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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 19 May 2012
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Small guzzi?

Hi. Starting with a blank piece of paper and a list of criteria for a big trip bike. One bike that ticks most boxes is rarely mentioned, small modern Guzzis.
They have the shaft drive but not the weight of the big gs
Reliability must be good nowadays
Air cooled, lo-tech, good engine access, low seat height, aforementioned shaft , no CAN elec-tricks
Am I missing something? These bike rarely get a mention!
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  #2  
Old 19 May 2012
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My dad runs a Nevada 750. It's a decent enough bike but not one I'd even try and commute on. The construction materials are the usual Cheese/toffee/kebab wrapper and parts availability is a disaster. Get it running and it does the job. When something breaks you find it there and then (it is simple if awkward to work on, the cylinders stick out sure, but they block access to all the stuff piled on top and the frame is always in the way), but then you take it off the road for weeks while trying to work out if the bit they used on a Tuesday can be substituted for the Friday part that some bloke in Holland might be able to get for you this month.

If you must have one, buy as new as you can, avoid the 750's and learn as much as you can about UPS!

Andy
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  #3  
Old 19 May 2012
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Greetings Alan

I bought a second hand 2006 Breva 750 for my Beloved a few years ago. I decided on one these pretty well based on the criteria you mentioned. I also heard that reliability was supposed to be improved.

It's a very pretty bike but at the risk of incurring the wrath of the entire Moto Guzzi community it's turned out to be the most unreliable bike I've ever owned.

In the time that I've owned it, I've had a series of intermittent faults that have been very hard to find, the on board diagnostics associated with fuel injection system didn't log any fault when it was taken to a mechanic and hooked up the analyser.

The only way to really sort out the problem would be to swap out various sensors/components (I suspect my problem may be related to the oxygen sensor or the throttle rheostat) the only problem with this is that these are expensive parts to buy (at least in Oz).

I don't know any stats on how reliable the Moto Guzzis are these days and anyone can be unlucky to get a "Monday morning bike" but the number of faults and the fact they are intermittent doesn't inspire me to take it around the world or recommend it to someone doing the same.

Don't get me wrong it's a pleasant bike to ride but for me reliability issues and cost/availability of replacement parts would put it low on my list of preferred overland bikes (unless you have a tow truck & UPS/DHL phone number handy )

Regards

IanJ

P.S It was only after I bought it I found out from the mechanic that a previous owner also had problems with it as well.
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Last edited by IanJ; 19 May 2012 at 08:35. Reason: clarity
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  #4  
Old 19 May 2012
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Griso

Hi Allan,
I bought a Griso 1100 new in 2007 and have 22,000 miles on it now and am kitting it out to take around the world next year.
I love it! Simple push rod v twin technology that has been around for years.
Super reliable (at least mine has been). So far all I have had to do is replace the speed sensor (a common problem, water gets into the sensor down the wire) It cost me £30 for a new one and took me 20 minutes to change.
Handles well, Marzocchi forks, Brembo Brakes, Zachs shock etc. And no problems what so ever from the single swing arm shaft drive.
Great sound track, more fun than you can poke a stick at!
Just went for a blast through the country today and got 45-47 MPG.
Build quality is great, I had 2 people ask me last week if my bike was new!
Maybe steer clear of the newer 8 valve 1200's, they have a problem with not enough oil getting to the top end.
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  #5  
Old 21 May 2012
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It's a non starter then

Spoke to a few dealers the weekend. Two have thrown the towel in after Piaggio not playing ball so gave honest opinions. They pretty much agreed with you guys, i.e. pretty sweet handling bikes but fragile. Sunday morning bike basically.
So until BMW make a lo-tech HP2 or a real adventure model, it looks like I'm oiling a chain :0(

p.s.
Hey benmac. I was looking at a Griso in a dealers yesterday. What a fantastic looking bike and great write ups from press and owners alike. I am considering one as a road bike. You say the 11 is better. Someone else said it has more low down torque and does more mpg than the 12/8v model and you never need the top end power of the new bike as its a torque turbine. Would you agree?
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  #6  
Old 21 May 2012
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Don't Do It!

I brought a brand new Cali Vintage in late 2007, it was OK when it was in the mood but was plagued by niggles and poor dealer/manufacturer service. Bits fell off or vibrated to pieces, electricals were erratic, dealer service was expensive and poor and parts supply from Moto Guzzi took and age (10 months to replace a mudguard). People always said they were so much better quality than they used to be, what the F*** were they like if this is an example of the better version?
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  #7  
Old 21 May 2012
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It's interesting to see the different experiences that people have had with their Guzzi's. They have always been regarded as an enthusiasts bike followed by a (usually) loyal fan base.
I can only go on my own experience Alan. My Griso is ideal for country B roads with loads of bottom end torque between 20-80 mph and handles the twisties very well. I think they were advertised as doing 11.2 sec 1/4 miles so enough grunt to have some fun with.
As far as top end torque goes, anything over 100mph on an unfaired bike and your arms start to stretch...and it gets harder to hold on to your license.
Like I said, I have had no reliability issues whatsoever.
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  #8  
Old 22 May 2012
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Earlier Guzzi's

Hi Tourider, I only know the one Guzzi, 850 Le Mans 2, and that's enough to send anyone to the loonie bin. Despite that I still keep it. What went wrong?

