MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT 4v (2008-on) Review

Published: 08 January 2009

"What it lacks in performance, it makes up in character"

Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- raw and soulful Italian soundtrack bouncing off the walls

"What it lacks in performance, it makes up in character"

  • At a glance
  • 1151cc  -  105 bhp
  • 32 mpg  -  192 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)
  • £10,432

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

After just two years in production the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport gets a new engine. So it’s out with the old two-valver and in with a new 105bhp four-valve head motor, taken from the Stelvio adventure bike and the Griso 8v cruiser (yes, Guzzi call the Griso an ‘8v’ and all the other bikes in their range with the same engine ‘4v’. Don’t you just love the Italians?). As well as the new engine, the 1200 Sport 4V comes with a new exhaust system and handlebars swept back more towards the rider. The Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport is comfy, blessed with a raw and typically soulful Italian soundtrack and is beautifully-built. What it lacks in performance, it makes up in character.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Despite being a big and heavy old bird (weighing 240kg dry!), the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport still steers nice and easily around town and on the open road (thanks to its high quality adjustable suspension) and offers excellent stability in all conditions. Ride it ‘smooth and steady’ and the Moto Guzzi behaves itself, but grab it any harder by the scruff of the neck and it starts to get upset, and the up-and-down motion of the shaft drive system and the side-to-side torque reaction of the motor becomes intrusive. The new swept back handlebars make the riding position more natural than before, but there’s still quite an uncomfortable reach to grab them. A wide, padded seat, smooth, unobtrusive engine and decent legroom serve to make the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v a pretty decent mile-muncher, especially if you fit their optional pannier/top box kit.

Engine 4 out of 5

Mounted longways in the chassis, in typical Moto Guzzi tradition, the big air-cooled, fuel-injected 1151cc V-twin motor sounds and goes a lot like an original Ducati 916, which is a pretty good place to start. Both engine and gearbox are very smooth, but it doesn’t have the grunt of the older 95bhp two-valve motor, which used to be in this bike. It does have more top-end power if you’re prepared to rev it, though. For a machine like this, which despite its ‘Sport’ tag prefers to cruise rather than scratch, we think Guzzi should have left the old engine in. That aside, it’s still a superb powerplant with excellent fuelling from its fuel-injection system.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Since Piaggio took over at Moto Guzzi, build-quality has vastly improved. Engine and gearboxes are smoother, electrics are reliable and the general standard of build is right up there with the best.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

For just over eight-grand the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v is superb value for money. Moto Guzzi is like the Maserati of the bike world (with Ferrari being the Ducati), built with the same quality and attention to detail. Built in low volume, you get Italian chic, style and exclusivity, a soundtrack to make your ears melt and something genuinely different. This machine will get more looks at a set of traffic lights than a Ducati Desmosedici RR. Find a Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

You get a fair amount of equipment as standard, including a mulit-function LCD display, fully adjustable suspension, Brembo brake calipers and excellent Metzeler Sportec M3 tyres, but this is a simple roadster, so it’s never going to have the kitchen sink thrown at it. Compare and buy products for the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT 4v (2008-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 3.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.3 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great all round bike

14 December 2013 by Johnny1200

I've had a lot of twins, Ducati, Bmw and this is a great engine. I got this over the a Norge as same mechanics but looks much better without the plastic. Plenty of power, good noise, the whole bike is high quality and rare enough to turn heads. Much... Read more more fun and way more style than a GS and handling is now more than capable. This bike takes universal Guzzi hard luggage and can tour well with long range, it is the most comfortable machine I've owned. My first Guzzi and I like it a lot. No problems with dealer support, Twiggers in Melton Mowbray have been superb. Try one of these, you won't regret it.

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

Still no parts!

18 August 2011 by minivin

One month from my last post, and three months in the dealership and my motorcycle has STILL NOT BEEN REPAIRED. Piaggio are a joke, I have contacted them by phone and they will not respond. DO NOT BUY MOTO GUZZI PRODUCTS AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME! Read more

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
4 out of 5

4V Engines go BANG!

17 July 2011 by minivin

Sadly, like many other people in the UK at present, I have a bike in the dealership with a blown-up engine, and no parts from Piaggio to repair it. The 1200 4 valve per head engines were fitted with "chocolate" cam followers that disintegrate and... Read more then spread hardened steel particulates around the engine and destroys the internals. My bike was 12 months old and 12,000 miles on the clock when it had to have the engine apart NINE WEEKS ago, but I have heard of other people who have had their engines rebuild more than once. Piaggio can not supply the parts now, as the manufacturer has gone bust from what I hear through the grape vine, so I am now left with a bike, in the dealership in bits, and a summer and warrantee quickly running out. Very disappointed, do not touch these bikes till Piaggio admit they have a problem and fix it!.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

1200 Sport

13 February 2011 by Gasser200

I was looking for something different to replace my ageing Aprilia Falco and the Guzzi ticked all the boxes. It has a brilliant level of finish and great quality components along with an all day comfortable riding position. Engine has loads of... Read more character and above 5500rpm the multi valve heads kick in and she really does clear off in a mannner that surprises many other riders. She steers nicely but when really pushed in the twisties she does wallow a bit. But overall I love it. Looks fab, attracts much positive attention and when you want, attach the guzzi hard panniers and you have an Italien BMW touring rival. After 9 years with the Falco it was going to take a special bike and it has more than succeeded. Try one (not for 10mins), you will be pleasantly surprised.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £10,432
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 77 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Tank range 192 miles
Specification
Engine size 1151cc
Engine type 4-valve, V-twin
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 240kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 282mm disc
Front tyre size 110/90-R19
Rear tyre size 180/55 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2006 – Two-valve 1200 Sport arrives in the UK
2008 –1200 Sport 4V launched

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- raw and soulful Italian soundtrack bouncing off the walls
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- quirky cans
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- handlebars on the 08 model are swpt back more towards the rider
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- despite its weight the Guzzi steers easily around town
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- wide padded seat makes the guzzi a decent mile-muncher
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- mulit-function LCD display
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- a real mans bike at 240kg dry
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- new exhaust system for the 08 model
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- quattro valvole
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- brembo brakes bite twin 320mm discs
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- build quality has vastly improved
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- raw and soulful Italian soundtrack bouncing off the walls
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- quirky cans
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- handlebars on the 08 model are swpt back more towards the rider
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- despite its weight the Guzzi steers easily around town
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- wide padded seat makes the guzzi a decent mile-muncher
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- mulit-function LCD display
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- a real mans bike at 240kg dry
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- new exhaust system for the 08 model
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- quattro valvole
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- brembo brakes bite twin 320mm discs
  • Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v- build quality has vastly improved