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V85TT vs. BMW

Discussion in 'V7/V85/V9 Chat & Tech' started by Poppe, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    So this weekend, a BMW dealership had a demo ride for all 2019 models that they currently had in stock on the floor. That included the 310GS, 750GS, GS850, and the GS1250, as well as a few of their cruiser bikes. I have never rode on an adventure bike, but I've always loved and saw the the GS1200 series as a "one day I'll buy" bike. But my big concern is would I even really like adventure bikes in practical terms - I love them in theory, but will they actually work for me in their size, setup, and performance. They let me test each bike for a good 20-30 minutes including free way use and around town driving.

    I rode the 750, 850, and 1250. All three were really wonderful. Huge smile on my face the whole time. The suspension felt extremely nimble and all three bikes felt very capable for this novice and absolutely wonderful on freeways for those long commutes. These bikes had more bells and whistles then I could shake a stick at too.

    I bring this up because, after finishing the day of test riding, I got back on my v7, thinking maybe the v85tt wouldn't make sense for me. Maybe I should stray from the Guzzi brand and get a BMW and keep my v7 for my around town romper. The BMWs gave me cheek to cheek smiles the whole time and they were stunners, but then I got on my v7 and that visceral rawness, that beautiful sound from the exhaust and a professional tune (thanks Todd), and it really hit me that the v86tt might just be the perfect next bike. I hope it can hit that middle ground of being a fun middle weight adventure bike, capable both at commuting and on those dirt roads, but also provide a little old school rawness like the v7s. One thing for certain is that Adventure bikes are in my future and most closely aligned with the style of riding I like, I just never realized it until I rode the BMWs.

    Fingers crossed that this v85tt has that guzzi magic.
     
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  2. TimmyTheHog

    TimmyTheHog Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I never rode a BMW ADV bike due to its height, but I did a bit with Suzuki Vstrom as well as a lowered Multi-strada (32~ inch to th ground the guy had) before I bought the V7. I was in the same mind set as you and actually have not considered/known Guzzi...

    Guess what, test rode the guzzi from my friend, and I was sold...

    Despite the known guzzi issues (dealer, Luigi Friday build bike...etc), I can't find myself away from a guzzi...

    I seriously hoping the same that the V85TT would be a good compromise and maybe even more for an everyday middle weight with gravel/slight mud fun bike...
     
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  3. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I was lucky enough to sit on the v85tt and while I was tiptoeing it wasn't terrible. I think I'd still get a lowered seat, like I would the GS. All three of the GS bikes I rode I was tip toeing. A guy before me was 6'5" and had the GS1250 suspension on the highest setting and the seat on the highest setting, I couldn't even get it off the side kickstand haha. They lowered the seat for me and they lowered the suspension, then I was ballerina tip toeing which made me very nervous. haha.

    What does Luigi Friday mean?
     
  4. TimmyTheHog

    TimmyTheHog Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    It is a joke of the Guzzi "quality"

    Unfortunate, there are some bikes came off the factory floor with missing parts such as thrust washer for V7ii, bearings were not greased such as some swing arm bearings for the Breva, Stelvio & Norge. For me, it was missing parts within the center-stand package when I had to order because my local shop ran out of them...

    Most of them are fixable and some are laughable, but because things like this with lack of dealer knowledge & support for some, a lot of people shy away from Guzzi (see my rant post above)

    For those who own among the people that I know, we usually jokes around as how those bikes & parts are put together on a Friday afternoon when Grappa was on their mind, not the bikes lol...
     
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  5. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Ohhhh haha that makes sense. I've heard that a few times about Italian cars too. Hysterical. Hopefully the v85tt is not that way. My friend has a v7-III and minus a few screws coming loose his bike has been insanely flawless, mine as too except for a fuel pump, but I chalk that up to partially my fault and having it sit with ethanol gas too long/lack of riding for a month.
     
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  6. roadscum

    roadscum Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    My '15 GSA had 30+K on it when I traded it last month for an Indian Scout( the girl friend also bought a scout). The GSA is a great bike for touring, it lets you continue with confidence when the paved roads end.

    Unfortunately riding 800-900+ miles days, riding FSR's. and exploring off the beaten path are over, I'll still tour but it will be at a more leisurely pace.

    Will keep the '15 R1200R, V7 Special, and Vespa 300. That combination satisfies all me needs..... for now.

