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Thread: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

  1. #1
    Should Get Out More Nik S's Avatar
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    Default Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200


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    Went to ride one at Maxmoto (MaxMoto - Aprilia dealers & Moto Guzzi / Gilera motorcycles & scooters) yesterday. Rode over in the sunshine on the TL and, it has to be said, didn't really enjoy it much at all - took the fast road from Downham to Thetford, through Thetford and down to Bury St Eds, rather than the twisties, but it was distinctly underwhelming.

    Anyway, got to Maxmoto to be greeted by an enormous-looking red motorcycle sitting outside baking in the sun. First impressions? The front is fugly when viewed from head on - three-quarters and sides, though, are fine. Big fat spoked wheels, single-sided rear, fat 'bars, rear rack that looks like it could double as a stunter's rail.

    Ian comes out with the key and, after sniggering at the TL's paintjob and asking me why I haven't matt blacked it yet, starts the Guzz. It's got, apparently, the usual Guzzi starter wotsit - the merest dab of your thumb on the starter sets the mechanism going and, although you're no longer pressing the button, it'll spin over until it fires. This one fired up instantly and sounded nice - wuffly, like a twin should, but subdued because of the stock exhaust. Much nicer sounding than, say, a GS (the first of many GS comparisons, I'm afraid) with stock 'pipes.

    Swing me leg over in the same way as I would any big trailie and go to sit down and, ek, this is a lot lower than I thought. In fact, it's actually tiny when you're aboard, doesn't really feel like a big trailie at all. The adjustable seat has two (or was it three? I wasn't really listening) positions and in the highest (as it was) it's equivalent to the lowest setting on a GS. Both me feet touched the floor easy (and I've only got little legs) and the bike felt a lot lower and, significantly, lighter than a Beemer (whether it is or not I don't know and don't care - I'm not getting paid for this so nerr!). The sidestand is a little awkward sitting, as it does, about six inches in front of the left 'peg, but it was no biggie. So sidestand up, clutch in (nice and light - much lighter than the TL's cable one), press down with the gear pedal and snick into gear. 'Ang on, wossis? Snick? Since when do Guzzi gearchanges go snick? They go clang - that's the law. Not any more, though, this one felt as light as a Suzuki 'box - a great improvement!

    Revving the motor with the clutch in still gives the ol' lurch-to-the-right from the drive, but it's a lot less pronounced than it used to be (the last Guzzi I rode was a V11 Sport a few years ago - my mate with the Griso hasn't offered me a go on his 2007 bike ... wonder why? ). Pulling away you can feel a little bit of harshness from the motor, but Ian assures me that that's because this particular bike is well past its due service date and normally it's dead smooth. Hmm, really? This is a twin, you know, and a Moto Guzzi one at that - I wasn't expecting it to be IL4 smooth. Still a lot better than the TL though.

    Once out on the road with more than 2k on the tacho the motor smooths right out and a couple o' times I did actually look down at the engine to reassure meself that it was still a twin. Grunt is great - I'm kak at wheelies and don't do 'em , but you can feel that the motor'd pick the front end up as easily as anything. The acceleration is quick, a lot quicker than I'd expected, and the digital speedo whizzes through numbers in a frenzy, dunno what the revs were doing, but don't think I hit the limiter in any gear.

    Just outside Bury on the Diss road I gave it a fistful and went ear'oling along at between 80-100mph, passing 60mph cars almost contemptuously. Well, I did until I came round a bend to find a queue of traffic behind a stationary police car who was diverting people off the main road 'cos o' an accident anyway. Most people were going right, so I went left ... I'm a webel like that. Halfway along the road that, eventually, leads to Troston, I turned right back towards Pakenham down a narrow country lane with gravel down the middle that the Guzz didn't bat an eye at as we crossed it. There were more than a few cars coming the other way and I was forced to take to the verge a few times - the first time I backed off a bit when doing so, but the Stelvio felt completely unfazed so after that I didn't and just bounced along the dusty verge at about sixty.

    Back on the big roads, the Guzzi felt a lot more sportsbike like than, say, a GS. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked GSs, but this thing felt way, way better. It ssems to hug the road more and there's more feedback from the tyres and suspension than the GS delivers and so it feels a lot less detached from the world than the GS does. The brakes felt stronger too - the fronts are powerful without feeling like they're going to make the wheel tuck under and the rear is very useful. I ride the rear brake a lot and so a decent one is a big consideration.

