It’s The More Tour-Tastic Version of MG’s V85 Line

Italian marque Moto Guzzi treated us with an expansion to its V85 TT family at 2019 EICMA with its new V85 TT Travel. As the devilishly-ingenious name suggests, the “Travel” is a touring-oriented adventure bike that comes with a number of long-range comfort-related features meant to help you stay in the saddle longer. Power delivery is on par with the rest of the V85 range with a transverse V-twin “Eight and a Half” that cranks out 80 horsepower for your riding pleasure. Adjustable suspension components, traction control, and variable power-delivery modes round out the package.

  • 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    853 cc
  • Top Speed:
    105 mph
  • Price:

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Design

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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Like so many other current rides, the design and details of the V85 TT Travel is a result of customer feedback.

Like so many other current rides, the design and details of the V85 TT Travel is a result of customer feedback. The factory took suggestions from the ranks of its faithful Guzzisti and quickly put them into practice in time for MY2020.

A dirtbike-style mudguard leads the way from its mount on the bottom of the tripletree to handle the front spray control while it leaves a sufficient gap for the suspension travel. I’m not a fan of the dolphin-nose fender, but I get why it’s done that way. The set of dual headlights dominate the visage with an eagle-wing DRL band that spans the two round cans and calls to mind the brand’s eagle logo that’s featured so prominently on the horn cover and fuel-tank ornaments. For even more forward illumination, the Travel rocks a pair of LED spotlights just below and outboard of the headlights and the standoff-style front turn signals.

MG’s customers asked for more protection, so the factory enlarged the windscreen to deliver 60 percent more coverage that the V85 TT in both the width down low and the height. Handguards shunt the wind away from your meathooks and increase the efficacy of the heated handgrips that come with the stock equipment package.

A digital color display tucked behind the glass bundles all the instrumentation together in one spot and acts as an interface for the ride-quality and safety electronics. The six-gallon fuel-tank hump dominates the flyline to give the Travel an overall range right at 250 miles. There’s a precipitous tumble down to the pilot’s seat that slings your butt at 32.6 inches off the deck, which is fairly typical of the genre but may be into the tip-toe zone for riders with shorter inseams.

Out back is a p-pad and fold-up footpegs if you want to share the fun with a very brave friend plus a luggage rack for some open-air stowage. That brings us to a rather unusual element of the Travel; asymmetrical saddlebags. The plastic panniers use aluminum for reinforcement, and while the left box will hold 7.26 gallons of goodies, the right box bumps that up to 9.7 gallons in order to accommodate a full-face bucket. As a little bit of lagniappe, when the boxes are removed there are no ugly brackets or mounting hardware to mar the looks of the rear end.

A tucked-under taillight rides over a short mudguard that mounts the rear blinkers and uses the tag as part of the fling-control coverage.

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Chassis

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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The tires come with generous street flats for on-road action, but the ample grooves provide purchase on soft terrain such as dirt and sand for all-around performance and traction.

Tubular-steel members make up the better part of the frame on the V85 TT Travel. The engine is used as a stressed member to complete the structure and displace a chunk of the frame in a bid to keep weight down. In another bid to manage the heft, aluminum is the material of choice for the yoke-style swingarm that doubles as a housing for the shaft-type final drive.

The suspension members hit two out of three tweaks with adjustable preload and variable hydraulic rebound features, and in keeping with its tutto terreno (all terrain) capabilities, the suspension travel is a generous 6.7 inches all around.

That design thread continues into the wheels with wire-spoked rims that mount Michelin Anakee Adventure hoops, which is the same rubber as on the V85 TT Adventure. The tires come with generous street flats for on-road action, but the ample grooves provide purchase on soft terrain such as dirt and sand for all-around performance and traction.

Brembo supplies the radial-mount calipers with dual, four-piston anchors and 320 mm discs up front opposite a twin-piston binder and 260 mm disc out back. ABS comes with the stock package, and the levels of intervention are bundled with the Riding Modes feature for quick and easy setup.

Frame: High strength steel tubular frame
Front suspension/ Wheel travel: 41 mm hydraulic telescopic USD fork, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound/ 6.7 inches (170 mm)
Rear suspension/ Wheel travel: Double-sided swingarm in box-type aluminum with a single shock on the right side, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound/ 6.7 inches (170 mm)
Front brake: Double 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial-mounted calipers with 4 opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 pistons
Wheels: Spoked
Front wheel: 2.50” x 19”
Rear wheel: 4.25” x 17”
Front tire: With air chamber 110/80 - R19”
Rear tire: With air chamber 150/70 - R17”

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Drivetrain

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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If you prefer raw power delivery you can disable the traction control independent of the other safety features, 'cause let's face it, sometime you want to be able to spin that rear wheel.

In keeping with longstanding tradition, MG mounts the 90-degree V-twin on the V85 TT Travel in a transverse fashion. Mounted this way, the jugs protrude from both sides of the bike where the slipstream is able to engage the cooling fins that keep the waste heat under control.

This is one of MG’s “eight and a half” engines with an 84 mm bore and 77 mm stroke that gives it an 853 cc displacement and a 10.5-to-1 compression ratio. Each head has a pair of over-head poppets with tough, lightweight titanium intake valves in an effort to reduce reciprocating mass up top.

A ride-by-wire throttle control conveys rider demand to the engine control unit, but that’s more of a guideline than an actual rule as the system automatically seeks to resolve the difference between demand and what the engine can actually deliver for seamless transitions. This also enables the Riding Modes feature that come with a trio of presets, “Road,” “Rain,” and “Off-Road.” Each mode comes with its own engine mapping and traction control setting along with adjustments to the level of intervention by the ABS for a one-stop shop. If you prefer raw power delivery you can disable the traction control independent of the other safety features, ’cause let’s face it, sometime you want to be able to spin that rear wheel.

