Moto Guzzi Factory Gate, Mandello del Lario. Monday 9th September 2019.
As of 14th November 2019, our V85TT has covered 5,000 miles. It has proved to be a very accomplished machine and it’s easy to see why it’s been so popular. Worldwide demand currently outstrips production. The V85TT is one of the most successful
models produced by Moto Guzzi in recent times. Almost 6,000 units have been made since it was launched earlier this year.
The last bike I bought was our 08 spec XB12X Ulysses in November 2007. Having a motorcycle equipped with ride-by-wire, ABS, full
LED lighting, traction control and switchable riding modes is quite a revelation. I can’t fault the instrumentation, the TFT screen is clear and it’s viewable in any weather conditions. The display automatically adjusts itself to suit either day
or night riding. Clever stuff. All the other controls and features are easy to use and well thought out. It also has cruise control, but I’ve never used it and I don’t think I ever will. The twin LED headlights, both on dip and full, are brilliant
(pun intended) and are by far the best I’ve ever had on a motorcycle. The daytime running light is a bright white LED eagle motif across the front of the twin headlights. There’s also a LED fog light kit available as an official Guzzi accessory.
Its prewired for these and has mounting points on the headlight and instrumentation subframe.
The V85TT makes a great all-rounder and its very comfortable over long distances. The 830mm standard seat is just about right for me at 6ft 3” but Moto
Guzzi also offer seats in both 20mm higher and 20mm lower versions. They’re not cheap but if you find the standard seat not to your liking then there are alternatives available.
The petrol tank has a 23-litre capacity. With an average consumption
of around 62mpg this provides a 300+ mile range. The worst consumption I’ve seen is 58mpg and the best 74mpg.
Just in time for the cooler weather, on the 5th October I had the Guzzi heated grip kit, part number 2S001325, fitted by Teasdale Motorcycles
in Thirsk. The kit includes a new ride-by-wire throttle body as part of the right-hand heated grip so it must be calibrated by an official Guzzi dealer. This new throttle body has a lighter spring than the original unit and is so much better in operation.
The V85TT is prewired for heated grips and already has a button on the left-hand switch unit for them. They’re very effective and have three different heat levels. There’s an icon on the TFT display showing which level you’ve selected.
The engine, gearbox and shaft drive are new generation designs based on the V9. They’re smooth in operation and gear changing is almost clunk free once you’ve got the unit warmed up. When new there was an annoying high frequency buzz at 4,000rpm
but that’s just about disappeared now. Our high mileage 06’ 750 and 05’ 1100 Guzzis have required 25,000 to 30,000 miles to feel properly run in but this V85TT will probably only need 15,000 miles to feel the same. The engine is very flexible
and will quite happily run at low rpms in high gears without feeling snatchy. The crankcase has a user-friendly oil level sight glass.
Suspension is very good. The easily adjusted factory recommended settings work well for solo riding and for touring
with luggage. I’ve not ridden the bike with a pillion yet. Guzzi offer an Ohlin rear unit as an upgrade but it’s around £800.
Dislikes – all of which have been addressed:
At 800 miles or so, 2 of the 4 bolts that hold the sump guard on fell out and the remaining 2 were loose. Loctite 243 to the rescue. This is a common problem reported worldwide with the first versions.
Lack of front mudguard as standard.
of the wheel spindles were greased at the factory and various fasteners in corrosion prone areas were fitted dry. A couple of hours in the workshop armed with tins of copperslip and grease is time well spent and saves problems later.
The massive (and
ugly) Euro 4 spec catalytic convertor under the gearbox runs at extremely high temperatures. Combined with a lean mixture to meet Euro 4 regs, it means the engine and rider get hot and bothered in heavy traffic in warm weather. Many owners have removed the
cat and fitted aftermarket Y-pipes with fuelling modifiers.
Comfortable enduro style seat.
Italian design and style.
Modifications carried out:
Remus Y-pipe, part number 0103-455519.
fuelling modifier, part number MOTO-GUZZI-8151.
R&G fork protectors, part number FP0020BK.
Aprilia Caponord Rally 1200 front mudguard, part number 2B0024475. The V85TT uses the same front forks.
Moto Guzzi clutch cable/wire guide, part number
2B006501. This stops them rubbing against the bottom of the TFT display housing. This is fitted as standard on later V85TT’s.
Moto Guzzi heated grips, part number 2S001325.
Chris Jessop, 14th November 2019.