2021 marked Moto Guzzi’s 100-year anniversary, and the Mandello Del Lario brand celebrated the momentous occasion with special-edition models and a traveling museum exhibit. By September 2021, Guzzi shifted its focus from the rearview mirror to the road ahead, giving fans a sneak peek of the all-new 2022 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello sport-tourer.
After keeping the details under wraps for months, Moto Guzzi finally unveiled the V100 Mandello’s full details and specs at EICMA 2021. Just as the V100 moniker suggests, the new sport-touring model houses a 1,042cc transverse V-Twin. The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve mill not only produces 115 horsepower and 77.4 lb-ft of torque but also benefits from a new compact block architecture. Compared to the V85 TT’s air-cooled, 853cc, transverse V-Twin, the liter-size V100 powerplant is shorter by 4.1 inches.
Guzzi puts that compact design to good use with a 58.5-inch wheelbase. A long single-sided swingarm with shaft drive steadies the Mandello at high speed while the compact chassis maintains agility in the esses. The tubular-steel frame cuts weight by utilizing the 1,042cc engine as a stressed member and the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension automatically tunes the handling characteristics to rider and the road.
On the electronics front, the throttle-by-wire system offers Travel, Sport, Rain, and Road ride modes. The system adjusts the V100’s three different engine maps, 4-level traction control, three engine braking settings, and suspension calibration to suit each situation. Equipped with a Marelli 11MP ECU and 6-axis IMU, the new Goose also touts cornering ABS, adaptive LED lighting, and cruise control.
Despite the full electronics suite, the sport-tourer’s industry-first adaptive aerodynamics steals the spotlight. Consisting of wind deflectors mounted at the sides of the 4.6-gallon fuel tank, the innovative system adapts to the current speed and ride mode. The deflectors provide 22% more wind protection in the fully-deployed position, and along with the electronically-adjustable windscreen, amplify the cockpit’s comfort beyond the generously-padded seat, high-mounted handlebars, and 5-inch TFT dash.
The 2022 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello’s MSRP or availability have not yet been announced. It will come in two variants, a base model and a premium model with standard Öhlins semi-active suspension, heated grips, a quickshifter, and the Moto Guzzi MIA multimedia system.
For more information or to find a Moto Guzzi dealer near you, visit motoguzzi.com.
After recently celebrating its centennial and the brand’s rich history, Moto Guzzi has turned its attention to the future with the “Road to 2121.” The bold initiative announced today includes a futuristic restructuring project including a new factory and museum to be built at the current site in Mandello del Lario, Italy, where every Guzzi has been built to date.
Moto Guzzi has commissioned U.S. architect and designer Greg Lynn, known for his bold, ultramodern creations and the architect behind the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The project, which Guzzi says, “will be founded on culture, design, and mechanics, with a strong green focus,” will include open public spaces and a place for the local community and tourists to meet.
Guzzi has stated that the project will use existing onsite structures and maximize environmental sustainability and efficiency in its use of resources. While building materials will be chosen with close attention to efficient energy management, thanks to photovoltaic systems and eco-sustainable materials.
The Piaggio Group intends to establish the Moto Guzzi brand as an example, not only of mechanical integration, but also of modern design and hopes that the site will become a focal point for Guzzi bikers and young people, and international tourists interested in the venerable brand. The new factory will also extend the firm’s production capacity to keep pace with the growth in demand.
In addition to the new factory, the project will create new conference facilities to host both internal and external events, as well as a hotel and a restaurant for a complete range of amenities to welcome visitors from around the world. Work is scheduled to commence by the end of the year and should be completed in the first half of 2025.
If that wasn’t enough, Moto Guzzi pulled another card from their sleeve and announced the V100 Mandello. We know very little about this new machine, but Guzzi is promising it will have a cutting-edge engine and state-of-the-art technologies. We look forward to the new motorcycle’s scheduled release on November 23, 2021, at the EICMA international motorcycle show in Milan.
This 2021 motorcycle buyers guide includes new or significantly updated street-legal models available in the U.S. It includes bikes in many categories, including adventure, cafe racer, cruiser, sport, sport-touring, retro, touring, and others.
Organized in alphabetical order by manufacturer, it includes photos and links to details or, when available, first rides and road test reviews of each motorcycle. Due to the pandemic and supply chain disruptions, some manufacturers skipped the 2021 model year. Stay tuned for our 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide.
Aprilia‘s RS 660 is the first of three models — the RS 660 sportbike, the Tuono 660 naked bike (below), and the not-yet-released Tuareg 660 adventure bike — built on a new engine platform, a liquid-cooled 659cc parallel-Twin with a 270-degree firing order that makes a claimed 100 horsepower at 10,500 rpm and 49.4 lb-ft of torque at 8,500 rpm. The RS 660 is equipped with the IMU-enabled APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) electronics package with five ride modes, 3-level cornering ABS, 3-level traction control, wheelie control, cruise control, and engine braking management. Pricing starts at $11,299.
Aprilia is an Italian brand known for performance, and the RSV4 and RSV4 Factory are at the pointy end of the company’s go-fast spear. Both are powered by a 1,099cc, 65-degree V-4 that Aprilia says cranks out an eye-watering 217 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 92 lb-ft of torque at 10,500 rpm, even while meeting strict Euro 5 emissions regulations. And both are equipped with a 6-axis IMU and the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) suite of rider aids. Whereas the standard RSV4 features fully adjustable Sachs suspension, the RSV4 Factory is equipped with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension, with a 43mm NIX upside-down fork, a TTX rear shock, and an electronic steering damper. The RSV4 has cast wheels and the RSV4 Factory has lighter and stronger forged wheels. MSRP for the RSV4 is $18,999 and MSRP for the RSV4 Factory is $25,999.
The Tuono name has always been associated with top-of-the-line street performance, and the Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory carry the cred with a 1,077cc V-4 that produces 175 horsepower and 89 lb-ft of torque at the crank (claimed). The Tuono V4 is the more street-focused of the two, with a taller windscreen, a higher handlebar, and optional saddlebags (as shown above), and it is equipped with fully adjustable Sachs suspension. The Tuono V4 Factory is equipped with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension. Both models feature a six-axis IMU that supports the APRC electronics suite. MSRP for the Tuono V4 is $15,999 and MSRP for the Tuono V4 Factory is $19,499.
The Benelli Leoncino (“little lion”) is an Italian-designed, Chinese-manufactured roadster powered by a liquid-cooled 500cc parallel-Twin also found in the TRK502X adventure bike (below). In the U.S., the Leoncino is part of a two-bike lineup, which includes the standard street-biased roadster model (shown above) and the Leoncino Trail, a scrambler variant with more suspension travel and spoked wheels with a 19-inch front and 90/10 adventure tires. The Leoncino comes with standard ABS and is priced at $6,199, while the Leoncino Trail is $7,199.
Like the Leoncino above, the Benelli TRK502X is an Italian-designed, Chinese-manufactured adventure bike powered by a liquid-cooled 500cc parallel-Twin. It has a comfortable and upright seating position, a good windscreen, 90/10 adventure tires with a 19-inch front, spoked wheels, ABS, hand and engine guards, and enough luggage capacity to go the distance (aluminum panniers and top box are standard). MSRP is $7,398.
