100 years is enough time for a brand to die and be reborn. Or, in the case of a motorcycle company like Moto Guzzi, enough time to keep going. 2021 marks the centenary anniversary of Ewan McGregor’s favorite brand, making it the oldest European motorcycle company in continuous production. And to mark the occasion, the Moto Guzzi V9, V7, and V85 TT are getting updates and special limited-edition trims.
Highlights from 100 years of Moto Guzzi
Officially, Moto Guzzi was founded on March 15, 1921, Thrillist reports. However, the Italian motorcycle company’s roots technically start during WWI, when its founders met in the Italian Air Corps, Ultimate Motorcycling reports. Carlo Guzzi, Giorgio Parodi, and racer Giovanni Ravelli wanted to make their own bikes and decided to work together.
Unfortunately, Ravelli died after the war while testing a plane, Cycle World reports. But Guzzi and Parodi, with a loan from Giorgio’s father Emanuele, started designing and building bikes. And to honor their dead friend, they based the Moto Guzzi company logo on the Italian Air Corps’ eagle.
Throughout its 100-year history, Moto Guzzi was heavily-involved in racing. And especially in the early days of motorcycles, the company was very innovative. It was the first motorcycle company to test its products in a wind tunnel, for example. Moto Guzzi also had the world’s first production rear swingarm.
And in 1955, it introduced the world’s first V8-powered motorcycle, the Otto Cilindri Grand Prix racer, Cycle World reports. It redlined at 12,000 RPM and only weighed 330 pounds; today’s MotoGP bikes weigh about that much. Thanks to its aerodynamic fairing, the ‘V8’ topped out at 178 mph. Most Grand Prix bikes wouldn’t hit similar speeds until the 1970s, Silodrome reports.
Moto Guzzi, like fellow Italian bike company Ducati, struggled financially throughout its history. But it managed to survive. Today, it’s owned by Piaggio, the same company that makes Vespa scooters and the 3-wheeled Ape. And its lineup includes bikes like the retro V7 and V9 standards and the V85 TT ADV.
Which, as we said, are getting some fresh tweaks.
Moto Guzzi is updating the V7, V9, and V85 TT for 2021, complete with limited-edition liveries
Up until now, while the Moto Guzzi V7 III and V9 both had 90° V-twins with shaft drive, the engines weren’t identical. The V7 III range used a 744cc engine with 52 hp and 44 lb-ft, Cycle World reports. In contrast, the V9 had an 853cc V-twin with 55 hp and 46 lb-ft, Motorcyclist reports.
However, for 2021, the Moto Guzzi V7 (no III or IV moniker) and V9 share an engine, Cycle World and RideApart report. It’s an 850cc V-twin rated at 65 hp and 54 lb-ft, linked to a 6-speed manual and shaft drive. The engine is actually a slightly detuned version of the V-twin in the 2021 V85 TT, Cycle World reports, which has 78 hp.
Besides the new engine, the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 and V9 both have a stronger frame, RideApart reports, standard LED lighting, and new gauges. The V7 also gets longer-travel rear Kayaba shocks. As before, ABS and traction control are standard on both bikes.
The V85 TT’s updates for 2021 are fairly minimal. The V-twin has more torque, though the precise increase is unknown, RideApart reports. But the adventure bike does have two more riding modes, new lighter-weight spoked wheels, and some extra paint options.
Speaking of paint, Moto Guzzi is celebrating its centenary with limited-edition V7, V9, and V85 TT liveries, Cycle World reports. The ‘Centenario’ trim features a silver-and-green color scheme that mirrors the one worn by several of the company’s famous race bikes, including the Otto Cilindri, Bennetts reports. And it comes with a golden eagle logo and brown leather seats.
Pricing and availability
As of this writing, Moto Guzzi hasn’t released official pricing for the 2021 V7 models, the Stone and the Special. For comparison, the 2020 V7 III Stone Night Pack starts at $8990. 2021 V9 pricing is also unavailable as of this writing. But the 2020 V9 Roamer starts at $9990.
2021 V85 TT pricing, though, has been revealed, Motorcyclist reports. The Adventure trim, previously the mid-level trim, is now the base model and starts at $12,990. The Travel trim, which adds a touring windscreen, adjustable heated grips, panniers, and extra LED lights, starts at $13,390.
As for the Centenario models, the V7 Stone starts at $9190 and the V9 Bobber starts at $10,690. The former hits dealers in March 2021, while the latter arrives in July 2021. As for the V85 TT Adventure 100th Anniversary, it starts at $13,190 and arrives in April 2021.
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