Moto Guzzi overtakes the trails: V85 TT [PRE] PREORDER!
The new V85 TT from Moto Guzzi brings tech to the trail in retro cladding.
Moto Guzzi V85 TT Brings Tech to the Trail in Retro Cladding
By Adam Reed
Edited by Kallie Reed
Powersports sales are declining. This is the cry you hear from most industry outlets regarding sales of new motorcycles and accessories in an ever-changing economy where casual motorcycling could be relinquished to novelty status. As manufacturers scramble to reach new markets and demographics (insert reference to millennials and their purchasing habits) the rebirth of retro has been the go-to play for many designers hoping to inspire a new generation of riders by playing off styling trends of 40 years past. See the Triumph Bobber, restoration of the Honda CB line, or the new-to-the-game Genuine Motorcycles G400C. Luckily, that’s not what this article covers.
Purchasing trends have recently shown that segments of power sports—namely off-road ATVs, side-by-sides, and UTVs—have been on a steady incline and are gearing up for an increase in market share ($14 billion by 2024, sic. Global Market Insights/Market Watch Report 2018). Could this statistic translate to an increase in the adventure sport segment of motorcycling now and in the future? For answers to that question, maybe we can look to the much anticipated release of such bikes as the Royal Enfield Himalayan, the light-weight 411 cc single cylinder that can climb mountains, or the big Honda Africa Twin a few years back. Recently, however, Italian designer and manufacturer Moto Guzzi has stepped up with a small-displacement V-twin on a not-here-to-f*ck-around off-road platform that is jam-packed with a space station’s worth of tech bits and mechanical improvements to an already solid design.
We could comment on the retro-inspired livery; but in reality, what we have here is not an uninformed market test whipped up to entice a 24-year-old college grad into a lifestyle he or she neither wants nor understands. Instead, we have a very capable, very impressive off-road machine ready to attack the wilderness while offering a number of technological advantages.
First and foremost is the new take on the traditional air-cooled transverse V-twin engine refitted with short-skirted pistons, a redesigned crankshaft, stiffer connecting rods, and a larger bore throttle body for a very stout 80-horsepower power plant. The engine’s casing has been reinforced as an active stress member for the chassis, thus saving weight. A new design in the rear case allows for a curved swingarm and linger drive shaft. This modification reduces lateral mass and increases stability. Range is fairly standard as adventure tourers go with 21 liters of fuel capacity and 250 miles of available adventuring before needing to find a gas station. (Or maybe you’re the type to rig a jerry can to the available rack-mount system.)
Remaining true to the heritage of an 80’s Enduro shouldn’t mean sacrificing modern relevancy, especially when it comes to available technology. In the case of the TT, there are a number of functions packed into the minimal wind fairing: a multi-mode traction control system gives the rider flexibility and control in a variety of riding terrains and scenarios; ABS, cruise control, and vehicle vitals are controlled via the full-color LED display; and a Bluetooth® media system pairs your devices with helmet coms for navigation and the ever important music streaming service of your choice.
Stance and ride quality are maintained through a completely redesigned suspension, which offers a relatively low seat height when compared to the ground clearance. And while we’re on the outside looking in, this could be a good time to comment on the TT’s styling, which is decidedly Guzzi in its simple style defined by aggressive fuel tank lines, arched fenders, and minimal instrument cluster. The 19″ front and 17″ rear spoke wheels also save on weight while adding to the strength and aesthetic of a pure all-season, all-terrain ride. The molded crossmember and swingarm offer a bit of futuristic styling and hint at the advances the model has made in its new iteration.
We’re looking forward to the possibility of having a V85 TT here at The Tiger in the near future, and we’re excited to continue building such an impassioned culture around an iconic brand. Hit the link at the bottom of this article and get yo’self signed up to be one of the first on the pre-order list.
See you on the trails!