The V9 Bobber’s Smokin’-Hot Cousin

Moto Guzzi modified its already-sporty V9 Bobber with even more race-tastic yummy-goodness to produce its new-for-2019 V9 Bobber Sport. The “Sport” pays homage to the post-WWII flat dirt track racers of the late forties and fifties with beefy tires, liberal blackout treatment and fork boots. Aesthetics may be intentionally dated, but performance from the 850 twin is entirely modern with a double dose of electronic safety gear to boot. A special, two-tone palette wraps the package up and identifies it at a glance, and of course, the racing bits make a slightly more subtle impact that further sets it apart from the base V9 Bobber.

Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport.

  • 2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    853 cc
  • Price:
    10690
  • Price:

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Design

2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
- image 803461
Rider position allows for a little body English if you feel like tossin' it around in the corners or hunker down over the tank for a more aggressive riding posture and style.

The V9 platform strikes a classic “standard” pose with mid-mount foot controls that places the heels right below the knees both for comfort and to allow for a little body English if you feel like tossin’ it around in the corners. A cut-down front fender starts the custom references early, as does the blackout treatment on the rims, fork sliders and tripletree that continues throughout the rest of the design pretty much everywhere that isn’t polished or shot with the orange-and-black “Sport” paint scheme.

Bellows gaiters protect the swept area of the forks in a nod to the dirt racers of old, and up top, a single blackout headlight can and standoff turn signals take care of the forward lighting with a small speedscreen that splits the air ahead of the lone round instrument display but little else. A blackout bar mounts a pair of similarly achromatic mirrors with short risers and a drag-like bar that pulls the pilot forward over the four-gallon fuel tank to encourage an aggressive riding posture and style.

The V9 tank has a rather distinctive shape that runs with an outward crease down each side that seems to mimic the lateral line of a fish somewhat and doubles as a place to hang a knee during hard corners. Another model-specific feature is the solo saddle that slings your butt at a relatively low 30.9-inches off the ground. That’s slammed down almost an inch lower than the base bike, and the saddle has a unique shape as well with a faux tuck-and-roll finish in black pleather. Unburdened of its pillion pad, the rear fender takes on a longer countenance that contributes more race/custom flavor to the mix and is shot in black to accentuate that connection.

At its terminus, the taillight and turn signals are mounted above the tag that doubles as a mudguard extension where it hangs just behind the rear hoop. On the right side, a slightly upswept, slip-on muffler gives the Sport a final bit of track-side attitude.

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Chassis

2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
- image 803460
The frame is an exercise in pragmatism, with nothing showy or radical about it.

Though the decision to run Öhlins shocks had more to do with function than form, there’s no denying the visual effect that those coil-over, piggyback shocks have on the look. Tubular-steel members make up the double-downtube frame and the bolt-on double-cradle section that supports the V-twin powerplant. The frame is an exercise in pragmatism, with nothing showy or radical about it; just a classic standard not entirely unlike the old-school UJM models that were ubiquitous in the ’60s and ’70s.

Symmetrical, 16-inch rims rock a skinny-spoke design in cast alloy with a 130/90 up front and a 150/80 out back that add more yet to the custom panache. Rwu, 40 mm forks float the front end, but the rear shocks alone bear the trifecta of adjustments, so you can only dial in the rear end, which is a shame, really. Oh well, gotta’ keep the price down somehow, right?

A four-pot, opposed-piston caliper bites a 320 mm front disc while the rear wheel sports a twin-piston anchor and 260 mm disc. The dual-channel ABS comes as part of the standard equipment package to provide the first layer of safety net. If that seems a bit light on the brakes, that’s because the Sport weighs in at a trim 463-pounds wet, so that’s enough to get the job done.

Front suspension: Hydraulic telescopic fork Ø 40 mm
Rear suspension: Swingarm Twin‐sided with 2 Öhlins fully adjustable shock absorbers
Front wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16" 130/90
Rear wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16" 150/80
Front brake: Ø 320 mm stainless steel floating disk, Brembo caliper with 4 differentiated and opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm stainless steel disk, floating 2 pistons caliper

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Drivetrain

2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
- image 803465
The real electronic magic is found in the Moto Guzzi Traction Control system that comes standard; combined with ABS, it makes the Sport a relatively new-user-friendly ride, or possibly a first upgrade bike.

’Guzzi’s are generally made conspicuous by their transverse V-twin engine arrangement, and that’s certainly the case with the Sport. The jugs of the air-cooled mill stick out well into the slipstream where they can efficiently eliminate the waste heat with twin-valve heads that keeps the valvetrain complexity to a minimum. No half-a-dozen umbrella valves, variable timing or Desmowhatever closure, just a couple of poppets to control the flow.

Bore and stroke measure out at 84 mm and 77 mm, respectively, for a total displacement of 853 cc, and that lands it firmly in the mid-range displacement bracket. A ride-by-wire throttle conveys rider demand to the throttle bodies that make up the induction control, but the real electronic magic is found in the Moto Guzzi Traction Control system that comes standard. It monitors front- and rear-wheel speeds and intervenes when a differential is detected, and that joins the ABS to complete the safety-related gear to make the Sport a relatively new-user-friendly ride, or possibly a first upgrade bike.

