MOTO-GUZZI CENTAURO (1996 - 2000) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Centaur; half man, half horse - interesting concept, although some might say the Guzzi V10 Centauro was half motorbike, half Shirehorse... In practice, the Centauro handled poorly, rode a bit harshly and the odddly shaped saddle left the rider feeling perched on an upturned canoe. It just looked downright weird.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The mid 90s Guzzi chassis is one clever assembly of steel extrusions, designed to cope with the brutally solid V-twin motor. That the chassis copes as well as does is amazing, but push the Centauro on a country road and you'll soon find it starts wandering about at the front, with the rear bouncing merrily to its own tempo. Best ride slowly instead.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Guzzi 1100 lump was evolving into something useful by the mid 90s, but the gearbox was still a clunky affair and the Weber-Marelli injection was in its early stages of development on the Centauro. It has enough oomph for the job but the motor's instant lunge can upset the Centauro in low speed corners.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The build quality is generally excellent on the Guzzi but the bikes suffer from a succession of electrical and other minor gremlins which tend to make the ownership experience slightly more character-building than it should be. The later 1999 onwards Centauros - including the Sport/GT variants - are better made than the earlier ones.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At ten grand brand new the Centauro was far too expensive for most riders back in the 90s. If you wanted a Streetfighter type bike you could get plenty of bikes cheaper - and they were generally faster too. As a used bike it can make a potential bargain, but you have to love its peculiar looks and riding position to choose it over a decent V11 Sport. Find a Moto Guzzi Centauro for sale.
WP suspension is more than good enough, Brembo brakes, 3 spoke alloy wheels and a handsome pair of white faced clocks on dash all help add real class to the Centauro. Stainless steel exhaust too. You cannot compare the Centauro to a Bandit...but then again, the Guzzi twice the price of a 1200 Bandit back
|Engine type||8v, V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel spine|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs|
|Rear brake||282mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 x 17 in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||43 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||-|
14 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two tear unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||95 bhp|
|Max torque||72 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.5 secs|
|Tank range||160 miles|
Model history & versions
1996: V10 Centauro launched.
1999: Fuel injection, engine tweaks, new lower saddle and paint schemes.
1999: GT and Sport variants appear.
2000: Centauro discontinued.
Centauro GT: Same bike, modest touring screen, luggage rack & pillion grab handles.
Centauro Sport: Same bike but with nose fairing, jazzy paintwork, different silencers.
Owners' reviews for the MOTO-GUZZI CENTAURO (1996 - 2000)
1 owner has reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI CENTAURO (1996 - 2000) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Went for miles on it. The torque alone would out do most bikes on the road when overtaking cars. I left many bikes in my mirrors just opening the throttle between cars on B roads.
Never rode it like a sports bike like some journalists do. Position was comfortable for 5'11 and I rode 100 miles and felt fine and I was 12 stone. Suspension and brakes were very good. Torque reaction was typical Guzzi pull to one side at getting away from a standstill but otherwise you knew you were riding something special. Everyone stared at it parked up back in 1999.
Had it from new for 6,000 miles. (Ex Demo with 550 miles though) Clocks played up from time to time. Didn't like Winter temperatures. Would cough and splutter. Need a dealer re-chip fitted, but I never bothered. Overall finish was good. Panel lugs easily bust off if a dealer was reckless, (like they can be). Polished up lovely.
No more than any other bike.
Nothing extra worth mentioning. Favourite feature? I'd say engine pulling power and being an individual on the roads.
Buying experience: Bought it as an ex demo from a main dealer in Norfolk, had it delivered to Oxfordshire. It was cheap at the time and the only one I could find! £6000. Ran it for 2 years and found nobody wanted it in part exchange as it was so rare! Managed to sell it to a Multi franchise dealer in part against a VTR 1000 fire-storm. Not my first choice but it was my only option to get onto a California 1100 I wanted.