The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Moto Guzzi 2-Valve Big Twins Rider’s Library

The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Moto Guzzi 2-Valve Big Twins ReviewEngland’s Veloce Publishing has developed an extensive line of essential buyer’s guides that span the range from scooters to motorcycles to exotic cars. In all, the series currently has 82 volumes, 18 of which are devoted to scooters and motorcycles.

Four of those are written by noted motorcycle authority and author, Ian Falloon, who is the author of one of the most recent, The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Moto Guzzi 2-Valve Big Twins. Falloon has an extensive publication list that includes a variety of classic marques.

This volume covers Moto Guzzi V7, 850GT, V1000, V7 Sport, 750S, 750 S3, 850 Le Mans, 1000 Le Mans, 850 T, T3, T4, T5, SP1000, SPII, SPIII, Mille, California, Quota, Strada, California 1100, Sport 1100 models from 1967 to 1998.

That extensive content is no small achievement for such a small (5.5” x 7.75.” x 64 pages) book. How do they do it? As with the other books in the series (We’ve reviewed the Essential Buyer’s Guide BSA 350, 441 & 500 Singles, see that review here and The Essential Buyer’s Guide Triumph 350 & 500 Unit Twins, the book has a compact formula.

It starts with a brief history of the brand and of the range of models, then moves right to the heart of the matter asking the key question every would-be classic bike buyer should ask: is it the right bike for you? Answering that question requires a solid general knowledge of the brand, which most would-be buyers probably lack, but Falloon has in quantity. Simple things that impact the owner/rider experience like the physical size of certain models, ease of maintenance, parts cost and availability all come into it and are touched on in the first three chapters.

Chapters four through nine get into the nitty-gritty of how to prepare for the pre-purchase evaluation of the bike and what to look for. That includes a chapter that lays bare some of the areas of certain models and years that experienced buyers know can be problematic, prone to failure and expensive to fix or replace.

For example, the three types of starters used on various models, Marelli, Bosch and Valeo each had their own quirks, some more vexing than others. Falloon manages to cover a lot of Moto Guzzi’s idiosyncrasies minor and major, despite the tight limitations of space in the book, while leaving room for just over 100 color images.

Chapters ten and eleven cover the ups and downs of buying at auction and being sure you get what you pay for through correct, valid documentation. Chapter 12 makes the case for realistic valuation over emotional impulse, chapter 13 takes a practical look at the restoration option, chapter 14 provides and unvarnished look at paint problems, and chapter 15 provides forewarning about the problems arising from long-stored, seldom used bikes; hidden corrosion, seized brake calipers and dry-rotted tires to name a few.

Chapter 16 provides valuable resources for information about the Moto Guzzi big twins, and chapter 17 is an index to vital statistics of key models, bore x stroke, compression ratio, claimed horsepower output and so on. Ever been tempted to buy a vintage Moto Guzzi, but you hesitated because knowing what to look for – and what to look out for was a mystery? Help is here.

Book Data:

  • Title: The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Moto Guzzi 2-Valve Big Twins
  • Author: Ian Falloon
  • Published: 2015 Paperback. 64 pages. Measures 5.5” x 7.75.”
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR, England
  • www.veloce.co.uk
  • ISBN: 978-1-845846-55-8 MSRP: U.S. $25.00 U.K. £12.99 CAN $27.95