In 1984, Moto Guzzi developed a motorcycle that we now know today as the “adventure bike.” The plan was to build a dual-sport bike to compete against BMW’s all-conquering R80G/S. To prove the bike's performance, they enetered it in the following year’s Paris-Dakar Rally. This bike, piloted by Claudio Torri, was the V65. It was called the Tutto Terreno, or all terrain in Italian. The V65 was know for being a light, nimble, and reasonably fast dual sport.
V85 Tutto Terreno
Announced toward the end of 2017, the V85 TT or Tutto Terreno ̶ Italian for all-terrain ̶ elegantly combines classic styling, which Moto Guzzi is known for, with modern, no‐frills adventure touring.
If BMW is known for their boxer twins, Moto Guzzi is known for their transverse air‐cooled V‐twin engines. This may not make sense to automobile enthusiasts since the term is used for engines with crankshafts that run horizontally (front-wheel drive) in relation to the car. For motorcycles, a transverse engine refers to longitudinally mounted V-Twin engines, since this is the more unusual configuration, but also makes them more compact in this orientation.
The V85 TT is powered by an 853cc engine that produces 80 Ps of power at 7,750 rpm with a max torque of 80 Nm at 5,000 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox with a shaft as the final drive.
To save on weight, the air‐cooled engine is fitted with titanium valves and pushrods made from aluminum. A reworked crankshaft and piston also add to the weight savings. The V85 TT also utilizes a Trellis frame, with the engine as a stressed member. Overall, the V85 TT is almost 45kg lighter than the Stelvio it replaces.
The V85 TT is not without its share of modern electronics found in most, if not all, adventure bikes these days. The throttle, for example, is already ride-by-wire. It is also equipped with the Moto Guzzi Controllo di Trazione or MGCT (traction control), multi-map Continental ABS, and ride modes like Road, Rain, and Off‐road. Switching ride modes is done by pressing the starter button on the right. Yes, the starter button, which is a bit unusual than most of the bikes out there.
These riding modes adjust the ABS and MGCT intervention, with the Off‐road mode capable of completely turning off ABS and MGCT for the rear, as well as provide additional engine braking. These settings allowing for more playful use of power preferred by advanced off-road riders.
The V85 TT is also equipped with a 4.3-inch TFT screen that can be paired to a smartphone. This in turn allows the rider to control his or her smartphone through the handlebar controls (calls, music and navigation).
Suspension, stopping power
The V85 TT is equipped with a 41-mm, upside-down front fork and a mono-shock absorber for the rear. Both the front and rear KYB shocks are pre-load and damping adjustable, capable of 170mm travel.
For the brakes, the front is equipped with dual four-piston Brembo calipers, biting a twin 320mm floating discs, while the rear has a single two-piston caliper biting a 260mm disc. A 19 and 17-inch (front/rear) wire wheels are standard for the V85 TT, with the demo unit that we’ve tested equipped with Michelin Anakee dual-sport tires.
I’m only 5’6, but the V85 TT’s 830mm seat height is no problem. I found that the bike’s center of mass is situated down low, almost comparable to a BMW’s GS. And like any adventure bike, the riding position is upright and relaxed, giving the rider a commanding view on the road ahead.
The 23-liter fuel tank is a plus, giving the rider a lot of real estate to grip between the legs, especially when stand-up riding while off-road.
When our friends from Bikerbox, Inc. – the official Philippine distributor of Moto Guzzi motorcycles – handed me the key of the V85 TT, it only had 2 kilometers on the odometer. So I was really excited to try it out. I was surprised at how the V85 TT handled on the road.
Riding the V85 TT through the twisties was fun too, even allowing for some toe-dragging here and there. Though the bike was tall just like any adventure bike, it felt at home on the winding roads of Marilaque.
I was really looking forward to trying out the V85 TT on some back roads to see how it handles off-road. Unfortunately, the local barangay units have prohibited outsiders from entering their respective jurisdictions during this time. That’s understandable though, there’s an ongoing pandemic after all.
The longer I was on the V85 TT’s saddle, the more I appreciated its nice Alcantara-like seat that just hugs the rider's butt throughout.
On paper, Moto Guzzi claims that the V85 TT has a fuel economy of about 20‐kilometers per liter. I, on the other hand, was able to achieve as high as 23‐kilometers per liter in moderate riding. That means, theoretically, my 23-liter tank could take me as far as Sorsogon City in the Province of Sorsogon, which is just less than an hour away from the Port of Matnog.
There’s just something about the way transverse engines rock the bike to the right when revving that makes me smile. Coupled with the grunt of 80 ponies under its belly, it’s total bliss. The bike handles very well and offers pretty decent wind protection at expressway speeds. Then, there’s the Italian attention to detail. I only wish Moto Guzzi had made the stock windscreen a bit taller.
If your fetish is retro-styled bikes, but yearn for some terrain flexibility, the V85 TT is the bike for you. It’s priced at PhP830,000.