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Old 08-09-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
Volfy
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Moto Guzzi ownership experience

In the never ending quest to find the bike that might finally hit the G-spot for me, I've gotten my sights on the "other" Italian brand - Moto Guzzi. The old Goose may not be sexy like the Ducati ducks, or as feisty as the Aprilia chicks, but they seem to the last of the breed that are deisgned and built by tradition, rather than dicated by the latest technology or formed by consumer studies.

What do you Guzzi owners think of the ownership experience? Does the air-cooled motor fair well in the Houston heat? Do the exposed cylinders roast your legs in the summer? Any quirks, idiosyncracies, or common problems? How's the drivetrain for day-to-day street riding, by that I mean at most spirited but nowhere near competitive pace.

BTW, I stopped by MPH Cycles and they seem to be a small but dedicated & knowledgeable dealership. Dunno if they are affiliated with the Dallas MPH Cycles, which I visited last week.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
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I've taken my griso out in the hillcountry in 100 degree heat with no problem to either the bike or my legs. The cylinders get very hot, but the heat doesn't radiate much and the guards on the pipes are effective. I was much hotter on my 696 because the pipe shielding was poor.

The shaft drive is fine and mostly unnoticeable in regular or spirited riding. Really rough throttle use will remind you there isn't a chain out back though.

The idiosyncrasy is the torque reaction to the right, which makes for great conversation and makes the bike shake like a paint shaker in neutral. Also the engine is really noisy, but in all the right ways. The clutch rattles, the gears whine, and at full throttle it clatters. The noise can be disconcerting at first, but it grows on you quickly. After a few months of guzzi ownership I'd be really worried if it wasn't making all sorts of noises.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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I pick up the V7R tomorrow at noon. I researched the out of the Moto Guzzis. Frankly I have been looking at replacing my beloved Kawasaki EX500 for six months. For me, at age 58, the Guzzi, I think, is the right choice.

I had a nice test ride and loved the geometry and riding response. The bikes are light too, and corner like they are made in the Alps (which they are), and braking is very crisp. Many cite lack of power, but 50 is plenty for me. No problems with heat, the engines are designed for riding in Rome, and it is hot there. The free air, V-twin, longitudinal engine coupled directly with a shaft drive results in a very smooth and rapid response to the low end torque.

I have not yet experienced high speed riding, but I will on 99 coming home tomorrow. Talking with other MG V7 owners: they can cruise all day at 80 no issues. It seems nobody has an idea of the top speed, I would guess around 100, similar to my EX500.


All bikes have quirks: the MG seem to have long throw shifters, and need a bit of finesse getting into first gear from neutral (roll the bike a bit, or release clutch a bit with light pressure on shifter). They tend to burn a bit of oil while breaking in, then once the rings seat they stop.

The build quality is superb, better I think than most bikes. Visually I think the MGs are stunning. The instruments are gorgeous, details are artistic. MPH is an excellent dealer. They have a USA-wide reputation for competence, and that is what I have experienced. If the V7 small block is not enough power, go for the bigger Griso. MG makes bikes with character, check out last month's Cycle World.

I will post actual riding experiences as I have them. Something tells me my is going to be a bit sore after this coming weekend. PM me if you want sources for a lot of detailed information from long term, and fanatical owners.

MG V7 = sport bike for old guys.

ciao baby,
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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I own a V7. Little brother to the 1100. It has about 50k miles on it, has an extended oil sump which allows an additional litre of oil. I have not had any issues with it being air cooled. Drive shaft is nice low maintenance.
What model are you looking at? What type of riding? Pm me if you want any additional info.
Top speed is 105.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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Believe it or not, I actually have ridden many more miles on shafties than on chains, so I'm very used to the various shaft drive effects. Fond memories of riding an '80 Yamaha XJ650 and an '86 XJ700 all through college. You would think that some 25year later, the Connie 14 would be far better, but there is still plenty of On-Off throttle driveline lag. To me, it's a great discipline tool for smooth throttle/clutch control. If you can drive a bad shaftie smooth, you can glide with any chain bike.

