Guzzi’s V85 snapped in ac­tion!

Ital­ian cre­ation set to take on GS and Scram­bler mar­ket with lots of clever touches.

Motorcycle Monthly - - News - Words: Tony Carter Pho­to­graphs: BMH Images

More images of the 2019 Moto Guzzi V85 pro­to­type in ac­tion have sur­faced – and they tell us a lot about the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the sexy on-road en­duro-styled thumper.

Here’s what looks to be the same as we saw on the sub­limely sweet con­cept V85 en­duro shown at last year’s EICMA show in Mi­lan:

• The mo­tor is still the air-cooled V-twin which, with a ca­pac­ity of 850cc, should kick out some­where just un­der 80bhp.

• The mod­ernly-retro body­work looks the same as we saw at the show with the bike’s huge front mud­guard and twin head­lights stay­ing.

But there’s a host of changes that we can see from the spy shots too, many of which are sub­tle and show a real at­ten­tion to de­tail.

Firstly, there’s that mo­tor. One of the great tricks by the range’s de­signer Miguel Gal­luzzi (the man who in­vented the Du­cati Monster among many other great bikes) is that the Guzzi en­gines are mounted on a type of spe­cial­ist rub­ber buf­fer. This buf­fer on each of the crit­i­cal en­gine points is spe­cially ‘tuned’ so that when the bike’s revs are un­der 2000rpm the bike will rock from side to side in a tra­di­tional Guzzi mo­tion as each cylin­der files. Go over 2000rpm and the sys­tem coun­ters the rocking sys­tem. That mo­tion dis­ap­pears and the bike smooths out, it feels more like you’re rid­ing a four-cylin­der mo­tor­cy­cle. Clever stuff. And on the images you can see one of the rub­ber mounts in place so ex­pect this bike to rock like a Guzzi at low, en­gine idling type speeds and be su­per smooth and torquey once you get rolling.

The lat­est spy shots don’t fea­ture a fin­ished sump but there is a bash plate bolted onto the bot­tom of the bike, sug­gest­ing two things – that the fin­ished bike will have a large, pretty bit of body­work over the sump like the pro­to­type has and that the bike in the pho­tos is also be­ing used off-road at some point.

Move up to that big beaky mud­guard and you can clearly see the large air-in­take grille sited on it, just un­der the head­lights. It’s a clever so­lu­tion, driv­ing air to the mo­tor’s mouth and the raised fins ei­ther side of the in­take help di­rect the cool­ing stuff on the move. On the rear side of the mud­guard are three steps which act as vor­tex gen­er­a­tors to dis­turb the air as it passes over the back of the body­work, helping to force more cool­ing air into the right di­rec­tion for the mo­tor as well as sta­bil­is­ing the front of the bike at speed. It’s a sim­i­lar idea to what you see on the vi­sors of some hel­mets now.

On the side of the head­lights is a body­work mount fixed in place with­out any­thing at­tached to it. This could be for body­work to come around the side of the head­lights, per­haps for an ex­ten­sion to the wind­shield to help de­flect wind­blast from the rider. It could still be on the bike for test-mea­sur­ing de­vices to be at­tached to though. We’ve been told that there are some ad­di­tional body­work bits to be fi­nal­ized on the V85 so we think it’s the former.

The screen on the V85 is very dif­fer­ent to what we saw on the pro­to­type, with the top of the screen it­self kept low in the mid­dle and two higher shoul­ders flar­ing up in a dra­matic look­ing way to get rid of head-buffer­ing winds. The screen also has a large scoop pressed into it which runs right up the mid­dle of the unit.

Our spy shots show that the V85’s front brake reser­voir is dif­fer­ent to the pro­to­type’s but the huge hand­guards stay the same.

Un­der the petrol tank you can see that the pro­duc­tion bike’s shape is se­ri­ously dif­fer­ent to the scooped an­gu­lar love­li­ness of the pro­to­type and in our pho­tos it’s easy to see why. It’s to do with heat dis­si­pa­tion.

The pro­to­type has a se­ries of stick-on ther­mome­ters stuck to the top of the bike’s cylin­ders and the body­work that sur­rounds them. In our shots you can see that the most heat is com­ing di­rectly off the cylin­der, nat­u­rally, and the un­der­side of the tank is around a fifth cooler than the cylin­der’s outer. Nearer the rider’s knee the ther­mome­ter there is barely a half of the tem­per­a­ture of the un­der­tank tem­per­a­ture show­ing how ef­fec­tive at whip­ping heat away from the rider the V85’s body­work al­ready is. By the rider’s right foot the tem­per­a­ture is at half that of the cylin­der head and on the ex­haust side of the bike a ther­mome­ter near the rider’s left an­kle sits at around half the tem­per­a­ture of the cylin­der head.

The bike’s rear shock is a sim­ple white colour in­stead of the gold Oh­lins unit on the pro­to­type. We can’t be sure what shocks the V85 will end up with but at the mo­ment, they look like WP items. We can see that the bike in the pho­tos is cur­rently un­der­go­ing ride-height ad­just­ments with the shocks on show be­ing re­duced in static height by 3mm at this stage of the fi­nal round of test­ing.

There’s no di­als on the bike in the pho­tos, it’s an LCD screen with a large sur­round that juts out from the top to cut down on sun glare that the rider, sug­gest­ing that it’s not a colour TFT screen on the bike which are easy to read in di­rect sun. The bike’s switchgear (on the right hand side) is very sim­ple to op­er­ate with a thum­b­con­trolled up/down switch clearly shown which will let the rider scroll through elec­tron­ics on the bike.

Guzzi says it was so im­pressed with the pub­lic’s re­ac­tion to the pro­to­type V85 that the new bike will be as close as pos­si­ble to how the orig­i­nal looked. Ex­pect the fi­nal pro­duc­tion ver­sion to be shown at this year’s EICMA show in Novem­ber.

Ther­mome­ters and switchgear show de­tails of rider com­fort de­sign.

1. New screen 2. Dif­fer­ent brake reser­voir 3. Ex­tra frame work 4. Air in­take di­rec­tion 5. New un­der­tank de­sign 6. Ther­mome­ters 7. New shock, pos­si­bly WP 8. Ther­mome­ters 9. Rub­ber chas­sis mounts 10. Work­ing bash plate

Half LED head­lights re­main.

Rear shock has changed.

Fork pro­tec­tion is in place.

Mud­guard gets vor­tices in the back.

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