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Are we really brave?


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A few weeks ago, without any plans, I hopped on the bike and decided to ride to Craters of the Moon. I hadn't been there before; it's about 200 miles from where I live, so really not that far. With all the detours, the whole trip was about 450 mi that day. Mostly two lane highways. Anyway, I got there. It's kind of like a national park in a huge area of dried lava, with paved roads and some parking areas from which you can explore the paths on foot.


Well, in one of the parking areas, a couple of older/retired guys who'd arrived in a van or SUV walked over to look at my bike. One of them told me that his buddy had owned an Ambassador many years before, and he wanted to show him a newer Guzzi. He asked me a lot of questions and he seemed to like the bike, at least judging from his comments. Then he told me he'd had some bikes, all Beemers--some Ks, some airheads, and an oilhead. So as they were about to leave, he said, 'You're really brave to have ridden here'. So I asked him why? 'Well, you know, Guzzis don't have a good reputation of reliability'. Of course I told him that some took this bike to Alaska, for example. In the end, he told me that he was thinking of getting a Ducati.


WTF? Are we brave or nuts? Are Guzzis that much less reliable than the Beems or Ducks? It's true that BMW people have those big mileage contests (Paralever failures notwithstanding), long-way-round, Iron Butt blah, blah, but really is riding a Guzzi these days such a risky proposition? Maybe somebody needs to do a RTW tour on a V11 ;)

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Yep you'll also roast your knees on the heads and the torque reaction will screw you into the ground the first chance it gets to ride a guzzi fast is something not even valentenio can handle :D, well thats what I tell people when they come up with these myths. BMW guys will always carp on about reliablity and lets face it the bikes are boring as bat crap in all other departments its also marketing and because Guzzi is not a big manufacturer other companies can claim thier bike are better more reliable etc etc and make a lot of noise about it.


You've got to also remeber on the internerd people will come on and have a piss and moan when things go wrong, the 50 other riders who's bike never miss a beat usually don't have much to say

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You are riding one of the most bulletproof motorcycles ever built. The masses don't know or care. If it is not a H-D or Goldwing nobody cares to talk to you at a stopping place. The people I run into have NEVER heard of MG brand. I don't ride it for their approval. You don't need an adertisement or approval rating or a magazine evaluation to tell you what you want taking you to your destination.

I trust my bike with an understanding it is not perfect. I dont' know if there is a bike MG made specifically just to wear out an odometeter.

Most of these bmw riders are rich people ($96k average annual income according to bmwon) with no concerns as any other brand owners. If I had enough money I would ride 50k mi. a year too.

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I trust my bike & I would judge the reliablility is as good or better than any. The only thing is you have to fiddle with the tb's (at least on mine) maybe more than others. Maybe you could claim that it requires more frequent maintenance than more modern bikes. However I dont need to take my bike to a shop & pay $1000 every 7k miles. If thats what reliability costs I'm not so sure its worth it.My bike is closing in on 30k miles & it runs as good or better now than it ever has. I wouldnt be surprised if someone in here gets 200k miles out of one before having to do serious engine repair to it. I think getting 100k miles without an overhaul should be a piece of cake.

Forums like this are a great tool for sharing information on how to fix problems. Just remember that most of us ride our bikes all the time without any serious issues & of course we dont talk about that. If you go to a bmw forum I'm positive that they bitch as much or more about their bikes too. My friend & fellow forum member has a newer bmw boxer touring bike that shit the bed on him on a trip. He had to rent a truck to tow it back to Ohio. If you talk to enough people, someone will always have a horror story about any brand of motorized conveyance.

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:thumbsup: All great points above, including the fact that Beem owners (many of which are status conscious) tend to have a lot of resources on their hands. Also let's face it, BMW, not to mention Harley, do a much better job at advertising (=creating an "aura"). If Guzzi bikes were produced by BMW exactly as they are right now, they would probably be the tool of choice for high mileage riding. Guzzitech has a list of bikes and their owners who put over 100k miles on them (some even twice or three times that). Indeed V11 is one of the most bulletproof--this is confirmed by some of the people who know these bikes best. As for high-mileage Ducatis, haven't heard much about--unlike the high-maintenance they need.
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That maxim is for older British bikes only. You have never experienced a love/hate relationship until you have owned a British bike.

p.s. There are many (not all) beemer owners who breathe rarified air. I guess their bikes don't handle too well because they can't give the customary "wave " when you meet them on the road?

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I know there are hardcore BMW owners out there that have had them all there life, But I've noticed that alot of the owners I meet are older people that need that BMW posture to take it easy on their back. Most of the other's are experiencing a mid life crisis and don't want to look like a redneck if they buy a Harley.

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All my close riding friends (around 20 of 'em) all ride BMWs except for 2 Connie herritics. They love my Guzzi.