All told, the engine produces a total of 80 horsepower at 7,750 rpm with 59 pound-feet of torque that max out at five grand even, 80-percent of which is available at 3,750 rpm so you don’t have to wind the mill up to a frenetic pace to find a usable powerband. Emissions meet Euro 4 standards, and the fuel economy is metered at a 1.3 gallon/60 miles (4.9 L/100 km) rating. Power flows through a dry clutch and six-speed transmission with an estimated top speed of 105 mph.

Engine: Transverse 90° V twin, two valves per cylinder (titanium intake).
Displacement: 853 cc
Bore x Stroke: 84 x 77 mm
Compression ratio: 10.5: 1
Maximum power: 80 hp (59 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 80 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel system: Electronic injection; Ø 52 mm single throttle body, Ride-by-Wire
Cooling: Air
Clutch: Dry single disc
Transmission: 6 gears
Gear ratio values: 1st: 2.437, 2nd: 1.778, 3rd: 1.333, 4th: 1.083, 5th: 0.960, 6th: 0.889

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Pricing

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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MSRP is TBA as of this writing, but expect it to roll a few grand more than the V85 TT at $12k.

While pricing is still TBA at the time of this writing, the base-model V85 TT rolls for $11,990, and we expect the Travel variant to fetch another grand, or three at the most. Moto Guzzi offers the V85 TT Travel in an exclusive Namib Sand colorway. It’s not the color of just any desert sand, but the Namib Desert sand.

Color: Sabbia Namib (Namib Sand)
Price: TBA

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Competitors

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
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Ducati has corner-sensitive ABS protection along with much the same riding modes and traction control as the MG machine for a slight edge in safety.

For my head-to-head with the V85 TT Travel, I decided to stay in Europe’s Boot and grab the Multistrada 950 from Italian heavyweight Ducati. Needless to say, Ducati brings a sensual nature to the table that, in my opinion, is unmatched around the world. The Multistrada has feminine curves for an unmistakable look that sets itself far apart from the industrial panache the V85 line presents to the public, so in the looks department I’ll leave you to make up your own mind which you prefer given the subjective nature of aesthetic attraction.

MG gets a leg up in the front suspension with the only adjustable front forks to be found across the board, but Ducati flips the script out back with the full trinity of adjustments on its monoshock. Ducati opts for cast wheels instead of laced to cede some off-road worthiness to MG. In fact, I’m definitely comfortable labeling the V85 as the more terrain-friendly model of the two.

Ducati picks up a few cubes with a 937 cc displacement L-twin that punches above its weight with 113 horsepower and 71 pound-feet of torque against the 80/59 from the V85 mill, plus it rocks corner-sensitive ABS protection along with much the same riding modes and traction control as the MG machine for a slight edge in safety. Once the price is announced, I think you’ll pay for those slight advantages at the checkout counter since the Multistrada 950 starts at $14,495.

He Said

“It’s hard to knock Moto Guzzi for its new V85 TT Travel model that has more of everything that’s good about the line, and should be a decent globetrotter for the Italian marque. The only question is; how will it perform in third-world circumstances and places where Ducati, Honda and BMW thrive on the hardships. Personally, I think it will hold up, but I’m not a pro racer and it’ll be interesting to see if any of these rides make the next Paris-to-Dakar rally lineup.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “One thing I think is noteworthy is the use of shaft-type final drive. It’s something you usually don’t see in this mid-displacement range. The overall look is a bit industrial, but for an adventure bike, that’s not a bad thing. The higher touring windshield, heated grips, and spacious panniers show it’s tour-tastic nature, but I’d probably take off the street knobbies and put on some proper touring tires, if it were me.”

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Transverse 90° V twin, two valves per cylinder (titanium intake).
Displacement: 853 cc
Bore x Stroke: 84 x 77 mm
Compression ratio: 10.5: 1
Maximum power: 80 hp (59 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 59 lb-ft (80 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel system: Electronic injection; Ø 52 mm single throttle body, Ride-by-Wire
Cooling: Air
Clutch: Dry single disc
Transmission: 6 gears
Gear ratio values: 1st: 2.437, 2nd: 1.778, 3rd: 1.333, 4th: 1.083, 5th: 0.960, 6th: 0.889
Chassis:
Frame: High strength steel tubular frame
Front suspension/ Wheel travel: 41 mm hydraulic telescopic USD fork, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound/ 6.7 inches (170 mm)
Rear suspension/ Wheel travel: Double-sided swingarm in box-type aluminum with a single shock on the right side, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound/ 6.7 inches (170 mm)
Front brake: Double 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial-mounted calipers with 4 opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 pistons
Wheels: Spoked
Front wheel rim: 2.50” x 19”
Rear wheel rim: 4.25” x 17”
Front tire: With air chamber 110/80 - R19”
Rear tire: With air chamber 150/70 - R17”
Dimensions & Capacities:
Fuel tank capacity: 6.1 gallons including 1.3-gallon reserve (23 liters including 5-liter reserve)
Consumption (WMTC cycle): 4.9 l/100 km
Electrical System:
A/C generator: 430 W
System voltage: 12 V
Battery: 12V – 12 Ah
Details:
Color: Sabbia Namib (Namib Sand)
Price: TBA

Further Reading

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT / V85 TT Adventure

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT / TT Adventure
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See our review of the Moto Guzzi V85 TT / V85 TT Adventure.

Moto Guzzi

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Moto Guzzi news.

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

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