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Moto Guzzi V85 TT lands in Australia — but can it match Triumph’s marvellous Scrambler?



MOTO GUZZI’S retro enduro V85TT has landed in Australia; but is it ready to go head-to-head against Triumph’s impressive Scrambler 1200? We’ll have to wait on see on that, but we do know prices — $18,890 for the single colour scheme and $19,590 for the tri-colour version. Until we get a ride, all we can do is share Moto Guzzi’s press release. So here it is:

PRESS RELEASE

A TRIBUTE TO TRAVELLING IN ITS PUREST SENSE, MOTO GUZZI DEDICATES V85 TT TO THOSE MOTORCYCLISTS WHO CANNOT WAIT TO SET OFF

MOTO GUZZI V85 TT IS CREATED AROUND A TOTALLY NEW TECHNICAL PLATFORM WITH THE 80 HP, 80 NM TWIN AND BRAND-NEW FRAME AND SUSPENSION

THE FIRST CLASSIC TRAVEL ENDURO RETAINS THE VALUES OF THE NOBLE MANDELLO BRAND AND PROMISES UNIQUE RIDING EXPERIENCES, IN KEEPING WITH MOTO GUZZI TRADITION

Almost a century of tradition, passion, and significant commercial and sporting success; almost a century of magnificent motorcycles all built in Mandello del Lario, combining the best technologies with first-rate Italian manufacturing techniques: Moto Guzzi values since 1921.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT is created in keeping with this strong identity, skilfully balancing that classic, evocative style with cutting-edge technical equipment. The new Moto Guzzi reflects a construction philosophy in which simplicity, practicality and lightness make for an unfiltered relationship between motorcycle and rider.

Travelling to live, the V85 TT is an adventure every day

V85 TT is dedicated to adventurous trips, a long-standing Moto Guzzi tradition, in their purest and most original form, the likes of which conjure up images of desert competitions such as the Paris-Dakar. The famous African race was at its peak as the 1980s dawned… Taking centre stage was man, in his eternal struggle with nature and himself, on a journey to discover unexplored lands, alone, in complete harmony with his motorcycle. A compass, road book and watch were the only navigational tools with which to reach the final destination of Lac Rose, which remained just a dream for many. The goal was not just to compete, but to discover unique places, a value that V85 TT wants to reinstate.

In its travelling version, the V85 TT is a new and original proposal that combines stylistic features reminiscent of the golden age of motorbike adventures with the content and functionality of a modern touring enduro. V85 TT is dedicated to those who, while still dreaming of the Dakar, seek a motorcycle that can also inject adventurous spirit into the everyday journey.

Style: V85 TT is the Classic Travel Enduro

The fundamental concepts at the heart of the V85 TT project are simplicity, ease and practicality, values typical of those 80s enduro bikes that could be used for anything, from the daily commute to adventurous trips, yet also values that are gradually getting lost in an increasingly homologated market, where ranges favour significant size and weight. Moto Guzzi V85 TT achieves its ambitious goal of combining a style based on said values with the needs of a modern touring enduro. It is for this reason that it deserves to be crowned the first classic enduro dedicated to touring. Its design combines technology and functionality, with typical Moto Guzzi traits to ensure durability. The desire for simple shapes is clear: with no kind of fairing, the V85 TT is defined by the lines of its tank, its side panels and the front mudguard, as well as its brand-new sculpted 90° V twin engine of course.

Designed with proportions that are anything but prohibitive, accessible to riders of all sizes and experience, and narrow in girth to allow freedom of movement, the V85 TT ensures an optimal ride for rider and passenger. Comfort and usability are never compromised, for a motorcycle that is comfortable in two, even at full load.

Air protection is ensured by a smoke Plexiglas windscreen, its shapes researched in the wind tunnel; the pair of handguards installed on the handlebar protect extremities against bad weather and the cold, helping to make the V85 TT the ideal companion in any season. The design of the 23-litre tank (able to guarantee mileage of over 400 km) harks back to the tradition of Moto Guzzi bikes kitted out for African raids and boasts some meticulously crafted details, such as the slots on the front section and the recesses just above the engine heads, which appear  to be generated by the twin itself.

