The Middle-Weight ADV Market Is Heating Up
A New Adventure Motorcycle With Classic Italian Flair
Images of what looks like a production-ready Moto Guzzi V85 adventure bike have surfaced along with some promising albeit sparse performance details. The V850 takes the place of the old 1151cc Stelvio and marks the brand’s entrance into the swelling middleweight adventure category but brings some refreshing Italian flare to the segment.
When Moto Guzzi rolled out the white, bright yellow and red-framed adventure bike V85 TT concept last year at the Milan Motorcycle Show, ‘just make it, already’ seemed to be the general response. Retro-style and design has run rampant through the motorcycle industry, from cafe racers to flat trackers and scramblers, but it’s a trend slow to take hold in the ADV segment. In the looks department the V85 takes inspiration from Moto Guzzi’s Dakar racing days and relative to the 2017 concept, it seems very little is changing for the production bike, which is a definite plus. More often than not, manufacturers make drastic changes to concepts to bring them to production, either because the design is deemed ‘too extreme’ or too impractical. Thankfully, the funky colorway and off-road-focused design made it past the cutting room floor.
Powering the retro ADV is an 80-horsepower transverse 850cc V-twin held in place by a reinforced trellis frame, all protected by beefed-up skid plates. Style might help it stand out in an increasingly crowded room, but the V85 is going to need more than looks to win over the adventure riding crowd. Moto Guzzi is hoping to do that with a new electronics suite with a host of riding modes based on the systems already running in the current lineup. No wording on price but, between Ducati, Triumph and BMW, the middleweight ADV class is full of stiff competition.