The BMW R 18 is a cruiser powered by a massive 1,802cc OHV air/oil-cooled 4-valve opposed Twin that’s the largest “boxer” engine the German company has ever produced. Part of BMW’s Heritage line, the R 18 has styling inspired by the 1930s-era R 5. Despite its classic looks, the long, low cruiser is equipped with fully modern electronics, brakes, suspension, and other features. Base price is $17,495. BMW recently announced two touring versions for the 2022 model year, the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental, both with a fairing, hard saddlebags, and an infotainment system; the Transcontinental adds a trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.
The Ducati Monster is one of the Italian manufacturer’s most iconic and best-selling models. Gone is the trademark tubular-steel trellis frame, replaced with a front-frame design that uses the engine as a structural member of the chassis, as on the Panigale and Streetfighter V4 models. Compared to the previous Monster 821, the new model weighs 40 pounds less and is equipped with a more powerful 937cc Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin engine and top-shelf electronics. New styling and more make this an all-new Monster. Pricing starts at $11,895 for the Monster and $12,195 for the Monster+, which adds a flyscreen and passenger seat cover.
Another top-selling Ducati is the Multistrada adventure bike. For 2021, it is now the Multistrada V4 and it is powered by the 1,158cc 90-degree V4 Grandturismo engine that makes 170 horsepower at 10,500 rpm and stomping 92 lb-ft torque at 8,750 rpm (claimed). Ducati Skyhook semi-active suspension and a full suite of IMU-supported electronics are standard, and S models are equipped with a radar system that enables Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection. New for 2021 is a 19-inch front wheel. Pricing starts at $19,995 for the Multistrada V4 and $24,095 for the Multistrada V4 S.
Updates to the Ducati SuperSport 950 include new styling inspired by the Panigale V4, an IMU-enabled electronics package, and improved comfort. The seat is flatter and has more padding, the handlebar is higher, and the footpegs are lower. The SuperSport 950 is powered by a 937cc Testastretta L-Twin that makes 110 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 68.6 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm (claimed, at the crank). The SuperSport 950 is available in Ducati Red for $13,995. The SuperSport 950 S, which is equipped with fully adjustable Öhlins suspension and a passenger seat cover, is available in Ducati Red and Arctic White Silk starting at $16,195.
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival
Earlier this year Harley-Davidson announced its new Icons Collection. The first model in the collection is the stunning Electra Glide Revival, which is inspired by the 1969 Electra Glide, the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle available with an accessory “batwing” fairing. Though retro in style, the Electra Glide Revival is powered by a Milwaukee Eight 114 V-twin and is equipped with RDRS Safety Enhancements and a Boom! Box infotainment system. Global production of the Electra Glide Revival is limited to a one-time build of 1,500 serialized examples, with an MSRP of $29,199.
With its iconic solid aluminum 18-inch Lakester wheels, for 2021 Harley-Davidson gave the Fat Boy 114 a new look with lots of chrome and bright work. Powering the Fat Boy is none other than the torquey Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin engine, equipped with a 6-speed gearbox and putting down a claimed 119 ft-lb of torque at just 3,000 rpm. Pricing starts at $19,999.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 / Pan America 1250 Special
A competitive, state-of-the-art, 150-horsepower adventure bike built by Harley-Davidson? Yea, right, when pigs fly! Well, the Motor Company came out swinging with its Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special. Powered by the all-new Revolution Max 1250, a liquid-cooled, 1,252cc, 60-degree V-Twin with DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing. The killer app is the optional Adaptive Ride Height, which lowers the higher-spec Pan America 1250 Special (which is equipped with semi-active Showa suspension) by 1 to 2 inches when the bike comes to a stop. Pricing starts at $17,319 for the Pan America 1250 and $19,999 for the Pan America 1250 Special.
For Harley-Davidson Touring models like the Road Glide, Road King, and Street Glide, there are Special models that offer a slammed look and 119 lb-ft of torque from the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin. The 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special is available with new two-tone paint options, and with a choice of a blacked-out or bright chrome styling treatments. All Special models are now equipped with the high-performance Ventilator air cleaner with a washable filter element, and a new low-profile engine guard. Pricing starts at $26,699.
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S
The (air-cooled) Sportster is dead, long live the (liquid-cooled) Sportster! Visually similar to the 1250 Custom teased several years ago, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S represents a new era for the legendary Sportster line. Since the introduction of the XL model family in 1957, Sportsters have always been stripped-down motorcycles powered by air-cooled V-Twins. Harley calls the new Sportster S a “sport custom motorcycle,” and at the heart of the machine is a 121-horsepower Revolution Max 1250T V-Twin, a lightweight chassis, and premium suspension. Pricing starts at $14,999.
The Street Bob, with its mini-ape handlebar, mid-mount controls, and bobber-style fenders, has become a fan favorite among those looking for a minimalist American V-twin to customize. The 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 packs more punch, thanks to the larger, torque-rich Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. Pricing starts at $14,999.
With a slammed look and 119 lb-ft of torque from the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special is available with new two-tone paint options, and with a choice of a blacked-out or bright chrome styling treatments. All Special models are now equipped with the high-performance Ventilator air cleaner with a washable filter element, and a new low-profile engine guard. Pricing starts at $27,099.
The 2021 Honda ADV150 is an ADV-styled scooter, essentially a Honda PCX150 with longer travel Showa suspension (5.1/4.7 inches front/rear) and a larger ABS-equipped 240mm disc brake at the bow and a drum brake without ABS in the stern. Its powered by a liquid-cooled 149cc Single and has an automatic V-matic transmission. Pricing starts at $4,199.
Well-mannered motorcycles seldom make racing history, and the 2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP was developed with one uncompromising goal — win superbike races at all costs. It’s powered by an inline-Four that we dyno tested at 175 horsepower at the rear wheel, and it’s equipped with Öhlins semi-active suspension, IMU-enabled electronics, and top-shelf braking hardware. And it’s street legal and available for purchase from your local Honda dealer. MSRP is $28,500.
The 2021 Honda CRF300L (above) and CRF300L Rally (below) dual-sports share the same powerplant, a liquid-cooled 286cc Single which boasts 15% more displacement, power, and torque than its 250cc predecessor. They have a new slip/assist clutch, revised steering geometry, less weight, and a new LCD meter. The CRF300L has a base price of $5,249 (add $300 for ABS), weighs 309 pounds, has a 2.1-gallon tank, and has a 34.7-inch seat height.
The 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally (above) dual-sports share the same powerplant, a liquid-cooled 286cc Single which boasts 15% more displacement, power, and torque than its 250cc predecessor. They have a new slip/assist clutch, revised steering geometry, less weight, and a new LCD meter. The CRF300L Rally, which has a windscreen, handlebar weights, rubber footpeg inserts, a larger front brake rotor, more seat padding, and a larger fuel tank (3.4 gallons vs. 2.1) than the CRF300L, has a base price of $5,999 (add $300 for ABS), weighs 333 pounds, and has a 35.2-inch seat height.
