2009 Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport | Review

Semi-Retro Café Racer

In a cookie-cutter motorcycle world, there is something reassuring about the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport. Following the conventions of no other motorcycle, the Breva Sport is a semi-retro café racer that is comfortable enough to allow you to ride quite a bit farther than the next espresso dispensary, and do it with an unmistakable Italian flair.

The 1200 Sport’s wheelbase, rake and maximum torque numbers are surprisingly close to the Ducati Streetfighter tested elsewhere in this issue, but the bikes could not be more different. Weighing in at over 500 pounds (claimed dry) and pumping out fewer than 100 horses, the 1200 is not much of a threat on the straightaways. However, on back roads, the Breva Sport strongly appeals to riders desiring steady and predictable handling, rather than bikes that require a surgeon’s touch-it is a bike that is easier to ride fast than it is to ride hard.

For the gentleman sportsman, the torquey, two-valve, 1151cc motor (peak pull is at 6000 rpm) is a friendly and unique way around the local track or twisties. The extra heft of the Moto Guzzi and the deliberately revving engine give the Sport a reassuring personality that only the adrenaline-addicted will call stodgy. Larger riders will appreciate the roomy ergonomics, though we would prefer that it be fitted with slightly taller, more swept-back, and narrower handlebars.

A hidden feature of the Breva 1200 Sport is its ability to be converted into a sporting tourer. Moto Guzzi offers hard panniers, as well as a 12-gallon capacity top box. The passenger will find the seating satisfactory, though the lack of a protective fairing does take its toll on the pilot on longer rides. The brakes, power and suspension are more than adequate with a passenger and luggage aboard, and the mellow vibrations of the historic motor are a pleasure.

Helmet: Icon Domain 2 Serpecant
Eyewear: Tag Heuer
Jacket: Icon Accelerant
Gloves: Icon Merc Long
Pants: Icon Strongarm
Footwear: Icon Field Armor