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In Person (and in Blue) the Moto Guzzi V85 TT is Not as Awful as I Previously Thought

'Classic' adventure bike driven by 850cc air-cooled V-twin

OK, fine. I saw the Moto Guzzi V85 TT – the Italian company’s new adventure machine – at Intermot this week and it’s a much more sound vehicle than I had thought it would be.

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When Moto Guzzi started floating the idea of an adventure bike at EICMA last year, rolling out images of a motorcycle that looked like something from a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, I was anything but positive about the idea. The Italian brand’s seemed a little lost since falling under the leadership of Piaggio and I can’t help but be sceptical about its ability to compete in this particular arena.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT accessories 1 low
2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT

I’m still sceptical about off-road ability, but – having seen the bike – I’d no longer question the intelligence of someone riding one on the street (keeping in mind that prices have not yet been released; so, I reserve the right to change my opinion again if the V85 TT turns out to be shockingly expensive).

RELATED: No, Moto Guzzi. Just No

Dubbed “the first classic enduro” by Moto Guzzi, the V85 TT is powered by a “new” 850cc air-cooled transverse V-twin, which delivers roughly 80 hp at peak. Moto Guzzi says it plans to use the engine as a base for a whole range of bikes. Or, at least, I think that’s what it’s saying. The company is notorious for issuing somewhat murky press releases. For example:

Moto Guzzi V85 TT accessories 2
2019 Moto Guzzi V85 TT

“The technical platform of the V85 TT, including its mechanics – as always leveraged inside the body of the vehicle, with all its beauty being deliberately left in sight – is the technical basis for the development of a series of new motorcycles. 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.”

As is, one can’t help but imagine the V85 TT as a kind of exotic Suzuki V-Strom 650. Though, Moto Guzzi is promising more fancy tech (not to mention the inherent promise of more character). I can find no solid information about the V85 TT’s electronic dash, but the symbols seems to suggest electronic suspension and multiple riding modes. Looks like you also get a USB port in the dash.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT 5

Stylistically harkening back to the 1980s, the V85 TT promises comfort and ability on “both everyday routes and long-distance routes” as well as generous passenger accommodation. Moto Guzzi have not yet said when the bike will be hitting dealerships, nor offered any clues as to how much it will cost.