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Old 06-15-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
L.B.S. OP
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How different is "modern" Moto Guzzi VS "older" Moto Guzzi?

Do modern Moto Guzzis have any specific model years to shy away from or issues to worry about? I'm talking new here, rather than say, anything older than what you are likely to find in a dealer showroom. (new or used)

Maybe 2008 and up years? Something I could trade my ultra low mileage 2009 BMW F800ST in for, across the board or a bit less. I can't afford spending a single penny more money.

I love the look of the Norge, and well, nearly all of them, except for the ones that kinda veer into the "Harley" or "Cruiser" looking end of the spectrum.

Plain is good. Sporty-ish is good. Dual Sport-ish is good. Touring-ish is good. Retro-ish is good.

Displacement don't really care, 750 would be just fine, but wouldn't bat an eye at 1200, if it wasn't $$$$ or weighed more than an Armoured Truck.

I want a bike with shaft drive.

I want dead simple valve adjustments. (so screw and lock nut is good)

Comfortable for highway miles. Old guy, bad back. No clip ons or low bars, no choppers need apply. Wouldn't really be riding it in the city or doing any commuting on it. Fun weekends and touring only.

I'm fine with aircooled, but sorry, can't abide H.D. No offense, just can't stand the sound, and 99% of the "lifestyle" crap that gets tied up with 'em.

Maintenance, longevity- along with the valves being a backyard (I have no garage, no tools, no money) requirement kinda thing, do modern Guzzis have any weird quirks that can catch the unwary offguard?

I couldn't deal with: "Oh ya, the electrical systems suck, they go through alternators and R/R's like candy" or: "Hmm, the transmissions tend to drop third gear and you can never really trust them" "The cam chains and/or tensioners are crap and always fail, causing internal engine havoc." "The fuel pumps on these things always burn out after so many miles." etc.

Parts cost and availability? Can you get aftermarket parts instead of OEM and save any money or at least have a choice?



My favourite bike I've ever owned was a 1982 Honda CX500Turbo. Despite all the bad press they got (for better or worse) I simply adored mine. I loved the sound, I loved the dirt simple valve adjustments. I loved the shaft drive. I loved the comfort. Back in the day, I could get OEM parts for it easy, and (relatively) cheap. I insanely loved the roll-on midrange rush of the Turbo, so much that it spoiled me for any other bike I've ever had since.

It's fatal flaw for me were the Stators that fried, needing a full engine out dismantle and Re/Re, every 20,000 km's like clockwork. After going through 3 of them (4 if you count the original) I finally couldn't ride it anymore without worry.

Of course all these years later, knowing what I know now, this wouldn't hold the same fear as it did way back when, but it still would be a 100,000+ km early 80's bike that now would be difficult to get stuff for, unfortunately.

I always loved the Honda CX similarities to the Guzzies, the sound, the shaft drive, the (seemingly) simple maintenance and ease of getting at the valves.

With a new Moto Guzzi, is it something I could consider without being utterly disillusioned, going broke, or paying through the nose for, as far as initial purchase/parts/maintenance/reliability?

I have a brand new 2009 BMW F800ST that I am now terrified at owning due to horrible dealer experience, outrageous warranty rejection, electronic gizmos that don't work, insane parts and labour costs, lack of me being able to buy non-OEM parts for, and not being able to easily do simple maintenance like valve adjustments, among other things.

I was naive despite my age and experience, and fell for the Dealer's lies regarding costs associated with this bike. I would not want to repeat that with a Moto Guzzi!!!
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
lemieuxmc
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I love my 1998 V1100 ev. Great relaxed riding position, heart of a sport bike.

I bought it for $5,000 at Moto Guzzi Classics in Long Beach CA.

This was coming down So Grade at Palomar Mountain.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:33 PM   #3
Grainbelt
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There's a leftover '08 1200 Sport at Leo's South in Minneapolis listed for like 9k. Black, Norge bags fit right up to it, they are a BMW dealer and would probably take your F800ST on trade.

Just sayin'.

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
lemieuxmc
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There are really only two kinds of bikes... and all of the other ones aren't Moto Guzzi's.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
L.B.S. OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
There's a leftover '08 1200 Sport at Leo's South in Minneapolis listed for like 9k. Black, Norge bags fit right up to it, they are a BMW dealer and would probably take your F800ST on trade.

Just sayin'.

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So beautiful!!! Lust Lust!

Unfortunately, I am about 3,000 kilometers and another Country away...

West coast, BC Canada.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
lemieuxmc
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Sissy... Eh?
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
L.B.S. OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemieuxmc View Post
Sissy... Eh?

I think I'm being insulted, but I won't disagree
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:31 PM   #8
kaput13
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Guzzi's are the bomb - maybe some of the most captivating bikes ever made. But you have got to have the stomach for it SO if you don't want weird quirks you're barking up the wrong whiskey tree. Guzzi's, even the newer ones, are full of quirks that even the latest influx of money hasn't erased. All part of the charm is what you will hear guzziphiles say and it's true so just don't expect Japanese build quality or reliability. If you can see beyond the potential pitfalls - easy if you have a good longstanding dealer near you - you will find that they are dead simple to maintain except for perhaps the fuel injection which takes some specialized equipment to set up right but even that issue can be circumvented if you know how. There are a couple of excellent guzzi owner forums which have fans of the marque and are willing to help. Don't step into guzziland though expecting easy parts availability even though things have apparently improved lately. However if you go for it I doubt you will regret your choice. The Norge is a highly competent and involving touring bike.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
JohninVT
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The Norge is a great machine. I own a 1200 Sport with a Mistral exhaust, Power Commander, open airbox and O2 Optimizer. After waking up the engine, I fitted a taller fairing screen, bar risers and Norge bags. I just hammered the living shit out of it all over Vermont today and literally just walked through the door 400 miles later.

