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Old 09-17-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
drhach OP
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Guzzi or Airhead, a dilemma

So, I seem to have an unholy fascination with Moto Guzzis. It' sone of those "unrequited love" things, since I've never actually ridden one. My real dilemma is that my garage is full. If I were to actually get one of these things, it would mean another must go. What I consider now and then is trading or selling my R90/6 for a Guzzi of some sort. Whenever I think about it, naturally the first thought is "oh damn, my R90 will be gone forever and I ge wistful." Of course, I also wonder, "what if I like the Guzzi so much, I won't care about the R90?" I don't know how likely that second notion would be, I miss most bikes I've owned.


Since I have never ridden a guzzi, I really don't know how they compare to an airhead. The thing that I wonder about the most is vibration. I like how smooth the airhead is. Beyond that, I suppose they are "apples ot apples" in many respects and both have their faults and charms. Honestly, I just think they are dead sexy. Of course, that is nothing to base a relationship on (or is it).

So, who wants to chime in? Who's got experience with both? Did you choose one over the other?
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
ADV8
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A boxer twin and a 90 degree V-Twin are totally different to ride (imo)
The reality is if you take a test ride on a Moto Guzzi the answer will be a yes or no by the time you hit top gear.
Although the R90 like most BMW's is about as exciting as watching paint dry it is a bike worth keeping,a great long distance tourer.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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........................
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
JonnyCash
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I've seen that video, and while entertaining, it bothers me. I don't like the fact that when he walks into the shed there, and starts looking at the bike, there aren't even brake calipers on it, and just moments later, he's riding the shit out of it. And he never even took his helmet off to do all this work. The music is not really much to enjoy either. I did like watching, and hearing the riding though.


To the OP, I don't have any insight for you, but I'm in exactly the same position. I've had my R100s/5 for almost twenty years now, but I've always thought that the old Guzzis were totally bad-ass. So I bought one about a month ago. It's an 850 t3, which needs some engine work, but is otherwise a pretty nice bike. I really like it a lot. I've never ridden one, and can't wait to do so. I'll start putting up some pictures, when I start working on it, once winter comes. Until then, I'll be riding the BMW.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
FahrtMeister
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Great video, although the music credits claim the soundtrack is Rolling Stones but its in fact Australian Crawl, unusual for a French film.
I have a Guzzi and a Beemer, albiet modern bikes. The Beemer is an appliance, but does everything in comfort and quickly. The Guzzi puts a smile on my face every time. that sums it up.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
LonerDave
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drhach,

It's a legitimate concern and one that I find myself facing the past couple months. Been riding the '75 R90/6 for the past couple years and have come to grow very fond of it. Smooth, reliable, capable. It's pretty well sorted.

As you know, picked up a 850-T a few months ago and find myself picking the Guzzi more often than the BMW when it comes to riding around the countryside. Something so...visceral about the Guzzi. The motor's a bit lumpier, but feels plenty smooth above 4,000 rpm and even below that, it's not an objectionable buzz. More like a rumble. Twist the throttle and it snorts and roars to life. Might be the pod air filters and the aftermarket exhaust, but it seems less civilized than the R90. In a good and exciting way, though. Heck, I'm not even convinced it's completely dialed in yet, but it's a real hoot to ride.

Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase with the Guzzi, while my relationship with the BMW has "matured". Hate to anthropomorphize too much, but it's almost a torrid, lusty affair with the Guzzi and a stable, respectful love for the BMW. Despite their mechanical similarities, they evoke very different emotions in me.

Never thought I'd even consider selling the airhead, but I admit the thought has crossed my mind the past couple weeks. Fortunately, I'm not in a position where I need to sell any bike, so plan on keeping them all for now. Autumn is no time to sell a bike anyway, so I can easily delay any action until spring.

You owe it to yourself to try a Guzzi. Come to the weird side!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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It takes about 1000 miles to really get a guzzitech even if you like them going in.

It's like going from normal jap inc bikes to a BMW only more so.