Extensive research was carried out in defining the contact area with the seat, in order to ensure optimum riding comfort when seated and freedom of movement when standing during typical off-road riding. The seat is 830 mm from the ground, allowing feet to easily touch for optimum control when manoeuvring a stationary bike, also thanks to the compactness of the under body and an overall dry weight reduced to just 208 kg. The riding position is erect, with relaxed back, legs that are barely flexed and correctly bent arms to effectively grip the wide variable section aluminium handlebars, for total control.

Under the seat is a practical storage compartment.

The high front mudguard and beautiful double front headlight are also in keeping with Moto Guzzi history, these stylish and functional solutions already present on the 1996 NTX 650 and the 1989 Quota 1000 respectively. Classic off-road style features (including fork stanchion protection, an exhaust system with high silencer and the aluminium engine sump guard) are combined with technologically cutting-edge elements, such as the digital instrument cluster and the series of LED lights on the headlamp with DRL that trace the shape of the Moto Guzzi eagle.

Chassis: for the utmost riding pleasure and ease

That Moto Guzzi ability to build superb chassis is once again confirmed with the V85 TT. Only the new Moto Guzzi can boast such a solid and precise front end as it enters a corner; only V85 TT is able to give the rider such a sense of control and safety while seeking excitement on the road.

Much of this is down to the particular layout of the high resistance steel tubular frame, complete with beautiful rider footpeg support plates in die-cast aluminium (with removable rubber for off-road riding). As well as being completely new, it has no lower cradle, thus reducing weight while increasing engine clearance from the ground, essential when it comes to off-road riding. In pursuit of lightness, rationality and accessibility, it exploits the specific anchorage of the engine to create a rigid structure that restores precision and rigour on the road as well as robustness and the right feel for off-road riding.

The rear part of the frame is designed to optimise load capacity and offer the passenger two wide and practical grab handles. A case can be mounted on the practical rear luggage rack, while optional panniers can be fastened to the sides, for significantly reduced lateral bulk.

Reduced longitudinal development of the new small block engine allows for a very long swingarm, for safe and intuitive riding. The new asymmetric unit in box-type aluminium features a curved left arm, for a very linear exhaust pipe design and a reduction of lateral bulk. The right arm of the swingarm houses the new shaft drive transmission. V85 TT is the only bike in its segment to use shaft drive transmission, prioritised over a chain drive because it makes no mess and requires no maintenance. The single shock absorber with variable spring stiffness allows great progressivity, thanks to its inclined position too. Its lateral position facilitates access to the hydraulic and spring preload adjustments, thus allowing free space for the exhaust system layout, allowing also the positioning of any side bags closer to the bike.

The suspension offers very generous wheel travel (equal to 170 mm for both wheels) for satisfying off-road use, thanks also to significant engine ground clearance of 210 mm (the engine protected by an aluminium sump guard), while also ensuring comfort on the road. The fork (with 41 mm stanchions) and shock with separate tank are both adjustable in terms of shock preload and hydraulic rebound.

The braking system is of superior quality, comprising a double 320 mm steel front disc with two radial-mounted Brembo callipers with 4 opposed pistons, connected to the pump at the handlebar with metal trellis tubing. At the rear is a 260 mm steel floating calliper with 2 pistons. The unit is controlled by a multimap Continental ABS system that can be disabled for the more demanding off-road stretches. The spoked wheels mount 17″ and 19″ tyres (respectively 150/70-17 and 110/80-19), measurements that will also satisfy off-road enthusiasts. For the same reason, Moto Guzzi V85 TT is available with both high performance road-going Metzeler Tourance Next tyres and the more grooved Michelin Anakee Adventure tyres suitable for off-road use.

