Jump to content

breakdown of model year changes

Recommended Posts

Interested in buying a V11?
See this faq and the 'most common problems' faq
This addresses the changes in V11 Sports and LeMans motorcycles from 1999-2005
Thanks and credit goes to the many V11LeMans website contributors.

Breakdown of changes in year models from 1999-2005.
The V11 sport variants (referred to here as just 'V11') have been produced from about '99 to 2005. I understand that this model is now discontinued, and will no longer be built. That makes it a legacy bike, I guess.
Major similarities: All the V11 models are 'spine frame' bikes. The name derives from the large square 'spine' that runs the center of the bike between the cylinders and serves as the main frame component. All the V11 variants have the normal Guzzi two cylinder, two valve/cylinder motor that is in a higher state of tune than the 'cruiser' model Guzzi's. The valves must be adjusted- they are not hydraulic.
All the V11 variants have the six-speed transmission and a hydraulic clutch. Older spine frame Guzzi's like the 1100 sport, 1100sporti, etc. have a 5 speed box.
Real changes in the bikes from inception to end are small and incremental.
1999-2001 models have a (shorter) red frame than later models. They handle 'quicker' or some say 'more twitchy'. Some say they are unstable at high speed- I've never had a problem. The 99-01 models have clip-ons mounted below the upper triple clamp and have Veglia brand (white face) instruments. They have a thinner rear wheel (4.5") and the brake rotors have circular holes in them; apparently the 'circular hole rotors' are more prone to warping than later rotors. My mid-year '01 has later model rotors fitted, so your guess is as good as mine here.

Guzzi went to a longer wheelbase in late '01 or '02 to increase high speed stability. The '01 Rosso Mandello still has the short wheelbase of the 00 V11. Some folks have suggested that appropriate tire choice (Pirelli Diablo) gives a machine that handles like the '00-01 models. '02 and later models have additional bracing in the longer frame and a wider 5.5" rear wheel. New front forks with the clip-ons mounted above the triple clamp are standard. '02 and later models have black engine paint. The '02 model paint is 'fuzzy' and is prone to flaking and blistering off- so it looked horrible- and Guzzi offered new cases to those afflicted with it. New brake rotors (triangular holes) are stock.
Late '02 models have commonly been rebadged as '03 models. True '03 models should have a '3' in the VIN and have 'satin' engine paint. Fuzzy engine paint on an '03 model is an indication that it is a rebadged '02.
In '02 or '03, Guzzi changed the electric gas petcock out for a manual version.

'03 was a 'big' year for changes in the V11; many improvements were made. Fork diameter is larger, front axle diameter is larger and the axle is hollow. A front crossover or balance pipe is added above the alternator (improves midrange performance ?). The engine has a *claimed* higher compression set of pistons, which are now cooled by an oil jet (more on this below). The fuel pump was relocated to the interior of the gas tank, so '03+ models do not suffer from vapor lock like earlier models (see below). Several cosmetic modifications are present as well- the 'chin pad' is gone in favor of a smooth tank. The engine paint is satin black, the fairing (if present) mounts further ahead on a different 'gooseneck' mount. Gauges are now ITI brand (lack faces). This interesting trivia from the V11 board:
"I would like to add a note about the speedo on the 02 - 03 V11 Naked. This may or may not be common knowledge. The original and replacement speedos on my bike did exactly the same. The bottom line is that the speedo indicates in MPH, the trip-odometer registers in miles but the odometer registers in 2KM increments. If you don't believe me and have one of these bikes, pull off and stop when the odometer just finishes turning to a new number and set the trip to zero. Drive the bike until the odometer just turns an additional "10 miles". You will find that the trip reads just over 12.4 miles or exactly 20KM. "

All that said- Guzzi has been known to make 'parts bin' bikes out of whatever is left over. In that case, the bike may have parts from several year models. This can be frustrating, but it attests to the fact that most parts from one year will fit on other year models.

Decoding the VIN number (thanks to Todd Haven of MPH Cycles)
Z is for Italy
GU is for Guzzi
KRAKR designates 1100 spine frame 2000-2002(sport and Lemans)
9th digit is undefined
10th digit is model year(not production)
W-98, X=99,Y=2000,1=2001,2=2002
11-16th digits are identifying serial number for your specific bike.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...


V11 Sport (short Red Frame models)






Rosso Mandello - Limited edition, total 600 made, first 300 numbered. (short frame, but black)





2002 (braced Long Frame, short tank with chin pad and external pump and filter. Rear rim width changed from 4.5" to 5.5")

Le Mans










Sport Naked



(At least in the US, some of these 2002 were "carried over" as 2003 models clearly identified by the "chin pad" tank and white face Veglia instruments.)



V11 Playboy EE (Exclusive Edition)


(docc edit/December 15, 2020: Pictured with Playmate Tanya Dexters at the early 2003 Brussels Salon. A "carry-over" 2002 with early fuel tank configuration and Veglia instruments. Was there ever more than one bike made?)


2003-2004/2005 (Long Frame with long tank, internal pump/filter and no chin pad. Black face ITI instruements)

Le Mans









Café Sport


Coppa Italia




Nero Corsa



Rosso Corsa





2005 (- 2006?)

Scura R


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • docc unlocked and locked this topic

Updated, restored and added images. Original post edited to reflect more current discoveries and understanding. I hope @jrt approves!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I want to thank @jrt for originating this thread. It has been a solid reference over all this time. I've seen other web pages attempting to chronicle the V11 series, but none have the quality and accuracy devoted to this one.



  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see I have also taken some liberties with @Admin Jaap's pictorial post, adding some commentary and trying to refine the transitions. I hope this is okay. I don't want to rub our Chief Whip the wrong way! :huh:

It occurs to me to mention that, although not pictured, there were V11 "Sport" or "Naked" produced through the end of the range with fork mounted headlamp/instruments just like the early Sport.

For the differences in the frames and tanks also see:


  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...