Super Tenere vs Moto Guzzi V85 TT ?

thughes317

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“Care and Quality are internal and external aspects of the same thing. A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares. A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who’s bound to have some characteristic of quality.”
 

TNWalker

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Last week I took delivery of a new 2020 V85TT so I thought I would post a few of my early impressions of the bike and compare to my 2014 Tenere'. I will start by saying that when I first heard of this bike a year ago it had my interest immediately. The only other bike that turned my head like that was 1st gen Tenere'. Just like the Tenere', I put a deposit down on it pretty much sight unseen. I just had a feeling about it I guess. When the bike finally arrived I was amazed at how much better it looked in person. The V85 seems to be well built and beautifully painted in the Rosso Kalahari scheme. Frame welds, fasteners and other components all appear to be well crafted and durable. The plastic fuel tank, at first thought before delivery, was a slight concern to me but once I've seen it, I have no qualms about it. The curves of the tank and the way they integrate around those beautiful Guzzi heads is very pleasing to look at and gives a bit of the same feel of the way the Tenere's tank sort of shields your legs as they tuck in to the tank. I am 6' 1" with 31" inseam and the bike hasn't made me feel crowded at all. Compared to the S10, the cockpit if you will, feels more spartan than the S10 mainly due to the lack of all the frame mounted fairing work on the Yamaha. This gives the V85 a much lighter feel while riding. The S10 definitely has a more spacious, longer reach to the handlebars but in no way does the V85 feel cramped at all. In fact the reach to the handle bars, and the bend or sweep in them is very comfortable. So far I've not experienced any sort of shoulder or wrist fatigue. I have a Russell day long seat on my S10 so seat comparison really isn't fair but I can say that compared to the stock S10 seat, which was only good for about a hundred miles before I was squirming to get out of it, Guzzi has managed to make a stock seat that is miles and miles better than the stock S10 seat. I am able to ride out a tank of gas with minimal fatigue and no tail bone pain. The seat is a winner but more miles may dictate weather it takes a trip to RDL this winter. We shall see.

As for performance, I am still in the break in miles stage so I haven't really dropped the reins to let the bike really run too much just yet. 1st service at 600 miles comes tomorrow. I feel the bike has plenty of power available and does seem to like to be above the 3500 rpm range to best make use of it's power band. While the S10 certainly beats it hands down for power and speed due to it's greater displacement, the Guzzi's lighter weight and smooth power delivery makes it an absolute joy to ride in the twisty roads. Turns in quickly and confidently and hold it lines beautifully. So far I have not at all found it lacking in the power department. On interstate, even with it lighter weight and less wind protection, the bike was very stable and planted around traffic at speeds of 75-80mph. It cruises at 70mph at about 4200 to 4300 rpm. The cruise control works perfectly although the switches and handlebar controls take a bit to get familiar with. The S10 being heavier and offering better wind protection beats it out as a slab highway mile muncher but not by much. The suspension is fully adjustable front and rear, and seems very good in it's stock form. There are already good upgrade options available for shocks that I may someday look into. Brakes are Brembos, with anti lock but not linked. They are more than adequate and perform nicely. The rear brakes anti-lock are disabled when you select the off road ride mode. The win here goes to the S10 with it's linked brakes, which I think perform better even if you can't disable ABS. There are 3 ride modes, Road, Rain, and Offroad. They perform and adjust traction control as their designations imply and as stated the offroad mode disables the rear ABS. Offroad also seems to have a bit more spirit in the throttle than the other 2 modes but all modes perform well. The Guzzi TT Adventure comes with Michelin Anakee Adventure tires and they feel like good tires so far. They are grippy on asphalt and not too shabby on gravel roads as well. I was able to ride about 30 miles of gravel fire roads on it and the lighter weight than the Tenere' is very noticeable making the V85 quite competent on that environment. The S10 probably wins out on pure durability but with the right skills and equipment on the V85, I can't see the Tenere' leaving it behind. That being said. There are far better bike options if you like a more off road centric, single track woods kind of riding. Again for me, the V85 does what I need it to do. Fuel mileage is impressive as I am averaging 53 mpg so far. The instrument panel is TFT and is easy to read in sunlight. Its very bright and has all the information and clocks that you would expect including an available media interface that allows smart phone use and GPS turn instruction to the panel. I wish Yamaha would update the instrument panel to a similar TFT style. At 4" the screen is a bit small but it works great and integrates well with the cockpit of the bike.

