Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport 4v first ride!

Published: 29 October 2008

MCN’s Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves, is in Italy to ride Moto Guzzi’s brand new 1200 Sport 4V and he’s at the factory for this world exclusive first ride. Here’s his first impressions:

“Unfortunately we seem to have brought the weather with us and it has rained for the whole day but that hasn’t stopped us from putting the Moto Guzzi through its paces.

"Riding in the rain wasn’t as bad an experience as you would think, as the new 1200 is very comfortable with a big wide padded seat, revised ergonomics, excellent throttle response and lots of grip from the Metzeler Sportec M3 tyres.

“The big difference on this model compared to the old 1200 Sport is its four valve head that produces 105bhp. The old two-valver had more grunt, admittedly, but it doesn’t matter much because both are grunty 1200cc twins after all.

"In fact, the new bike’s softer power delivery at low revs actually makes the 4v easier to ride in the rain than the gruntier two valve version.

“Fortunately, Lake Como where the Moto Guzzi factory is based has lots of indoor tracks otherwise known as very long tunnels so we got to ride the bike in the dry as well.

"Agility is very good which belies its 240kg all up weight, The Brembo brakes are very progressive and strong, and the acceleration is very rapid even though there is a slight dip in the mid range. The Guzzis overall speed is quite similar to the old Ducati 916.

“Despite its sport tag it’s actually a very good all-rounder – it’s a sports bikes for people who don’t want to ride everywhere at 180mph with their legs wrapped up round their ears.

“Build quality is excellent, the induction and exhaust sound from this big V-twin engine is superb and during normal riding you would never know the bike has shaft drive or an engine that points the wrong way.

“The 1200 Sport 4V costs £8399 which is £558 more expensive than the two valve version and the first impressions are very good, for the full report see MCN next week.”