The Honda CRF450L debuted for 2019, bringing CRF450R motocross performance to a street-legal dual-sport. Its lightweight, compact, liquid-cooled 449cc single has a 12:1 compression ratio and a Unicam SOHC valve train with titanium valves. For 2021, Honda added an “R” to the model name (CRF450RL), lowered the price to $9,999 (from $10,399), revised the ECU and fuel-injection settings for better throttle response, and added new hand guards and fresh graphics.
The Gold Wing has been Honda‘s flagship touring model for more than 40 years. It entered its sixth generation for the 2018 model year, with a complete overhaul to the GL1800 platform that made it lighter, sportier, and more technologically advanced. The standard Gold Wing (above) and trunk-equipped Gold Wing Tour (below) won Rider‘s 2018 Motorcycle of the Year award. Gold Wing updates for 2021 include a suede-like seat cover, colored seat piping, audio improvements, and red rear turnsignals. Pricing starts at $23,800 for the Gold Wing and $25,100 for the Gold Wing DCT (with 7-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission).
Updates for the Honda Gold Wing Tour include the same ones listed above for the standard Gold Wing: a suede-like seat cover, colored seat piping, audio improvements, and red rear turnsignals. But the Tour also got a larger top trunk (61 liters, up from 50) that now easily accepts two full-face helmets; total storage capacity is now 121 liters. The passenger seat’s backrest features a more relaxed angle, thicker foam, and a taller profile. Pricing starts at $23,800 for the Gold Wing and $25,100 for the Gold Wing DCT (with 7-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission).
Joining the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 in Honda‘s cruiser lineup for 2021 is the all-new Rebel 1100, which is powered by powered by a version of the liquid-cooled 1,084cc parallel-twin used in the 2020 Africa Twin, which uses a Unicam SOHC valve train and is available with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission. Standard equipment includes four ride modes (Standard, Sport, Rain and User, which is customizable), Honda Selectable Torque Control (aka traction control, which has integrated wheelie control), engine brake control, and cruise control. Pricing starts at $9,299 for the Rebel 1100 and $9,999 for the Rebel 1100 DCT.
The latest addition to Honda‘s miniMOTO lineup is the Trail 125 ABS, which is powered by the same air-cooled 125cc Single found in the Grom, Monkey, and Super Cub C125. Like the Monkey and Super Cub, the Trail plays the retro card, pulling at heartstrings for a bike beloved by many decades ago. Just like its forefathers, the 2021 Honda Trail 125 proudly carries on the tradition of being a quaint and understated dual-sport, with a steel backbone frame, upright handlebar, square turnsignals, upswept exhaust, high-mount snorkel, and luggage rack. MSRP is $3,899.
For 2021, the Indian Roadmaster Limited gets the larger 116ci Thunder Stroke V-Twin versus the original 111, and it has a modern streamlined fairing, open front fender, and slammed saddlebags. As a premium touring model, the Roadmaster Limited also gets Indian’s heated and cooled ClimaCommand seats and other upgrades. Pricing starts at $30,749.
Like the Honda CRF300L above, Kawasaki‘s entry-level dual-sport got a displacement boost, which warranted a name change from KLX250 to KLX300. The 2021 KLX300 makes more thanks to a larger 292cc Single, which is liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, and has DOHC with four valves. It also uses more aggressive cam profiles, making it livelier than its predecessor. All of that is paired to a 6-speed gearbox and 14/40 final drive. Pricing starts at $5,599. And joining the KLX300 is a supermoto version, the KLX300SM (below).
Joining the KLX300 dual-sport (above) in Kawasaki‘s 2021 lineup is an all-new supermoto version, the KLX300SM. It has street-oriented 17-inch wire-spoke wheels and IRC Road Winner RX-01 rubber, and the suspension is stiffer with slightly abbreviated travel. The KLX300SM also has taller final-drive gearing and a larger front brake rotor. Pricing starts at $5,599.
Speaking of supermoto, KTM‘s track-only, race-ready 450 SMR is back for 2021. Using the 450 SX-F motocross racer as its foundation, the SMR shares its 63-horsepower 450cc single-cylinder SOHC engine, lightweight steel frame, and cast-aluminum swingarm. To suit its supermoto purpose, wider triple clamps with a 16mm offset accommodate tubeless Alpina wheels (16.5-inch front and 17-inch rear) fitted with ultra-sticky Bridgestone Battlax Supermoto slicks. The WP Xact suspension is updated, reducing suspension travel to an ample 11.2 inches in the front and 10.5 inches in the rear, lowering the bike’s center of gravity and improving handling. A radially mounted Brembo M50 front caliper squeezes a 310mm Galfer floating rotor to deliver all the braking power you’ll ever need on a bike that weighs just 232 pounds wet. MSRP is $11,299.
We selected the KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R as Rider‘s 2019 Motorcycle of the Year. Just two years later, KTM has updated the platform. Adapted from the 890 Duke R, the engine now has more displacement, a higher compression ratio, and other improvements. And like the 890 Duke R, the Adventure R has better throttle-by-wire response, a beefed-up clutch and a shortened shift lever stroke and lighter shift-detent spring for faster shifting. Chassis updates include an aluminum head tube, a lighter swingarm, revised suspension settings, and refinements to the braking system. Pricing starts at $14,199.
The limited-edition KTM 890 Adventure R Rally received the same updates as the 890 Adventure R (above), but is loaded with race-spec inspired components. Its development utilized feedback from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team riders, Toby Price, and Sam Sunderland. Only 700 units of the 890 Adventure R Rally will be produced worldwide, with 200 slated for the North American market. Pricing starKTM 8ts at $19,999.
Powering the 2021 KTM 890 Duke is the same punchy, rip-roaring 889cc parallel-Twin producing a claimed 115 horsepower and 67.9 lb-ft of torque that’s also found in the 890 Duke R and 890 Adventure (above). Shared amongst the middleweight Duke family is a chromoly-steel frame, lightweight one-piece aluminum subframe and cast aluminum swingarm. By using the 889cc engine as a stressed member, the 890 Duke flaunts a mere 372-pound dry weight. We recently completed a comparison test of the 2021 KTM Duke lineup (200, 390, 890, and 1290), which will be posted soon.
On March 15, 2021, Moto Guzzi celebrated its 100th anniversary of continuous production at its headquarters in Mandello del Lario, Italy. One of Moto Guzzi’s most iconic models, the V7, was updated for 2021, and is available in more modern V7 Stone and classic V7 Special versions. Both have a larger 853cc V-Twin derived from engine, variations of which are found in the V9 and V85 TT. They also get reduced effort from the single-disc dry clutch, a stiffer frame, a bigger swingarm with a new bevel gear for the cardan shaft drive, revised damping and a longer stroke for the preload-adjustable rear shocks, an updated ABS module, a wider rear tire, vibration-damping footpegs, and a thicker passenger seat. MSRP for the V7 Stone is $8,990, or $9,190 for the Centenario edition (shown above).
