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

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
Power: 105 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 800 mm)
Weight: High (529 lbs / 240 kg)


New £10,432
Used £5,600

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £300
New price £10,432
Used price £5,600
Insurance group 15 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 77 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 12.4 secs
Tank range 192 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

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

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT (2008 - on)

6 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT (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.

Review your MOTO-GUZZI 1200 SPORT (2008 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Engine: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Equipment: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £300
3 out of 5
06 September 2020 by jonathan

Version: 2 valve

Year: 2008

I'm trying to be realistic about this machine and am comparing it to competitors. There's lots of Italian character. However, the long term ownership experience is a PITA if you've experienced any other brand that actually has a factory quality assurance program.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Solid mill on the highway and very good front brakes. The rear brakes lock up waaay too easily. The ergonomics are a bit odd. reach to the bars can be a bit too much for some people. It is not easy to fit bar risers. Generic risers will not work. peg position is a tad high for a tourer and the space between yours feet is too wide. The bike also feels top heavy around the parking lot.

Engine 4 out of 5

Great simple engine. Easy to work on. However, the bike can develop a high idle (2000 rpm) condition at temperatures below 60F. There are several recommended fixes- but nothing worked for me.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Once again- not to be harsh, but if you buy any Guzzi, you better be prepared to work on it. The quality control from the factory can be awful. Most models have some sort of Achilles heel that must be addressed. The 1200 mostly had only minor niggles...but they still must be corrected.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Running cost is not much of an issue because you will be doing the work. If you are not mechanical and always bring your bike to the shop, do NOT buy a Guzzi. There is a wonderful Guzzi forum of dedicated riders to help you out. However, remember that there is a common saying: "Moto Guzzi- making mechanics out of riders since 1921"

Equipment 4 out of 5

Not much comes with the machine- it's bog standard. ...but what you get is decent quality.

4 out of 5 A bike with character!
30 April 2016 by DP1200cc

Year: 2009

Annual servicing cost: £300

Italian character and reliability! The first Guzzi I've owned and and I can't see anything worth changing it for. It does most of the things a bike should do with an air of class; just don't hurry it too much. Shaft drive, comfort, excellent (optional) panniers and reasonable economy of 45 mpg make this a great bike for long distances. It also attracts a lot of attention.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Great brakes and a smooth riding experience if you don't hustle it through the bends too much. Fantastic touring bike that can do about 180 miles on a tank by which time you need to stretch your legs. Pillions are hardly noticed by the bike

Engine 5 out of 5

The 4 valve engine spins up quickly and there is quite a noticeable 'zip' in performance when the revs are above 6,000 rpm. Good power delivery and plenty of torque means not too much gear changing is needed. You certainly know your on a big V twin especially after my last bike's rather too smooth engine (a CBF1000) - you get a lot of feedback.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Nicely finished but the mirrors are a bit of a let down. Not much corrosion but worth keeping on top of cleaning it!

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Keep it properly serviced and using a Guzzi dealership certainly helps. I took mine to the dealer and they knew the complete background to the bike including who owned it previously. It feels like you are dealing with enthusiasts!

Equipment 3 out of 5

Not bad - a reasonable on-board information system. Conti motions have been a god compromise of grip and durability. I get about 5,000 from the back tyre - not bad for a heavy bike. A rear hugger is a must!

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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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!

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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!.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
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