I am still awaiting delivery of the panniers but have already added the engine protection bars and taller windscreen. A center stand and fog light are also on the bill. The add on components that I have so far are well built and appear that they will perform fine.

In summary, I absolutely am pleased with my purchase. The bike arrived and it's pretty much everything that I expected it to be and more. The bike looks fantastic in real life and handles like a dream for my riding needs. That Guzzi v motor really does have a soul as I have often heard. It fires right up when you hit the button and hits that Guzzi lope in the idle that just make me grin. It sounds fantastic in it's stock form however I may look into some exhaust and performance upgrade down the line. The Guzzistas are already hard at work with fuel mapping and exhaust upgrades readily available that could add a few extra ponies. So the big question is.... Will it replace the Tenere'? Luckily I am fortunate in that I am not pressed to make that decision. While the 2 bikes seemingly have similar riding goals and characteristics, they are different enough that I am glad to be able to keep both. I have to be honest, the Guzzi is going to seriously cut in to the miles ridden on the S10.

Thanks for reading

SteveIMG_1852.JPGIMG_1855.JPGIMG_1861.JPG
 

Longdog Cymru

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Interesting, I came from a 2015 1200 GSA that on a hot day was hot around town and noticed on hot days some of the old BMW guys were not that fired up to ride. The Tenere has never bothered me for heat on some extremely warm days. I ask because that Guzzi interests me too but I would rather have a 700 Tenere like most of these guys.
Yamaha have much better heat management than BMW for instance. The side mounted radiator and fan tends to blow hot air clear of the rider.

My wonderful Buell Ulysses used to fry my nuts in traffic and in hot weather. One memorable ride touring Ireland with my wife on pillion in 26c-28c heat, (well it’s hot for us on this side of the Pond!), had us cooking nicely in our riding gear as we travelled through one town there, just like a couple of boil-in-the-bag turkeys!
 

EnnK

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many thanks, TNWalker.
I have been at the Moto Guzzi factory museum at Mondello del Lario on the shore of Lake Como in Italy, it left unforgettable memories of their motor engineering capabilities. I wish I could trust the Italian manufacturing quality in action, other than that their bikes are true masterpieces.
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Steve - Congratulations on a beautiful bike and thanks for the write-up. Yours is the first write-up done by someone with similar body size so your comments about the riding position were of great interest. I'm 6'1" with a 32" inseam; I wonder how I would fit on the V85. Is there enough room behind the cylinders? I saw a comment on some forum by someone who said his legs were cramped because of the cylinders but the writer did not mention his inseam length.

Regards the plastic (nylon?) fuel tank. I have a Griso and learned of the swelling problem with the Guzzi and Ducati fuel tanks. The issue is the ethanol in our fuel absorbing water and causing the swelling in nylon tanks. On the Griso and the Ducatis, the swelling can cause the decals on the tank to delaminate and the tank to deform and not fit properly. Other than using non-ethanol fuel, a good solution is a product called Startron. I learned about the product on the Griso forum (www.grisoghetto.com) and add it to my fuel tank after every ride when the bike is going to sit before the next ride. If this is your first Moto Guzzi, you'll find a wealth of MG related knowledge on that forum.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts over time as you accumulate more miles on the bike. The V85 is one that definitely has my interest.
 

TNWalker

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Steve - Congratulations on a beautiful bike and thanks for the write-up. Yours is the first write-up done by someone with similar body size so your comments about the riding position were of great interest. I'm 6'1" with a 32" inseam; I wonder how I would fit on the V85. Is there enough room behind the cylinders? I saw a comment on some forum by someone who said his legs were cramped because of the cylinders but the writer did not mention his inseam length.

