The Moto Guzzi V85 seems to be a certainty

The Moto Guzzi V85 should appear in production form this fall. Maybe we'll also see something else based on this engine, as well.

One of the most popular concept bikes from last year’s show circuit was the Moto Guzzi V85 adventure bike, a behemoth that called back to the days when the Dakar rally actually visited Dakar, and men were men, riding massive 1000 cc motorcycles through the desert, plastered with cigarette commercials. Ah, the ’80s …

Aside from an early-summer peek at some patent drawings, we hadn’t heard much about the bike since. Could Moto Guzzi have put together a positively beautiful bike, got us all excited, then pulled the plug on the project? Had they never meant to build the machine to start with, only to get us all worked up with anticipation? That’s the sort of trick the Big Four usually pull—were the passionate Italians picking up those soulless corporate tricks?

It seems not! For lo, Moto Guzzi appears to have launched a website full of all sorts of titillating details about the Moto Guzzi V85. Actually, on the spec sheet, the Guzzi doesn’t appear to be a rocket, with that air-cooled transverse-V engine only making 80 hp, and a steel frame—you know this won’t be a lightweight, although given the adventure bike world’s move towards high tech, it is refreshing to see someone still building a basic big bore bike, sans radiator (could this machine win the hearts of classic airhead fans?).

Aside from that, there’s not much info. Does it have a comprehensive electronics safety package, with leaning ABS, etc.? We don’t know. The marketing blurbage does point to LED daytime running lights and digital gauges, but that’s hardly sci-fi material at this point. We’ll probably know more in a few weeks; until then, head over to to see the rest of the bike for yourself. Or, just check out the photos below!


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  1. I quite like the look of this, except that there are a few too many colours going on. If they ditched one of the body colours (yellow, I’d suggest) or the frame was a normal black or something like that, I think it would look a little less garish.

    One does wonder about the weight. Is it actually light enough to justify its off-road styling and equipment aspirations? I like that it actually has a high-mount front fender, not a beak and usual hugger type, which have a nasty tendency to pack up with mud and stop the front wheel in some conditions (long muddy sections up the Dempster highway or something like that). Though, whether I’d choose a Guzzi to go off into the far unknown is questionable – Guzzi dealership coverage is pretty thin.

  2. Engine type is based on crankshaft orientation. Harley makes a transverse twin, the Guzzi is a longitudinal twin. So many people who should know better still get it wrong. That said, good looking bike. Hopefully performance exceeds expectations. It could make the short list for many riders.

    • Well, Bill, I’ve been writing for motorcycle magazines for years and reading them a lot more than that. Every time I see an article about Guzzi, they’re called a transverse V-twin. Guzzi themselves usually calls it that. And every time that happens, someone writes a comment or a letter to the editor and says how wrong it all is … but people still call it what they call it …

    • I know what you mean, but people call them “transverse v-twins” because the splay of the cylinders is across the frame, as opposed to more usual inline with the frame.

      • Ryan and Zack;

        Wikipedia says it best…..”Though Moto Guzzi has employed engines of myriad configurations, none has come to symbolize the company more than the air-cooled 90° V-twin with a longitudinal crankshaft orientation and the engine’s transverse cylinder heads projecting prominently on either side of the bike.”,
        So either descriptor is correct, depending on one’s frame of reference, the crankshaft axis or the cylinder arrangement. My take, I think the crankshaft axis should be the way to go, but Moto Guzzi can say what they want….it’s their bike. Now maybe they’ll revive their transverse-crank, transverse-cylinder V-8
        🙂 🙂


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