‘It’s a fine line be­tween retro and old-hat’ ‘Sadly it’s hard to jus­tify, or rec­om­mend’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR By Andy Downes SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

f you like your Guzzis more tra­di­tion­ally styled, then the Roamer could be right up your street. Us­ing the same ba­sic plat­form as the Bob­ber (see page 12), the Roamer adds a bit of chrome to give it a more cruiser look as well as taller bars and a 19in front wheel. Which is where the prob­lems start…

Whereas the Bob­ber has a slightly odd feel­ing to its front end due to its wide bal­loon tyres, the 19in front on the Roamer is ac­tu­ally con­sid­er­ably more un­pleas­ant, and when com­bined with the 16in rear it makes the Roamer pon­der­ous to turn and vague in cor­ners. While I’m sure own­ers will get used to this feel­ing, and chalk it up as char­ac­ter, for me it ru­ined the ride. And that’s not the only thing that an­noyed me about the Roamer.

Moto Guzzi are a com­pany with a flour­ish­ing his­tory and tra­di­tion, yet I feel the Roamer’s styling does noth­ing to high­light this. There is a fine line be­tween retro and old-hat and I think the Roamer sits on the wrong side of that. I’m sure oth­ers will dis­agree, but to me the Roamer would be a far bet­ter ma­chine if its styling was

Imore to­wards a tra­di­tional naked than a quasi-cruiser. And I sus­pect Guzzi feel the UK mar­ket will agree as only 20% of the V9s com­ing into the UK will be Roamers, the rest will be the Bob­ber. Will that 20% find any joy in Roamer own­er­ship?

The Roamer’s V9 en­gine is iden­ti­cal to the Bob­ber’s, which means it is packed full of the soul you get from an air-cooled Guzzi V-twin, and it’s a very pleas­ant en­gine to use. The rid­ing po­si­tion is com­fort­able, the sus­pen­sion soft for cruising but bad on bumps, while the trac­tion con­trol and ABS work well. If you want to go tour­ing, Guzzi have de­vel­oped a range of ac­ces­sories – in­clud­ing pan­niers – to go with it, and the qual­ity of fin­ish seems high. But in both the mod­ern-retro and cruiser mar­kets there are bikes that do all this, and han­dle con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than the Roamer, mak­ing this a bike for tra­di­tional Guzzi en­thu­si­asts, whereas the Bob­ber could at­tract a new gen­er­a­tion of riders to the brand.

Guzzis will al­ways di­vide opinion, but for me it is too rem­i­nis­cent of the worst of the old Guzzi ranges, rather than the fresh cool new fu­ture the com­pany should be tak­ing ad­van­tage of, and which is bet­ter rep­re­sented by the V9 Bob­ber.

The Guzzi Roamer’s a smooth cruiser, but gets tied up in the twisties The Roamer does­nõt make the best use of the V9 mo­tor. Its han­dling is poor and the looks are too bland to make it stand out from the crowd. Is it a scoot or is it a mo­tor­cy­cle? We don’t

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