    The motor is streets ahead - every GS I've ridden has been good, but they start to feel a little asmatic (speelung?) over 90mph. The Stelvio, though, is completely the opposite - it'll storm on up to 140mph and cruises effortlessly at between 90 and 100 (my preferred cruising speed). The 'bars and 'pegs are dead comfy to someone of my dimensions (short, fat and wobbly) to the extent that, it feels, that the only limiting factor to doing serious mileage is the size of the tank (no idea how big it is, don't really care at this moment).

    So, verdict? If you're thinking of buying a GS, ride one o' these too - I think it's a much better bike to ride 'cos it does everything most GS riders'll want with none of the GS's remoteness. It's faster, the brakes are better, and the suspension makes you feel like you're in charge - you're riding it, rather than just being on it, y'know? It is more than a bit fugly from the front, though, and, of course, it isn't a GS so the McGregor/Boorman wannabees won't give it a second look, but I thoroughly enjoyed it - I was out for two hours so I must've done ...



    Originally posted by Nik S here
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  2. #2
    A Bit Bored
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    Default Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    I still prefer the GS1200.

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    Not Much To Do Bluntly's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    Quote Originally Posted by etmoto View Post
    I still prefer the GS1200.
    Why?

    FYI: I ride an 1150GS a 1200GS and a Stelvio NTX, off road I'll take a GS but as... (A) I don't live on a farm, (B) don't want to spend a fortune on panniers and crap just to look good at the supermarket (C) don't need a load of electronics that can go wrong and (D) don't want to be one of the "herd"....
    I bought a Stelvio NTX which on road is a lot more FUN

    PS: Off road to me is a bit more than a gravel track...

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    A Bit Bored sloth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    Interesting. I had the pleasure of a Stelvio 1200 as a loan bike from Inmoto Aprilia Dealer - Moto Guzzi Dealer - InMoto - Aprilia Motocycles and Moto Guzzi Motorcycles - South London - Aprilia Bikes London - Moto Guzzi Bikes London for two days last week. I thought it was great, and many of my findings reflect yours - not as high as it looks, but high enough; clutch light; gearbox smooth; the engine is great and pulls well, but did not feel quite as strong as the 1100 in our Breva, but I think that may have to do with the Stelvio being at less than a thousand miles and very much still breaking in. Build quality seemed to let it down in one or two areas (unlike on the Breva). Good brakes too, more so once I adjusted the lever to make it a bit closer to the bar.

    Yes, it will indeed get the front up. I found out by accident. But only a tiny little thing, nothing to brag about.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Stelvio, poor weather notwithstanding. I returned it rather dirty, given that it was pristine when I collected it. I'd buy one over a GS any day, although that's largely an emotional decision (being a recent Guzzi convert).
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    Not Much To Do Bluntly's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    Hi Sloth, You're right, like most big twins they improve and loosen up with mileage.
    Not sure what quality issues you're referring to, although I've only given mine 3500km, I've beasted it after the 1500 running in, and alls well
    My biggest niggle is the dumbarsed position of the sidestand, a pigeon toed ballet dancer might find it nice but I'm forever knocking the bike into gear as I use it. (Of course I might just be a clumsy Bar-Steward )
    Reference poor weather; I rode all 3 bikes yesterday, back to back, the Stelvio has both BMWs beaten on rider protection by a mile.

    FYI: There's a big difference between 2008 and 2009 models, the '09 have revised profile cams, new ignition and injection mapping, and a larger capacity air-box, all aimed at giving lower grunt.
    Last edited by Bluntly; 11-11-09 at 04:12.

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    Default Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    I have had a Stelvio now for slightly over 1 year... Guzzi have completed the following MODs to the original bike through either recall or during routine servicing revised profile cams, new ignition and injection mapping, the mapping has resoved the initial power fade from 3,000 to 5,000 RPM which has in my oppinion transformed the bike from what it was.

    Build quality is a little poor, but Guzzi are quick to resolve these glitches, and they do not really detract from the great ride experience...


    looks good with side cases


    handels those lanes real good

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    A Bit Bored sloth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200

    Bluntly - no quality issues as such, simply that one of the things
    that struck me about the Breva was how very nicely everything was put
    together (one part of switch gear excluded) but there were a couple of
    parts on the Stelvio that seemed a little flimsy or unfinished. Nothing
    that would put me off though.

    As regards the side stand - it is in an odd place, and you are not the only
    one to kick the thing into gear by mistake whilst trying to find it.

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