A new engine, a classic of the future

The V85 TT introduces a new Moto Guzzi engine. Its configuration mirrors that of all Moto Guzzi bikes in production today: an air-cooled transverse 90° V twin with OHV distribution and two valves per cylinder, the pride and tradition of the Mandello Eagle. Engine capacity is 853 cc, thanks to a bore to stroke ratio of 84 x 77 mm. The most modern of all engines in the range, it can boast specific power of almost 100 HP/litre.

Thanks to its complete new design and the use of materials generally destined for race bikes, such as titanium, the new “eight and a half” is able to deliver a maximum power of 80 HP, as well as an impressive maximum torque value of 80 Nm at 5,000 rpm, with 90% of the torque already available at 3,750 rpm, in keeping with the tradition of the Mandello twin, which has always offered excellent drive even at very low revs. This is the first Moto Guzzi small block engine that can easily reach 8000 rpm, an aspect that showcases its modern and exuberant nature.

The crankcase is the fruit of a new design and is stiffer, in order to fulfil its new role as a stress-bearing element in the frame, introducing new frame connections and strengthening elements in the connection area between the two crankcase halves. It also features a port to check the oil level in the lower crankcase half. Lubrication involves a semi dry sump, with two coaxial pumps, one tasked with oil delivery and the other with recovery that ensure excellent lubrication and do away with the need for an oil radiator, thus reducing the overall weight. The semi dry sump solution has all the advantages of dry sump engines, without the disadvantage of the encumbrance of the external oil reservoir, since sump itself carries out this function.

The primary advantages are: less loss of power because of friction due to the interaction of the crank drive with the oil, lower maximum temperature reached by the oil and freedom of the bike to reach a greater lean or pitch angle without any lubrication problems, thereby allowing the reduction of the quantity of lubricant needed to ensure that the pump has correct draft in any situation.

The oil circuit is entirely new, with one of the two pumps tasked with transferring the lubricant from the crank drive to the sump. The latter is reduced in size to increase ground clearance and allow for assembly of the protective aluminium under-sump. The whole crankshaft is new and, together with the piston rods, also new, allows for a reduction in weight of almost 30% with respect to other small block engines, upping throttle response speed while significantly reducing any vibration.

The upper section of the twin engine is also totally new: in keeping with Moto Guzzi identity, OHV distribution with two valves per cylinder is retained, though the system and materials used are all new. Cylinders are of reduced height, while new and efficient oil passages and a fastening system to the reinforced crankcase ensure robustness and reliability. The heads have new mix entry ducts and links. One of the stand-out aspects of a Moto Guzzi engine is its distribution, complete with new aluminium roller cams and rocker arm pushrods.

The use of 42.5 mm titanium intake valves, which weigh about half of those in steel, has allowed for a much more radical angle over stroke, all to the benefit of torque and maximum power. Lighter pistons are used, with 20 mm pins, as well as new head and plug covers that differ in shape, while the generator has been boosted.

Engine control makes use of a single 52 mm throttle body, while with multimap Ride-by-Wire throttle control, a solution that allows for delicate and scrupulous control of valve opening, not only optimising overall efficiency for a smooth, rich delivery, but also decreasing fuel consumption. The new Moto Guzzi engine is in fact very frugal in terms of consumption: it has few components that absorb power (OHV distribution is one of the most frugal in terms of power absorption) and has no cooling circuit pump or long drive chains or belts.

Significant work has been done on the dogbox to make it more smooth and precise. The gearbox and clutch housing make for increased ground clearance; the dry clutch exploits a reinforcement disc under the clutch plate as well as a new, higher performance clutch disc; a triple ring system is also introduced for the first time: a type of synchronisation that reduces gear noise and gearbox play to a minimum, particularly that of first gear. The ratios are new. The gears gain flexible coupling, for even smoother final transmission at the PTO shaft, this too strengthened. Lastly, the swingarm housing zone has been stiffened and features bearings capable of withstanding high loads.

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Classic Enduro.