    Paul
     
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  7. Tomintoul

    Tomintoul Tuned and Synch'ed

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    I rode my neighbour's GS1200LC a couple of years ago, and it was nice, but that gearbox was attrocious. Since then he's swapped it for a newer GS1200 with the TFT display and a quickshifter. When I rode it a couple of weeks ago, I was really annoyed. The one thing I could always do was look at his bike and think "yeah, but that gearbox..." Now the buggers have gone and fixed it. Now don't get me wrong, I love my Stelvio, but that GS just felt lighter (I know it's not, at least his isn't!), quicker (not necessarily a good thing :) ), gruntier and the gearbox was even smoother than mine. I've always joked with him that I'd never ride a BMW (they're made down the road and every other bike around here's one), but after riding his, now I'm not so sure. Sad day indeed :D
     
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  8. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I will say, for me, I really hated gearbox for the GS bikes I tested even in 2019s, not because of it being clunky or anything, but because of the lack of feel, and the rev-matching. The rev-matching on both the up and down shift was so foreign and funky. I'm sure I'd get used to it, but it also seems like such a weird over engineered thing to do for a bike that isn't racing. Rev Matching isn't that hard in a manual setting.

    Jealous of your Stelvio. I think they are beautiful bikes. I would probably get a used stelvio if the v85tt wasn't coming out, and if they were coming out with a new Stelvio I'd probably go with that over the v85tt. I do hope one day I can at least ride one.
     
  9. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I hope we all report back on our test rides, and any of our more skilled videographers out there shoot some videos of their test rides so we can see it in action. I have the same hopes for the v85tt as you do.
     
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  10. thomashpsn

    thomashpsn Just got it firing! GT Contributor

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    If someone wants to go down the GS path, I’d strongly encourage them to rent one for a weekend. While everything motorcycle is subjective, I was not a fan. My GSA (2016) was supposed to be my “take on any adventure” bike and I rode upwards of 15k miles trying to convince myself of this. That’s said, if I could redo that purchase I would have got the GS instead and would likely still have it.
     
  11. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    This is a weird comparo, and BMW is BMW. If you’ve owned them for any time, you’ll know what I mean by that. I have (owned several models, c1980-1996 models), and would never go back. I hate the paralever front end, electronics integration, and don’t get me started on parts cost and dealer arrogance of people working on their own bikes. I reluctantly accept R9T's at the GTM shop.

    The Stelvio was made as a direct GS competitor, and is a much better street bike IMO. It's fun on unpaved roads as well. A dirt bike it is not.

    I’d say do NOT get your hopes up too much on the V85, or you will be disappointed. It’s a small block Guzzi. Simply go ride a V9, and you’ll know what you’ll mostly get as to power. It’s the same architecture... Marketing hype or not.

    If you love Guzzi, you’ll buy Guzzi. If you love Guzzi and stray, you’ll be back. If you don’t love them, there’s tons of superior machines out there on paper, and make better sense.
     
  12. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Todd,

    Great advice, all around. I may go ride a V9 to see the match in power but it's the weight and feel that will sell me the TT.

    Adam
     
  13. XTN

    XTN Just got it firing!

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    Please forgive my unapologetic honesty. Opinion.

    I just purchased a BMW R NINE T Racer and, it comparison, it makes my Guzzi feel like a hamfisted blunt chirping and burping object. The Racer, on the other hand, is a precision object with a get-what-you-pay-for list of options and absurdly perfect fit and finish.

    That being said, the Guzzi has an I Just Stole This powerband that pulls through the RPMs and is a hoot to bomb about Brooklyn.
     
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  14. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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  15. Bill Hagan

    Bill Hagan GT Reference GT Famiglia

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    I rode a BMW from 1947 - '49 in Germany. :eek:

    Between Wuerzburg and the Boden See.

    Sort of.

    First month in a saddlebag,

    We then got a side car.

    Seriously; all true. German mom; American dad. Living in Wuerzburg, we visited relatives when we could, thus the run down to the south of Germany. :clap:

    Anyway, you'd think I'd have beemer juice in my blood, but as do many Germans who have visited Italy over the millennia -- occasionally armed :giggle: -- I have been irretrievably smitten by Italian motos ... and, FTM, just about everything else. I have tried to have an affair with a BMW moto, but it just never felt right. Something was always missing: sound, feel, whatever. Came close to falling for one of these:

    [​IMG]

    ... but the dealer thing Todd mentioned was off-putting at best.

    Now, all of that said, have to say that I saw and heard close-up and chatted with an owner of an R nineT scrambler recently. Yes, it may have more pretensions than it can live up to WRT off-pavement capabilities, but so what, so do I. :rofl: I still love my Stornello, and that owner, his beemer. I could go that route if I had more money, time, etc., etc. A nice machine.

    I (might) have one more new moto in my future, and a road version of the V85 just might be it.

    In the meantime, I'll flog my present harem as best I can ... assuming spring ever returns to the top of Virginia. ;)

    Bill
     
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  16. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Is this your first BMW? If so, ride it for 100k miles, and report back then. ;)

    Saluti.
     
  17. Bigbear

    Bigbear Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Mmmm - sewing machine or burbling V twin not too hard descision really
     
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  18. Adam Davis

    Adam Davis Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    XTN,

    One never looses with honesty.

