First Ride

Moto Guzzi Moto Guzzi V85 TT (2019) review

We took Moto Guzzi’s new retro adventure bike for a spin in Sardinia – here’s what we found out

 

Details
Manufacturer:
Moto Guzzi
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 11099
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Classy styling and design touches lift the bike from just another off-road touring bike to a proper retro adventure machine
Styling, handling, characterful engine
lack of ground clearance, an extra riding mode would be nice

Brakes

The four-pot Brembo stoppers on the V85 TT play a big part in a very well executed front end. They are a perfect example of just choosing the right tool for a job and not over-egging something for the sake of it. The feedback through the lever is confidence inspiring and the power that the 320mm floating discs can summon up is laughably good.

Comfort

After spending around four hours in the saddle for the launch, I can happily report the comfort offered by the wide, sculpted seat is very good. No numb-bum, aching back or cramp reported by me. Some of the taller in the group (I’m 5’7”) were mentioning a slightly cramped leg position. But fixing that would only hamper ground-clearance - the cramped legs is the lesser of two evils.

Equipment

Geeky motorcyclist will rejoice at the level of tech-ery the V85 TT has. It’s great to see a bike that’s so unashamedly retro yet with so much tech included! All the switchgear is beautifully made – more like the buttons you’d find in a top of the range luxury car than a bike – and best of all the menus are easy to navigate and sensibly laid out.

Riding modes

Moto Guzzi claims the V85 TT to be first ‘Classic Travel Enduro’ which sounds pretentious but is actually true when you consider the capability of the machine in each of those areas.

Helping the machine to achieve it are three riding modes, selectable via the right hand switchgear while on the move.

Road

Medium traction control, ABS turned on and a direct throttle map.

Rain

High-level traction control, ABS turned on and a gentler throttle map.

Off-road

Low-level traction control, low-level ABS on front wheel only (rear wheel has no ABS) and a gentler throttle map.

With the off-road section of the launch, I got the chance to try the bike’s off-road mode which was a hoot. The rear brake is sharp and responsive on the dirt, and without the ABS interfering you can pull the kinda skids that had the kids on my street whooping with delight when I was a kid with a Raleigh Burner! The low level of traction control also allowed you to slide the back end about, although the intervention would scoop you up and straighten the bike a bit too early for my liking.

The only thing I’d add to the riding modes would be a user-defined option, where you can pick the parameters that you want and save them to the bike's dash. That way you could have your own version of off-road with traction control and ABS turned off completely – all at the push of a button. As it is you can disable these two features but have to navigate the menus to do it.

One of the big talking points on the launch was the 5” TFT dash on the bike. It’s an interesting and, in my mind at least, pleasing thing to look at. Its colourful design was easy to read in the full glare of the sun or while we were passing under the shade of trees.

The dash has a couple of party-pieces up its sleeve too, a smartphone interface and turn by turn navigation - both run through an app you load onto your mobile device. The smartphone interface allows you to answer, reject and call-back people using the switch-cube on the right-hand handlebar. The system will require a compatible intercom, Sena or Interphone, to be fitted to your helmet though.

The turn by turn navigation is what I was most impressed by – I’d seen a smaller version of the system on the Piaggio MP3 last year. It’s as simple as picking a location on the map app on your phone, clicking go and then following the turn signals that appear on the dash in front of you. The system does take up the whole dash and covers the revs, clock and fuel etc. But it’s simple to flick back from the map to the dash and the directions still run in the background. I’m sorry to say it but, it’s systems that are this simple and well designed that are the early death knells of satnavs for the average motorcyclist.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT (2019) verdict

The V85 TT is a very surprising motorcycle, in the way it stops, go and turns. Add to that styling, that really is like nothing else on the market, and a vast tank that offers the range that used to be the preserve of the thousand cc adventure posse – it’s one seriously versatile bit of kit.

Yes, it’s not the cheapest middleweight touring/adventure machine out there, but it’s also definitely not the most expensive either. And as I’ve said earlier in this review; this bike is a class of its own. Surely that means Moto Guzzi can name their price a bit doesn’t it?

To sum it up, the V85 TT is a collection of very well-chosen components that might not be the highest spec this or the lightest that – but they just all work together, perfectly. It doesn’t want for anything more and is competent at everything the designers set out to do. And all with a nicely understated Italian flair.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT (2019) spec

Type

Transverse 90° V twin, two valves per cylinder (titanium intake).

Cooling

Air

Engine capacity

853 cc

Bore and stroke

84 x 77 mm

Compression ratio

10.5; 1

Maximum power

80 HP (59 kW) at 7,750 rpm

Torque

59 ft-lbs (80 Nm) at 5,000 rpm

Fuel system

Electronic injection; Ø 52 mm single throttle body, Ride-by-Wire

Fuel tank capacity

21 litres (5.5 gallons)

Approval

Euro 4

Consumption

48 mpg (4.9 l/100 km)

CO2 Emissions (WMTC cycle)

118 g/km

Clutch

Dry single disc

Transmission

6 gears

Frame

High strength steel tubular frame

Front suspension

41 mm hydraulic telescopic USD fork, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound

Front wheel travel

6.7″ (170 mm)

Rear suspension

Double-sided swingarm in box-type aluminium with a single shock on the right side, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound

Rear wheel travel

6.7″ (170 mm)

Ground Clearance

8.3″ (210 mm)

Front brake

Double 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial-mounted calipers with 4 opposed pistons

Rear brake

Ø 260 mm stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 pistons

Wheels

Spoked

Front wheel rim

2.50” x 19”

Rear wheel rim

4.25” x 17”

Front tire

110/80 – R19”

Rear tire

150/70 – R17”

A/C generator

430W

System voltage

12V

Battery

12V – 12Ah

Seat height

830 mm

Dry weight

208 kg (456 lbs)

Kerb weight*

229 kg (505 lbs)

Styling, handling, characterful engine
lack of ground clearance, an extra riding mode would be nice

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