I understand about the pipe heat shielding. That's my biggest complaint about the ape. The pipes cook my legs whenever I'm stopped. As long as the cylinder heads don't roast my shins, I'm cool (pun intended).

The vibes is central to a bike's character. I4s are smooth, almost to a fault, at lower RPMs., but at higher Revs the 2XRPM buzziness can be annoying as heck. V-twins are the exact opposite.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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I'm somwhat undecided at this point whether I am looking for a lightweight around-town bike or a heavier standard/tourer. I just picked up an FZ1 intending on it been my weekend funster to replace the ape, but after a few rides, it's hasn't clicked in with me yet. Chances that it will are getting slimmer with each ride. I am interested in the V7 for this reason. The V7 Racer is done along the lines of the Thruxton, but it's a bit down on power. Still, as only the Italians can do it, Guzzi trumps Triumph styling by an English mile. I may be getting old, but I'm still as vain as any school boy for a ride in a Lamborghini.

The alternate plan - one is which I get to keep the ape as the weekend funster - would only work if I could replace the Connie 14, as SWMBO dictates that I go back to 2 bikes only (track bunny don't count). This means that it will have to be flexible enough to be a commuter and a short-range sport tourer. The C14 commutes very well with the sidebags off and shield lowered, though I'm not a hardcore bike commuter - only in fair weather. The group at work I ride with do two tours a yr - fall and spring. Last fall was a 3-day 800mile 3sisters trip. Longest may be 4-day 1200mile to the Ozarks. Again, I'm no iron- and don't need no Goldwing. I still love wind on my helmet, but wind off my chest on long haul would be nice. Along with a seat that's good for 2hour stretches in an 10hr day.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
Believe it or not, I actually have ridden many more miles on shafties than on chains, so I'm very used to the various shaft drive effects. Fond memories of riding an '80 Yamaha XJ650 and an '86 XJ700 all through college. You would think that some 25year later, the Connie 14 would be far better, but there is still plenty of On-Off throttle driveline lag. To me, it's a great discipline tool for smooth throttle/clutch control. If you can drive a bad shaftie smooth, you can glide with any chain bike.

I understand about the pipe heat shielding. That's my biggest complaint about the ape. The pipes cook my legs whenever I'm stopped. As long as the cylinder heads don't roast my shins, I'm cool (pun intended).

The vibes is central to a bike's character. I4s are smooth, almost to a fault, at lower RPMs., but at higher Revs the 2XRPM buzziness can be annoying as heck. V-twins are the exact opposite.
Time to get you one. As noted, these are not Supersports so don't expect neck breaking acceleration, just expect a good ride. The Griso is very nice and you should check that one out as well as the breva sport.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Funster is the word. A fun and pleasant ride leaving me with big grins is my main objective. The Kawa has been a good bike, but the Guzzi has panache.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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With all this Guzzi talk, my Griso may be up for sale. I just find myself riding my Triumph more. I might keep the Triple as my daily and get something sportier to replace the Guzzi.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
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Funster is the word. A fun and pleasant ride leaving me with big grins is my main objective. The Kawa has been a good bike, but the Guzzi has panache.
See?? You buy a Guzzi, and you too can use big fancy words.


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Old 08-09-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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Guzzi's

Volfy, you hav'nt really specified what you are looking for, what type of ride your looking for, what you want out of it, etc...etc... I know Motto-Guzzi does'nt offer many choices in their line of bikes this year, but there are some old new stock bikes out there you just have to look for them. I don't own, nor have I ever owned any Guzzi's, but my Dad has owned several Guzzi's, And I have ridden them all, and he currently owns a "2004" Moto-Guzzi California EV it's a cruiser "1100"cc (i think) The bike just before this was a "2008", 1200cc Sport pretty Quick bike Great in twistys, Running through the gears you had to keep your body weight pretty far forward, because it wanted to pull the front wheel up in every gear. I never saw top speed riding it but the moto mags had it rated at 150 MPH top speed. And that would'nt surprise me. If you can put more info on what you want, any possible questions, whatever,I will get my Dad to post later this evening when I get home, He can tell you A hole lot more than me, He's had new ones, Used ones, Basket cases that he has built from ground up,And Police bikes that he had to convert back to civilian bikes,lose lights, sirens etc.. w/ re-wire so on and so forth. I should be home by about six I will have him post after dinner if you have any questions......................................... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ...............His screen name is "chainsawchuck"
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #13
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Appreciate the responses, serious & tongue-in-cheek...