The 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Special gets the same updates as the V7 Stone above. Whereas the V7 Stone has matte finishes, a single all-digital gauge, black exhausts, cast wheels, and an eagle-shaped LED set into the headlight, the V7 Special is classically styled, with spoked wheels, chrome finishes, dual analog gauges, and a traditional headlight. MSRP is $9,490.
For 2021, the Moto Guzzi V85 TT gets some updates to its air-cooled 853cc 90-degree V-Twin. The revised powerplant offers more torque at low to midrange rpm thanks to optimized lift of the pushrod-and-rockers timing cams and tweaks to the engine control electronics. New spoked rims now mount tubeless tires, reducing unsprung weight by 3.3 pounds for better handling and facilitating plug-and-go flat repairs. Two new riding modes—Sport and Custom—join the existing three (Street, Rain, Off-road) to provide more flexibility in managing throttle response, traction control and ABS to suit rider preferences. Cruise control and the color TFT instrument panel also come standard. The 2021 V85 TT Adventure ($12,990) has standard saddlebags. The 2021 V85 TT Travel ($13,390) includes a Touring windscreen, side panniers from the Urban series, auxiliary LED lights, heated hand grips, and the Moto Guzzi MIA multimedia platform.
For 2021, the Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure bike, which is powered by an air-cooled 411cc Single, get several updates, including switchable ABS to help riders when riding off-road, a revised rear brake that is said to improve braking performance, a redesigned sidestand, and a new hazard light switch. MSRP is $4,999.
For 2021, the Royal Enfield family gets a new addition — the Meteor 350, a light, affordable cruiser powered by an all-new air-cooled 349cc single with SOHC actuating two valves. Available in three budget-friendly trim packages, variants include the base-model Fireball ($4,399) with a black exhaust system; the Stellar ($4,499), with a chrome exhaust and a passenger backrest; and the Supernova ($4,599), which adds a windshield and a two-tone paint scheme.
Triumph‘s Speed Triple is one of the original hooligan bikes. It has evolved over the years since its introduction in 1994, and for 2021 the Speed Triple 1200 RS is the lightest, most powerful, highest-spec version yet. Its all-new 1,160cc Triple (up from 1,050cc) makes 165 horsepower at the rear wheel, and the RS is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics, fully adjustable Öhlins suspension, Brembo Stylema front calipers, and much more. Pricing starts at $18,300.
The 2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport, a street-focused adventure bike powered by the same liquid-cooled 888cc in-line triple as the Tiger 900 models, but it has been detuned to 82 horsepower at 8,400 rpm and 58 lb-ft of torque at 6,700 rpm at the rear wheel, as measured on Jett Tuning‘s dyno, which is about 10 horsepower lower. To keep the price down, Triumph also reduced the number of ride modes to two (Road and Rain) and limited suspension adjustability to rear preload. But this is no bargain-bin special. It has Marzocchi suspension front and rear, and it has Brembo brakes, with Stylema front calipers and a radial front master cylinder. ABS is standard but not switchable, and traction control is also standard but is switchable.
The 2021 Triumph Trident 660 is a triple-cylinder-powered roadster in the the twin-cylinder-dominated middleweight class. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 660cc inline-Triple making a claimed 79.9 horsepower at 10,250 rpm and 47 lb-ft of torque at 6,250 rpm, and it is equipped with ABS, switchable traction control, and selectable ride modes. MSRP is $7,995.
Updates for 2021 to the Yamaha MT-07, its best-selling middleweight naked sportbike, include revisions to the 689cc liquid-cooled CP2 (Cross Plane 2-cylinder) parallel-Twin engine to meet Euro 5 regulations and to improve low-rpm throttle response. The MT-07 has a new 2-into-1 exhaust, revisions to the 6-speed gearbox to improve shifting feel, LED lighting all around, new instrumentation, revised ergonomics, and new styling that brings it closer in appearance to the larger MT-09 (below). Base price is $7,699, and three color choices are available: Storm Fluo, Matte Raven Black, and Team Yamaha Blue.
Now in its third generation, fully 90% of the Yamaha MT-09 naked sportbike is new for 2021. Its has an entirely new 890cc CP3 (Cross Plane 3-cylinder) inline-Triple engine, a thoroughly updated and significantly stiffer chassis, state-of-the-art electronics, and a fresh look that results in the most refined MT-09 yet. The base price increased by $400 to $9,399, but the four extra Benjamins are worth it. The MT-09 is available in Storm Fluo (shown above), Matte Raven Black, and Team Yamaha Blue. There’s also an MT-09 SP ($10,999) with exclusive special-edition coloring, premium KYB and Öhlins suspension, and cruise control.
After being teased for several years, Yamaha‘s highly anticipated Ténéré 700 adventure bike made its U.S. debut in the summer of 2021, bringing some excitement during a challenging pandemic year. It’s powered by the versatile 689cc liquid-cooled CP2 (Cross Plane 2-cylinder) parallel-Twin engine from the MT-07 (above), modified for adventure duty with a new airbox with a higher snorkel, a revised cooling system, an upswept exhaust, and a final gear ratio of 46/15 vs. 43/16. The rest of the bike is all-new, including the narrow double-cradle tubular-steel frame, triangulated (welded-on) subframe, double braced steering head and aluminum swingarm, adjustable long-travel suspension, switchable ABS, and more. Base price is $9,999 and its available in Ceramic Ice, Intensity White (shown above), and Matte Black.
Now in its third generation, Yamaha’s middleweight sport-tourer — now called the Tracer 9 GT — is new from the ground up for 2021. It has a larger, more powerful engine, a new frame, and a state-of-the-art electronics package that includes semi-active suspension. With these updates comes a higher price, and MSRP is now $14,899. It’s available in Liquid Metal (shown above) and Redline.
New for 2021, Zero has taken the existing frame from the FX and added a redesigned body. The starkly modern, supermoto styling is very similar in appearance to the FXS – tall, slim and sporting a raised front mudguard. However, the FXE is capable of a claimed 100-mile range on a full battery charge and costs $11,795, which can be bought down to around $10,000 depending upon available EV rebates and credits.
Compared to many of its heavier, more expensive competitors the FXE is a lightweight and thrilling runabout, and what it gives up in range it makes up for in accessibility and potential for fun. The FXE makes for a credible commuter bike, capable of taking to the highway but ideal to zip around town on.
“I would know the sound of a big Guzzi in my sleep. It concentrates its aural energies in your upper chest, ringing through your bones. It is … the sound of joy.” — Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles
When we find joy, we hold it close and nurture it. Woven throughout Pierson’s book, arguably one of the best ever written about motorcycling, is a romance between the author and Moto Guzzi. When searching for her first motorcycle, it was love at first sight: “a 500cc V-twin Moto Guzzi, red-and-black, a workhorse, and I thought it was beautiful.”
Like any true love, Pierson’s passion for Moto Guzzi ran deep and transcended appearance. She fell under the spell of the Italian V-twin’s syncopated beat. She dedicated her mind, body, and spirit to learning to ride, doing her own maintenance, and enduring long hours in the saddle through stifling heat, bitter cold, and drenching rain.
