Your motorcycle says a lot about your character. If you have been looking for something that tells people you’re sophisticated, classy and stylish, then look no further. The world famous Italian motorcycle company, Moto Guzzi has celebrated its 95th anniversary by introducing two neo-classic cruisers to the market, the V9 Roamer and the V9 Bobber.
The Roamer is the more elegant and classic looking of the two, with a narrow 100/90-19 front tyre, comfortable riding position and finished off with gloss paint and chrome mechanical details. The steering is light, allowing it to tip in to corners a lot quicker, making it an ease to ride and manoeuvre. It comes in Solar Yellow, Classic White and Ruby Red.
The Bobber has a tough, sportier and rebellious appearance. It has a smaller but fatter 130/90-16 front tyre, giving it that dual sport look, but more importantly, a bigger contact patch for the roads. Together with its flat drag-style handlebar and more aggressive riding position, it inspires more confidence when riding spiritedly though the twisty sections. Instead of chrome, the Bobber opted for a matte finish and comes in Black Massif with yellow highlights, and Sports Grey with red highlights.
At the heart of the V9 is Moto Guzzi’s 853cc signature transverse V-twin engine, which was developed with torque in mind, and there is plenty of it. From low revs to redline, the power is constant and abundant. Cruising at 60km/h, you could easily roll on in any gear and the V9 will happily pull away. The engine is so smooth that there is very little vibration through the handlebars cruising at any speed, which is unusual for cruisers. The drive shaft and gearbox combination made shifting gears so effortless, you’d think it was made by the Japanese.
Both the Roamer and Bobber come standard with immobiliser, advanced dual channel ABS and traction control. Traction control can be turned off pretty easily but we left it on for the ride as many roads were still damp and full of debris from recent storms. There was plenty of grip from the Pirelli’s on the Roamer. Even under heavy acceleration, traction control never had to step in. I really wanted to see what the Moto Guzzi traction control was like, and finally got a chance test it out when we found the right road. We found one that was being resurfaced so it was all dirt and gravel. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I gave the throttle a small but sharp blip, nothing, no wheel spin. So I rolled on a bit harder, and all I could feel was the Roamer accelerating as though we were riding on dry asphalt. It was such an unusual but reassuring feeling knowing the electronics was doing its job by limiting the torque to ensure I had maximum grip at all time.
You can tell that Moto Guzzi has put a great deal of thought into the design of the V9 and built a motorcycle for this century. They’ve included a USB port that can be used to charge external devices such as smartphones or power a GPS. They also have a Multimedia Platform option which connects to the rider’s smartphone wirelessly to show a whole heap of real time information. Through the smartphone app, the rider can choose to see the speedometer, tachometer, instant power, torque, fuel consumption, acceleration, lean angle and battery voltage. The app can also perform all your usual navigation task, and is also smart enough to direct you to the closest petrol station when you’re low on fuel.
Moto Guzzi’s unique longitudinal engine mount, with its cylinder head projecting distinctly from either side of the motorcycle is a characteristic you’ll either love or hate. A blip of the throttle at idle creates a slight gyroscopic effect which moves the V9 left/right, but this was not noticeable while riding. The placement of the cylinder heads was never a problem during our more leisured parts of the ride. For the faster paced sections on-board the Roamer, I found myself having to shift forward on the seat to grip the tank, and my shin would hit the left engine pot while changing gears. This was probably due to the more upright riding position of the Roamer, as I didn’t experience this with the Bobber.
After having ridden various cruisers throughout the years, the V9 has definitely made it to the top of my list of motorcycles to own. The unique authentic Italian styling, refined craftsmanship, torquey engine and modern technology undoubtedly ticks all the right boxes.