Okay, a little history perhaps. Here are the bikes I bought since I got back to riding Spring of 2011:

2008 Suzuki S83 - brand new leftover stock. I wanted this bike when it first came out some 25yrs ago and surprised to see it was still available brand new. Just had to get one for nostalgia. Great fun putt-putting and giving my kids rides around the beighborhood. Good tool for easing myself back on two wheels. Once I got a taste of better machines though, nostalgia ain't worth much. Sold.

2005 Gixxer 600 - bought with 19k miles on the clock - used but not abused - strictly as a track bunny. Rode 1 track day and loved it. Waiting for cooler weather for more TDs. Keeper.

2008 ZX10R - bought with less than 400 miles on the clock - practically brand new and too good a deal to pass up. A couple of rides on this thing scared the wits out of myself. I swore I saw the Virgin Marry everytime I crack the throttle 3/4 open... and I'm not even Catholic. I'm man-enough to admit I'm not man enough to ride these litre monsters. Traded in with less than 1000 miles on the clock.

2009 Triumph Sprint 1050 ST - bought just broken in at 5k miles. Finally, a bike just my speed and purpose. Drivetrain is not overtly powerful but carry fat torque curves and sublimely smooth. Triple's off-throttle burble is music to die for. Only Fault - the packaging leave a bit to be desired. Seat too uncomfortable for longer rides, underseat exhaust roasted my nuts and my XL Shoei doesn't fit in the sidebag. Traded in after 3 months.

2009 Kawi Concours 14 - bought barely broken in at 2k miles. Erased all packaging difficiencies of the Sprint, plus everything I like about the Sprint - and more - power, amenities (motorized screen, TPMS, keyless FOB, etc.). Like 80% of what Japan builds on 2-wheels, it is perfected to a fault. So devoid of negatives so as to be characterless. Great tool for that 3day tour, and provide great comfort for daily commute, but it is just a... tool. With all the passion and panache of a 17mm combination wrench.

2008 Aprilia RSV1000R Factory - I could kiss the guy that sold it to me, except uh... he is a guy. Bought with 5k on the clock, this Italian beauty pageant on fancy high heels came closest to hitting my G-spot. If I were 20yrs younger, I would need no other love. As it is, a hour and a half worth of passion is all I can stand, before my wrists go limp, my back aches, my neck numbs, and my manhood voluntarily withdraws in defeat.

2007 FZ1 - bought to try out a "standard" with better ergos before I decide whether to end the affair with the gorgeous Aprilia. Yes, I'm a two-timing sonnova gun. So far, it's been hard to "get it up" with plain Jane inline 4 when I've tasted the sweet voluptuous V-twin. Even though I know Fizzie, in her own right, is a fine machine. Dunno...
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #14
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LOL on french vocabulary, yes I got a 790 on the SAT verbal and also lived in North Africa and speak some french. Google that.

Given that, Moto Guzzis deserve more respect than they get in the USA. Volfy, go ride a couple at MPH and decide for yourself.

a demain, merde-tete
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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Based on your model history I'd say decide what packaging you want with your character. The engine is identical between the griso, norge, and stelvio aside from the exhaust and minor ecu tweaks, so all will have that italian character you want. The stelvio and norge have a half and full fairing respectively and abs (traction control for the stelvio also). The compromise is that beautiful engine is covered up, which is fine if you want demure. Also you have to deal with either bug-eyes (stelvio) or dame edna (norge). The ergos are easier on the norge and easiest on the stelvio. After the last paragraph you can probably tell why I went with the griso.