Regards the plastic (nylon?) fuel tank. I have a Griso and learned of the swelling problem with the Guzzi and Ducati fuel tanks. The issue is the ethanol in our fuel absorbing water and causing the swelling in nylon tanks. On the Griso and the Ducatis, the swelling can cause the decals on the tank to delaminate and the tank to deform and not fit properly. Other than using non-ethanol fuel, a good solution is a product called Startron. I learned about the product on the Griso forum (www.grisoghetto.com) and add it to my fuel tank after every ride when the bike is going to sit before the next ride. If this is your first Moto Guzzi, you'll find a wealth of MG related knowledge on that forum.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts over time as you accumulate more miles on the bike. The V85 is one that definitely has my interest.
Good morning! Thanks for the fuel tank tips and the link too. I often use Sea Foam in my bikes although not every fill up. I have also used Star Tron in past with good results. This tank while plastic, does have a separate cover over the tank that may alleviate the issues you pointed out. I'll be on the lookout for any tank issues. For leg room, I don't have any issues with the cylinders crowding me in any way. I should think your measurements should fit equally well. I guess only way to know for sure is to sit on one. Perhaps the optional High comfort saddle that guzzi offers could add a bit more leg room. So far I am pleased with the standard that it came with but may customize or replace it someday. Honestly though the stock seat is very good. Getting in miles as much as I am able and almost done with break in period. First service coming as soon as I can get a few more miles on it. What a tough prospect that will be ;):)

Steve
 
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TNWalker

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Very Nice bike Steve. Are the rims tubeless?
Hey gunner, hope you are well. The rims are not tubeless however they do have a tubeless bead and can be converted over to become tubeless with something like Bartubeless. Really enjoying the bike so far.

Steve
 

gunner

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Steve,

I'm doing good thanks, hope you are as well. Keep us updated on your new bike as you get more miles on it. I'm very interested.

Thanks,
 
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Are you going to do the initial service yourself? The valve adjustment and throttle body synch on the Griso are a piece of cake. I hope Moto Guzzi kept the same simplicity in the V85 engine.
 
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I spoke to the tech support folks at Startron. The product is compatible with SeaFoam. Before I learned about Startron, I used SeaFoam to treat the bikes and lawn care equipment each fall. While SeaFoam is not actually an anti-ethanol treatment, my theory is that the petrochemicals in the SeaFoam prevent the oxidation that happens with untreated ethanol fuel in an engine/ fuel system. Now I use the Startron in the Griso and in the fall, use a combination of the Startron and SeaFoam.
 

twinrider

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I dunno if one can consider reliability separately from quality? To me reliability is the biggest and most important part of quality. A gorgeous paint job, beautiful machined hardware and exquisite assembly don't mean anything to me if I'm broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
My Honda Africa Twin left me broke down on the side of the road (DCT transmission failure) and so did my Yamaha TDM 900 (fried stator/rectifer). There is no perfect brand.
 

OtterChaos

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Was looking for something else when google search brought up this discussion so I figured I'd drop in and reinforce TNWalker's posts. This is my bike out and about and I love it. I don't find heat management to be an issue, the only heat I've noticed is around my right boot when the temps hit the mid-90's and it isn't extreme or constant either. Most likely due to the cat converter being located near there, I'm sure aftermarket exhausts are already designed to remove the cat and may reduce that heat. I did remove that MRA X-screen pictured above as it really only moved airflow from my chest onto my helmet and I'd rather not have the buffeting that high. I've ridden my bike 700 miles over 4 days (I know not that much but still) on all types of roads, highway, secondary, curves, straights, dirt roads (about 25 miles I guess) and loved every mile of it. The bike exudes confidence and I can't wait until the break in period is over so I can explore the upper rev ranges. I don't own a Tenere but I have a Moto Guzzi Stelvio as well a V7 that was recently sold, the V85TT is so good that I won't miss the V7 and the Stelvio is on notice but I love that bike as well and there is room for two at home. None of my Guzzi's have ever had reliability issues for what it's worth.
 

OtterChaos

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Hey gunner, hope you are well. The rims are not tubeless however they do have a tubeless bead and can be converted over to become tubeless with something like Bartubeless. Really enjoying the bike so far.

Steve
I took a look at the Bartubeless product and they require the factory to install the rim strips onto the wheels and want to ship them to Italy so I'll look at other means to convert to tubeless including DiY solutions which I saw on youtube.
 

twinrider

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I took a look at the Bartubeless product and they require the factory to install the rim strips onto the wheels and want to ship them to Italy so I'll look at other means to convert to tubeless including DiY solutions which I saw on youtube.
Check out Outex on ebay. Japan quality, worked great on my Africa Twin.
 
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