Piaggio Group, owners of the Moto Guzzi brand, has started production of its new V85 TT adventure tourer at the classic brand’s Mandello del Lario factory.
The quirky model, which was officially launched at the Cologne motorcycle show late last year, has been promoted heavily in the last few months and, as a result, Moto Guzzi says that there are more than 8000 potential customers lined up for test rides from later this month.
The 80bhp V85 TT uses the classic Moto Guzzi set-up with an air-cooled, transversely mounted 90-degree V-twin motor with overhead valves and shaft final drive, creating a machine that combines plenty of old-school styling and engineering with some cutting edge electronics and safety devices. Moto Guzzi are also hinting at a smoother gearbox than that of previous models, which is good as shifting has never been a Guzzi highlight.
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Priced at just under £11,000, the V85 TT would appear to have BMW’s similarly priced retro/modern R nineT Urban G/S in its sights, although the Italian company will no doubt be hoping that the newcomer also appeals to buyers of more mainstream adventure bikes like the Honda Africa Twin and Triumph Tiger 800, not to mention BMW’s own F800GS.
Keeping in line with Guzzi’s traditional naming convention, the ‘V85’ nomenclature denotes an 850cc (technically 853cc) engine. Despite the almost agricultural architecture of the motor, the V85 is thoroughly modern under the skin, with multimap ride-by-wire throttle, traction control and ABS. The bike can also be connected to a smartphone by Bluetooth, extending the features of the instruments while connecting being able to play music through an intercom and adding sat-nav functionality.
The ride-by-wire allows for three different riding modes, each with different maps for varying throttle response set-up, ABS and traction control settings. Road is the standard setting, with a softer Rain setting with maximum traction control and ABS, while off-road reduces the electronic interventions for riding on loose surfaces.
Moto Guzzi has history in the adventure sector, going back to the Quota of 1989 and the NTX 650 of 1996, while the recently discontinued Stelvio went up against the iconic BMW R1200GS. None of the company’s previous efforts have made much impression in the sales charts, however the interest in the V85 TT does suggest that it could be one of the company’s most popular new models in recent years.
The oddball looks will definitely polarise opinion and while it will almost certainly not become as common as the ubiquitous GS, it’s hard not to imagine that at least a few of those 8000 test riders will put a deposit down on a V85 TT of their own.
Moto Guzzi has created a dedicated website where curious riders can find out more and book a test ride. Go to www.discoverv85.motoguzzi.com for more information.