Moto Guzzi proves having what it takes in order to build a top notch all-rounder that stands out as one true representative of the Italian style and the maker’s specific and strict building criteria. Technically advanced, comfortable, easy to handle and very good looking, the Breva 1100 doesn’t miss its chance to go up against the best in this class.
And it succeeds doing so in the best way possible because, even though generally underestimated, riders who own or have owned the Breva 1100 never missed a chance to brag about their bike’s qualities, most of them referring to day-long comfort, awesome maneuverability and decent power. But that is only after being hooked up by the stylish Italian look, so I considered it was time to see what kind of experience is under all that talk.
A year after the Moto Guzzi Breva 750 was introduced the larger version made its entry and it was quite an introduction as it featured goodies such as fuel injection and a six-speed tranny from the very beginning. Introduced as a touring bike, the Breva V1100 featured a completely redesigned 90-degree V-twin, larger alternator positioned between the cylinder heads, new oil sump design and lighter pistons to reduce crankcase inertia and vibrations. Also characterized by its modern Italian style, innovation and drawing its roots more then eighty years ago, the Breva 1100 didn’t pass unnoticed.
Initially, the 1064cc V-Twin engine developed 83 HP at 7,800 RPM and 86.5 Nm at 6,000 RPM, but in 2006, together with the new Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection system and the retuned engine, those numbers grew to 91 hp and respectively 94.92 Nm. Colors available for 2006 were Red, Grey or Black.
In 2007, the Italian builder got rid of that very precious sixth gear, a decision considered by many as being not so inspired. Only a year later, the gearbox again featured six speeds and the engine was retuned for 86 hp and 86.5 Nm, making the bike’s performance more predictable without sacrificing rider enjoyment.
Designed to go up against the big Monster from Ducati, the Breva 1100 isn’t that successful when it comes to steering as sharp as the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 or even go as fast as this last does. But a sporty attitude isn’t the key to Breva’s attraction, no sire. The Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 is all about the wind in your open face helmet and a comfortable riding position with (attention please!) the ability to go enough fast and day long at those long journeys that riders who buy the thing usually do.
The sportier Monster has you positioned more in a jockey-like riding position with your knees brought well close to the upper body, which isn’t that relaxing in my opinion. And if you decide you want to go fast, the 1078cc L-twin, Desmodromic, air-cooled engine is there to make it happen faster than you can blink.
The fact that the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100/1100S is brand new doesn’t do much good to the Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 (which carries on without significant changes) and the $11,995 MSRP for the standard Ducati and $13,995 MSRP for the special version also position the Monsters 1100 on a higher position in most rider’s eyes.
But no matter preferences, everybody will agree with me on this one: the stylish looking Breva 1100 speaks about the Italian way of building motorcycles from the very first glance. All the elements are there, it is just a matter of spotting them: nicely shaped and close to the tire fender, round headlight with chromed covers as well as the instruments, also covered in chrome.
And that is just the front end. When it comes to the fuel tank’s sexy lines, there is nothing to take your eyes off it especially if you’re dealing with the Red version. Underneath, the across the frame engine makes the Breva 1100 look even more imposing and touring capable. Also testimony of that is the wide ergonomic seat which will have you and your passenger accommodated in complete comfort.
At the rear end, the LED taillight is perfectly built into the bodywork, something that you all will be appreciating. What personally I don’t appreciate is the fact that mechanical parts are so at sight. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Moto Guzzi V-Twin engines, but I don’t know about the transmission and final drive showing up that much.
The three-spoke 17” light alloy wheels are perfectly suitable for this type of ride as well as the Black, Red and Grey color schemes that are available for the 2009 model year.
Being a naked bike, as soon as I thrown a leg over it I felt needed to get a feel of its performance in crowded city traffic and I must say that it is easy to accommodate with and get along nicely even if never been riding it before. Despite its 509 pounds dry weight it doesn’t become a nightmare between cars as the wide handlebars let you deal with those pounds and maneuver it nicely even at slow speed. But as soon as the road clears and you start opening the throttle a little bit it starts unveiling road qualities such as versatility and agility.
Such road behavior couldn’t have been possible without the sweet presence of one of the best engines ever produced by Moto Guzzi. The 90-degree V-Twin develops 86 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and although the numbers aren’t worthy of a sportsbike, the Guzzi has no intention of being that at all. Spinning smoothly at around 2,000 rpm, this power source won’t be that much of an entertainer, but twisting the throttle will help you leave behind town cars at traffic lights.
Also contributing to that is the silent and short-shifting gearbox. In the early days, Moto Guzzi gearboxes would have been a bit of a trouble, but now that they seem to have sorted this problem out there is simply nothing to stop the new naked from making a great impression. It helps doing fast take offs when the red light turns into green, but when wanting to get the best out of it, a straight patch of road is virtually ideal. It shifts very positively and it inspires confidence at all times and the best thing is the sixth speed, which further values the engine’s power and contributes to the decent top end rush and at the 130mph top speed.
