Light but powerful, its the sleeper of cruisers
It’s not everyday that a throttle-happy guy like me is given the keys of an Italian big bike for a few days just to assess (read: enjoy) the MotoGuzzi V9 Bobber Sport. But Mr. Marc De Joya, President of Bikerbox, the official dealer of MotoGuzzi motorcycles, trusted us to evaluate the famed cruiser
If looks could kill
At first glance, the V9 Bobber Sport will make you stop and stare. From the striking matt Sport Orange with black stripes combo, to the protruding cylinder heads up to the big tires, this bike looks serious. Start the engine and the type-tested slip-on exhaust in matt black with aluminum cover, deepens the distinctive roar of the MotoGuzzi twin-cylinder 850 engine. Basically, the cruiser is easy to look at; you can sit all day and just stare at the machine.
A short history of MotoGuzzi
The company “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” was established March 15, 1921, for “the fabrication and sale of motorcycles, and all other activities pertinent or correlated to the metalworking and mechanical engineering industries”. The architects of the company were the renowned Genoese ship owner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi. Guzzi was a former comrade of Parodi’s in the Italia Air Corps The spread-winged eagle motif in the Moto Guzzi badge was designed in memory of a friend of Parodi’s named Giovanni Ravelli, who died on August 1919 during a test flight.
The company’s first motorcycle was the legendary 8HP Normale. This was followed by successful models such as the 1928 Guzzi G.T., dubbed “Norge” to commemorate the expedition to the Polar Arctic Circle, and the Airone 250 (1939), which remained Italy’s best selling medium capacity motorcycle for over 15 years.
First notable thing that we noticed is the weight, or rather the lack of it, when we were pushing the bike for a quick photoshoot. It was easy to maneuver around the tight stage. An average-sized person could easily move the bike around. We attributed it first to the huge front wheels that seemingly carries the weight, but it was later that we found out that the Bobber tipped the scales at a lowly 210kgs!
For a rider with a fairly average height, (5’8), the Bobber fits me nicely, thank you. Mounting for the first time to familiarize myself with the controls (SOP for riders), the lowered single-seat saddle creates a low-ride experience, the typical hunched-over, sporting riding position; the reach for the handle bar is comfortable, leaning forward is with slight elbow bend is just right. The knees are at a fair distance from the V-angled heads. The foot pegs have more than enough ground clearance and sit higher than the competition,- -although it felt a tad high for me. However, the foot reach for the shifter and rear brakes is spot on.
To familiarize myself more, I usually circle a few blocks to memorize the overall feel of a new bike; the suspension play, brake power, engine torque, shifting and most importantly, cornering abilities. Since all bikes have different characteristics, it’s imperative that you know the mishmash of quirks of each and every motorcycle. What works with other models will not usually work in another.
A different powertrain
The Transversal 90 V‐twin, is music to the ears, with the idle belting out a deep staccato thump. You know right there that this is a big displacement powerplant. Revving the mighty V-Twin gives a slight jolt to the right, thanks to the inertia of the alternating pistons. You know it means business.
The Ride Home
One great feature is the seat height; it’s low enough to plant both feet on the ground during traffic, which is ideal for Manila roads. Slight zigzagging along the road is done with confidence, the center of gravity is low enough not to lose traction nor balance. However, the bigger than usual front and rear tires give out more bounce on the road, but potholes are not much of a threat now. Oh, did I mention that it has a direct drive shaft versus the traditional chain drive?
Cruising along Skyway, the torque is evident with each gear change. A slight bleep reminds you to tighten your grip and lean forward lest you get left behind. Even at the supposed redline of 6500rpm, I seldom saw the high side of 4,000rpm—a testimony to numerically- high final gear that doles out higher speed at a lower rpm. No racing here, just pure ride fun.
Descending Skyway, Manila greeted me with the usual traffic jams at each traffic light. Amazingly, the engine never felt hot even with the proximity of the heads to my knees. Of course, there were a few times that sudden clutch release stalled the engine, but a unique feature for the Motoguzzi V9 is their ignition feature; just press the clutch lever and the engine will start right up; no more shifting to neutral or fumbling for the start button. You’ll be out of there in a jiffy. This is also very helpful when conking out in incline roads. The quick start is very beneficial, especially when you encounter different road conditions on long rides.
Although heavy rains disallowed the planned NLEX ride, we got a feel for the V9 Bobber in urban settings. Going through the busy streets of Metro Manila was easier than I thought, the medium rise handle bar is placed just right, precise shifting(with the trademark clunk sound), good cornering and excellent maneuverability in traffic, mainly because of the weight and tire combo. Too light in fact; during the jaunt in Skyway, the effect of the side wind is more pronounced, thereby pushing the V9 Bobber sideways more easily. I needed to grip the handlebars and bend forward more.
Not really bad features, but more of disadvantage for me personally. The foot pegs are too high for comfort; it hits both my shins every time I maneuver the motorcycle to park or pull to reverse. Also, the single gauge cluster is a bit unnerving. There is no tach, so you have to ‘feel the engine speed. Also no fuel gauge, but the 15L teardrop shaped tank is big enough for an estimated 200km run. However, the gear indicator is a welcome feature.
Return to Base
After 2 photoshoots, I grudgingly returned the Motoguzzi V9 Bobber to its Bikerbox home. Again, it proved it prowess via the bumpy C5 southbound. The Öhlins shock absorbers with adjustable preload in extension and compression absorbs all the bumps and making the front end more stable. Using the V9 Bobber gave you confidence in both low and high speeds, in any road condition. Will I use it daily? that’s a resounding Yes!
If you are into leisure riding and city cruising, then the Motoguzzi V9 Bobber Sport is for you. Ride great, look great!
Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport 850
Price as Tested: PHP750,000
Color: Sport Orange
V9 BOBBER SPORT – TECHNICAL DATA
- Engine Transversal 90° V‐twin, two valves per cylinder
- Cooling: Air
- Displacement: 853 cc
- Bore x Stroke: 84 x 77 mm
- Maximum power: 55 HP (41 kW) – 6,250 rpm
- Maximum torque: 62 Nm ‐ 3.000 rpm
- Fuel Compliance: Euro 4.
- Consumption 5.0 l/100 km
- Gearbox : 6 speed
- Fuel tank: 15 Liters (4 liter reserve)
- Seat height: 785 mm
- Wet weight: 210 kg (Weight with motorcycle ready for use with all operating fluids and with 90% fuel, including battery)
Front suspension: Hydraulic telescopic fork Ø 40 mm
Rear suspension: Swingarm Twin‐sided with 2 Öhlins fully adjustable shock absorbers
Front wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16″ 130/90
Rear wheel: Lightweight alloy, 16″ 150/80
Front brake: 320mm stainless steel floating disk, Brembo caliper with 4 differentiated and opposed pistons
Rear brake: 260mm stainless steel disk, floating 2 pistons caliper
- MGCT Moto Guzzi Traction Control, Standard double channel ABS,
- Ride by Wire. Single seater, lowered headlamp and dashboard with aluminium fairing.
- Machined fuel tank cap
- Machined footrest support
- Short front fender
- Slip‐on exhaust.
Aside from a myriad of motorcycle and scooter brands, Bikerbox also sells branded helmets and rising apparel in their showroom. Pick from a variety of styles that will suit you.
Exclusive Philippines Dealer: Bikerbox, Inc. Lot 8-B Doña Irenea St. Ireneville 1, BF Homes, Sucat (2,391.24 km) – 1719 Parañaque Telephone (63) 997 172 4495
email: [email protected]
Special thanks to Bikerbox Inc., President Marc De Joya and Marketing Manager Marius Dideles