Moto Guzzi V85 TT



Price: Rs 12.63 lakh (ex-show­room)

Con­fig­u­ra­tion: Air-cooled 90° trans­verse V-twin Valve-train: OHV pushrod, two valves per cylin­der Dis­place­ment: 853 cc

Bore x Stroke: 84 x 77 mm

Com­pres­sion Ra­tio: 10.5:1

Fu­elling: Electronic fuel-in­jec­tion, 52-mm throt­tle body Max­i­mum Power: 80 hp @ 7,750 rpm

Max­i­mum Torque: 80 Nm @ 5,000 rpm

Clutch: Dry sin­gle-disc

Trans­mis­sion: Six-speed, shaft fi­nal drive

Type: Steel trel­lis frame

Front Sus­pen­sion: 41-mm te­le­scopic, 170-mm wheel travel, ad­just­ments for preload and re­bound damp­ing

Rear Sus­pen­sion: Sin­gle shock, 170-mm wheel travel, ad­just­ments for preload and re­bound damp­ing

Front Brake: Twin 320-mm discs, twin four-pis­ton Brembo ra­dial calipers

Also help­ing on longer trips was its er­gonomic blend of roomy, slightly leant-for­ward rid­ing po­si­tion and use­fully ef­fi­cient wind pro­tec­tion. Be­ing very tall I hadn’t ex­pected too much of the screen, which isn’t heigh­tad­justable but can be piv­oted on its mount. So, I was pleas­antly sur­prised to find that in its most up­right po­si­tion it kept the breeze off my chest while gen­er­at­ing min­i­mal tur­bu­lence, some­thing few bikes man­age.

The hand-guards’ pro­tec­tion was use­ful, too, although they could be larger and I’d re­gard the ac­ces­sory heated grips as es­sen­tial. I had no com­plaints about the broad seat, which I found com­fort­able although its pro­nounced pil­lion step lim­its the rider’s abil­ity to move around. With the TT re­turn­ing close to 17 km/litre, its 23-litre fuel tank gave a re­al­is­tic range of well over 300km, if not quite the 400 that Guzzi claim.

Road­go­ing han­dling was very good, blend­ing re­spectably light steer­ing with sta­bil­ity, de­spite the big front wheel and gen­er­ous sus­pen­sion travel. The TT pitched into turns in re­sponse to light pres­sure on the wide bars and had suf­fi­cient damp­ing to keep its cool even when crank­ing through bumpy bends at a healthy pace. The Met­zel­ers gripped im­pres­sively and the foot-rests oc­ca­sion­ally scraped, though not hard enough to cause any prob­lems.

Ride qual­ity was usu­ally as good as you’d ex­pect with all that sus­pen­sion travel. On a few oc­ca­sions big bumps kicked through the seat with spine-jar­ring force, but the KYB units generally did a sound job and the standard set­tings were a rea­son­able com­pro­mise. The forks even coped well when I was mak­ing use of Brembo’s front brake blend of 320-mm discs and four-pis­ton ra­dial calipers, which gave plenty of stop­ping power if not the two-fin­ger fe­roc­ity or cor­ner­ing ABS of some ri­val sys­tems.

My off-road ex­cur­sions were lim­ited to a few brief dirtroad di­ver­sions, where the Met­zel­ers coped fine with­out do­ing any­thing to sug­gest they were de­signed for the task. At least, there was that sturdy bash-plate to pro­tect from stones or jumps. For se­ri­ous off-road use you’d ide­ally fit Ka­roos or even knob­blier rub­ber.

It’s hard to imag­ine very many own­ers leav­ing tar­mac for long, although the TT looks as though it would be suf­fi­ciently ro­bust to take off around the world, es­pe­cially if kit­ted out from an ac­ces­sory list that in­cludes crash-bars and alu­minium pan­niers as well as smart­phone in­te­gra­tion. That’s a suit­ably var­ied se­lec­tion of ex­tras from a bike that blends old and new in en­gag­ing fash­ion.

As for the se­cret of the V85 TT’s suc­cess, when you add up all the things it has go­ing for it, the Guzzi’s pop­u­lar­ity shouldn’t be a sur­prise. It’s not bril­liant at any­thing but scores a solid seven or eight out of 10 at just about ev­ery­thing: it’s re­spectably quick, sweet-han­dling, com­fort­able and ver­sa­tile, as well as rea­son­ably priced.

Equally im­por­tantly, it’s also good-look­ing, dis­tinc­tive, and burst­ing with slightly laid-back charm — a bike that seems to have a smile on its face and the abil­ity to put one on its rider’s, too. Last year’s pre-launch hype was jus­ti­fied. The V85 TT is far from the most spec­tac­u­lar mo­tor­bike to come out of Italy re­cently. But in this in­creas­ingly crazy world it is, in many ways, the one that makes most sense.

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