Quirky and eclectic, Moto Guzzi'a heavyweight cruisers like this 1998 EV1100 are considered something of an acquired taste, with a small but intensely loyal following. A large part of their charm can be traced directly the sport bike DNA that infuses nearly all Guzzis, and to these bikes' sophisticated simplicity.
Built on what's essentially an early LeMans Sport bike platform, the EV comes equipped with such non-cruiser like features as a fully adjustable suspension; the front fork has provisions to set compression and rebound damping, while the rear shocks carry spring preload and damping adjusters (there's even an adjustable hydraulic steering damper. Braking is handled by robust dual four-piston Brembo front calipers, squeezing 320mm floating rotors, while out back there's a single two piston caliper clamping down on a fixed, 282mm disc. The brakes are linked, with the foot pedal operating through a proportioning valve that controls the left front and the rear caliper, while the hand lever operates the right front caliper independently. It's unusual to find these kind of components on any cruiser, let alone one of this vintage.
The 1100cc pushrod-actuated, fuel-injected two-valve, 90? V-twin develops 70 ft-lb of torque and 72 horsepower at 5,000 and 6400 rpm (respectively) which gets the 552 lb. bike down the road in a pretty lively though not exactly mind-blowing fashion, though that's way more power than most bikes its size. The engine is mounted transversely, which both quells vibration and facilitates shaft drive (and adds that funky torque effect). I haven't done that much in the way of modifications, though I did add a Givi top box and Hepco & Becker sidecases. The windshield was there when I bought it.
With friendly ergos and a reliability that's second to none, the Guzzi EV makes a terrific all-around motorcycle, especially for the rider that prefers something out of the mainstream -- yet still classically Italian.
1998 Moto Guzzi V11 EV
Engine type: air-cooled, 90-degree v-twin
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1064cc, 92 x 80mm
Valve train OHV w/pushrods: 2 valves per cylinder
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Final drive: shaft
Frame: steel tubular cradle
Front Suspension: 45mm telescopic fork
Rear suspension: Dual WP adjustable shocks
Front brake: dual 320mm discs, 4-piston Brembo calipers
Rear brake: 282mm disc; 2-piston calipers
Front tire: 110/90-18
Rear tire: 140/80-17
Dry Weight : 552 lbs.
Seat height: 30.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 5 gal.