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When we talk about performance motorcycles and superbikes, Italian bike makers are almost always at the top of the list. The Italians have made some of the best-looking motorcycles including the likes of MV Agusta and Ducati. However, Moto Guzzi forsook the traditional Italian way of seduction via sports bike for a distinctly more American approach to motorcycles, cruisers.
Moto Guzzi has been making cruisers for close to a century now and their motorcycles are considered among the best around. The Italian marque is also the oldest European bike manufacturer in continuous production. Though many might not know the brand here in India, it is to be noted that Moto Guzzi has won some major races including multiple World GP Championships and 11 wins at the Isle of Man TT race.
The Italian bike manufacturer packs genuine heritage, as proven by the popularity of their V7 model and the cruiser legacy continues in the form of the V9 Bobber. DriveSpark took the V9 Bobber for a spin to find out what it's all about!
Like most Italian bikes, the V9 Bobber is an attractive looking motorcycle. Moto Guzzi has been stripped off all the unnecessary parts to make the motorcycle as light as possible and to keep it true to the Bobber tradition.
From the front, the bike fails to impress a bit because it just has a retro-styled round headlight (with a halogen bulb) placed over the telescopic forks. However, the V9 gets LED tail-lamps and indicators, which accentuates its modern nature.
The motorcycle gets a short fender at the front and a chopped off mudguard at the rear, which further brings out the Bobber styling. The slim tear-drop tank gets an impressive matte silver paint job with red racing stripes neatly integrated into it.
The fuel filler cap is carved out of a single block of aluminium and looks really impressive. Disappointingly though, the cap does not have a lock. Overall, the V9 Bobber's fit and finish is really commendable.
The V9 Bobber gets an off-set part-digital instrument console which is placed at the center of the bike. The small screen displays details like - trip meter, odometer, reserve fuel indicator, average speed, real-time fuel efficiency, temperature, gear indicator, traction control settings and clock.
The switchgear quality on the V9 is not as impressive as seen on other cruisers. Nonetheless, the bike gets a USB port that is placed on the right side just below the steering head. It also features the Moto Guzzi Media Platform (MGMP), which has a smartphone-ready interface and allows the phone to be an add-on display for technical information which is not displayed on the speedometer.
Powering the V9 Bobber is an 850cc air-cooled V-twin engine which delivers 54.24bhp of power and 63Nm of peak torque. The longitudinally mounted engine is another interesting feature which distinguishes the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobberfrom other cruisers. The reason for the longitudinal mounting: better cooling.
Talking about the cooling aspect, the bike, while riding on the highway performed well and there were no heating issues. However, the heat was felt while riding in stop-start city traffic, due to the limited air flow to cool the engine. The intake pipes are quite close to the rider's knee and a shroud keeps the rider from bumping it around.
The engine has been tuned to meet the Euro-4 emission norms and has good low-end performance. Peak torque is delivered at just 2900rpm and transmitted to the rear wheel via a six-speed gearbox through a shaft drive system. The V9 Bobber has a top speed of around 180 km/h.
This torquey nature of the engine means that even if one is riding in a gear higher at low speeds and feels the need to overtake, the engine will help do that without knocking, something that is expected from a cruiser. The Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber returned an impressive fuel efficiency of 23kmpl on the highway and 18kmpl in the city.
Engine refinement could have been better as there are a lot of vibrations that gradually creep in as the revs build up. The V9 also features two modes of traction control which can be switched off. ABS though is standard.
The motorcycle has a saddle height of 770mm, which will be appreciated by shorter riders. Unlike other cruisers, the V9 Bobber has an upright riding stance, courtesy the flat handlebar and slightly forward set foot pegs. The saddle is comfortable for long rides. However, riding along with a pillion is a near impossible task due to the compact size and the lack of a backrest.
Show the V9 some corners and the bike will dip into it effortlessly, despite being heavy (weighing 200kgs). A good amount of lean angle can also be achieved before the footpegs start scraping the tarmac. Keeping the Bobber styling in aspect, the bike comes with fat balloon tyres (130mm front & 150mm rear) which might feel heavy to handle at low speeds for some riders.
The V9 Bobber is equipped with pre-loaded rear suspension, set slightly toward the stiffer side. Manoeuvring through the city is quite easy until one comes across a pothole or a bump. Braking duties are handled by Brembo-sourced a 320mm single disc at the front, that offers excellent stopping power, however; the 260mm disc at the rear does not provide much anchoring.
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
At Rs 13.9 lakh ex-showroom (Pune), the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber is a bit on the expensive side. In this price range, one could also purchase a litre-class bike in the Indian market. But, the V9 has got something which other motorcycles might lack — Character!
The way the bike corners is really commendable especially for a cruiser. The other thing owners will really appreciate is the attention to detail on the motorcycle. So, if you're looking to buy a cruiser that stands out from the crowd which also has some heritage and character in its DNA, the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber seems to be the perfect choice.
|Price||INR 13.9 lakh ex-showroom (Pune)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||15 litres|
|Mileage||Estimated: 23kpl (Highway)/ 18kpl (City)|
|Fuel Tank Range||270km (estimated) |
|Power/ torque||55bhp @ 6250rpm/ 62Nm @ 3000rpm|
|Top Speed||180kph (estimated)|