Breva’s tachometer features and adjustable rev-limit light, something that can be quite functional for those who actually think they need it. I certainly didn’t and when accelerating strongly I usually shifted at around 9,000 rpm.
On board, comfort reaches highest levels as the handlebars are wide and positioned towards the rider, who by this time had a nice big smile on its face, something that was mostly due to the comfy seat. Your legs will also be relaxed due to the good position of the footpegs. High speed comfort isn’t that great and vibrations do manage to reach your bottom when rushing towards the potent top-end of the engine. Wind protection isn’t the best thing to talk about when it comes to naked bikes and this is a veritable one, if you catch my point.
Stable and secure, the Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 dues these qualities to the preload adjustable 45mm telescopic hydraulic fork and rebound and preload adjustable single arm rear suspension and shock absorber. High speed cornering isn’t a thing of the past and soaking up bumps on the new Breva is made without the rider even feeling it. Speed bumps are also taken care of with this equipment and my lower back didn’t suffer at all when I didn’t reduce the speed as much as usually needed.
Also, speed reduction isn’t a problem as due to the front four piston calipers with 320mm stainless steel discs and rear 282mm steel disc with two piston calipers stopping power will be more than enough for any riding situation that the streets may reserve to you. The pretty heavy piece of machinery remains stable also when powerfully braking, so you should be safe at all time as long as maneuvering it properly.
An impressive ride, the Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 will leave any rider with the best impression and not willing to go and buy anything else out there for a long time.
And this brings us to the bike’s MSRP, which is as high as $12,490. Compared to the Ducati Monster, it proves knowing how to value its heritage, but people who buy it certainly know how to appreciate such a piece of engineering and that evens up the scale
It is indeed considered a bit too heavy and pretty weak when it comes to performance figures. This, together with the spicy price could have contributed at the bike’s complete failure, but are we assisting to such thing? Certainly not! This makes the Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 worthy of confidence and respect for winning its faith.
Engine and Transmission
Type: 90° V-Twin, four-stroke
Cooling system: Air cooled
Displacement: 1,064 cc
Bore and stroke: 3.6” x 3.15” (92 mm x 80 mm)
Compression ratio: 9,8 : 1
Timing system: Two overhead valves operated by light alloy push-rods and rockers; exhaust valve maximum lift: 106° B.T.D.C. of overlap inlet valve maximum lift: 104° A.T.D.C. of overlap
Maximum power: 63 KW (86 CV) at 7,800 rpm
Maximum torque: 86.5 Nm at 6,000 rpm
Fuel system: Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection with stepper motor control
Starting system: Electric
Ingition: Inductive discharge, digitally controlled, electronic twin spark ignition
Exhaust system: Stainless steel, 2 in 1, with three way catalyser and Lambda probe oxygen sensor
Gear: 6 speed
1^ 17/38 = 1 : 2.235
2^ 20/34 = 1 : 1.700
3^ 23/31 = 1 : 1.347
4^ 26/29 = 1 : 1.115
5^ 31/30 = 1 : 0.967
6^ 29/25 = 1 : 0.862
Primary drive: Helical gears, ratio 26/35 = 1 : 1.458
Final drive: CA.R.C. Compact Reactive Shaft Drive; double universal joint with floating bevel gear, ratio 12/44 = 1 : 3.667
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Double cradle, in high tensile strength tubular steel
Wheelbase: 58.86” (1,495 mm)
Trail: 4.7” (120 mm)
Steering angle: 32°
Front suspension: Telescopic hydraulic fork with Ø 45 mm, preload adjustable
Front wheel travel: 4.7” (120 mm)
Rear suspension: Single arm suspension progressive linkage, rear shock absorber adjustable in rebound and pre-load (hydraulic)
Rear wheel travel: 5.5” (140 mm)
Front brake: Twin Ø 12.6” (320 mm) stainless steel floating discs, four piston calipers
Rear brake: Single Ø 11.1” (282 mm) steel disc, two piston caliper
Wheels: three spokes light alloy wheels, gravity casting
Front wheel: 3.50” x 17”
Rear wheel: 5.50” x 17”
Front tyre: 120/70 ZR17”
Rear tyre: 180/55 ZR17”
Length: 86.4” (2,195 mm)
Width: 34.25” (870 mm)
Height: 44.3” (1,125 mm)
Seat height: 31.5” (800 mm)
Ground clearance: 7.3” (185 mm)
Front footrest height: 14.8” (377 mm)
Dry weight: 509 lbs (231 kg)
Fuel tank capacity: 6.1 gallons (23 liters)
Reserve: 1 gallons (4 liters)
Battery: 12 V – 18 Ah
Voltage: 12 V
Alternator: 12 V – 540 W