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Can't choose between V11 and 2v CARC bike. Help!!


Icenian
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So I was all set to choose between a V11 Le Mans and Ballabio; they're quite different I guess, but the Le Mans is maybe a little sportier than I would ideally choose, and the Ballabio a little more roadster than I'd like, so I would be happy with whichever I got, and the choice was going to come down to the best deal I could get.

Then along comes a 2v 1200 Sport (maybe called Breva Sport where some of you reside?) to tempt me.  There's also potentially a Griso 1100 in play; but if I wanted a CARC bike, the 1200 Sport seems better value and more practical.

The 1200 Sport looks like best value for money on paper, and yet, and yet...   the V11 just has the air of a proper old school Guzzi roadster.  It just feels like the bike I would get out the garage because the sun's out.

As it's a Friday I wondered if anyone would be inclined to contribute some random opinions.  Maybe there's something I haven't taken into account.  But let's not be too serious about this.

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I'm partial to my '97 Sport-i, but of the choices you mention the 1200 sport would be my pick followed by the Griso. This opinion is of course based on no data beyond optics and my own personal preferences. 

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1 hour ago, Icenian said:

 the V11 just has the air of a proper old school Guzzi roadster.  It just feels like the bike I would get out the garage because the sun's out.

ding ding ding... winner.

The best bike is the one you want to ride the most.

 

And personally, I would take the LeMans over the Ballabio. It's so much more distinctive, and it's really not that much sportier than the Ballabio. You can always raise the bars a bit if you feel the need.

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Icenian, while I love the V11 Sport variants, have owned two. I have been told that the Breva 1100 2v is one of the best all round bikes Guzzi has ever made. (From multiple Guzzi folks around the Rally scenes). The answer is all 2v Guzzi's are good bikes, plus you can own more than one model at the same time:bike::race::2c:

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There is more than one reason to have more than one bike. You sound out the best reason for owning two, at least. My strategy would be which one first? Easy for me. Moto Guzzi must have clip on bars. If I weren't a fan of that riding position I'd get the Griso. Something about "street" handlebars on a spine frame doesn't work for me. 

Purely on visuals? LeMans wins. Griso still somehow captures the heart of Italian design, in spite of the muffler. Beyond that, my radar spins toward older Guzzi's.

 

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2 hours ago, footgoose said:

Something about "street" handlebars on a spine frame doesn't work for me. 

Purely on visuals? LeMans wins. Griso still somehow captures the heart of Italian design, in spite of the muffler. Beyond that, my radar spins toward older Guzzi's.

 

Agreed. And the Ballabio has the odd feature that the flyscreen is frame-mounted, not bar-mounted. IMO a tiny windscreen should move with the bars.

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When the 1200 Sport came out I really wanted one of these.

I was over my neck surgery and able to ride again BUT...

At $20K + I just couldn't justify this as it was to be my toy basically and we were just finishing a big reno on the house at the time!

So had to wait a bit till funds were available for my splurge.

I'm so glad I had to wait and that a Green V11 Sport found her way to me.

I haven't ridden a newer Guzzi* but I can tell you that the minute I fired up the V11 at the shop when I went to look at it ...

I WAS SMITTEN

Thirteen years later.... I STILL AM

Cheers Guzzler

* I have ridden an older Mk 5 though.

 

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Whichever one you buy it's important to remember that you are buying machines long out of production and a lot of parts are getting increasingly hard to source. Virtually anything cosmetic and you're at the mercy of the Bay of Fleas and the internet boards like this one for generosity from hoarders and sundry nut cases.

All four machines you mention were comparatively low number production runs but the CARC series machines at least have a lot of interchangeability with other models in the cosmetic parts, the LeMans particularly is a nightmare to get fairing parts for and so few Balabios were made I'd think that most bits like fairing supports and the like are probably hand carved from unicorn ivory!

Actual performance wise there isn't a lot in it but handling, if correctly set up, will come with the V11's and Griso sharing equal, (Although different.) top billing and the 1200 Sport lagging behind simply because it's 'Conventional' Marzocchi forks are pretty pedestrian for the era they were made in but having said that the wonderful Showas on the Griso need re-springing and re-valving to be anywhere near their best.

If you go in with your eyes wide open all four can be fine steeds. The CARC bikes will by this point need their swingarm bearings and shock linkage replacing/rebuilding and it is vital that any CARC bike you look at not have had it's throttlebodies screwed about with by a shaved ape. They are incredibly simple to tune but if the tuning sequence isn't followed and someone messes about with the linkage rod or the throttle stop screw you are going to be in a world of pain!

From the point of view of which is best? Don't ask me. I own three Grisos so I'm a lost cause. They are all fine machines though.

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Buy all 3 of ‘em. You can never have enough Guzzi’s. The Griso will outhandle the 1200 Sport. My choice would be a V11’s with Ohlins, & a Griso 1200 with the roller tappet motor. Oh, and a Greenie, & maybe a Rosso Mandello :D

 

 

D18B5D3E-7C36-49D6-A7E7-CF8C68174E8C.jpeg

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1 hour ago, pete roper said:

Whichever one you buy it's important to remember that you are buying machines long out of production and a lot of parts are getting increasingly hard to source. Virtually anything cosmetic and you're at the mercy of the Bay of Fleas and the internet boards like this one for generosity from hoarders and sundry nut cases.

If you go in with your eyes wide open all four can be fine steeds. The CARC bikes will by this point need their swingarm bearings and shock linkage replacing/rebuilding and it is vital that any CARC bike you look at not have had it's throttlebodies screwed about with by a shaved ape. They are incredibly simple to tune but if the tuning sequence isn't followed and someone messes about with the linkage rod or the throttle stop screw you are going to be in a world of pain!

From the point of view of which is best? Don't ask me. I own three Grisos so I'm a lost cause. They are all fine machines though.

Besides the obvious premise of "let's ask the other inmates on the ward if we are really and actually crazy and just which, and how many, Moto Guzzi to buy"  . . .

:blink:<_<:unsure::wacko:

 . . . I resemble all of those remarks in that eloquent P.Roper post. :grin::huh:^_^

 

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22 minutes ago, docc said:

Besides the obvious premise of "let's ask the other inmates on the ward if we are really and actually crazy and just which, and how many, Moto Guzzi to buy"  . . .

:blink:<_<:unsure::wacko:

 . . . I resemble all of those remarks in that eloquent P.Roper post. :grin::huh:^_^

 

"hoarders and sundry nut cases".                       :thumbsup:  Guilty

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I will tell you there are die hard Breva Sport fans out there, 1200 2V.  One of my buddies like it better than his Griso Red Devil.  But calling Pete, those Breva dashboards are harder to fix than LeMans fairings.   None look better than a spiney.  Not sure they handle as well either....but the Devil did have more motor, I'll admit.  Never ridden a Breva, I do know a fellow that ride cross country all the time on one and goes by moniker  TravelByGuzzi.

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A 2V Sport or Norge is a fine stable mate for a V11…along with a Griso!  They are all different enough to provide a unique riding experience!  Get them!!  I love the trio combo…but ultimately I think it depends more on if you are planning short to medium rides vs…long ones, based on ergonomics.

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