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First Impression: Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport
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Moto Guzzi 1996 1100 Sport
Thought I would share my experience with my first Moto Guzzi and in my honest opinion, the most sexy and fun bike I have owned.
Before the Guzzi, I had been a real Jappa biker, the full fairing, cloned style, looking like every other Jappa on the road.... sure, they are fast, great for doing mono's from the lights but I never seemed to own them for long, always looking for the next one...
So there I was, searching on the auction sites, bike after bike and nothing stood out as wow factor anymore... just more bikes that looked like something else I had already owned.... until about 5 days in I saw something that made me say... WTF is that cool looking thing? What a beast...
1996 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport ( last of the carburetor models)
Color: Black, custom stainless pipes the rest factory original, 59,000km on the clock with some minor crash damage to the left hand side.
The 1100 Sport is an awesome looking beast, with a Cafe racer style front fairing ( kinda like a modern version of the older Ducati racers ), the tank and rear body shape are modern and quite wide, which gives the 1100 Sport a real muscle bike kind of feel and appearance on the road. Also the price was very reasonable.
Above all though, it looked like nothing I had ever owned before and it was Italian !!! There is something sexy about Italian bikes for me.
Now the Ducati in my opinion has become the weekend rolex rider's bike these days... no offense but I just think they are a dime a dozen and looking too Jappa, so Ducati is a no go zone for me. ( Guzzi sounds nicer as well )
So I fly down south, check the bike over, hand the cash over and away I go on a 3000km ride back home.
First impression, bike is awesome and already had a crowd of onlookers when I turned up at the airport to check it out.
Turn the key and the sound just blows you away, its a basic design the old 2 valve per cylinder, it works and creates a sound at low idle that just intimidates all within earshot. With the Guzzi pulsing on its side stand all you want to do is straddle that Italian lady and ride her for all shes worth.
Now it took a bit of getting use to, as I am quite tall, the clip ons are well down, looks cool when your riding but after 1000km, your neck and wrists will feel it ( your body does get use to it after a while )..
Also the Guzzi 1100 Sport being a shaft drive and big V twin handles quite different to a Jappa. Take it easy until you can service your forks, test out the adjustments, it makes a huge difference. Also the rear shock, I found setting it quite soft worked best and then move the remote adjuster up a few clicks depending on the road your on.
The 1100 Sport you need to choose your lines and set the bike up for the corner sooner than you would a Jappa.
Around town the 1100 Sport is awesome. You just feel your on the most sexy bike around, and every one knows it. Even if a Hayabusa pulls up beside you, he knows your riding a real mans bike, not a boys bike.
Pop the throttle while at the lights and the bike just barks " I BITE !!! ", I have seen people jump when I have done this.... its awe inspiring.
You park it up and there is always people around it, checking it out, the way the cylinders poke out the sides like a huge pair of double Deez just draws all men to her.
The bikes layout is simple, only what you need.
Sure.. the clutch makes a funny noise, it is a dry clutch after all ( I actually like it, sounds like a supercharger when under engine breaking ) but reliability has never been an issue. Honestly all I have done is put gas in it and change the oil and check the tappets. Also because the clutch has no oil, your engine oil stays cleaner for longer adding to the engine life. The bike always starts first pop with no choke and will idle at a lumpy 700 RPM !! amazing, ( 1000 RPM when warm),...
A good mod to do, if not already done is ditch the electronic fuel taps in favor for the manual ON/OFF/RESERVE types, the manual taps are cheap to buy. I also fitted a sump extension and external oil filter, makes filter changes easy and looks unique.. best mod you can do. I picked a second hand unit up for $160 USD. I also changed the indicators to more modern LED types, it makes the bike look wicked but I found I had to use an electronic flasher unit( $ 15 USD ) and piggy backed my old front indicators into the newer LED ones, or the LED flasher units just wouldn't flash due to the low current they use. ( I just hid the old ones under the air intake pipes and taped them in place ) rough I know, but my auto electrical skills are about as good as my ball room dancing... sad and stumbling )
Don't be scared to buy a Guzzi, higher k's on the clock is fine, and any problems would have been fixed long before this. The engines are simple and have a huge life span.
Sure its not as fast as a Jappa, but what it lacks in eye watering speed it makes up for in style, torque and wow factor... its a unique bike and everyone just assumes your a biker god, its great.
Totaly love the Guzzi, and the 1100 Sport I think is still the best shape of all the Moto Guzzi. Awesome bike
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