Falls off its stands by itself. Side stand slowly bent under bike, unnoticed till it snapped off. Don't start me on the points!!! Newtronics ignition keeps it running well past the 200 mile limit of the points. Frame paint? Did they actually use any? Mild steel for various parts? No I suspect it's sun-dried Parmesan in a job lot. Like to take it to the 100mph it looks as if it's doing when stationary? No problems if you don't mind 1 litre of engine oil over the rear tyre et al. Instruments: The rims dent if breathed on. The back lighting is useless even in the dark. The screen blocks the instruments in all conditions...Oh damn, speed camera! The wiring is not fit for purpose due to cheap (soft) connectors. One wire gets warm near the fuse box. Three 20 A wires are attached to the same single 20 A fuse. The seat is open cell foam and stays moist for weeks after a rain fall. The side panels self destruct on removal. I now have seven broken ones. The clutch activating rod wrecks its oil seals and deposits gearbox oil onto the clutch plates. Left dormant for a while (how long I don't know) the front and rear crankshaft oil seals dry out then rip when the engines turned over. The exhaust system demonstrates the theory of entropy along with the effective cast steel discs. All in all it simply is not suited to use outside an arid zone. Yet it still is an amazing bike. I think I must be mad but I can't get it out of my blood stream. Yes, they HAVE improved!!!!! Lindsay.
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  #9  
Old 23 May 2012
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I'm currently in the 'saving up and hoping they come to the USA' portion of a love affair with the new Guzzi V7 Stone's. 5+ US gallon tank, 50hp v-twin, shaft drive, fuel injection, screw type valves? Make mine in white please...



Havent owned one yet, but did take a 2011 V7 Classic for a test ride in and around Tulsa. Found it to be enchantingly wonderful to ride personally.
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  #10  
Old 23 May 2012
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Too risky

I can't get a ride on a griso. Only one small dealer locally and his is brand new so won't fuel it up just for test rides. Understandable maybe but I'm not shelling out £9k on a bike I haven't ridden and it sounds like that's the only way you fall in love with guzzis is a test ride as statistically they suck.
Sounds boring maybe but I'm drifting towards an R1200r. I owned an 1150 and loved it, no issues. I know you should never go back, too many bikes to try and not enough years but it's a fun bike for short trips (yes really) and stick panniers on and a fly screen and you've got a continental tourer.
Negatives: It's not pretty and dealers are arrogant and unenthusiastic but plentiful. Just one left to eliminate, the KTM/SMT....
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  #11  
Old 23 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan hopkins View Post
I can't get a ride on a griso. Only one small dealer locally and his is brand new so won't fuel it up just for test rides. Understandable maybe but I'm not shelling out £9k on a bike I haven't ridden and it sounds like that's the only way you fall in love with guzzis is a test ride as statistically they suck.
Sounds boring maybe but I'm drifting towards an R1200r. I owned an 1150 and loved it, no issues. I know you should never go back, too many bikes to try and not enough years but it's a fun bike for short trips (yes really) and stick panniers on and a fly screen and you've got a continental tourer.
Negatives: It's not pretty and dealers are arrogant and unenthusiastic but plentiful. Just one left to eliminate, the KTM/SMT....
Interesting!
The dealer network for KTM is nearly as sparse as for MG, don't you think?
Grapevine says that some KTM dealerships have packed in (I am referring to those outside the dirt bike fraternity i.e. those who went into a dealership with KTM when their bikes became more road oriented); the grapevine reason is that KTM is restricting supply to the UK, for whatever reason - perhaps they can make more profit per unit of production by selling elsewhere - perhaps there is a lack of "left hand of the road" versions, who knows??

"I know you should never go back, too many bikes to try and not enough years" - Yep, that's me as well. But, I may just do that anyway.
Be like a good politician, , never say never.
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  #12  
Old 23 May 2012
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Point taken

Pint taken but I happen to have a good KTM Dealer nearby (they gave up on Guzzi last year due to Piaggio...) I'm guessing the SMT will be a hoot to ride but too tall. The boring old Beemer is a hoot too and I am tired of squirting expensive gunk on my chain only to wipe it off my back wheel a week later. Anyway we're a mile off topic by now. The little guzzi doesn't seem up to the abuse a big trip dishes out and the Griso does look gorgeous but Piaggio need to sort out their 'sales prevention technique' before I'll see one in my yard
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  #13  
Old 23 May 2012
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Hello Alan. If you are thinking of an R1200R, my sister has one, she has had it from new, and is thinking of selling it. She lives near Cambridge. If you are interested, I can find out its vital statistics and put you in touch.
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  #14  
Old 22 Jun 2012
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Ive worked on about a dozen or so Guzzis, from mid 70s restorations right to 2012 models and my opinion of them is.... rubbish.

They're built in such low volume that the quality control is all over the place, wiring can be routed wrong/dangerously, loose bolts, poor finish. The cycle parts they use on the latest bikes (locks, relays, switches etc) are the same used by scooter manufacturers about 15 years ago and corrode and fail very quickly if they are garaged and cherished. For European touring, a good one would be ok, but I wouldn't fancy my chances when the road gets rough
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  #15  
Old 23 Jun 2012
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Thanks.

Not being sarcastic. Thanks for that post. I am forever wondering if any Guzzis made since about 1973 are in any way reliable. I had genuinely thought that in the last, say, 6 months Piaggio had raised the standards to an acceptable level. It seems not. So prospective owners still need to be what is politely put as, " enthusiasts". Lindsay.
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