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What are the main things about Guzzis that make them so quirky versus their competition?


VtwinStorm
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What makes Moto Guzzi quirky? How about distinctive, unique, different, etc? I think it's because they generally do their own thing and are not trying to copy anybody. Historically, at least, they seem to be designed and built by real-world riders and enthusiasts. And I think location matters a bit too. With the factory nestled in the Italian Alps, they make bikes suited to endless twisty roads, and aren't overly concerned with peak horsepower or 0-60mph times. They build bikes for the real world.

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1 hour ago, Scud said:

What makes Moto Guzzi quirky? How about distinctive, unique, different, etc? I think it's because they generally do their own thing and are not trying to copy anybody. Historically, at least, they seem to be designed and built by real-world riders and enthusiasts. And I think location matters a bit too. With the factory nestled in the Italian Alps, they make bikes suited to endless twisty roads, and aren't overly concerned with peak horsepower or 0-60mph times. They build bikes for the real world.

Totally agree. Hence, low-down torque and great turn-in and braking.

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I used to work in automotive(4 wheels) aftermarket parts, even before I was riding a Guzzi. It struck me that all parts that we distributed for all brands of vehicles in Europe, were not very usable for the Honda and Suzuki motorcycles that I was riding. Later, when I started riding the LeMans 2 (in 1999, so it was already an "oldy"), I saw all kinds of parts that were considered universal in the stock of this aftermarket distributor on the LeMans. Sparkplugs, contact-breakers(standard for alfa, fiat, marelli), ignition coils, starter motor, revision parts for the generator, headlights. Wiring colors were the same as Fiat, connectors the same, battery was standard(good price)etc etc. 

The whole machine can be maintained in an agriculture workshop, tolerances are not very critical, tools are mainly standard or easy to make. This machine is a dream for everybody that has basic engineering interest. You get a lot of confirmation that you improve, because things are understandably explained in available manuals, parts are relatively in-expensive and available, and repairs turn out to be successful (or it is easy to do it again). On top of that, parts for newer models are often compatible with older models (and improved). I know it sounds ridiculous, but in the end you come to love each nut and bolt in the machine. Just look at this forum where people talk on the wire thickness of the retainer spring for the shift mechanism, and the little bolt on the jiffy, and the 20mm or 19mm red-frame/black frame discussions and many , many more. That is unique, I enjoy this very much and I am in constant adoration of those that have discovered again new perspectives on parts, types and even nuts and bolts. I love to be part of that. 

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The Japanese will change specifications mid-year. They are very traditional, but have few mechanical traditions. Thus, if a better part is proposed, it goes in mid-year. In Mandello del Lario, I think that parts are more like a family affair, so the bits and pieces do not change all that much. Except...

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Well, I think, the Guzzi's are in general over-dimensioned (if that is the correct English word). And the use of proven automotive parts, like a a 2kW startermotor (on the old Tonti's) replace durability tests. The large crankshaft bearings and not extreme torque, over-dimensioned parts in the gearbox, make the lower part of the engine block very durable by design. And the top engine part is all very easy to maintain. 

But the comparison with family affaire is not so bad :-)

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21 hours ago, footgoose said:

The 'fits and niggles' of our era Guzzi are a result of an old world motor co being kept on life support by passionate Italian folk who simply refused to let it die. Guzzi was a normal competitive motorcycle co. and relative equal in the moto world till the CB750 emerged in '69. A day of reckoning for every other brand as well. It was up to the "driven" players and the bean counters to make necessary changes (if the money was there) or let your marque die. So think of it from the business decisions made at the time while many other brands went by the wayside, Guzzi moved ahead with what they had. An old motor they couldn't afford to replace, and the desire to build and sell bikes. They spent what they could on what they felt was a priority. Internationally, police motorcycles kept a cash flow. Dr John Wittner gave them the public performance injection needed at just the right time. Sure there were other models available but the spine frames were what kept the marque moving forward technically, at a pretty dark time.

When I look at the stupid wiring or bicycle grade gauges, or sub standard castings, or obvious afterthought arrangements, I see acceptable loss when all that mattered was a price point that had to be reached. I see passion and patriotism, and love. I don't get the feeling they were cheating in any way to just make money. (C'mon, you know nylon is not what designers preferred for gas tanks) What we're left with is the answer to a math problem several decades old. The sooner you think of your bike as the Italians had to to just get her produced and to market, the sooner you can learn to have a glass of wine and just enjoy the relationship. Just change what they could not.

To me 'strange and quirky'.. are, for my Guzzi, terms of endearment.... like... "my girlfriend is crazy" but you should meet her, and you'll see everything about her is not "standard."

Very well said my good man................   :thumbsup:

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Can't comment on a V11 but .... a comment about Guzzi's in general fielded from the store owner I bought my bike from went "It's a good day when something goes wrong on a Guzzi as it gives you a chance to make it even better."

And I will qualify this by the thoughts, how many times can the big end be machined, the bore oversized, the frame straightened without favour or just things worked on without fear of running out of material or strength when doing so.

So many modern machines are made right on their performance edge and are deemed disposable after 100,000km or have some form of break down.

Guzzi's seem to dare their owners to, go on, get the spanners out, you know you want to!

They seem to be a big boys Mechano set that can upgraded in so many ways.

Chris.

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On 12/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, po18guy said:

The Japanese will change specifications mid-year. They are very traditional, but have few mechanical traditions. Thus, if a better part is proposed, it goes in mid-year. In Mandello del Lario, I think that parts are more like a family affair, so the bits and pieces do not change all that much. Except...

Mechanical change in Japan happens mid year. Mechanical change in the Guzzi plant? Every 25 years. 🤣🤣🤣

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5 minutes ago, Rox Lemans said:

Mechanical change in Japan happens mid year. Mechanical change in the Guzzi plant? Every 25 years. 🤣🤣🤣

Or simply "Per un capriccio" . . . :mg:

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On 12/19/2021 at 11:57 PM, 80CX100 said:

 For that matter, just trying to find a dealer can be an exercise in frustration , let alone find one that can do quality work. :rasta: 

The refusal to work on a >10 years old motorcycle is relatively new to me. Coming from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, finding someone to work on your older motorcycle seems to be less of a problem. When I left, you still had plenty of "brand-less" motorcycle garages that would perform any kind of repair on just any kind of motorbike irrespective of production year. At least, they would tell you that finding the parts may not be cheap or fast. But they would not turn you back based on your bike's age. Imagine you go to the hospital, and they tell you they are sorry but they only treat patients below a specific threshold.

I think I understood why when I realized that most of the workshops employ unskilled workers, with one serious tech that supervises a bunch of those low pay grade guys.

In 2020, someone did not properly tighten an oil filter. I caught it in time (not my car) as the oil level was low but the low pressure warning was not lit. Of course, human error is always possible.

I am obviously not painting every Motorcycle workshops with a broad stroke, but I can make the difference between MPH and the casual dealerships when it comes to personnel. The workshop is always the first place I want to visit.

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