Moto Guzzi is a storied marque that celebrates a century of continuous production this year. Every Moto Guzzi — from the 1921 Normale, a 498cc single, to the 1955 Otto cilindri, a liquid-cooled, DOHC 500cc V-8 GP racer that topped 170 mph, to present-day models — has been built in the factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy, on the shores of Lake Como.
Three models — V7 Stone, V9 Bobber, and V85 TT — are available with a special Centenario color scheme for 2021 that pays tribute to the Otto cilindri. Their silver fuel tanks are inspired by the racebike’s raw alloy tank, their green side panels and front fenders are a nod to its iconic dustbin fairing, and their brown seats and golden eagle tank emblems further set them apart, though all 2021 models/colors display 100th anniversary logos on their front fenders.
Over its long history, Moto Guzzi has designed and built many notable models, but the V7 is a true living legend, the very soul of the brand. After two decades of building small, inexpensive motorcycles after World War II, Moto Guzzi became the first Italian manufacturer to offer a large-displacement model when, in 1967, it introduced the 700cc V7. It was the genesis of the engine configuration that came to define Moto Guzzi: the “flying” 90-degree V-twin, with its air-cooled cylinders jutting outward into the wind and its crankshaft running longitudinally. The V7 also had an automotive-style twin-plate dry clutch, a 4-speed constant mesh transmission, and shaft final drive.
Today’s V7 maintains a strong connection to the original, from its round headlight, sculpted tank, and upright seating position to its dry clutch, shaft drive, dual shocks, and dual exhaust. The V7 Special ($9,490) is classically styled, with spoked wheels, chrome finishes, dual analog gauges, and a traditional headlight. The more modern-looking V7 Stone ($8,990) has matte finishes, a single all-digital gauge, black exhausts, cast wheels, and an eagle-shaped LED set into the headlight.
I’ve ridden a variety of Moto Guzzis over the years — the Norge sport-tourer (named after the Norge GT 500, which Giuseppe Guzzi rode to the Arctic Circle in 1928), the carbon-fiber-clad MGX-21 Flying Fortress hard bagger, the classic California 1400 Touring, and the red-framed, chrome-tanked V7 Racer, among others. Each was unique, but all shared the distinctive cah-chugga-chugga sound when their V-twins fired up and the gentle rocking to the right side when their throttles were blipped at idle.
Riding a Moto Guzzi feels special. It’s a visceral, engaging, rhythmic experience. The V7 Stone brought me back to the simple pleasure of motorcycling — the feel of the wind against my body, the engine’s vibrations felt through various touch points, the exhilaration of thrust. Although the new V7 has a larger 853cc engine, variations of which are found in the V9 and V85 TT, output remains modest — 65 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 54 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, measured at the crank. But that’s enough. The V7 is one of those motorcycles that gives you permission to relax, to take your time and really savor the moment. What’s the rush?
Moto Guzzi made many useful, subtle updates to the V7 platform. Reduced effort from the single-disc dry clutch. A stiffer frame and a bigger swingarm with a new bevel gear for the cardan shaft drive. Revised damping and a longer stroke for the preload-adjustable rear shocks. An updated ABS module. A wider rear tire (now 150/70-17). Vibration-damping footpegs. A thicker passenger seat.
All are appreciated, but if I’m honest, I thought about none of them as I rolled through curve after curve on California’s Palms to Pines Highway, climbing higher and higher into the rugged, snow-dusted San Jacinto Mountains. For the better part of a day, I just rode the V7. I didn’t try to figure out its riding modes (it doesn’t have any), nor did I connect my smartphone to Moto Guzzi’s multimedia app. I rolled on and off the throttle. I shifted through the gears. And I smiled. A lot.
The V7 Stone is solid, predictable, carefree. Its engine doles out torque nearly everywhere, but it feels happiest chugging along in the midrange. Throttle response is direct, the exhaust note is soothing. Thanks to its modest weight, low seat, and natural ergonomics, riding and handling are effortless. Braking, shifting, suspension — everything dutifully meets expectations. Like the Guzzi that stole Pierson’s heart, the V7 Stone is a workhorse, and it’s easy on the eyes. Well, except for its peculiar-looking taillight, which has a constellation of red LEDs that look too sci-fi for this style of bike.
The V7 Stone Centenario carries the weight of Moto Guzzi’s century of history with confidence. The brand is an acquired taste, favored by connoisseurs rather than the masses, and it inspires a cult-like following. When I interviewed Melissa Holbrook Pierson for the Rider Magazine Insider podcast, I asked about her first encounter with a Guzzi. “It was chance,” she said. “I just happened upon the bike that was literally perfect for me.”
2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Base Price: $8,990
Price as Tested: $9,190 (Centenario edition)
Website: motoguzzi.comEngine Type: Air-cooled, longitudinal 90-degree V-twin, OHV w/ 2 valves per cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 84.0 x 77.0mm
Horsepower: 65 hp @ 6,800 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 54 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated dry clutch
Final Drive: Shaft
Wheelbase: 57.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 28 degrees/4.1 in.
Seat Height: 30.7 in.
Wet Weight: 480 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gals.
Moto Guzzi is celebrating 100 years of continuous production this year. Its updated V7 Stone is available in a special Centenario edition for 2021 that’s a tribute to Moto Guzzi’s Otto cilindri V-8 GP racer, which went over 170 mph in 1955. The Centenario livery, with a silver tank, green fenders and side panels, a brown seat, and special badging, is also available on 2021 Moto Guzzi V85 TT and V9 Bobber models for an extra $200.
For 2021, the V7 Stone ($8,990) and V7 Special ($9,490) have a larger 853cc V-twin that makes 65 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 54 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, measured at the crank. Other updates include reduced effort from the single-disc dry clutch; a stiffer frame and a bigger swingarm with a new bevel gear for the cardan shaft drive; revised damping and a longer stroke for the preload-adjustable rear shocks; an updated ABS module; a wider rear tire (now 150/70-17); vibration-damping footpegs; a thicker passenger seat; an updated styling.
The 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone is solid, predictable, carefree. Find out more by watching our video review:
In 2020, Guy Pickrell won the Moto Guzzi “Spirit of the Eagle Rideaway” competition. He dreamed up an epic 2,600-mile, 8-day, 7-state, 6-national-park adventure route.
Moto Guzzi gave Guy and his buddy Kit Klein use of two Moto Guzzi V85 TT adventure bikes and a $2,500 travel budget. They packed their gear, had Michelin Anakee Wild tires mounted on the bikes, and they hit the road.
Starting in Seattle, they rode east to Glacier National Park, south to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Flaming Gorge, Capitol Reef, and Grand Staircase-Escalante, and they finished in Las Vegas. Their route included paved sections like Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana and unpaved tracks like Skyline Drive Scenic Backway in Utah.
Two buddies, two bikes, one big adventure. This is their story.
I find motorcycles are akin to the culinary world in that there is a cornucopia of flavors to analyze and ponder while parked on the couch. We all have our preferences, but some flavors are more pronounced and distinctive than others — low-fat plain yogurt just doesn’t have the complexity of a Pepperoncino pepper. When it comes to unique motorcycles, the 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel leaves a lasting impression on the palate.
