The 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Blends Old School Cool with Modern Engineering

The versatile bike features Ride-by-Wire throttle, three ride modes and a re-engineered 6-speed transmission.

By Jeff Buchanan 21/05/2019

Moto Guzzi has enjoyed a celebrated exclusivity since their inception in 1921—still building all of their machines in the original factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy. For 2020, Guzzi (as they are affectionately known) introduces the all-new V85 TT, which harkens to the company’s early involvement with off-road competition, stepping back into the scrambler realm with a bike that speaks to the future while retaining the mystique of the golden era of motorcycling.

The V85 TT possesses simple functionality mixed with modern technical advances. The transversely-mounted 90-degree OHV-twin engine—a Guzzi signature—is a robust, air-cooled 853cc producing 60kW (at 7750 rpm) of raw, visceral throttle response. With 80Nm torque—of which 90 per cent is available at just 3750 rpm—the low-end pull of the Guzzi is invigorating. The most enjoyable aspect of the TT is the old-school feel and sound married to the modern Ride-by-Wire throttle and electronic aids that include three ride modes (Road, Rain, Off-Road), traction control, ABS, and cruise control.

The 6-speed transmission has been completely re-engineered, resulting in the smoothest, most succinct gearbox Moto Guzzi has ever produced. And the swingarm/driveshaft has been beefed up to handle light off-roading.

The 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT.
Photo: Courtesy of Moto Guzzi.

The V85 TT’s stylistic design cues reflect the bike’s versatility. The distinctive raised front fender, hand guards, rear grab rail and spoke wheels (19-inch front and 17-inch rear) speak to off-road riding while the contoured fuel tank disguises its 22.7-litre capacity.

Top of the line Brembo brake components (dual 320mm discs on the front and a single 260mm disc on the back) handle the braking, offering superb stopping power for the 228kg machine. The ABS works without any noticeable oscillation between the wheels and can be disabled for more sure-footed off-road handling. Adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound 41mm telescopic front forks and laterally-mounted rear shock provide a smooth and compliant ride over a range of road surfaces. The standard seat height is an accommodating 82.8cm.

With excellent handling and stable manners, whether at speed or on the brakes, the V85 TT is surprisingly intuitive with precise feel and positive rider feedback. The small fairing does a very good job of keeping windblast off the rider at highway speeds while the TFT display screen, which adjusts to varying light levels, presents the bike’s operational information digitally, easily visible day or night.

The 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT features a fiercely independent streak of design and mechanical touches (including that wonderfully thumping V-twin engine) which sets it apart from everyone else. It’s a unique bike of substance with a colourful heritage. But most of all, it’s extremely rideable.


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