Moto Guzzi V85 TT: Classic Enduro with modern touch

The Moto Guzzi V85 TT is a "classic enduro" motorcycle loaded with modern technology. The 853cc air-cooled vehicle is ready for all conditions – after all, the TT stands for Tutto Terreno, or all-terrain in English.
The Moto Guzzi V85 TT can handle road duties as well as off-road situations such as rocky stream crossings, gravel and muddy slopes. Its power delivery in off-road mode will not overwhelm newbies.
The Moto Guzzi V85 TT can handle road duties as well as off-road situations such as rocky stream crossings, gravel and muddy slopes. Its power delivery in off-road mode will not overwhelm newbies.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MOTO GUZZI
The Moto Guzzi V85 TT can handle road duties as well as off-road situations such as rocky stream crossings, gravel and muddy slopes. Its power delivery in off-road mode will not overwhelm newbies.
The Moto Guzzi V85 TT can handle road duties as well as off-road situations such as rocky stream crossings, gravel and muddy slopes. Its power delivery in off-road mode will not overwhelm newbies.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MOTO GUZZI

The Moto Guzzi V85 TT is fitting for new riders who want an affordable dual-purpose bike

The Moto Guzzi V85 TT (Tutto Terreno or all-terrain) is the Italian marque's newest dual-purpose motorcycle with classic Guzzi styling.

You will notice details like its eagle-shaped daytime-running light, lower fork protectors and "afterburner" brake light.

While the 853cc transverse 90-degree twin-cylinder is not a powerful motorcycle, it is an affordable Italian middleweight.

Prices start at $25,200, before insurance and certificate of entitlement.

The V85 TT is the only "classic enduro" motorcycle in its class to have a shaft drive and 23-litre fuel tank that would theoretically run dry after 400km.

During a 220km test loop, the bike impresses with its natural and comfortable ergonomics. Its 830mm-seat height means both feet rest firmly on tarmac, if you are 1.78m tall like me.

  • SPECS / MOTO GUZZI V85 TT

  • Price: $25,200 without COE and insurance

    Engine: 853cc air-cooled 4-valve twin

    Transmission: Six-speed manual, shaft drive

    Power: 80bhp at 7,750rpm

    Torque: 80Nm at 5,000rpm

    0-100kmh: 4.5 seconds (estimated)

    Top speed: Over 160kmh (tested)

    Fuel consumption: 4.3 litres/100km

    Agent: Mah

Its 853cc twin-cylinder engine produces 80bhp and 80Nm of torque. It has titanium intake valves, big-bore pistons, a relatively short stroke and a light crankshaft.

It has fewer ponies than rivals like the BMW F850 GS and Triumph Tiger 800. But you will feel torque build up from as low as 3,000rpm and hear its throaty engine roar past 6,000rpm.

It offers quick and seamless clutchless gear changes, with flashing rev-warning lights. But riders who are used to hard-charging motorbikes may find the Guzzi's acceleration mild.

Yet, the dual-headlight Guzzi is no pushover. Even as the speedometer shows 160kmh, there is still more throttle to be had.

At the same time, newer riders are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the V85 TT's power delivery.

This is a blessing when riding on uneven terrain because with a more powerful engine, an amateur throttle hand could easily spin the rear wheel sideways in off-road mode.

We were able to safely ride on semi-off-road tyres over rocky streams, pot-holed roads and gravel slopes without drama.

For the most part, its suspension allows the motorcycle to maintain its chosen line even when roads got bumpy. An Ohlins rear shock upgrade is available.

Remarkably, one expert rode the V85 TT in soft beach sand as if he were on a light motocross bike.

Despite its 208kg dry weight, the bike feels light at the handlebar, even when negotiating consecutive left and right turns. And it does not suffer from the usual shaft-drive ailment of steering the motorcycle to one side.

As you duck under its windscreen, you notice its 4.5-inch TFT dashboard, with almost all the gauges and connectivity you will find on a modern motorcycle.

The Guzzi comes with other high-end features such as anti-lock brakes, cruise control and three riding modes.

The V85 TT is a sporty, tourcapable, commuter and leisure motorcycle. It is a near perfect option for riders who are not power hungry, but want an accessible all-rounder.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2019, with the headline 'Classic Enduro with modern touch'. Print Edition | Subscribe