WORLD LAUNCH: Moto Guzzi’s V85 TT


MoreBikes is out in Sardinia for the launch of Moto Guzzi’s new V85 TT – and after spending the day carving corners on the Italian island here’s our brief first impressions of the funky retro adventure machine.

The new Moto Guzzi V85 TT marks the Italian factory’s first foray into the adventure bike market since its 1200cc Stelvio met its demise with the introduction of Euro 4 regulations. Described as a ‘Classic Enduro’ machine, the new V85 TT takes styling inspiration from Guzzi’s V65 TT Dakar machine from the 80s, but adds a raft of thoroughly modern features. And it looks the part doesn’t it?

Despite its (modern) retro appearance, the V85 TT is surprisingly well kitted out with all the mod cons. There’s ABS, Traction Control, three Rider Modes, a USB slot, a TFT dash (with a comms system and a sat nav) – and it even comes with with Cruise Control, which is a really nice addition for a middleweight adventure machine (that’s oft neglected by other manufacturers).

Delving a little deeper, Guzzi has created two slightly different variants for you to choose from – there’s either the premium dual-colour edition which comes with more off-road focused Michelin Anakee rubber and will set you back £11,099, or the standard single-colour model which comes with Metzler Tourance tyres at a cost of £10,899.

But more importantly, what’s it like on the road…

First things first, the V85 TT is far more agile on the road than I ever expected it to be. We were really pushing on today – scratching pegs on tight switchback and fast sweepers – and the Guzzi handled it all in its stride. It’s nimble, flickable and great, great fun.

On the suspension front, Guzzi seems to have found the perfect compromise between comfort and performance. It’s soft enough to soak up the bumps, but stiff enough to allow you to brake hard into corners and push the bike to its limits. While we’re on the subject – its brakes are decent too; nothing revolutionary, but more than up to the job.

Its 853cc V-Twin engine is a peach – kicking out an ample 80bhp and 80Nm of torque. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s more than enough beans to keep you entertained on even the fastest of roads (well, it is me at least). It pulls like a tractor in a purposeful but somehow still easy going manner. Basically, it’s a Moto Guzzi. It sounds fantastic too – with a throaty, aggressive rumble as the power kicks in around 4,000 rpm. As you’d expect from a Guzzi, there is a little vibration both when it’s sat in neutral and at constant high speeds (from around 70mph) – so you could argue it wouldn’t be much fun for big motorway stints. But to be honest, I don’t know too many bikes that are. Instead, you’d be better off going the long way round and tackling some twisties and even the odd-trail. You won’t get there as fast – but you’ll enjoy it all the more.

Moto Guzzi’s latest foray into the adventure bike market gets a big thumbs up from me. It’s stylish, surprisingly sophisticated and it put a big smile of my face in Sardinia today. If you get a chance to ride one, I’d definitely recommend it.

We’ll have a full launch video up on MoreBikes in the next couple of weeks, while the full launch write up will be in the next issue of Motorcycle Sport and Leisure. For more information on how to get hold of a copy, click HERE.

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