The V85 TT line rolls out of Moto Guzzi’s Mandello del Lario factory, on the shore of Italy’s swanky-villa spackled Lake Como, and offers an unexpected proposition: a vintage-styled ADV-Tourer from a heritage brand. With the Stelvio 1200 put out to pasture, a new ADV machine was needed in Guzzi’s ranks, and much like the combination of fried foods and ice cream, the V85 TT was something I needed in life.
Introduced for 2020, the Travel is the third member of the V85 TT lineup and mechanically identical to its brothers. With a few tweaks to the recipe, the Travel is aimed at those looking to rack up mileage faster than a millennial’s college loan debt. Those tweaks include a windscreen with 60-percent more surface area, heated grips, LED fog lights, the Moto Guzzi MIA multimedia package, key-matched panniers and an exclusive rugged-looking colorway called Sabbia Namib. Best yet, you get all that for a $400 upcharge above the V85 TT Adventure.
Out on the road, the larger windscreen deflects much more air and reduces buffeting noticeably when behind the Guzzi’s wide handlebar. The comfy 32.7-inch saddle remains the same, and its lower height is an advantage when you need to get your boots on the ground — something that taller, more off-road focused ADV bikes don’t accommodate as easily.
Powering the Goose is the 853cc transverse V-twin with all the Guzzi flavor fans adore, sans the gamey, unrefined top-end juddering of the past. In keeping with tradition, a pushrod valve train is used, while modern engine building influences are reflected in the lighter and stronger titanium intake valves, aluminum rods, updated roller tappet design, a new low-profile piston and a redesigned crankshaft. It’s a far cry from the V7 III powerplant that shares similar architecture — all the soul and none of the funk.
On the Jett Tuning Dyno, our 2020 V85 TT Adventure test bike (January 2020 and on ridermagazine.com) put out a modest 66.3 horsepower at 7,900 rpm and 48.6 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm of supremely tractable power, with buttery low and mid-range grunt that gleefully spools up on a whim. In truth, you’re best served short shifting and exploiting the punchy mid-range power.
Between the well-spaced 6-speed gearbox’s ratios and tractability, it’s easy to put power down when exiting corners in the streets. This middleweight engine hits the sweet spot of useable grunt off-road, too, forgoing the wheel-spinning madness of larger displacement competitors.
A long 60.2-inch wheelbase and relaxed 28-degree rake make the Travel surefooted on tarmac, tipping in without effort and showing nod-worthy sport-touring prowess when the pace picks up. Suspenders are in the form of a 41mm KYB fork and cantilever shock, featuring spring preload and rebound damping adjustment. Initial settings are a bit soft and cranking them up will pay off, especially if you’re feeling invigorated. Once dialed in, the V85 TT can do some quickstepping in the canyons. Off-road, the 557-pound Guzzi asks big questions of the suspension — stick to groomed fire-roads or trails on the way to your campsite, and hopefully, a cast iron pan-fried dinner.
On those longer rides, the robust key-matched panniers are built to take a hit and also stow away your goods. It’s far more convenient than the V85 TT Adventure, which had individual keys for each piece of luggage. At night, I was certainly glad to have the three-level heated grips to stay toasty, and the LED fog lights are a noticeable help.
The 19- and 17-inch wheels laced up with beefy Michelin Anakee Adventure tires are a good pairing, allowing you to hit groomed fire roads and rocky sections with confidence, without sacrificing on-road manners the way a 21-inch front wheel would. Though the wide front tire isn’t particularly adept in sand.
Radial-mount four-piston brake calipers up front grab on 320mm rotors and provide good stopping power, but require a little extra effort at the lever to get the job done quickly. A single two-piston caliper works in junction with a 260mm disc in back, with a fairly relaxed bite that prevents you from prematurely locking the rear in dirt.
Moto Guzzi has done something special with the V85 TT line, creating a distinguished motorcycle that can do a bit of it all; commute, tour, sow wild oats in the canyons and head off for a weekend in the backcountry. The styling and experience give it an unforgettable charm and with the V85 TT Travel’s smart accessories, this model becomes the pinch of salt in the chocolate milk, elevating the whole affair.
Earlier this year, Moto Guzzi kicked off its “Spirit of the Eagle” contest, which allowed riders to dream up their perfect motorcycle vacation on a Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel. Winners conjure up the trip, while Moto Guzzi provides the V85 TT Travel, fuel, and covers lodging. With over 750 contest entries, Moto Guzzi selected three winners: Kevin Young of Utah, James Muriel of Tennessee, and Guy Pickrell of California. Follow Moto Guzzi’s social media channels to see updates of their journeys.
From Press Release:
THREE WINNERS CHOSEN TO TAKE THE TRIP OF THEIR DREAMS, SPENDING A COUPLE WEEKS EXPLORING AMERICA’S OPEN ROADS ON A NEW V85 TT TRAVEL
Moto Guzzi USA launched the “Spirit of the Eagle” contest online earlier this year, while many were at home daydreaming of the next time they would get to ride. Now, the contest has completed, three winners were selected to experience the ride of their dreams, with accommodations from Moto Guzzi.
Of over 750 contest entries, the winners were selected to take the 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel, their tours stretching all across the American West, independently covering Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and California. The three winners included Kevin Young of Utah, James Muriel of Tennessee, and Guy Pickrell of California. Each are being joined by a guest this month to live out their greatest trip in their mind, on the road.
You can follow their journeys on the Moto Guzzi Americas social platforms on Facebook and Instagram
Customers who did not win can still benefit from the activity, as all participants are being rewarded with a $250 accessory credit, should they decide to purchase a new 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 this year.
Moto Guzzi V85 TT
The new V85 platform, built around an entirely new engine, reflects a construction philosophy in which simplicity, practicality and lightness make for an unfiltered relationship between motorcycle and rider. The TT acronym, meaning “tutto terreno”, or all-terrain, it identifies a motorcycle dedicated to travel in its purest and most original form. Moto Guzzi V85 TT combines style features reminiscent of the golden age of motorcycle adventures with the content and functionality of a modern touring enduro. Its configuration mirrors that of all Moto Guzzi bikes in production today: an air-cooled transverse 90° V-twin with OHV distribution and two valves per cylinder.
Additional model information, special offers, dealership locations, and more can be found at:
We’ve been looking forward to getting our hands on the Moto Guzzi V85 TT, the latest bike to roll out of Italy’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer, since our first ride on one at the press launch last spring (read the review here). The V85 TT (tutto terrano, or all-terrain) appeared to be a Goldilocks ride for those looking for a friendly, accessible middleweight adventure tourer, with a 32.7-inch seat (a 31.9-inch low option is also available), narrow waist and claimed 505-pound wet weight. Its styling turns heads, too, especially in either of the two “Adventure” color combos. But the big news is its new air-cooled, 853cc, OHV two-valve-per-cylinder 90-degree “flying” V-twin engine, launched initially in the V85 TT with more models to follow. Technical details on the new engine can be found in our First Ride Review, but in summary the new powerplant is quicker-revving with a higher redline, and lighter, quieter and smoother than previous Guzzi small-blocks. Ground clearance is an ADV-friendly 8.3 inches, thanks to a redesigned gearbox and clutch housing and a tubular steel frame that uses the engine as a stressed member, eliminating the need for a lower frame cradle. Power is sent to the rear wheel via driveshaft housed on the right side of the long, asymmetric aluminum swingarm.
