MOTO-GUZZI V11 (2001-2005) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A worthy, good-looking if heavy roadster using Moto Guzzi's traditional and characteristic transverse 1100 V-twin"

Moto Guzzi V11 motorcycle review - Riding

"A worthy, good-looking if heavy roadster using Moto Guzzi's traditional and characteristic transverse 1100 V-twin"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The V11 is something of an oddball in Moto Guzzi recent history, but one actually gaining in appeal and charm. The first Moto Guzzi V11 was launched in 1999 and was a worthy, good–looking if heavy roadster using Moto Guzzi’s traditional and characteristic transverse 1100 V-twin shaft mated to a raft of top spec cycle parts yet let down by equally characteristic Moto Guzzi poor quality and reliability. This last factor changed dramatically following Aprilia’s takeover in 2001, as did the number of Moto Guzzi V11 varients. If you want an old-school Italian heavyweight with 21st century components, finish and style, look no further than the Moto Guzzi V11.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

OK, if your demands are more comfort than cutting edge. The Moto Guzzi V11 steers predictably, too and has decent suspension and brakes. But wind up the wick and you’re left in no doubt this is one big, heavy motorcycle that’ll destroy walls if you drop it.

Engine 3 out of 5

Moto Guzzi’s glory…. and millstone. The unique transverse V-twin shaftie defines Moto Guzzi and is almost BMW Boxer-like. Almost but not quite. The Moto Guzzi V11 goes about its business in a workmanlike occasionally invigorating way, but the V11 is heavy and laboured with a clunky transmission compared to the much more modern BMW. The Moto Guzzi V11 has still got charm, though…

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Before the Moto Guzzi V11, recent Moto Guzzi’s had often been little short of atrocious. Thanks mostly to Aprilia, that all changed markedly will the V11, especially later ones. Paint and finishes are rich and creamy, compoinentry is excellent and general build quality is fabulous. Reliability is much improved, too. On the slight downside, spares can be difficult to ovtian for the Moto Guzzi V11 (a common Aprilia complaint).

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Pretty good. Decent, low mileage Moto Guzzi V11's can now be had for well under £4, and you’re getting a quality, classy machine with a host of goodies for your money in the shape of the V11. What you’re not getting is a cutting edge motorcycle in terms of performance. But then, that’s not what Moto Guzzi is about, and hasn’t been since the 1970s… Find a Moto Guzzi V11 for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Moto Guzzi V11 is slightly better than run-of-the-mill. The Moto Guzzi V11 has decent Brembo brakes all round, quality cast wheels and suspension and sweet enough dials and switchgear – all of which got even better under the short-lived Aprilia regime.

 

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI V11 (2001-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MOTO-GUZZI V11 (2001-2005)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.8 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best bike I've ever owned of 9.

29 September 2015 by Stuart Mudd

My bike is now 14 years old and only has 47k kms on it. What a shame! I bought it just under a year ago and I’ve put 8k kms on the clock commuting and long-ish distance rides out (not very many “motorways” here in New Zealand). It’s been used in all... Read more weathers. (Apart from snow, as Wellington doesn’t get much snow).

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
GOOD bits:1) No-one ever talks about the comfort. I have ridden a couple of 800km days in the saddle, no qualms. 2) Brakes are exactly as per the late ‘90s 996/RSV Mille et al. They work well. The Scura/Ballabio and the other “up specced V11 Sports had radial Brembos, which work even better. 3) If you can afford the Ohlins equipped bikes they are worth it. They seem to float effortlessly yet handle impeccably. The Marzocchi kitted bikes are still good handlers, but a tad harsh over bumps. 4) Shaftie. 5) LOOKS 6) Sound. You need to junk the original cans and crossover, and refuel to match but they sound really cracking. Not like a Ducati drone. Better. 7) You won’t be able to buy one cheaper than right now – they WILL APPRECIATE. You can’t lose money on these things. 8) By now, they’ve been enthusiast owned and all the electrical niggles will be sorted. Forums and community support is high. Most owners are in some sort of Guzzi club and will have made the improvements for you by now. So don’t be intimidated. Spares are plentiful as they are shared between various Guzzi models.
Engine
5 out of 5
The engine is a cracker. Easy 10/10. 70% max torque from just 2700rpm. I’d say it runs out of puff at about 6.5/7k rpm, but the speed limit here is 3.4k anyway and 200km/hr is plenty. It’ll get upto an INDICATED 230 (probably 215 really) if you abuse it. It really is a chugger. But a meaty chugger – there’s not really anything else like it. Kind of like if someone tuned up an old airhead BMW R100 to the muts nuts and stuck it in a spondon frame with modern performance suspension and brakes. But not as German.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Having ridden the old Guzzis, it really does feel like an old Guzzi. A bit of valve clatter from thepushrod, two valve, aircooled donk adds to the feel. As do the vibes. And the transverse twist when you blip the throttle. It all adds to that character and gives you the feeling that you are riding a proper mechanical contraption, with y’know....gears and whirly things put together by men with spanners. If you want “refined” you should buy a Honda CB1100 and be prepared for boredom if you do. I used to have a VFR 750 – did everything very well. Sold it back to my mate after 6 months – not a bike that gets under your skin like this machine. It makes me smile. So it’s a keeper. BAD bits: 1) mine is an early Sport with a short swingarm and steep rake angle. Very short wheelbase. If you push it hard out of corners it gives you a slow wiggle. Nothing too disconcerting, and can be adjusted out with the fitted steering damper. The ’02 onwards bikes had longer wheelbases and don’t handle any worse for it. 2) GEARBOX. If you’re used to riding modern jap bikes, BE PATIENT. For the most part, you can’t get away with clutchless shifts. And until you dial in to the bike be prepared to hit some false neutrals. I also don’t think the 6-speed ‘box is an improvement over the 1100 Sport 5-speed box. Gears 4 and 5 are very very close together, making me wonder why they bothered differentiating the two ratios. 3) The 2003 models were hit-and-miss with warranty issues with hydraulic heads. Avoid unless it’s got 30k on the clock which proves it works. If it’s very low mileage that might be because its always waiting to be fixed.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Buying experience

