Top Speed 2019 Moto Guzzi Buying Guide
The 2019 Moto Guzzi Lineup Explainedby Allyn Hinton, on
The Piaggio & C.SpA moniker is most often associated with scooters but Moto Guzzi is one motorcycle brand that falls under its umbrella. Based in Mandello del Lario, Italy, Moto Guzzi represents the sporty, grocery-getter market right along with cruising, touring, dual-surface work, and globetrotting; all with it signature, transverse-mount V-twin powerplant on display. Overall, the marque cleaves to classic design elements, with the notable exception of its new adventure bike that, being a purpose-built machine, looks much like the rest of the modern-enduro field.
Moto Guzzi History
Motorcycle heavyweight Moto Guzzi has a long and storied history that began in the March of 1921 in Genoa, Italy. The brand’s eagle motif is a nod to the founders’ aviation background and a memorial to Giovanni Ravelli, a friend and fellow pilot who died in a test flight in August of 1919.
As with everything else in the area, World War II interrupted progress somewhat, but the marque landed on its feet with the Guzzino 65 “Cardellino,” Galletto and Lodola 175 making waves up through 1956. During this time, the factory became the first in the world to use windtunnel-testing on its motorcycle designs.
MG introduced its most distinctive feature near the end of the 1960s with the transverse-mount V-twin that would go on to become part of the signature look for the marque. The brand’s footprint spread to North America with the made-for-the-U.S. California, Ambassador, and Eldorado that carried the classic 850 cc lump to become a household name, at least in motorcycle circles.
In 2004, the brand came under the Piaggio Group umbrella, and this marked something of a renaissance as the factory launched several new modern models over the next few years complete with double race victories in the hotly-contested Daytona circuit. The factory scored its current brand-ambassador in 2007 when Ewan McGregor picked up the white California Vintage he bought while filming “Long Way Down.”
MG began supplying bikes to the Berlin police and the Corazzieri Italian President guard corps while keeping up its R&D. As a result, the factory released the V7 Café and Stelvio NTX along with the Griso SE by 2009, and in ’10, it turned loose the beefed up versions of its popular models in the Stelvio 1200 8V, Stelvio 1200 NTX, and Norge GT 8V.
The very next year the marque celebrated its 90th anniversary with a prototype California that came with the all-new 1,400 cc V-twin plant. The new V7 range led off in 2012 with a revised engine to power the “Touring” and “Custom” variants, and in 2013, their efforts paid off with a “Best of the Best Luxury Profile” award.
Moto Guzzi Terminology
MGCT: The Moto Guzzi Traction Control system prevents spinouts and can be switched off for a rawer ride.
Moto Guzzi Cruiser
Moto Guzzi cruisers all run with the large, 1,380 cc V-twin plant with a trio of power-delivery maps and traction control for safety. Listed in the cruisers is the MGX-21 even though it’s more properly a full-on bagger, and it extends some touring capabilities into ’Guzzi’s boulevard-bruiser bikes. Overall, these models borrow heavily from the American style of cruisers/baggers.
|California 1400 Touring||$18,490||1,380 cc|
|Audace Carbon||$16,390||1,380 cc|
Moto Guzzi Touring
Moto Guzzi’s touring family is represented by the V85 TT and the V85 TT Adventure. The factory cleaves to convention for its design, and so the V85 could blend in with a group of adventure bikes with its high-mount front fender, tall fuel-tank hump, handguards, and flyscreen. A bash plate protects the all-new 853 cc lump and long-stroke suspension tackles light to moderate terrain. Wire wheels deliver the expected off-road performance along with stealth-knobbies that work on both tarmac and turf.
|V85 TT||$11,990||853 cc|
|V85 TT Adventure||$12,990||853 cc|
Moto Guzzi Standard
By far the best-populated segment, Moto Guzzi’s standard category contains all of the factory’s barhopper/commuter/grocery-getter models: the new V7 III range, V9 family, and Griso 1200 Special Edition. Some draw from the classics of the past for their looks, and others lean toward the custom culture, but all place you in a fairly comfortable, upright riding position that makes for low-stress cruising. MG’s stripped-back standard models include the V7 III Carbon that features a blackout look with carbon-fiber components and comes in a limited-number run of only 1921 units in honor of the factory’s date of birth.
|Griso 1200 S.E.||$13,190||1,151 cc|
|V9 Bobber Sport||$10,690||853 cc|
|V9 Bobber||$10,490||853 cc|
|V9 Roamer||$9,990||853 cc|
|V7 III Special||$8,990||744 cc|
|V7 III Racer||$9,990||744 cc|
|V7 III Carbon Dark||$9,690||744 cc|
|V7 III Milano||$9,390||744 cc|
|V7 III Rough||$9,190||744 cc|
|V7 III Carbon Shine||$9,990||744 cc|
|V7 III Stone||$8,490||744 cc|
Moto Guzzi Audace / Audace Carbon
See our review of the Moto Guzzi Audace / Audace Carbon.
Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
See our review of the Moto Guzzi California Touring.
Moto Guzzi Eldorado
See our review of the Moto Guzzi Eldorado.
Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
See our review of the Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E..
Moto Guzzi MGX-21
See our review of the Moto Guzzi MGX-21.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Special
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Special.
Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone.
Moto Guzzi V85 TT / V85 TT Adventure
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V85 TT / V85 TT Adventure.
Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber / V9 Roamer
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber / V9 Roamer.
Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport.
Read more Moto Guzzi news.