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Moto Guzzi's V85 TT keeps the spirit of air-cooled adventure bikes alive

Published: 18 September 2018

Moto Guzzi have unveiled this production version of the V85 Tutto Terreno (all- terrain) adventure bike they showed as a concept in 2017. The V85TT boasts all the usual adventure touring mod-cons such as a 21-litre tank good for around 250 miles and an adjustable screen.

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But despite its retro style, there’s still lots of tech under the hood. It comes with traction control and ABS, both of which are altered depending on riding mode (Road, Rain or Off-Road). Plus, it’s all controlled through a full-colour TFT dash, which shows fuel level, speed, revs, gear, temperature and cruise control settings. The dash is also home to the firm’s in-built Bluetooth multimedia system.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT dash

Although the V85 shares the same bore architecture as the V9, it’s a completely different engine. There’s a new crankshaft mated to new, stiffer conrods and shorter piston skirts resulting in a 30% drop in rotating mass. It also has a semi-dry crankcase, with a scavenging oil pump, which helps keep the engine cool and negates the need for an oil-cooler. And although still only two valves per cylinder, new titanium intake valves have allowed Guzzi to fit a more radical cam which, combined with a new 52mm throttle body, boosts power to 78bhp.

Although still a big air-cooled transverse V-twin, Guzzi say they’re minor tweaks away from meeting Euro5. There are external changes, too. The crankcases are stiffer to allow use as a stressed member and the gearbox has been adjusted to be smoother running, including a synchroniser that eliminates the jolt when you engage first gear. It sticks, however, with Guzzi’s tried-and-tested shaft drive but is 70mm longer than the V7.

Ready for adventure

Naturally there are lots of changes elsewhere, too. The chassis and suspension have been designed to give reasonable ground clearance for off-road while also maintaining a low seat height and, although the suspension is fairly basic, it is preload adjustable. The bike also has 19in/17in wheels, for light off-road, although its spoked rims necessitate inner tubes.

The V85 is expected to arrive in dealers in February and we expect it to be priced around £11,000. There will also be a range of accessories, including luggage and an fruity exhaust to follow.

Unveiled last year as a concept at Eicma, in Milan, Guzzi claim this bike will be completely new from top-to-bottom and marks the firm's first return to this segment of the market since the Stelvio, after their 1200cc lump met its demise at the advent of Euro4.

At its inception, the Italian firm labelled this machine as a 'Classic Enduro' - mixing off-road capabilities with a classically-inspired Moto Guzzi design and although lacking that initial striking paint job in these latest shots, the same bulbous rally raid fuel tank, twin headlights and distinctive raised beak remain.

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