The CARC and engine are absolutely rock solid. However, some of the items Guzzi spec'd for the individual models caused problems. For instance, the Braking wave rotors on the 1200 Sport are prone to warping. It's actually a pad spec problem. A switch to EBC HH pads cures the issue but a lot of people blame the rotors(even though they're used on a lot of high end sportbikes without a problem).

Guzzi's are handmade Italian machines. There WILL be teething problems but there is nothing inherently wrong or weak about the design of the bikes themselves.

If you have a bad back and don't like the EV/CalVin style bikes, I would suggest a Breva 1100 with the factory shield and a set of Hepco Becker mounts/luggage. Then buy a Norge gel seat for it(they are interchangeable) for around 200 bucks and go touring. The Breva 1100/Norge 1200 and 1200 Sport share frames but have different forks, rear shocks and spring rates. Many of the accessories like seats, fairings and luggage can be swapped between models.

A second hand Breva 1100 with luggage and the windshield should be under 6 grand. A secondhand Norge is going to run around 8500. I wouldn't recommend the 1200 Sport to anyone with a bad back. It's a very long reach to the bars and they are low. Even with risers and/or different bars it's a lot different than the regular Breva or Norge.

Guzzi's are not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with not liking them. I'd suggest a lengthy test ride.

Moto International in Seattle, WA is widely regarded as the best Guzzi dealer in North America. They have a fly and ride promotion going on and they have quite a few leftover bikes at drastically reduced prices. The website pricing is a little misleading as you need to add frieght and setup but it's still as good as you'll see at any dealer in the US.
http://www.motointernational.com/HDB_7_05.htm

JohninVT screwed with this post 06-15-2011 at 06:18 PM
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
samadams0824
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.B.S. View Post
So beautiful!!! Lust Lust!

Unfortunately, I am about 3,000 kilometers and another Country away...

West coast, BC Canada.

Try the leftovers and demos at MotoInternational just south of you in Seattle.

They have a fly and ride program and will assist in exporting the bike.

Note: No relation to MI but my dad and others have been very pleased with them.

EDIT: Also from what I understand 20-30k kilometres is when the bike hit's its stride. In terms of "teething" after that you should be nearly maintenance free for the next 50k, or so I am told.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
L.B.S. OP
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Wow, thanks for the great replies fellows

I have never even sat on one before that I can remember, so I definitely will go for some test rides, and if I can find a source, try to rent one for a day to see how it goes!
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
cpallen
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Moto-International

I live in Seattle and have bought two bikes from M-I, an Aprilia Dorsoduro and a Moto Guzzi California EV Touring. I sold my 2009 BMW R1200RT for the Guzzi and they are quite different from the Boxer, or the japanese bikes like ST/FJR/Bandit, etc. Or anything else. Since 1921.

Anyway - back to M-I. It's a great shop - old school service bays open to the street. Very little in the way of accessories, it's all about the bikes. You can go in and talk to the mechanics, who all love motorcycles and work there because they like it and it shows.

Dave Richardson is the author of Guzziology, almost a service bible. He sells alot of bikes to Canada so I'm sure he knows the paper work. I think he has even met people at the border to hand off a new bike.

Check out his craigslist listings and give him a call.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/search...inAsk=&maxAsk=

Ride West BMW is not far and I'm sure they would take your bike on consignment if you wanted to go that route. They are also a great Seattle dealership. That's how I sold mine and I netted more than I think I could have gotten selling it myself. Food for thought.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:18 AM   #13
jrflanne
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The green Griso is sick!
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:21 PM   #14
Alberta Brock
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Everything said about MI is true - I picked up a 1200 Sport from them this spring and am loving it. If you are looking for somewhere to sit on one head over to Valley Yamaha in Chilliwack. Gord in the service dept there is very well thought of. You could always ask his opinion about any issues as well. When I spoke to him recently with some questions he said "they are bullet proof".
So I say go for it!
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #15
Suncoast
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B1100 here

I sold my 2000 Sprint ST last winter and ended up buying a 2007 Breva 1100 over the winter from a fella in Port Coquitlam, he brought it up from MI in Seattle, I was going to do the same thing til I found the B1100 with Norge bags. I wanted simple valve adjustments, and reliability. My Sprint was a pain in the ass for valve adjustments but the triple howl was great and the top end was crazy. The Breva is a totally different ride, great sound and lots of torque. I think the Breva handles better than my Sprint. I really love it, it's hard to describe but once you've ridden one you'll either be hooked or not.I can't comment on reliabilty or issues, I've only put 1200kms on mine so far it has 4000 kms with warranty til October!! There are a few Guzzis listed on the Vancouvr CL now and again. My advice would be to sell the BMW then go shopping with cash in hand.
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