Moto Guzzi V11 Cafe Sport

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A real motorbike, for real men, the V11 is all metal
Performance is decades behind the marketplace.
Slight re-vamp for the V11, with better fuel-injection, wider rubber and a better quality finish. If you want something different, it’s worth a look

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Jacko's picture
Submitted by Jacko on Sun, 24/02/2008 - 21:42

Overall Review

MOTO GUZZI V11 CAFE SPORT IF sportsbikes are the hair-raising crackle and sudden brilliance of a bolt of lightning – then the Moto Guzzi V11 Café Sport is the chest-rattling boom of thunder which follows. While Fireblades, ZX10s, Gixxers and R1s ping across the landcape, the brutal Guzzi roars like a summer storm. The 1,064cc Café Sport is simply the most glorious-sounding motorcycle I’ve ever heard. And the Italian machine looks as good as it sounds. It is a collision of agricultural retro musclepower with hi-tech modern touches. The engine is Guzzi’s venerable V-Twin which powers at least half a dozen bikes in their stable, but the Café Sport boasts trick parts from the carbon-fibre front mudguard, side panels and starter motor cover through to the gold fork inners and fully adjustable Ohlins suspension at front and rear. Having spent as much time as you need admiring the bike, it’s time to swing a leg over it and see how it rides. Thumb the starter button and listen to the bark and rumble, tweak the throttle slightly and feel the bike rock beneath you, click into gear and head for the open road. Tall, wide bars keep the riding position comfortable and the bikini fairing offers decent wind protection. The Café Sport is a bit of a poseurs bike. It will turn heads and is an uncommon enough sight to interest other riders. But it does offer a fun, composed ride and when you up the pace the Café Sport is more than willing to play. Acceleration is good but not arm-wrenching and although the V-twin lump will eventually nudge 125mph, sustained high-speeds turn an involving, entertaining ride into a vibration-plagued chore. The wide bars provide plenty of leverage to hustle the bike through sets of bends and the top-of the-range Ohlins bouncy bits and rigid single-spar steel frame hold everything together so twisty sections can be attacked with gusto. The Café Sport carries its weight well so negotiating town traffic is not as arduous as on some big V-twins. And the shaft drive means no messy chain to lube and adust. This isn’t a bike you just leap off and shut behind a garage door as soon as the ride is over. You find yourself dawdling to look once more at the twin pipes and the way the light catches the deep, deep bronze paintwork. “A wolf in metropolitan clothing” is how Moto Guzzi describe the Café Sport. I’m not sure I know that means – all I know is that it’s spanking gorgeous. TECH SPEC: Moto Guzzi V11 Café Sport Engine: 1,064cc, V-twin, 4-stroke Max power: 90bhp at 8,200rpm Max torque: 70ft-lb at 5,400rpm Top speed: 125mph Transmission: 6-speed, shaft drive Weight: 226kg Fuel capacity: 20.7litres



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