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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.