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Why a Moto Guzzi? moreover, why a V11 anyway? curious? nostalgic? are you odd? just an opportunity? no? what then?


p6x
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So we are here, all around the bonding V11 fire; we talk MGV11, we walk MGV11, we breath MGV11, we dream MGV11... how's that?

I understand why I have one. Not by chance, an educated decision, even if it took a long time. I wanted a V11 Le Mans and it had to be red. I wanted a Moto Guzzi since 1972, it only took me 51 years to fulfill my quest.

Ok, I will give you that my initial love was the V7 Sport, the green one from 1974.

I am intrigued by those of you who elected a Moto Guzzi as a high prize. What bugged you then?

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Ok I will give it a go. Always loved Italian motorcycles but was put off Moto Guzzi's based on an experience I had quite a few years ago. It was a bit of nothing really. I was playing golf by a state highway and heard a bike coming up the road. Cannot remember the model but it was a Guzzi. I watched it pass as it revved out and accelerated through the gears.............but seemed to not be going anywhere fast.

That put the thought in my head that other "motorcycle officiandos" echo that they are underpowered and heavy. So I dismissed them as a possible purchase. Mind you I was into track days back then and owned a few sport bikes. 999s Ducati, Aprilia RSV Factory. My focus was more on power and speed then.

3 years ago I needed to buy another bike as the Aprilia was written off due to a car pulling out in front of me. Well two in a row actually. I managed to avoid the first one but not the idiot behind him who blindly followed. So here I was, a little bit older and slowing down somewhat. Looking at bikes the Cafe Sport came up for sale. Took me a couple of test rides to be convinced. It coughed and spluttered at 3k revs. Didn't seem to handle that well. Having never ridden one before, the character still got to me and I purchased with the flaws.

I added the TI kit with ECU and adjusted the suspension which was so far out it wasn't funny. Went through the bike top to bottom and replaced or tweaked everything including the decent tune up found here on this site. I love the bike now and looking for another MG. They just get you in a way no other bike has. 

Don't listen to opinions, you have to try things for yourself. Lesson learnt!

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I had a bad experience with chain drive. I had a bad experience with radiators. I found inline fours expensive to service. The BT1100 bulldog didn't have the ground clearance. The BMW boxers had moved away from oil based paint and mine was desolving beneath me. I saw a year old low mileage V11 at a good price and decided to give it a try. That was May 2004. I am still testing it.

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Moto Guzzi had long been on the periphery for me. Something I knew a little about, but never really thought about owning one. So one day I was thinking about getting something a little more sporty and street oriented (I had a KTM 950 Adventure and a Husqvarna TE510 at the time). This happened to coincide with the launch of the first retro-styled Ducati Scramblers. I popped into GP Motorcycles to have a look at there was this Scura with only a couple hundred miles on it. The clouds parted. A ray of golden California sun illuminated the Ohlins forks, angels starting singing and I started signing. I got bit hard... and a few V11s have passed through the garage. This site is actually a big part of why I enjoy the V11s so much. Of course I still love the bike itself, but I also value this community.

Back in the 1990s, I was going way too fast on my Yamaha FJ1100. I bought a BMW R100CS to slow myself down. If I could have a "redo" I would have gotten into Moto Guzzis at that time instead of BMWs. I've talked to a few older riders who say "I wish I had gotten into Guzzis earlier."

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Psychology of a moto-enthusiast is a daring subject. As a life long rider I will say that I had ZERO interest in Guzzi until 2002 when I saw the Tenni in the flesh. At that moment I knew that all other mfg's had abandoned me.  But they say love is a convergence of chemistry and timing, and the door of Zen opened wide for me.

kensho - seeing into ones true nature.    So yeah, ... I'm odd.

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Quote

"Why a Moto Guzzi? moreover, why a V11 anyway? curious? nostalgic? are you odd? just an opportunity? no?"

Yes.

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1 hour ago, Scud said:

"I wish I had gotten into Guzzis earlier."

It takes a certain amount of experience to "get it" in my experience. The Kid was a Duck guy (I raised him right) and always said he wasn't old enough for Guzzis. :rasta: I sent him out on the Centauro many years ago now. I was beginning to worry. I'd just given it a full service. Did I forget to tighten something? Is he laying in the ditch somewhere??? It was entirely too long when I heard him roaring back in. :D "This thing will outrun my Duck!"  He's been a Guzzi Guy ever since.. Yeah, he's a gearhead and he "gets it." :grin:

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Wonderful responses above.  An introspective question for sure.  Although I recall admiring the brand from a distance, I didn't know much about Guzzis.  They seemed expensive, had a poor dealer network, and had a spotty reputation for reliability as far as I recalled. That all changed in 2010 when I bumbled into AF1 Racing in Austin, TX.  The shop was magic.  They had Guzzis, Aprilias and a wide range of Vespas.  Somehow, there was a leftover, fresh-from-the crate 2007 Griso on the sales floor.  Red of course.  They also had a Griso demo bike.  Jon encouraged me to take the demo bike for a test ride and I was hooked shortly after shifting out of the parking lot.  It was the most glorious, visceral, connected bike I had ever ridden.  The sound, the vibes, the agricultural shifting - it was all perfect.  I even remember how good the bike smelled...Yes, they even have an aroma.  Until then, I had owned several Hinckley Triumphs and a handful of UJMs.  NOTHING created emotion like that Griso.  Upon return to the dealer, I promptly sealed a deal on the leftover 07'.  I kept it for a few years, mistakenly sold it to a gentleman in TN, experienced dreadful regret each time I went to my garage, then purchased a 2017 Griso in 2018, and vowed to never again be without a big bore Guzzi.  I found my V11 2 years ago and can't imagine selling either bike.  It's an ideal stablemate for the Griso.  Other bikes come and go routinely in my life but the Guzzis stay.  They're special machines that create an emotional bond that I've never experienced with any other vehicle.  

