Moto Guzzi of Mandello del Lario, Italy, has unveiled two versions of its new V9 model Tuesday at its home office and factory along the banks of Lake Como. The 2016 Moto Guzzi V9 is available as the Bobber and the Roamer.These two motorcycles differ only in the type of handlebars, front tire and wheel size, and finish, yet they are distinctly different and a welcome upgrade from the V7 model we saw last year.
Moto Guzzi, like other brands that bank on their classic form and function, has introduced a complete line of accessories and clothing to round out the lineup. Guzzi’s sights are set on young riders, female riders, customizers and those new to motorcycling who want to connect to the marque, its history and all that entails.Moto Guzzi couldn’t have picked a better place to launch the V9 models. Lake Como and the little towns that surround it are majestic and beautiful beyond the telling. It’s no wonder the Las Vegas hotel was named after the town of Bellagio and many of Italy’s well-heeled abide here. It’s simply exquisite, and surrounded by steep mountains with incredible riding. The one downfall? Unleaded gasoline here averages $5.98 per US gallon.Following my first ride aboard the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber and Roamer, I compiled 10 quick facts that you need to know now; a full review will follow in Ultimate MotorCycling magazine.1. Moto Guzzi wants nothing fake on these bikes, and construction is almost entirely of metal eschewing plastic wherever possible.2. The brand new 850cc air-cooled engine is the centerpiece of the build with 55 horsepower and over 44 ft/lbs of torque. The weight is about 440 pounds. When ridden it hits hard. The rider can feel every pulse of the engine and I harken back to a recent ride on an 850cc 1974 Eldorado. The new model is much more refined but the nature of the motor is quite similar.3. The torque curve is claimed to be flat from 2,500 to 6,500 rpm, and it feels like it. It pulls well from the bottom in every gear, yet it likes to rev.4. Every aspect of the both bikes is designed to be authentic and faithful to the Moto Guzzi tradition started in 1921. Given this design goal they were able to add modern amenities necessary in current production bikes. Things like Euro 4 certification, ABS, USB port, and traction control. An up-to-date set of dashboard computer options with the usual choices, plus it pairs to your smartphone to yield an auxiliary dashboard that easily changes display to show almost any bike data you care to see. There is also a find-my-bike function showing the owner where he parked the bike …great for Sturgis.5. The Roamer and the Bobber are decidedly different in character. The Roamer has lots of chrome, classic colors, a 100/90-19 front tire and pull-back high handlebars. The Bobber has little chrome, mostly flat black and subdued shades, a 130/90-16 front bun and drag-style black handlebars.6. Personally, I preferred the Bobber as I liked the heft and response of the larger front tire. It felt more planted to me. I also found that while the Bobber’s flat bars would appear to cause the rider to tuck into a more forward position the use of a much taller pair of bar risers resulted in about the same, all-day comfortable riding position.7. The seat of both bikes feels great for the first 30 minutes of riding then turns into mahogany.8. The double-jointed driveshaft remains but is supported by a new cast aluminum swing arm. First and sixth gears have higher ratios and cause the bike to tell the rider to hold gears longer; they help when flogging the machine.9. The brand new single-plate dry clutch engages smoothly and effortlessly and has the feel of a slipper, even though it isn’t. This is a great upgrade from the V7 clutch.10. A single Brembo front disc is employed which stops well but, upon hard or stabbing lever action, causes a slight pull to the right. The Kayaba shocks work well and, actually, are nice and stiff for good cornering ability. The bike steers easily and is happy to lean to its limit of clearance when the footpeg feelers touch down. It is not exactly a hooligan machine but we did see a few lurid wheelies performed.Riding Style:
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.