First-rate technology and content

For the V85 TT project to achieve its main goal, or rather to satisfy Guzzista in their daily riding as well as in their touring and adventurous off-road riding, Moto Guzzi has designed a complete range of standard electronic equipment, without any inopportune technological overload, for maximum travel enjoyment. To make life on board easier and safer, Moto Guzzi introduces three different riding modes on the V85 TT: Road, Rain and Off-road. Each of these Riding Modes corresponds to a different engine mapping and a different calibration of the MGCT traction control (can be disabled) and ABS, as well as a different response from the Ride-by-Wire throttle control:

  • Road: designed for smooth riding while still retaining an element of fun. Foresees a medium level of MGCT traction control calibration, ABS active on both channels and a prompt throttle response .
  • Rain: ideal in situations of reduced grip, to ensure maximum safety while riding. Foresees a higher level of traction control calibration, ABS active at both wheels and a more gentle throttle response .
  • Off-road: designed to make the most of the chassis and engine during off-road exploits. Foresees the lowest level of traction control intervention, ABS only active at the front wheel with dedicated calibration (and with the possibility to deactivate it at the front wheel), along with a more gentle throttle response assisted by greater engine braking.

The rider need only select the preferred mode, safe in the knowledge that Moto Guzzi has developed the best possible electronic configuration for each Riding Mode.

V85 TT is also equipped with Cruise Control, so that a pre-set speed can be maintained without acting on the accelerator. This system is also designed to make a rider’s journey easier, just one button needed to activate and engage the system and increase/reduce the set speed.

All travel parameters can be controlled via the digital instrument cluster complete with TFT display. The background and colour of the characters adapt to different light conditions thanks to a built-in sensor. The information displayed, in addition to the classic speedometer, rev counter, mileage counter and clock, also includes selected gear indices, air temperature, fuel level, average and current consumption, residual autonomy and selected Riding Mode. It is also possible to set a maximum number of revs for the gear shift light sensor, useful when running in the bike or seeking to limit fuel consumption as far as possible. Alongside the display is a USB port while provision is made for a second port under the seat. The full LED headlight assembly, in addition to low and high beam functions, has a series of built-in daylight running lights (DRL) which, taking on its shape, project the Moto Guzzi Eagle logo.

The taillight uses LED technology to render a 3D characterisation reminiscent of a jet’s afterburners during take-off. The LED turn indicators are equipped with an automatic cancelling system.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT presents Moto Guzzi MIA, the new Moto Guzzi multimedia platform that allows a smartphone to be connected to the vehicle (via an ECU available in the rich catalogue of Moto Guzzi accessories), thus extending instrument functionality.  Moto Guzzi MIA can be used to play music and to make/receive phone calls using a helmet intercom. It also introduces a navigation function for the first time, allowing the rider to set a destination on his smartphone and view directions in the form of intuitive pictographs directly on the instrument cluster.

Versions and colours

Moto Guzzi V85 TT is available in two graphic versions:

  • Three more urban colour schemes, Grigio Atacama, Blu Atlante and Rosso Vulcano that come with Metzeler Tourance Next tyres.
  • Two more evocative colour schemes, Giallo Sahara and Rosso Kalahari, combined with the splendid red paint of the frame and fork stanchion guards colour-coded to match the fuel tank. Both are shod with the new Michelin Anakee Adventure tyre, capable of guaranteeing better off-road grip.

The Moto Guzzi off-road tradition

Moto Guzzi boasts a solid off-road tradition: the first proof of this arrived at the Six Day Reliability Trial in 1939, which took place in Austria, where Moto Guzzi participated with the GT 20, winning four gold medals. The true season of reliability continued in 1957, with the Lodola Regolarità, and then with the Stornello Regolarità in 1962.

Moto Guzzi bikes have participated in various editions of the Paris-Dakar, albeit in an unofficial capacity, thanks to race versions prepared on the request of Guzzisti. Already present at the first 1979 edition with a modified V50, rider Bernard Rigoni managed to finish the race mid-field, a very positive result considering that the classification combined both cars and bikes at that time.