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EF881482-D593-41B0-B2DA-AA6A69EEF7DD.jpeg

Huh? Why?

SEX of course!

This exact Classic shot initially hooked me… after having been psychologically primed by following events…

Recently returned from my older brother’s funeral - he was the good, sensible, clean living one. Dead at fifty - stomach cancer.

Dirt bikes busted my teen bones, family urged ‘keep off ‘em - you’re gonna kill yourself’!

So after my brother, with a GS mate goading ‘get back in the saddle’ - I couldn’t see the point preserving my skin just for bloody cancer or some-such to do me down.

From the (then) new V7 - googled older Guzzi’s, & came across the V11…

Damn! Smitten on ‘puter looks alone! Tracked my Scura R down on the Isle of Man - it’s delivery was the first V11 I’d ever seen - in all her voluptuous flesh! Like a well-thumbed Penthouse centrefold vision rolling down the ramp - a slightly breathless moment & I’ve never tired of riding her since!

Mae West said it best.

“Sex is emotion in motion.”

357A9235-FAE7-41A2-855B-27610500CA9A.jpeg

👍😎

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On 2/17/2022 at 8:53 AM, p6x said:

I am intrigued by those of you who elected a Moto Guzzi as a high prize. What bugged you then?

When I first saw a Guzzi, I liked it's design.

Two cylinders angled out into the airstream. Equal cooling on the hot side of each cylinder head. No shared cyl wall like many twins, no rear cyl running hotter like HD & Ducati. Like a BMW twin, but cooler looking, with more ground clearance.

Shaft drive. Less mess and less maintenance (or so I thought then).

Dry clutch. Oil on a friction surface just seems wrong to me, and oil for engines and gearboxes should be different.

Those features are no longer so important in modern bikes, but I still love the character and soul of the bike. It feels alive.

I took a Triumph Bonneville for a blast, and nearly died of boredom (unlike the Thruxton R). I don't feel that way on a V11. Also I like how there are not many on the road.

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My first bike was a Guzzi and I have a feeling that my last bike will be a Guzzi. I bought a second-hand ‘75 850-T when I was a senior in high school. I knew about Guzzis from seeing pictures of them in the motorcycle books that I used to drool over in the library. I had some money, I wanted a bike, and the 850-T was local and cheap. It had Dunstall mufflers and was very loud. As I was taking it away at the sellers apartment building his neighbors were on their balcony applauding to see it leave. I had the bike for about three years while I lived between Palo Alto and San Francisco. It was my first bike and I was pretty rough with it. I low-sided that bike more than once, and it spent much of its time with me parked on the streets of San Francisco, rain or shine. In spite of my terrible stewardship, that bike always started and never failed. A friend and myself pulled the heads and barrels to change the rings as the compression tested low, and we were blown away to see chrome lined barrels. They looked pristine! Eventually I got into Triumphs and sold the bike to a friend’s dad who was going to use it for a Morgan kit car. I went from various Triumphs to Japanese sport bikes to Harleys, then to a wife and kids and stopped riding for ridiculously long time. I don’t know what happened to my old 850-T, but it left such a great impression on me and I had such great times bombing around on it as a young fool that when I got the bug to start riding again I decided it would be on a Guzzi. I knew a guy who had inherited a V11 that a tenant of his had abandoned. He wanted to sell it but it was pretty rough, but I was intrigued. Seeing that bike was what led me to find THIS PLACE, where you good people educated me on the V11. I began looking and found my own Greenie not too long after. This bike has affirmed everything I knew somewhere down in my bones from long ago about how great Guzzis are. After living with this bike for a few years I can say how great the spine frame bikes are. From The Daytona and Dr. John, to the Ghezzi-Brian Folgore I have been able to look at, the spine frame shines and rules. Recently I had the opportunity to sort of go full-circle when I was able to acquire Guzzi Bob Dickman’s old 850-T3. Bob was the real deal and put close to 180k miles on that bike, plus lots more miles on his other Guzzis! The dude was always riding! Well, Bob’s 180k+ mile Guzzi runs fine and is a blast to ride. A testimony to how well these bikes are made, and how a good owner/rider can keep them going. I had the chance to ride an 8 valve Griso, and I want one of these pretty bad, it’s a very fast bike and really fun to ride. As great as an old Tonti frame is and a more modern Griso, my spine frame V11 is pure motorcycle joy to ride.

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^^^^ Guzzi Bob was my riding buddy for years. We have been all over southern and central California on some epic rides. The first thing I'd do when we went out to SoCal is prep the bike, give him a call, and we'd meet up. Going to Redondo Beach just isn't the same any more..:(

Ride on, brother..

11534019974_d1038ead9e_k.jpg

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  • p6x changed the title to Why a Moto Guzzi? moreover, why a V11 anyway? curious? nostalgic? are you odd? just an opportunity? no? what then?

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