The standard V85 TT ($11,990) is well equipped with hand guards, electronic cruise control, an aluminum sump guard, switchable MGCT traction control, ABS and three riding modes (Road, Rain and Off-Road). But for just $1,000 more the Adventure is a no-brainer, with striking red/white or red/yellow/white livery and standard aluminum top and side cases. (For reference, the luggage alone runs just shy of $2,000 in Moto Guzzi’s accessory catalog.) The Adventure also gets dirt-ready Michelin Anakee Adventure tires rather than the standard Metzeler Tourance Nexts; both models have 19-inch front, 17-inch rear tube-type spoked rims.
This is a lovely time of year to ride California’s Central Coast, so we planned an overnighter to Monterey, on roads varying from the wide-open divided highway of U.S. Route 101, to meandering wine country two-lane, the sinuous curves of Big Sur and the bumpy, narrow tarmac of Carmel Valley Road. By the time we made our first pit stop in Los Olivos, northwest of Santa Barbara, the V85 TT’s new engine was already making a favorable impression. Response from the throttle-by-wire system was smooth and precise, without the abruptness that has plagued other bikes we’ve tested. We picked up on some vibration in the pegs and grips at higher cruising speeds, but it was never enough to cause discomfort, and once we ducked off U.S. 101 in favor of two-lane Foxen Canyon Road, which dances through hills and vineyards, the new engine’s character really started to shine.
The most noticeable difference from the previous-gen V9 engine is an increase in horsepower; our V85 TT Adventure produced 66.3 peak rear-wheel horsepower at 7,900 rpm and 48.6 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 on the Jett Tuning dyno, compared with 51.3 horsepower and 47.3 lb-ft of torque from the 853cc V9 Bobber we tested in 2017. The new V85 spins up quickly and easily, which is good since you’ll want to keep it above 3,000 rpm to stay in the meat of its powerband. The six-speed gearbox is relatively smooth and less clunky than past Guzzis, though the cable-actuated dry clutch engages and disengages within a narrow portion at the end of the lever throw. Overall, we’re impressed with the new engine, and the increased horsepower as shown in the dyno figures is only part of that. Rather than holding it back, the V85 contributes to the TT’s nimble, easy to handle feel; this is a cohesive machine that works well and is really fun to ride.
Back on the road, after rotating the wide handlebar back down to its stock position (the previous tester had moved it up to facilitate standing off-road), the TT also proved to be fairly comfortable, with a long, flat, plush seat that narrows at the tank for easy reach to the ground. Footpegs are set at a happy medium between ground-clearance high and comfortable low. With a 34-inch inseam, my knees hovered just a couple of inches from the rear of each cylinder head, but heat was never a problem and I only banged them a couple of times when moving around on the bike during aggressive cornering. Our biggest complaint regarding touring comfort was the short, non-adjustable windscreen, which flowed air directly onto my shoulders and helmet; an accessory or aftermarket touring screen would be an easy fix. As an early twilight descended, we made another wish: auxiliary lights. While the twin LED headlights, bisected with a DRL in the shape of the Moto Guzzi eagle, do a nice job of lighting up the road directly in front of the TT’s front tire, their beams end abruptly in a horizontal line about two car lengths ahead. Flicking on the high beam only makes those two car lengths brighter rather than illuminating farther down the road.
The V85 TT is equipped with three ride modes, Road, Rain and Off-Road, all of which offer full power but vary in terms of ABS, traction control, throttle response and engine braking settings. Road is the standard touring mode, while Rain softens throttle response, increases traction control and ABS intervention and limits top speed, and Off-Road reduces traction control and disables ABS to the rear wheel (ABS can be completely disabled in this mode as well). Traction control can be shut off independently, but always reengages after the bike is turned off/back on again.
Radial-mount four-piston Brembo front brakes are adequate, but require a hefty lever squeeze to produce much action; more aggressive initial bite would be welcome and might add to rider confidence, especially when riding fully loaded on a downhill. Suspension is fairly soft, well-suited to off-road excursions and gnarly, bumpy pavement, and both the 41mm Kayaba USD fork and single rear shock with dual-rate spring are only adjustable for preload and rebound damping. We cranked the rear shock’s preload nearly all the way to the max, but even with a lightweight rider (never ask a lady how much she weighs!) and luggage that was far from full the TT sagged considerably, eating through most of the “soft” part of the spring. That said, at a moderate pace, even over rough pavement, the TT handles nimbly and easily, and in fact is almost too willing to turn in. Once tipped into a bend, I actually found myself countersteering against the turn to prevent the TT from leaning farther, then just increasing that pressure to straighten back out. Nothing dangerous, just one of those quirks that becomes “normal” after a couple of weeks.
Anyway, as any Guzzi owner will tell you, a bit of character is part of the charm. Somewhat fiddly switchgear that requires a small learning curve? An indicator light that blinks irritatingly whenever cruise control is on but not in use? A starter button that doubles as a ride mode selector, requiring wrist contortions, multiple thumb taps and constant attention to (hopefully) select the desired mode? Nessun problema! (No problem!) None of these are a deal-breaker, and as a mid-weight ADV tourer or commuter the V85 TT Adventure is a real bargain, and eye-catchingly stylish to boot. With the easy additions of a touring windscreen, the optional heated grips and a set of auxiliary lights, this is a machine that’s ready to go the distance.
2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Specs
Base Price: $11,990 Price As Tested: $12,990 (Adventure w/ paint, luggage & Michelin Anakee Adventure tires) Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles Website: motoguzzi-us.com
Type: Air-cooled, longitudinal 90-degree V-twin Displacement: 853cc Bore x Stroke: 84.0 x 77.0mm Compression Ratio: 10.5:1 Valve Train: OHV, 2 valves per cyl. Valve Insp. Interval: 6,200 miles Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ 52mm throttle body Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.1-qt. cap. Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated dry clutch Final Drive: Shaft
Moto Guzzi’s new retro-themed V85 TT–as in Tutto Terreno, or all-terrain–is part adventure tourer, part streetfighter and part street scrambler. It’s the opening shot in a barrage of forthcoming new midsize models using its all-new air-cooled, 853cc, 90-degree longitudinal V-twin pushrod engine. There’s nothing else quite like the V85 TT in the marketplace, and designer Mirko Zocco deserves praise for producing a bike with unique styling that’s as fresh to look at as it’s fun to ride. The chance to spend a 120-mile day in sunny Sardinia riding it on the hilly, switchback roads of Italy’s second largest island, underlined what a significant model this is for Italy’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer.
Available in three different color schemes for the U.S., with the gray tint/black frame, the bike costs $11,990 fitted with tarmac-friendly Metzeler Tourance Next tires. You’ll need $1,000 more for the red/yellow or red/white versions, each with red-painted frame, carrying more off-road-focused Michelin Anakee Adventure rubber. Both variants come with a 19-inch front wire wheel with aluminum rim and 17-inch rear.
