MOTO GUZZI BOBBER

‘Just park out­side a pub, sit back and en­joy the at­ten­tion’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes - ANDY DAVID­SON STAFF WRITER andy.david­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Moto Guzzi are en­joy­ing a resur­gence in sales thanks to the ever ex­pand­ing retro scene. Hav­ing re­cently cel­e­brated their 95th an­niver­sary, the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer pack gen­uine her­itage, as proven by the pop­u­lar­ity of their V7 model – and now they’ve had an­other pop at the hip­ster trend by re­leas­ing this, the V9 Bobber.

De­spite the Amer­i­can term, it doesn’t look like a clas­sic state­side bobber: Moto Guzzi have clev­erly kept their own unique style and Man­dello del Lario stamp on the V9. This is an au­then­tic Ital­ian with an Amer­i­can name, and not re­ally a bobber at all. And that’s a good thing. It’d be a shame if such a fa­mous man­u­fac­turer built some­thing that wasn’t true to its her­itage, and they’ve done an ex­cel­lent job on the de­sign, too, with beau­ti­ful fin­ish­ing touches like an ul­tra-posh (and per­haps too mod­ern) switchgear, sleek matt paintscheme, em­blems, em­broi­dered seat and smart dash.

The only things that don’t con­vince are the 16in bal­loon tyres. They look gim­micky while de­tract­ing from the over­all sleek look and, most im­por­tantly, af­fect the han­dling too. Dur­ing a 250-mile round trip from Peter­bor­ough to Wind­sor, on mo­tor­ways and coun­try lanes, they felt vague at high speed and fell into cor­ners and round­abouts. You get used to it, but I’d still pre­fer 17in wheels and stan­dard rub­ber.

The seat­ing po­si­tion, how­ever, is near per­fect. De­spite that flat retro seat,

It’s a pretty com­fort­able ride, even af­ter two hours in the sad­dle. The wide bars and pegs are well po­si­tioned and of­fer a roomy, laid-back rid­ing po­si­tion that works even on the long, bor­ing straights.

The en­tire bike is well thought out and clev­erly blends the new and the old to give you a real retro feel­ing on the move. The en­gine uses the firm’s V7 crankcases as a base unit, and gets new pis­tons, alu­minium heads, cylin­ders and im­proved oil dis­tri­bu­tion, while dis­place­ment has been upped to 853cc. It starts with a rasp and first gear slams home with an almighty clunk but the clutch is light and a far cry from those found on older Guzzis. Blip the throt­tle and the Bobber pushes to the right in the tra­di­tional man­ner, then hus­tles away from the lights be­fore cruis­ing along on a wave of Guzzi-flavoured torque. It’s spir­ited and soul­ful in a man­ner purists will love.

If you’re new to Guzzis you’ll en­joy all that too, but you’ll also find that it isn’t a par­tic­u­larly re­fined ride. The fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem is dis­ap­point­ingly snappy, and power de­liv­ery is sharp rather than creamy, mak­ing rid­ing in town less than smooth. Out in the coun­try, the Bobber needs to be mus­cled along coun­try roads, with plenty of rider in­put. The Kayaba sus­pen­sion set-up doesn’t par­tic­u­larly help ei­ther as it only han­dles the light­est of bumps.

‘The en­tire bike is well thought out and clev­erly blends new and old to give you a real retro feel on the move’

There’s a free Moto Guzzi smart­phone app for the V9, which in­cludes fea­tures such as nav­i­ga­tion, dat­a­log­ger and a ‘ find my bike’ ser­vice. The bike also has a USB port lo­cated un­der The 40mm fork isn’t ad­justable and the rear shocks are preload ad­justable only. How­ever, the sin­gle, four-pot Brembo caliper up front and twin-pot Brembo at the rear do an ex­cel­lent job of stop­ping in a hurry. They’re com­ple­mented by ABS and a two-level trac­tion con­trol sys­tem (which can be switched off).

The ideal way to ride the Bobber is in a re­laxed, easy-go­ing style. If you let it find its own pace it be­comes a laid back, uber-cool ma­chine. Ad­mir­ing glances and bla­tant stares are a part of ev­ery ride. A cou­ple of peo­ple asked what it’s like to ride, but didn’t pay any at­ten­tion to my re­sponse. Their eyes were fixed on the Guzzi V9 Bobber as it rested on its side­stand, pos­ing. That’s what you get.

Guzzi’s new V6 Bobber is au­then­tic Ital­ian cool with a mod­ern bal­loon-tyred twist

MCN’S Andy sits back and waits for the Bobber to pull in the crowds... Gor­geous de­tails like this tank de­cal and beau­ti­ful filler cap add glam­our Sin­gle disc Brembo brak­ing set-up is ex­cel­lent and has ABS back­ing it up White-faced clock shows speed while

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