with such huge handlebars you’ve got enough leverage to muscle the bike wherever you want. But on a gravel road there’s always an underlying vagueness that tends to get a bit unnerving at timesnot so much of a problem with the rear where you can enjoy some semi-controlled, tail-sliding antics, but it’s a different story at the front, especially when tipping into a turn on a trailing brake.

That can probably be put down to the road-based, 90-section Pirelli MT80 radial losing its way on the shifting surface. So the message is to keep the offroad antics to smoother, hard-packed terrain if you want to stay out of trouble.

Seat height has been reduced 60mm on the ES, with a decrease of a similar amount in the suspension travel. That’s a shrewd move, as there’s not much point in risking vertigo if you don’t have to, and it allows tallish riders some chance of hiding behind the bike’s screen on the open stuff, which previously was a difficult proposition.

Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

The brakes are particularly good on the Quota, which sports twin-piston Brembos front and rear. They are not super on the road, but are just about spot-on for gravel where the softly-softly approach works best, especially on the front end.

Moto Guzzi claims 245kg dry for the 1100ES, which is a whopping 35kg more than the claimed figure for the previous model. Problems with the electronic scales at the Mandello (Italy) factory?

Besides the mechanical updates, the Quota also sports a new front fairing, headlights, side panels and graphics. Additionally, there are now four colour schemes to consider: black and champagne coupled with sun yellow, petroleum blue and byzantium brown. Only the champagne colours are currently available Down Under.

Aggressive pricing

It’s a factdual-purpose bikes are not big sellers in Australia, and the Quota falls into that zone. But if there’s one way to prick the ears of potential customers it’s by playing some aggressive marketing gamesand there’s nothing more aggressive than dropping price by around $1500 in one fell swoop.

That’s what Moto Guzzi recently did in Australia, which reduced the retail of an 1100ES down to $13,995, which compares more than favourably to its two major competitors, the Honda Varadero ($15,065) and BMW 1150 GS ($16,645). The Cagiva Gran Canyon ($14,490) was another player in the market, but it will soon be replaced by the new Suzuki TL1000-engined Navigator.

Undoubtedly, the 1100ES is one of the most ‘individualmachines I’ve riddenand that goes for the entire Quota lineage, which began way back in 1989. Some may call it a motorcycle dissident, but that’s a harsh summation.

I for one will always appreciate The Full Quotafoibles included.

Story: Mark Fattore

Photos: Ellen Dewar

Published. Tuesday, 12 June 2001

Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

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