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No, Moto Guzzi. Just No

Italian brand's V85 concept appears to be en route to production

Recent patent filings and an official website are pointing strongly to a production version of Moto Guzzi’s V85 concept bike being released soon, and it is all kinds of wrong.

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The V85 concept was unveiled at EICMA 2017 and pitched as a kind of bonafide adventure motorcycle “dedicated to traveling in its purest form.” Powered by an 850cc air-cooled transverse V-twin (ie, the same powerplant that drives the V9 series of bikes) is strongly influenced by bikes of the 1980s. To my eye it looks awful, but it appears Moto Guzzi doesn’t care what I think because this thing is destined for production.


Over the weekend, the folks over at broke the news that Piaggio has filed a design patent for a bike that looks quite a lot like the V85 concept displayed at Milan last November. Then this morning, I happened to notice the wording on this official website speaks about the bike in terms of its being not a concept but a soon-to-be reality. The site was launched at the same time as the bike was revealed roughly seven months ago but I don’t remember the language about the bike being so definite.

For example, we now have a sense of how much power to expect from the bike: 80 hp. In fairness, that’s a reasonable step up from the 56 hp claimed for the V9 Bobber and V9 Roamer. One wonders, though, if that power will affect the bike’s ability to perform at low revs – something that anyone wanting to take the thing off road would probably want.

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The site also gives a glimpse of the dash, which appears to feature a TFT screen, though it is pictured with the bike turned off, so I can’t be certain. I assume Mot Guzzi chose the picture below because it has not yet determined the layout for its TFT display.


“Moto Guzzi has always interpreted the purest and most original conception of the journey, where man and his motorbike, in perfect symbiosis, go to the discovery of unique and unexpected places,” states the website in typically Moto Guzzi-esque Italinglish

It seems the only thing left to do now is come up with an official name, which Moto Guzzi will apparently draw from fan suggestions including: Alpina, Rover, Pathfinder, Freedom, Thunder, and Bluster.

If Moto Guzzi names it the Bluster I’ll take back a tiny bit of my criticism, but by and large I feel this is the wrong direction for the brand. Yes, in my recent article, “Let’s Tell Moto Guzzi What to Do,” I did say I’d like to see a return of the Stelvio, but my vision for that 1200cc machine was something even more road-focused.

When Moto Guzzi unveiled the V85 at EICMA the brand spoke roughly of using it as a platform for a range of adventure bikes to be unveiled in 2021 – the year it celebrates its 100th anniversary. However, this bike looks more or less ready to go, and I would not be surprised to see it unveiled at EICMA this autumn. After all, Milan is less than an hour’s ride from Moto Guzzi HQ in Mandello.