This past weekend I attended the Italian test event at Spirit Motorcycles in San Jose to familiarize myself with the Moto Guzzi Models and ride one Aprilia model I haven't ridden before. I love these events as it enables me to widen my motorcycle experience base which helps when advising and procuring motorcycles in the wild. I had never ridden a Moto Guzzi prior to this and it was interesting to compare the three models back to back to back.
First up I rode the beautiful "custom" Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer. The initial side to side vibration upon startup was something I hadn't experienced before on a motorcycle as the engine layout is unique to the brand. The Roamer was easy to ride, had a low seat height, decent power, and was most comfortable on the highway. Unfortunately this was my least favorite of the bunch due to the forward foot controls, the front 19" wheel, and the gearing which all make for a less than ideal street bike, but a decent highway cruiser.
|Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer|
Next up was the dark themed Moto Guzzi V7 Stone. The V7 was instantly a better bike to ride for me as the bars, seat, and foot controls all combine for a very neutral, upright riding position. The gearing was perfect for city riding and gave a bike a more fun demeanor while enjoying the back and forth twisties. The one drawback for this bike is the lack of a tachometer which does come on other versions of the V7, but I'm not sure why it wasn't included on a bike like this. Overall I think this is a great bike for the money as you get a something unique with Italian styling and it's fun to ride.
|Moto Guzzi V7 Stone|
The last Moto Guzzi I rode was the best overall package, the most expensive, and my choice for the best model Moto Guzzi sells right now, the V85TT. I think the bike looks great, especially in the color scheme I rode, but not everyone at this event liked the look. Subjectivity aside it was a great bike to ride. Sure it doesn't have fully electronic or even adjustable high end suspension, but what it does have works great on the road. There was no dirt involved on the ride so I can't speak on that ability, however I'm willing to bet 90% of owners won't be taking this bike off road anyway. The size is perfect, not big and heavy like the larger 1000cc+ adventure bikes out there, and not too small and underpowered like the latest 300-500cc powered adventure bikes. It has a nicely designed TFT dash that was really easy to read and didn't leave me yearning for a mechanical tach like most electronic dash's do these days. The only downside I saw on this bike was the tubed tire setup which would only be an issue if you were doing some off road adventuring.
|Moto Guzzi V85TT "Evocative"|
Last bike I rode was the most exciting for sure. The Aprilia Shiver 900 is a model I have't ridden before and it was a lot of fun! This would be the perfect bike to terrorize the city streets with occasional rides through the mountains. I'm sure the aggressive ergo's would wear you down after a few hours, but the excitement that comes with each twist of the wrist would more than make up for it! In touring mode it's really easy to ride around and is a tame docile machine. Switch to sport and it turns into a beast! the slightest over throttle and the front wheel is lifting towards the sky. I probably wouldn't but this as my sole bike, but it would make a fun addition to a garage with a few other tools in the shed.
|Aprilia Shiver 900|