I've got two airheads and a guzzitech.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #8
Wirespokes
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I like this little bit of prose originally written by Chopperman:

Well BMWs are like the Hot German Scientist chick. Glasses, prim, mannered, efficient. She can solve quadratic equations while kicking your ass with kung-fu moves. You have to approach her on her terms and then she will bring you ecstasy in the most efficient manner possible using techniques she learned from an ancient Kama Sutra she discovered on a sabbatical in India.

Guzzis on the other hand, are the art school wild child. long, wind-tossed hair and mischievous winks. She will redecorate your house into a turkish harem while you are away on a business trip and greet you with absinthe tainted kisses. You will go out for pizza with her and wind up somewhere in the Mojave, tequila drunk and shooting cactus with a stolen pistol.


It comes from a similar thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...cactus+tequila

I'd also love to have an older guzzi - probably late 70s or 80s. I should avoid this thread since the yearning as of late has been in remission.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
manxkipper
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I would choose the Guzzi anytime. I have owned a variety of BMW bikes both old and new and find the Guzzi experience more fulfilling. My LM2 is a great tourer also and it sounds wonderful to boot. The difference for me is in the handling. On the twisties the Guzzi will bring a smile to my face everytime.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADV8 View Post


........................
Seriously one of the worst motorcycle videos I've seen.

I do agree with your affliction with Guzzis. I have an r90 and pondered trading it for a good guzzi but I don't think I could eve part with my beloved r90.
One day I'll own a guzzi, and my r90....and the toaster. Shit.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:22 AM   #11
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I will let you know next summer, as I have a 1970 loop frame Ambassador basket case in my garage right now. I plan to have it running next year. Because of the deal I got on it I didn't have to give up another bike to get it! I will than have the Axis powers represented in my shop with 70's BMW, Yamaha, and Guzzi bikes running. The one English bike I have is already starting to show it's displeasure by demanding more parts and work. Just can't keep everyone happy!
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
disston
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I'm another R90/6 guy. Wasn't a choice kinda thing. I had one when I was younger and so now I have another because it's what I know about. It is not cheap to fix any of these up and keep them going. I wonder tho if the Beemer is any more or less expensive to maintain, rebuild, than a Guzzi. My impression is the Airhead is both easier and cheaper to do. Nothing to base that on tho.

And as far as getting miles out of this experience I do firmly believe the Airheads do more miles. Not on any individual bases but over all more of the Airheads are on the road more.

So if you want to tinker in your garage there are lots of bikes to choose from. If you want more miles I think the Airhead just works better.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
mtiberio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
I'm another R90/6 guy. Wasn't a choice kinda thing. I had one when I was younger and so now I have another because it's what I know about. It is not cheap to fix any of these up and keep them going. I wonder tho if the Beemer is any more or less expensive to maintain, rebuild, than a Guzzi. My impression is the Airhead is both easier and cheaper to do. Nothing to base that on tho.

And as far as getting miles out of this experience I do firmly believe the Airheads do more miles. Not on any individual bases but over all more of the Airheads are on the road more.

So if you want to tinker in your garage there are lots of bikes to choose from. If you want more miles I think the Airhead just works better.
AFAIK, there are fewer special tools necessary to service a guzzi to bits than required for an airhead... that plus tranny is serviceable w/o applying heat...
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #14
drhach OP
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Maybe someone who's always wanted ride an airhead will swap me for an hour our two.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
nick949eldo
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Moto Guzzis are dangerously addictive

I've never ridden an airhead so I have no point of comparison.

Beware though - Guzzis are addictive. I started with 1 a few years back, and now have 4 - all on the road and ridden hard and often. Check my links below for examples.

For me its all about feeling, sensuality, satisfaction, the kind of cool factor that puts a smile on your face even when (or perhaps especially when) you are miles from anywhere and no one else is around. People say Guzzis are quirky - but only if they are used to the bland and the ordinary. They are not for everyone.

Try one - better yet, try three, because no two Guzzis I have ever ridden are remotely similar. The old ones are stone age simple, stone axe reliable and parts are available pretty much down to the last nut and bolt.

As for the comment regarding garage tinkering as opposed to riding - hogwash! I do all my tinkering on the road.

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