With a bore and stroke of 84 x 77mm, the V85 TT’s motor produces a claimed 80 horsepower at 7,750 rpm, alongside 59 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, claims Guzzi, with 90-percent of that torque available at just 3,750 rpm. At the other end of the rev scale is a 7,800-rpm limiter, making this the most high-revving Guzzi OHV motor, despite being a two-valve design (rather than a four-valver) in keeping with the model’s traditional focus and retro-inspired styling.
Guzzi engineers have delivered an ultra-flexible power unit that’s more responsive than previous such engines, with reduced inertia. It has achieved this via a semi-dry sump design with the oil tank positioned in the lower crankcase half with twin oil pumps. This reduces oil drag on the crankshaft assembly which, with lighter conrods and pistons, weighs 30-percent less than previous Guzzi small-block motors, resulting in more zestful pickup from lower revs.
That’s aided by using titanium for the large 42.5mm intake valve while retaining a 35.5mm steel exhaust valve in each cylinder head, operated by aluminum pushrods with roller tappets, resulting in a lighter and also quieter operation of the valve gear–there’s none of the top-end rattles of previous Guzzi OHV motors. Partially aimed at decreasing fuel consumption–Guzzi claims a frugal 48 mpg, which with a six-gallon fuel tank delivers a 250-plus mile range–there’s just a single 52mm throttle body controlled by a Magneti Marelli ECU, with RBW digital throttle offering three different riding modes–Road, Rain and Off Road. Each delivers full engine power but with a different throttle response via altered engine mapping, plus variable engine braking settings, and diverse calibration for the Continental ABS and switchable MGCT traction control. Power is transmitted via an all-new six-speed gearbox coupled to a revised single-plate clutch in a redesigned housing, giving increased ground clearance.
Guzzi’s new small-block motor is wrapped in a tubular steel chassis using the engine as a fully stressed component. This removes the need for a lower frame cradle, thus reducing weight while also increasing engine ground clearance to a useful 8.3 inches for off-road riding, with the engine protected by an aluminum sump guard. The more compact new engine’s shorter length permits a long asymmetric cast aluminum swingarm delivering a rangy 60.2-inch wheelbase, the curved left arm of which permits the 2-1 exhaust’s oval-section silencer to be tucked in tight, with the V85 TT’s shaft final drive housed in the right arm.
Suspension is by Kayaba, with the 41mm fork set at a relaxed 28 degrees of rake with 5.0 inches of trail matched to a cantilever rear single shock offset to the right with a dual-rate spring. Suspension stroke front and rear is a generous 6.7 inches, and both fork and shock are adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping. Braking comes from Brembo via twin 320mm front discs with radial four-piston calipers, and a 260mm rear disc with two-pot caliper. Dry weight is quoted as 459 pounds. Zocco’s distinctive neo-Classic enduro styling sets this all off, complete with a short screen that isn’t adjustable for height. The 1980s-style twin round LED headlamps are ingeniously bisected by a bright DRL depicting the Guzzi eagle motif. An upsized 430-watt flywheel generator provides the current to power these, as well as any of the wide range of accessories like heated grips, which Guzzi offers in the bike’s dedicated accessory catalog.
The TFT dash is well designed and legible, with a variable color background depending on light conditions. Aside from the speedo, tach, odometer/twin tripmeters, clock, gear selected, ambient temperature, fuel level, average and current consumption, DTE and selected Riding Mode displays, you can even adjust when the shifter lights flash to remind you to change gear.
The V85 TT has real visual presence, and build quality seems high, with excellent paint finish. Hop aboard its 32.7-inch-high seat (there’s 31.9/33.5 options), and you’ll find a quite upright but very comfortable riding stance via the taper-section alloy handlebar and relatively low footrests, which only drag in turns at quite extreme lean angles. The Kayaba suspension is really outstanding, especially the well-damped 41mm fork which gives good feedback so you can use heaps of turn speed despite the skinny 19-inch front.
The TC lets you get on the throttle hard and early exiting the switchback turns along Sardinia’s southwestern coast, where my only criticism was that the rear suspension is a little “dry” in low-speed damping over ripples and ridges, with initial compression of the twin-rate spring not as smooth as I’d like. But medium and high-speed damping is excellent, even without a rear link–I could feel the shock compressing and releasing smoothly beneath me through faster turns, or over a series of high speed bumps. And the generous wheel travel front and rear, coupled with the wide handlebar and tucked-in silencer, makes this a comfortable and capable ride off-road.
Guzzi has got it just right, and the same goes for how the V85 TT steers. It holds a line well but changes direction easily–it’s almost delicate in the way it steers. The radial brakes also performed well, with a strong but not aggressive initial bite. You can even finger the front brake lever to throw off a little excess speed once committed to a turn, and this Guzzi won’t sit up on you and head for the hills like some other motorcycles with this much trail dialed into the steering geometry. Job well done, amici.
However, my real plaudits are reserved for the V85 TT’s outstanding new engine, which feels more “modern” and sophisticated than any Moto Guzzi OHV/pushrod engine I’ve yet sampled. Work the light-action clutch lever–this’ll be an excellent commuter bike, thanks to that and the upright riding stance–to insert bottom gear, and not only does this go in with no sign of the clunk previously ubiquitous on Moto Guzzi engines, but as you drive forward practically off idle with minimal use of the clutch, the V85 TT motor gives a good imitation of a turbine. It’s unbelievably smooth not only by the standards of the past, but also compared to rival middleweight twins.
However, while Guzzi’s new 853cc engine drives very well from as low as 1,500 rpm, you need 3,500 revs or more to get the strong pickup it’s capable of delivering. Top gear roll-on below that mark is a little sluggish, so you’re encouraged to use the very sweet-shifting gearbox–I can’t remember ever using that term to describe a Moto Guzzi transmission!–to keep the revs up on the open road. If you do that you’ll get excellent response from the motor from 4,000 revs upward, meaning I spent a lot of time in fourth gear. But there’s vibration through the footrests from 5,000 rpm upward, equating to 80 mph in top gear. The engine is otherwise very smooth with just a few tingles through the seat as you near the 7,800-rpm limiter. Instead, you’ll want to surf the V92TT’s ultra-flat torque curve and hit a higher gear at around 6,800 rpm, which’ll put you back in the fat part of the powerband each time.
A relaxing and enjoyable everyday ride, with the debut of the V85 TT the wings of the Moto Guzzi eagle have started flapping a lot harder.
Keep scrolling for more pictures below the spec chart.
2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Specs Website:motoguzzi.com Base Price: $11,990 Price as Tested: $12,990 (V85 TT Adventure w/ luggage, multi-color & Michelin Anakee Adventure tires) Engine Type: Air-cooled, longitudinal 90-degree V-twin, OHV, 2 valves per cyl. Bore x Stroke: 84.0 x 77.0mm Displacement: 853cc Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated dry clutch Final Drive: Shaft Wheelbase: 60.2 in. Rake/Trail: 28.0 degrees/5.0 in. Seat Height: 32.7 in. Claimed Wet Weight: 505 lbs. Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gals., last 1.3 gals. warning light on MPG: NA