So you are looking for a middleweight adventure touring bike but find the German and British options a little boring?. Well read on this might be the bike you want. Coming way out of the left field is the V85TT and from a brand that seemingly has been around forever, Moto Guzzi. Depending on what side of the planet you live on you might not ever have come across one. So let’s see what it’s all about.
Starting with the drivetrain the V85 is powered by an 850cc V-Twin which isn’t that different. What does make it unique is the layout, it sits sideways in the chassis similar to the BMW boxer engines but with the heads, a lot higher up. Riders with really long legs might find it a little close to the knee’s but for most, it should be good. Moto Guzzi have been building their engines this way for a long time. This particular unit has 80HP which is about the same as the competition and produces it at 7750rpm. Torque is fairly decent at 80nm and peaks at 5000rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox and shaft drive.
The V85 uses a 41mm upside-down front fork with 170mm of travel and adjustable preload and rebound. At the back, you will find 170mm travel rear shock mounted on the right side also with adjustable preload and rebound. With 210mm of ground clearance and mediocre suspension travel, I would put this bike down as more of an on-road bike with the potential for some light to mild off-roading. This theory is also backed up by the use of a 19″ front wheel instead of the more off-road orientated 21″. Moto Guzzi had Brembo provide the brakes with 4 -Piston callipers grabbing 320mm discs up front and 260mm disc at the back gripped by a 2 piston unit.
The electronics package included on the V85 is fairly decent but definitely not class-leading. There is ABS which includes an “Off-Road” mode which allows the rear wheel to lock up when needed. The bike also feature ride-by-wire which means there are also 3 distinct ride modes available. Road, Rain and Off-road are the ones available and each manages ABS, Traction control and throttle response accordingly. There is an optional smartphone integration solution available called Moto Guzzi MIA with the ability to manage calls, music as well as directions from smartphone maps all displayed on the 4.3″ colour TFT.
In terms of other basic specs, Moto Guzzi claim a kerb weight of 229kg, this is with the 23l tank 90% full. It is EURO 4 compliant and has a fuel consumption rating of 4.9l/100km giving an effective range of about 460km off a tank. So if you want a touring ADV bike to keep your knees toasty give this interesting Italian a chance.