    That R nine T just looks purposefully streamlined. I test rode one. It was to small for me but total differant power range than that on my 1200 8v. Very crisp and sharp gear changes. Vs. slop and clunky, buttery changes that land into place like a over greased winch turning under tremendous load.

    No changes throughout powerband
    with the T. Very consistant and reliable on range of power through all gears. Vs. suttle target shifting requirements when needed speed is required fast. The torque of gears 1 and 2 particularly, is of a field tractor capable of pulling a plow, more than pulling away in a race.

    The look and reputation of the BMW is always accepted and understood by most everyone. No doubt, fine built motorcycles and automobiles for that matter. Vs. an oftentimes misunderstood or unknown brand of motorcycle that invokes conversation and interest. All just by being a sexy built machine, shining in the sunlight.

    After 25 years of not riding, the newness of it all is very satisfying. But upon afterthought of all the other machines I have riden in my lifetime.
    I now have a moto, once tuned and fully dialed in, that I truly admire. It is in fact a catalyst that drives me into the second half of my life. Comfort and quality that suits me well. And the history of the brand, perhaps a model for how it is done correctly. Through good and bad times. A family of bike builders that exceeds 5 generations in some cases. Owning their work in which I choose to enjoy.

    You enjoy your choice of cycle.
    Because I already have and its built out by the lake in the mountains. In fact, they all have been built there......
     
  19. Poppe

    Poppe Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    The dealer at my test ride, before I even got on a bike asked what I rode and I told him. He said "Oh that's too bad, but we can fix it." hahah. The arrogance is there.

    ---

    It really wasn't meant to be an apples to apples comparison or anything in that regard. It was more just about never even really touching an adventure bike before and seeing if that would ever make any sense for me - that's the only reason I went to ride one. I wouldn't have a v7 if I wanted a bike that "made sense" for me or based on HP figures alone or whatever.

    I also am a pretty unskilled rider when it comes to pushing a bike to it's limits or even anywhere close, so it's not like I'm ever pushing my v7 even to it's edge except maybe for on the highway at it's horsepower - this mostly just because of the dad bod gut I bring along with me.

    I don't expect the v85tt to be a huge jump, but it does sound like with it's HP being up it could be the perfect bike for me that makes long distance driving more enjoyable for the high speed highways.

    The only thing I'll be sad about is the suspension stock will be miserable, but that just means I'll have it corrected properly by the Guzzitech team.
     
  20. Owen White

    Owen White Just got it firing!

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    Hi all... just found this thread and thought I’d chip in with my first post on this forum...

    Background : I am 55 and only been riding for about 6 years, though I got my license way back...

    Because I have no time or talent to spanner my own bike I always looked for a non-chain bike, which led me to BMWs.

    My first bike was a K1200GT that got swapped for a K1300S and then a K1300R.

    The last of those really was my favourite as it was lighter, incredibly fast (though they all were!), and the easiest to use.

    On and off though I wondered what next for me as they stopped making the K series years back (excepting the K16 of these days).

    Apart from potential license issues, I would happily return to a K13R...

    Anyway... Guzzi always lurked in my mind as a potential alternative... I could see me 1 day getting a GS or equivalent and, well, there are SO many GSs around I know I won’t be the only one to look for an alternative...

    So... between bikes I did a few test rides... Triumph Tiger - big n small - no way I wanted either. The big one is way too big (remember I’m a fairly new biker - though I am 6 ft 4 tall...), both were capable sure, but dreadfully uninvolving and characterless... the Strada 1250 got emotional plus points, was more involving than the Tigers, but low down torque was poor (only bike I stalled), and, yes, chain drive. There were a few bits hanging off too which was an alert...

    I also rode 3 Beemers... the big and small GS and S1000XR. All good to great, and actually involving. The big GS though was like being in a bath chair and again a bit big for filtering etc. The 850 GS I really liked. But of course it’s a chain, as is the XR... I would have taken the baby GS over it’s big brother, and the XR over both... apart from the chain issue again and likely loss of license with it being SO fast... loved it though...

    Then it was the turn of Guzzi... rode a V9, hated it!

    V85TT - different story entirely!

    From the moment I pulled away I knew it was the one... comfortable, manoeuvrable, filterable, just enough power (just)... the character is there in abundance... you can push it on if you want... but it just talks to you and basically encourages you to take your time... I even started singing O sole mio in my helmet... ridiculous! I never sing!

    The one I rode had the low comfort saddle which was good... I found that even though I am tall the seat being quite wide means a low seat is a good idea...

    A few months later and I’m running in a TT Travel with all the extras and adoring it.

    I do occasionally miss the time warp speed and power of my old K bikes... but then I settle back, smile, wave at the bikers going the other way and say Ciao... and life is good.

    Even my wife likes it (partly due to the Ewan McGregor link)... what’s not to love!

    Perfect for me... totally
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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