Emissions meet Euro 4 standards, and the power figures show 55-horsepower at 6,250 rpm with 45.7 pounds o’ grunt at a low three grand. If you live in an area that has tiered driver’s licenses, you can get the Sport configured to meet A2 license requirements. (Yeah I’m talking to you, Brits and other Euros.) A six-speed transmission keeps the engine in its useful rev range with a shaft-type final drive to carry the power to the rear wheel.

Engine: Transversal 90° V‐twin, two valves per cylinder
Displacement: 853 cc
Bore x Stroke: 84 mm x 77 mm
Maximum power: 55 hp (41 kW) @ 6,250 rpm
Maximum torque: 45.7 lb-ft (62 Nm) @ 3,000 rpm
Cooling: Air
Gearbox: 6 speed

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Pricing

2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
- image 803458
MSRP puts it in the 'affordable' range at under $11k.

Looks like the factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy, plans on unleashing the new V9 Bobber Sport on the U.S. market come December of 2018. MSRP is expected to be $10,690, and that’s only a couple of bills higher than the base Bobber, so you aren’t paying for any kind of exclusivity here, but that should keep it accessible to most budgets.

Features: MGCT Moto Guzzi Traction Control, Standard double channel ABS, Ride by Wire. Single‐seater, lowered headlamp and dashboard with aluminum fairing. Machined fuel tank cap, Machined footrest support, Short front fender, Slip‐on exhaust.
Color: Sport Orange
Price: $10,690

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Competitors

2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
- image 735907
2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
- image 803468
Price is fairly close when you add the ABS option to the Harley, but traction control that is already integral with the V9 is still a ways down the pipe for the Sportster lineup.

If it’s a mid-displacement standard and it’s headed for the American market, it’s going to come up against Harley-Davidson’s Sportster lineup, so for my head-to-head I decided to go with the MoCo’s Iron 883 for its overall demeanor and engine size.

The Iron comes off looking stocky with bellow boots on the forks, short-rise bars and a compact peanut tank. Lightning holes in the struts of the bobbed front fender speak to garage-days racing technology, as does the bobbed rear fender that’s chopped to the minimum functional size and wastes not an ounce of weight.

Like the Sport, the Sportster rocks a design-specific solo seat, but Harley wins the limbo point with a seat height slammed down to a low 25.7-inches (laden). That inspires confidence at stops, even for the shortest inseams, and makes for easy Fred Flintstoning your way around the parking lot.

Harley runs an 883 cc “Evolution” mill that first saw light of day back in ’86, and Milwaukee has been refining it ever since. I can tell you, there ain’t a thing wrong with that old Sporty’ mill. It produces 53.8 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,750 rpm, but I know from experience that it likes its revs, and feels best up around five grand. Great engine, but the electronics leave a little to be desired. Namely, the traction control that still a ways down the pipe for the Sportster lineup but is already integral with the V9.

Harley manages to outprice ’Guzzi, but only if you stay off the extra menu items such as the two-tone paint and optional ABS that’ll add another $1,200 (roughly) to the $8,999 base sticker.

He Said

“Given my ’druthers, I’d probably stick with the Sportster, but that traction control is mighty appealing, not gonna’ lie. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the jugs and their vulnerable position, but that’s a personal hang-up that puts me in the minority. Overall, I smell what the factory is cooking over there, and I’m definitely liking this model more than the base Bobber, though the fuel-tank shape is almost a deal-killer for me. I mean, I know why they did it, but I’m not a huge fan.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The seat height is lower than the regular V9 Bobber, but that isn’t the only difference. The Bobber Sport has a sportier rider triangle and is more nimble and agile with Öhlins shocks for enhanced performance. This really is the smokin’-hot cousin of the V9 Bobber.”

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Transversal 90° V‐twin, two valves per cylinder
Displacement: 853 cc
Bore x Stroke: 84 mm x 77 mm
Maximum power: 55 hp (41 kW) @ 6,250 rpm
Maximum torque: 45.7 lb-ft (62 Nm) @ 3,000 rpm
Cooling: Air
Gearbox: 6 speed
Chassis:
Front suspension: Hydraulic telescopic fork Ø 40 mm
Rear suspension: Swingarm Twin‐sided with 2 Öhlins fully adjustable shock absorbers
Front wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16" 130/90
Rear wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16" 150/80
Front brake: Ø 320 mm stainless steel floating disk, Brembo caliper with 4 differentiated and opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm stainless steel disk, floating 2 pistons caliper
Dimensions & Capacities:
Fuel tank: 4 gals w/ 1 gal reserve (15 l w/ 4 l reserve)
Seat height: 30.9 inches (785 mm)
Wet weight: 463 lbs (210 kg)
Consumption: 47 mpg (5.0 l/100 km)
Details:
Features: MGCT Moto Guzzi Traction Control, Standard double channel ABS, Ride by Wire. Single‐seater, lowered headlamp and dashboard with aluminum fairing. Machined fuel tank cap, Machined footrest support, Short front fender, Slip‐on exhaust.
Color: Sport Orange
Price: $10,690

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

no article
- image 735637

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Iron 883.

Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber & V9 Roamer

2016 - 2018 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber & V9 Roamer
- image 682415

See our review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber & V9 Roamer.

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 803457

Read more Moto Guzzi news.

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: motoguzzi.com, harley-davidson.com

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