MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT (2006-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"A great, old school roadster for manly types"

Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding

"A great, old school roadster for manly types"

  • At a glance
  • 1151cc  -  95 bhp
  • 48 mpg  -  165 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)
  • £9,374

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The beleagured but charismatic Italian Moto Guzzi concern has been labelled many things in recent years but ‘sports’ has never been one of them. In truth, the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport isn’t a sports bike either. Instead it's an aggressively styled roadster using a mix of the latest Breva 1100 and Griso goodies. Too heavy to be a street scalpel, but a great, old school roadster for manly types.

 

Watch the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport against BMW's R1200R

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is a full-sized, heavy metal, 70s-throwback of a motorcycle, yet one sprinkled with the very latest and best in suspension and brakes. So, though cumbersome, it’s surprisingly effective and comfortable, too. Dwarfs or wimps need not apply, though…

Engine 3 out of 5

Latest 1200cc version of the distinctive, classic but recently reworked Guzzi across the frame V-twin is one massive lump of metal. The Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport's 90bhp is nothing to get worked up about but it’s grunty enough, flexible, the shaft drive gives peace of mind and it’s a fabulous thing to behold.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

If you’d asked that question four or five years ago, the answer would’ve been ‘dodgy’. Two takeovers (first Aprilia, more recently Piaggio) have seen production and quality control completely shaken up, however and Guzzis of the last couple of years now stand comparison with anything. Parts availability sometimes patchy, though…

 

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

Whichever way you look at it, you’re getting an awful lot of iconic, charismatic motorcycle for your £7600-odd for the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport. On the downside, sheer performance is nothing to crow about and Guzzi residuals can’t yet match, say, Triumph or Harley. But definitely worth considering… Find a Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport for sale.

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

In a word: ‘Bella’. The Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is a Bentley, or Morgan maybe, among motorcycles. The style and engineering principles may be hewn from solid but the detailing and equipment levels are sublime. In the Sport’s case, that means delicious white-faced clocks, a neat seat hump, posj TiN coated forks and Braking wavy discs. Only thre plasticky mirrors and headlamp rim let it down…

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT (2006-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Magnificent roadster

05 April 2013 by makisp

Have the bike 4 years now and have done 15000 miles on it. It is definitely an underrated motorbike which is very competent and under another badge, it would have sold much better. It is a softly sprung and extremely comfortable motorbike. I have... Read more done 400 miles on a day with most of them on b roads with only a little soreness on my wrists. I have changed the steering with that of the next model (4v) for a little more upright driving position but is still a bit of a reach, so there is some weight on the wrists. I have also fitted a custom made windscreen which does a good job of preventing the body and the helmet of the air pressure although it produces excessive noise on the helmet. The seat i like sitting on a sofa. The engine is quite smooth and linear. It works and pulls smooth from 1800 rpm and after 5000 it produces a heavy groar much like an old American V8 engine. You can feel a hole in the powerband on the two last gears between 3 and 4 thousand rpms and that's the only flow of the engine. Otherwise is a well tuned, vibration free engine with moderate but able performance. The rear wheel output should be around 75 horses but on b roads you never feel short of power. On the straight i have seen 131 mph and can cruise all day on 110 quite comfortably for both bike and rider (but with earplugs). The suspension is as plush as it gets and can absorb every bump you might come across. It is very economical and on b roads never exceeds 52mpg. It can use alot of fuel driving through the town especially on congestion. On the road the bike handles very safe. It is softly sprung so it is not accurate and have average feel from the suspension but if you overdo it, it slips very controllably and in a slow and composed manner which leaves you confident. It is a heavy bike but has a low center of gravity and the longitudinal placement of the engine add to a quite easy steering at least on turns of over 40 mph. On tighter turns of course you need to kind of wrestle with the bike. The brakes are exceptional with feel, progressiveness and strength. So far is a very reliable and qualitative motorbike which is also very easy to work on it. I recently did the valve adjustment by myself, which is a very simple procedure that can be completed in a little more than an hour. A beautiful roadster that really awakens your senses and touches your soul in a magnificent and unique way.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Just right

28 March 2011 by Lightning Boy

I teetered on the brink of the ubiquitous BMW 1200GS, the only thing putting me off the BM was really how common they are, on my commute I must see half a dozen. Changing from my Suzuki SV1000S to this has been brilliant, just what I wanted. The... Read more Suzuki was a good bike, versatile, powerful and reliable, but I have become increasingly tired of chain drive. I cover 1400 miles a month and maintaining a chain drive had become a tedious chore, particularly as the SV had no centre stand and I do not have a garage. The Guzzi has been a delight, softer sprung with a lovely comfy seat to pamper my ageing arse cheeks, easy handling, decent fuel economy and a whacking great tank too. I'm a big fan of v-twins but perhaps one of the few complaints I had was that this one sounded a little asthmatic - a Quill exhaust has remedied that and it now makes a beautiful deep burble. I did have a couple of oil leaks from the rocker covers, but thanks to the nature of the engine these are supremely easy to fix. All in all, I believe this is a much overlooked bike. People to often plump for the lumpen (or just plain ugly) GS when there is a svelte Italian just begging to be ridden.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Guzzi's most beautiful bike

24 August 2007 by fozzybear1952

I bought this bike within a couple of hours of first seeing her. I had no intention of changing my then current bike, but what can you do when face to face with such a beautiful Italian Stallion. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport

24 August 2007 by keithh

This is a quite remarkable deviation from main stream. I used to have a 1200 bandit, and for the first month I had this, I was wondering what I had done. 3000 miles later we have really bonded. I think it really is the best. I went hooning around mid... Read more Wales a couple of weeks ago on it and it is truly mermerising in the way, I suspect, no sports bike could be - got 58 mpg over two tank fulls - so more frugal than you might think. The onboard computer though that was only 46 mpg so something lacking there then. I commute on it most days - its fine in traffic unless the speed drops below 15mph when becuause if the lumpy V twin delivery it becomes necessary to slip the clutch and that puts more weight on my arms and the enjoyment soon fades. Also it has wide bars so filtering can be limitted. The speedo is MPH only, and the computer will show max speed and average speed in mph or kph, but not current speed, so if you go abroad no way of easily telling you speed in the local currency. Doesn't come with a centre stand so my dealer assembled one from Norge parts. There was no delay in getting the parts either... and the final idosyncrasy - When selecting fist gear from cold, keep the gear selector depressed as you let the clutch in or you will be in neutral for ever - you can feel the gear select. The gearbox is fine after a couple of miles. Would I buy another one? - Oh yes!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued -
New price £9,374
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 95 bhp
Max torque 74 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 165 miles
Specification
Engine size 1151cc
Engine type 8v transverse V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tube double cradle
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 229kg
Front suspension Rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, compression
Front brake 2 x 320 wavy discs
Rear brake 282mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2006: Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport launched.

 

Other versions

2011: ABS model available for £9,674

Photo Gallery

  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Top view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Top view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Engine
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Front view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Top view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Top view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Engine
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Front view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport motorcycle review - Side view