The core group of 7 or 8 of us include 3 professional wrenches and 4 that ran a racing campaign at one time or another

and we've all always done all the work on any bike we've owned.

(Makes it hard to give a crap about other peoples opinion)

I've got 43K on now with only a failed rear wheel bearing on a short trip a few years ago the only negative point against it. Last year Beemers went down with:\


1 A failed throttle cable @ 40K on an RT requiring a trip to the shop because they're not field serviceable.....! (wow!)

2 A failed rear drive seal. R1150 w/ some 25K mi

3 A failed ABS on a low mileage R1150


So my V11 ain't lookin' too shabby.

Who cares any way. It's all just for fun and I'm pretty sure the Guzzi is the most fun.

That's all I say when ever anyone asks "How do you like that thing?"

"It's fun...it's just FUN to ride"

And it is. And that's all I care. :)

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Well, I must be quite barmy then. I bought my Convert from a picture on the web, flew into Detroit to pick it up and then rode it 7,000 miles around the USA. It had no real service history and was twenty something years old and you know what? it didn't blow up. Then I bought my Scura from a pic on this board, sent it to Houston for MPH to replace the clutch and put new springs in and service and then rode it across to LA in the company of another nutter on a Coppa Italia and you know what? They didn't blow up or kill use either!


Over some 20 years I put well over half a million miles on my first SP that turned into a hot-rod and it never failed to get me home.


This last weekend me and me mate Steve on his EV touring and me on my Griso 1200 rode nearly 2,000Kms to a rally and back, the 1200 Griso is a brand new model so by all accounts you read it should of stranded me at least twice with something horribly terminal and expensive and I'd have to wait months for parts. Even though it pissed down with rain coming back through Sydney, (AKA the Arsehole of the Earth.) it obstinately refused to break down or fail to proceeed. Neither Bart's Mk IV LeMans or even Phil-the-Bill's NTX even though he had to hold it almost at valve bounce to stay with the rest of us on the Newk-Arsehole Expressway.


Can anyone explain what we're doing wrong here in Oz? Is there some way we can make our bikes horribly unreliable so we can piss and moan too???? :lol:



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these things are so rediculously reliable that you have to literally TRY to break them, obviously there is a random bad egg here or there but the numbers on those are so tiny and often third party related or owner mistakes like running the oil too low, for me the marzochi forks have been the only problem which appear to need new seals again on the right fork, I had them replaced at 4k because one was weeping and now its weepin again I don't wheelie it but I'm heavy and ride it plenty hard and the motor has been solid despite my best efforts and I fear with proper maint the bike could outlast nearly any other bike on the road. Its the over built tech not used in many of todays bikes or cars, you see tons of 50-60's cars on the road but how many from the 80's or 90's? around here the weather is harder on them sure but I wish there was still a car out there built like a Guzzi -_-

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OH I've also heard the same story on ppl Talking about Aprilia's that they were unsure about their reliability(rotax is almost guzzi reliable for sport bikes) and that with that uncertianty they went with Ducati :lol: omg I laugh so hard when I see that, sure they're bullet proof bikes too if you spend $800 a year or so for new belts and adjustments and even then ducs can go :homer:


how tarded are some ppl really? I'm not saying Ducati is a bad bike but its definatly not reliable or inexpensive or easy to work on, the supersports that is, I hear the monsters and less high performance bikes aren't too bad but still, come on, open yer eyes.

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Sorry Ben but wrenching my SS was much easier than the LeMans.

Yea..the valve adj is exactly twice as difficult as a Guzzi and 1/8th of an inline 4

Everything else....every nut and bolt, air cleaner, carbs, battery, shock, sprockets,chain

clutch, charging sys... everything totally accessable and wrench friendly.

Want to pull the shock....2 bolts, air cleaner? prop the tank up on it's built in stand, snqp the rubber bands off and

pull the top off. Done. Same with the battery and carbs. Belts? $40 and 20 minutes every 12K mi

My 94 SS didn't have as much as one rusty bolt on it when I sold it in '05 and it sat out side 1 whole winter.


I just hate seeing Ducati being misrepresented the same as Guzzi.

A Monster is pretty much the same exact bike.

No...I'm not talking about Quatros. I say no thanks to those.

My little 900SS was too stupid for the road let alone a 996 or 999!!... but it was a simple, pure joy to tinker on.

I put close to 40K trouble free miles on it and sold it for what I paid 3 yrs. before and talked to lots of folks

on line with 80-90K on 'em. They were pretty much of the opinion after 20K you were done shimming valves.

I was down to only replacing collets once in a while.

Na....I love the way they built my Duc. A tribute to common sense and integrity as far as I'm concerned..

Too bad you have to be a juvenile delinquent to ride 'em on the road. :)

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