EICMA 2017: Moto Guzzi Concept V85

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

The first example of a new family of motorcycles

To the rest of us, 2021 my seem like its a long way away. For Moto Guzzi, the year – and the company’s centenary – are close enough to start planning for. Case-in-point is the Moto Guzzi Concept V85, the first example of a new line of motorcycles that the folks in Mandello del Lario are developing for the celebration. This line of motorcycles will fall between the V7 and V9 families and the 1400 cruiser line. The cut of the Concept V85 is distinctly adventure-oriented. What many riders may not know is that Moto Guzzi has a long history with off-road motorcycles – though its recent offerings may be lacking much in that regard – that reaches back to the four gold medals won in the Six Day Reliability Trial in 1939 through to the Paris-Dakar rallies in the mid-1980s. The V85 is designed to appeal to riders “who, while never ceasing to dream of Dakar, yearn for a bike that revives the spirit of adventure on their daily journeys.”

The Concept V85 was designed to fit a wide variety of sized riders through its narrow midsection while it’s tank style is harkens to the rallies in Guzzi’s past. Other signs of the V85’s adventure intent are the high fenders front and rear along with the long-travel suspension. Wire-spoked wheels hold blocky tires so that the fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of the pavement. The steel trellis frame is both light and strong, thanks to the use of the engine as a stressed member. The new swingarm features a curve on the left side to a straighter path for the exhaust system while the shaft drive is housed in the right side.

Although the V85’s engine retains the transverse 90° V-Twin structure, Moto Guzzi claims it is proprietary and is completely separate from any of its current power plants. The mill is claimed to produce 80 hp while Moto Guzzi is “guaranteeing great character and the usual spectacular force at lower running speeds.”

Expect to see more of this line of motorcycles in the next few years as the models continue in their development: “It will be a family of medium-sized cylinder bikes, from different intended uses, combined with strong character, generous performance and a style which is typically Moto Guzzi.”

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Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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2 of 29 comments
  • BainDramage BainDramage on Nov 09, 2017

    Winner, winner chicken dinner!
    Can't wait test ride this sexy beast.

  • Alessandro Alessandro on Nov 29, 2017

    Did i read "light"?! If this baby is under 200 kg, it is going to be a killer. And if they are wise, they are going to make also a 1.2 lt with 100+ bhp. And if they are going to be even wiser, they are going to use this base for the new Griso. Oh, I am dreaming again...