Moto Guzzi motorcycles immediately earned the respect of the other manufacturers involved, due to the speed-related performance achieved by the 90° transverse V twin together with its reduced fuel consumption and excellent chassis stability. It went on to compete again in 1980 and 1981, though its most famous appearances are those of 1985 and 1986, owing to the great passion and dedication of a guzzista architect called Claudio Torri, who commissioned the Mandello Test Department with building a very special V65 TT.

The engine was based on that of the V65, tuned to 55 HP; the frame was significantly strengthened, while suspension was specifically configured for off-road usage. The original fuel tank was replaced with a 50 litre aluminium tank, while the swingarm was taken from the sporty Le Mans 1000. The bike behaved well, so much so that the French importer requested 16 units to sell to private riders for use during subsequent seasons; at the same time the importer also asked Moto Guzzi to develop a new model, based on the more high-performance V75 with four valve timing. The V75 TT was accredited with 62 HP that allowed for a top speed in excess of 170 Km/h. Both bikes are part of a collection of more than 150 models exhibited at the Moto Guzzi museum in Mandello del Lario.

A vast range of accessories, designed and created by Moto Guzzi

The V85 TT was designed to be fitted with a range of original accessories, designed to highlight the various spirits.

All accessories are conceived, designed and produced by Moto Guzzi. They are all homologated and subjected to strict control test cycles just like any other original part on the bike in order to guarantee a long-lasting and high-quality product. See the product catalogue attached for more information on these accessories and Australian recommended retail pricing.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT: technical specifications

ENGINE
Type Transverse 90° V twin, two valves per cylinder (titanium intake).
Cooling Air
Engine capacity 853 cc
Bore and stroke 84 x 77 mm
Compression ratio 10.5: 1
Maximum power 80 HP (59 kW) at 7,750 rpm
Torque 80 Nm at 5,000 rpm
Fuel system Electronic injection; Ø 52 mm single throttle body, Ride-by-Wire
Fuel tank capacity 23 litres (including 5 litre reserve)
Approval Euro 4
Consumption (WMTC cycle) 4.9 l/100 km
CO2 Emissions (WMTC cycle) 118 g/km
TRANSMISSION
Clutch Dry single disc
Transmission 6 gears
Gear ratio values 1st 16/39 = 1: 2.437
2nd 18/32 = 1: 1.778
3rd 21/28 = 1: 1.333
4th 24/26 = 1: 1.083
5th 25/24 = 1: 0.960
6th 27/24 = 1: 0.889
CHASSIS
Frame High strength steel tubular frame
Front suspension 41 mm hydraulic telescopic USD fork, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound
Front wheel travel 170 mm
Rear suspension Double-sided swingarm in box-type aluminium with a single shock on the right side, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound
Rear wheel travel 170 mm
Front brake Double 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial-mounted callipers with 4 opposed pistons
Rear brake Ø 260 mm stainless steel disc, floating calliper with 2 pistons
Wheels Spoked
Front wheel rim 2.50″ x 19″
Rear wheel rim 4.25″ x 17″
Front tyre With air chamber 110/80 – R19″
Rear tyre With air chamber 150/70 – R17″
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
A/C generator 430 W
System voltage 12 V
Battery 12V – 12 Ah

 

DIMENSIONS
Length 2240 mm
Width 950 mm
Wheelbase 1530 mm
Saddle height 830 mm (accessories: low saddle 810 mm; high saddle 850 mm)
Headstock angle 28°
Trail 128 mm
Dry weight 208 kg
Kerb weight* 229 kg
* Weight with motorcycle ready for use, with all operating fluids and 90% fuel.

Pricing (*plus on road costs) $18,890* Grigio Atacama single-colour
$19,590* Giallo Sahara tri-colour

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Classic Enduro.



Peter Terlick
pterlick@hotmail.com