Seven underrated Guzzis

Published: 13 October 2016

Moto Guzzi recently celebrated 95 years – here are the bikes we shouldn’t forget

940 Bellagio (2007-2012)

Short-lived hot rod/cruiser hybrid was based on a unique, smaller-capacity version of the big-block Guzzi V-twin complete with CARC-equipped shaft drive. It wasn’t a success, due to its oddball looks complete with California teardrop tank mixed with moody matt black paint, but it was actually a decent performer. The 74bhp motor is relatively fruity, it handles OK, is fun and is decent value, too – if you can find one.
What you’ll pay today £4500-£6000.
But should you? Not as cheap as some Guzzis but rare and good.

 

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V11 (1999-2006)

Characterising Guzzi’s doomed period of ownership by Aprilia between 2000 and 2004, the V11 range varies between the basic Sport naked to the Öhlins and Brembo-lavished, half-faired retro Le Mans Tenni (complete with suede seat). Launched under the preceding regime, Aprilia developed the bike, improving its style and quality, but it wasn’t the success those efforts deserved. Today, however, depending on spec, demand for the V11 is on the up.
What you’ll pay today £3500 (Sport), to £6000 (for a fully loaded example).
But should you? Like Triumph’s T-bird 900 it’s timeless, rugged, useful enough and, in the right spec and condition, hugely classy.

1200 Sport (2006-2016)

An often overlooked retro roadster, the 1200 Sport has quietly become one of the longest-lived models in Guzzi’s modern line-up. A hefty, bristly, but handsome bike, it was always a leftfield choice. With decent brakes, suspension and, since 2008, the 4v version of the 1151cc transverse, shaft-drive V-twin which produces a half-decent 105bhp, it might be no rocketship but there’s robust character in abundance.
What you’ll pay today £4500-£6500.
But should you? Funky big-bore Italian roadster for little more than a Bandit.

Breva 1100/1200 (2005-2011)

Smooth-looking, modern-styled roadster built around a revised version of Guzzi’s standard big twin, and another by-product of the Italian firm’s ill-fated Aprilia years. Often a little harshly tarred as dull and uninspiring, the Breva is actually decently- equipped, neatly-styled and a good all-rounder that can be had for clever money.
What you’ll pay today As little as £3000, but typically around £4500.
But should you? A lot of bike for your cash.

V7 Café Classic (2009-2013)

Second version of the sweet V7 roadster (the first was the original V7 Classic) was the shortest lived, now replaced by the V7 Racer. With clip-ons and sports seat, it’s a bit of an Italian Thruxton, with bags of appeal – not least its unthreatening practicality, Latin good looks and 1971
V7-alike golden-green paint.
What you’ll pay today £3500-4500.
But should you? All V7s are cool and useful; this is the best of the early ones.

Griso 1200 (2005-2016)

Radically styled (and originally 1100cc) roadster was Piaggio’s first great Guzzi adventure. But, though long-lived, it was never a success. The looks may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s well built, has decent suspension and brakes, and is a reasonable performer, if heavy. Improved by going to 1200cc, 4v trim in 2007.
What you’ll pay today £6500-£10,000.
But should you? Quality, different and well-specced – why not?

Nevada 750 (1991-2012)

Never the sexiest Italian bike, and now replaced by Guzzi’s recently introduced V9 duo, the Nevada was, nevertheless, one of the firm’s longest-lived models. A novice-friendly, mid-weight cruiser rival to Harley’s successful Sportsters, what the Nevada lacked in kudos and sophistication it made up for with value and ease of use.
What you’ll pay today £3000-£5500.
But should you? If you like the looks, it’s as good as Harley’s 883 Sportster.

 

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