THE retro bike category is bursting at the seams.
Lots of manufacturers have come up with something new that looks old, then tried to claim some form of tenuous heritage exists.
Moto Guzzi is not that kind of manufacturer. It still produces bikes that look like the bikes it built back in the Sixties and Seventies.
More than that, they are still built in the same factory where the company built the very first Guzzi in 1921 – overlooking Lake Como in Mandello Del Lario, Italy.
We’ve been to the factory many times. If you’re a biker you can’t fail to feel the romance for motorcycling in the area.
If a Harley Davidson is as American as apple pie, a Moto Guzzi is as Italian as spaghetti bolognese.
Like most Moto Guzzi machines, the 2019 V85 is quirky. The 850cc transverse V-Twin bulges out of the tubular chassis, almost flicking the V at motorcycling conformity. It produces 80bhp which, while enough for everyday fun, is less than competitor bikes from Triumph and BMW.
The styling is “retro enduro” – quite a cool looking thing with a hint of the V65 Paris Dakar racer from 1985, but you do need to squint a bit to see it.
While the V85 might be an acquired taste in the looks department, there’s no denying it’s packing all the right parts when it comes to tech.
Adjustable suspension at both ends offers a useful 170mm of wheel travel and the 19in front wheels mean the rider can head off-road in safety.
The 4.3in TFT screen allows the rider to easily see what rider mode they’re in, how fast they’re going and (among many other things) how much fuel is left in the useful 23-litre tank.
Moto Guzzi fans are hard to find but easy to spot.
Once you’ve ridden one, it’s not difficult to see why so many fall for their charms. The V85TT starts at £10,899.
- For more bikes, look out for Bike World on YouTube or Amazon Prime.