You can always get a tall screen for the griso...
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #16
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If I was a bit taller and wanting more power the Griso would have been a no-brainer for me. They are gorgeous and combine a lot more of the Italian bellisima.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #17
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I hard a hard time turning away from that red frame and tank strap though. I can't wait for your new owner photos!
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #18
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Soon....I agree the red frame is a stunner...I already thinking about some customization, probably pin stripes matching on the bike and my helmet...I think the engine fins themselves are pieces of art...it really looks like an engine instead of a water cooled tank with chrome bolts and other junk...and ugly radiator.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
Appreciate the responses, serious & tongue-in-cheek...

Okay, a little history perhaps. Here are the bikes I bought since I got back to riding Spring of 2011:

2008 Suzuki S83 - brand new leftover stock. I wanted this bike when it first came out some 25yrs ago and surprised to see it was still available brand new. Just had to get one for nostalgia. Great fun putt-putting and giving my kids rides around the beighborhood. Good tool for easing myself back on two wheels. Once I got a taste of better machines though, nostalgia ain't worth much. Sold.

2005 Gixxer 600 - bought with 19k miles on the clock - used but not abused - strictly as a track bunny. Rode 1 track day and loved it. Waiting for cooler weather for more TDs. Keeper.

2008 ZX10R - bought with less than 400 miles on the clock - practically brand new and too good a deal to pass up. A couple of rides on this thing scared the wits out of myself. I swore I saw the Virgin Marry everytime I crack the throttle 3/4 open... and I'm not even Catholic. I'm man-enough to admit I'm not man enough to ride these litre monsters. Traded in with less than 1000 miles on the clock.

2009 Triumph Sprint 1050 ST - bought just broken in at 5k miles. Finally, a bike just my speed and purpose. Drivetrain is not overtly powerful but carry fat torque curves and sublimely smooth. Triple's off-throttle burble is music to die for. Only Fault - the packaging leave a bit to be desired. Seat too uncomfortable for longer rides, underseat exhaust roasted my nuts and my XL Shoei doesn't fit in the sidebag. Traded in after 3 months.

2009 Kawi Concours 14 - bought barely broken in at 2k miles. Erased all packaging difficiencies of the Sprint, plus everything I like about the Sprint - and more - power, amenities (motorized screen, TPMS, keyless FOB, etc.). Like 80% of what Japan builds on 2-wheels, it is perfected to a fault. So devoid of negatives so as to be characterless. Great tool for that 3day tour, and provide great comfort for daily commute, but it is just a... tool. With all the passion and panache of a 17mm combination wrench.

2008 Aprilia RSV1000R Factory - I could kiss the guy that sold it to me, except uh... he is a guy. Bought with 5k on the clock, this Italian beauty pageant on fancy high heels came closest to hitting my G-spot. If I were 20yrs younger, I would need no other love. As it is, a hour and a half worth of passion is all I can stand, before my wrists go limp, my back aches, my neck numbs, and my manhood voluntarily withdraws in defeat.

2007 FZ1 - bought to try out a "standard" with better ergos before I decide whether to end the affair with the gorgeous Aprilia. Yes, I'm a two-timing sonnova gun. So far, it's been hard to "get it up" with plain Jane inline 4 when I've tasted the sweet voluptuous V-twin. Even though I know Fizzie, in her own right, is a fine machine. Dunno...
I am really good at spending other people's money! Maybe look at the BMWK1300S to replace the Concourse! Just a thought!
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #20
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dame edna... hehehe. The resemblance is triking.

I saw the V7 racer first at the IMS show in Dallas and just last week at MPH Cycle. Love the details: wireworks on the triple, chrome tank with red cast eagle... All completely frivolous, but great Italian flair just the same. Love how they make the most mundane pieces of hardware into works of art. Must be the Michaelangelo in their genes.

Right now, I'm most interested in the drivetrain and how it is the live with. Of all the bikes I've had, the engine is what ultimately defines the character. Everything else is packaging. Is there a lot of difference between the 8V and 4V?

BTW, lucydad, did you just call me a ?
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