italian love affair
walked into the dealers shop and there it was looking like a jewel in amongst the chaff , looked at the Griso too but the Sport stood out , already had the MV agusta at home (F4 1000) and was out n about on the Triumph (06 Sprint much modded) spent the first hour on the test ride cursing the mirrors and traffic ,i knew this thing had much more to offer , on the way home the Triumph felt so strong , brakes excellent, handling on rails but lacking something i never noticed before ,bought the guzzi ,picked it up in the afternoon then had to ride ...thru Sydneys peak hour traffic , halfway through this terror ride i thought " omg what have i done " the torque from idle is neck snapping so it was leaping forwards on a whiff of throttle as the cab was braking hard , the mirrors laughable so was virtually stuck in the lane unable to change without turning around . was absolutely shaking when i got home . it is not comfortable in heavy traffic at all ! then a few days later did a 200 k ride, absolutely brilliant competent handling , loped along at 2 to 3k rpm all the way at 100 to 120kph , totally comfortable and addictive, could ride to qld. and back non stop , very happy , any body want to buy an excellent Triumph ? ......update .....Triumph was sold for $5500 ........ Now have put 6ooo kms on the Guzzi ,just starting to loosen up and make some serious power, i just love the way it pulls out of turns, changed those stoopid bend handlebars and the shoulders don't hurt so quick anymore (i have arthritis ) and cold isn't a problem so much with the Guzzi heated handgrips and a carbon fibre slipon from "Two Brothers "improved the looks ,not so the sound surprisingly as a lot of the muffling i discovered is done in the pod under the engine . I still don't like riding it in traffic but am much more comfortable as i am now coping with it's foibles , braking and handling is superb and riding other machines seems like a step down now ,the Triumph was excellent but i feel much more relaxed on this even going hard ,but it has it's limits and at the top end others are better, mainly due to the weight, but that's only where maybe 5% of your riding is done at the most ,so for me i have made an excellent choice ,what will yours be ?
Had it for 2 years and love it
For some reason it took me a while to get used to it, but after a long trip 5,500 km in 10 days and changing away from those original Metzler tyres to Michalen I just love it. Looks good, good compromise between sports and touring, well enough power, handles well and is a bit different.
Was interested to read the previous post on the oil leak - same problem, same complex issue - the dealer mechanics don't know how to crack open the new shaft drive 8 valve twins - took nearly 4 months. An initial assembly fault left out a seal. Great now though :-)
Wish I could find some hard panniers for less than $1200 though
- Selected Review
An Italian beauty with deep flaws.
I've been fascinated by Moto Guzzi motorcycles since I first rode one in the mid 1980s. Something about that lumpy transverse V-twin intrigued me. I kept track of Guzzi models over the years with mild interest until I saw the 1200 Sport at a motorcycle show in 2009. I thought to myself; 'That's the one'!. Finally in 2013 I bought one; the 8 valve model. I 'graduated' from my somewhat crude but faithful, bulletproof Yamaha XJR1300. The big Guzzi seemed to tick all the boxes for my perfect motorcycle - a v-twin sports tourer, fuel injected, 6 spe...ed box, shaft drive (whoo-hoo, no more chains!), big fuel tank, good brakes, comfortable seat, reasonable handling and optional factory luggage. Once I got used to the torque twist through the drive train (which I was expecting) and the slightly ponderous low speed steering, the Guzzi started to delight me. The characteristics I'd dreamed about were all there. The engine performed exactly as I'd hoped it would - a grunty v-twin wonder, with a sound that still gives me goose-bumps. The first problem I encountered was that competent Guzzi service agents aren't exactly thick on the ground, especially really good ones. Like many people I assumed that Guzzis are simple old beasts, that a re-trained blacksmith could work on. Wrong! They aren't as simple as they appear, especially the 8 valve models. It's remarkably easy to stuff things up, which my first mechanic quickly did; making a beginners mistake that resulted in the engine running on one cylinder, starting a fire with un-burnt fuel and melting the (plastic) cone on the back of the muffler. He also failed to set the tappets and balance the throttle bodies correctly. I had the good fortune to relocate to another city for work and discovered that a famed Guzzi guru had his workshop in the region. Just as well, because with 5000km on the clock the bike developed an oil leak from the bell housing. To cut a long and painful story short this intractable oil leak has resulted in the engine and gearbox having to be removed four times. New parts and instructions have been sent from Mandello,but I'm still not convinced that this problem is solved. I'm terribly grateful for the skills (and strong ethics) of my mechanic, but I've lost confidence in the engineering design and quality control capabilities of the Moto Guzzi factory. This is a real shame because, as a riders machine, the 1200 Sport is a vastly under-rated sports tourer. Delightful, flexible v-twin engine that makes a glorious noise. All the attributes needed to make a near-perfect (semi-naked) sports tourer. Comfortable and capable of covering great distances quickly. Disastrous quality control. Oil leaks. Standard tuning is a poor compromise. Purchase price is too high, especially considering the dozens of cheap plastic components that are used instead of alloy.
Questions & Answers
Hi Johno, I'm looking at buying a 2009 1200 sport 4v with 25000 km, what should I be aware of and what's the maintenance like?
The Guzzi is essentially unchangedfrom 2008 till now , they are heavy but the weight disappears under way , not vibration free though , but i fitted rubber footpegs from a Honda VTR1000 which fitted straight up and are about 15 mm longer than the std units making it more comfortable to ride , there was some concerns with the cams on the earlier 8 valve motors (the 4v is actually an 8 valve motor) wearing out abnormally as the " case hardening " was insufficient , but as to any other mechanical woes only people killing the instruments by jump starting them incorrectly , thats it ,the handling is brilliant ,style and presence are unmatched ,it's a bike i can sit on for hours comfortably and rough roads not a problem , ride it , bet you feel that it's not impressive right away but has something about it you just can't define , yes ,i still think mine is special
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