I used to own a Cali. I foolishly sold it to emigrate here from the UK. What followed was an awful VN1500 “Classic” that steered like a barge, didn’t actually go and didn’t really stop. It was not very friendly to the earth either. Grown men thought it was pretty. Little did they know. AND THEN I decided I wanted something light, sporty, still a twin, with a modicum of comfort – so I bought an SV1000. Geez. My old ZXR750 was roomier and had a plusher seat. Sold after 18 months. Still wanting a twin. Something sporty-ish (maybe not as nuts as a detuned superbike like the SV), but comfy with character. I missed my Guzzi Cali. Ended up with a V11 Sport.

4 out of 5

28 September 2015 by sax

I enjoy every ride on this machine Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
it is a beautiful machine
Buying experience

I got it used with 2K miles for $7000

4 out of 5

Guzzi soul

16 July 2008 by AFree

If you want speed and refinement buy a jap bike and if you want reliability get a BMW. The V11 is in a diffrent league because it oozes character. Yes you have to live with its niggles and problems and it will never hold its own against the 150HP... Read more crowd but its got something that most bikes haven't...ageless cool style. I have a 2001 V11 Tenni and will never sell it...just an ace motorcycle.

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

V11 Le Mans

25 September 2007 by mafioso

Not only is this a very sexy bike to look at they have Real soul to them ,as for being reliable mine is 6 years old and I have just done 1500 miles in a week across France without missing a beat some times in heavy rain.look out for relays upgrade to... Read more Boch 5X£8. and speedo cabledrives and the black chips of parts of engine and diff but easily fixed.serviceing is easy parts resonable [cheaper than Triumph and Jap].buy one you will love it !!!

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

V11 Rosso Corsa

24 September 2007 by guzzigeezer

23,000 miles and still looking good for a bike ridden in all weathers and 3 years old. A fun real world bike that is economical to run and with exclusivity. Read more

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

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2001
Year discontinued 2005
Original price -
Used price £7,900 to £10,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £500
Performance
Max power 91 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1064cc
Engine type 90-degree transverse V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tube cradle
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 221kg
Front suspension Compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs
Rear brake 282mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1999: Moto Guzzi V11 Sport launched.
2001: Aprilia takeover. Launch of Moto Guzzi V11 Naked, Moto Guzzi V11 Rosso Mandello and faired Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans.
2002: Rosso Mandello discontinued. Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Tenni (ltd edition high spec version of Le Mans) and Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Scura (ltd edition of Sport with Ohlins suspension and carbon fibre) launched.
2003: Moto Guzzi V11 Sport Ballabio (as Sport but with higher bars and headlamp fairing), Moto Guzzi V11 Le Mans Rosso Corsa (as Le Mans but with Ohlins suspension) and Moto Guzzi V11 Café Sport (as Sport but with Ohlins suspension, high bars and bikini fairing) launched. Sport Scura, Naked and Tenni discontinued.
2004: Sport and Le Mans discontinued.
2005: Ballabio, Rosso Corsa and Café Sport discontinued.

Other versions

See above

Photo Gallery

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  • Moto Guzzi V11 motorcycle review - Instruments
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  • Moto Guzzi V11 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Moto Guzzi V11 motorcycle review - Engine
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  • Moto Guzzi V11 motorcycle review - Instruments
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