Moto Guzzi Breva V750 IE

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 Moto Guzzi Breva V750 IE

Guzzi hits the nail on the head of 750 standards

If you're looking for a street standard that offers great performance, is easy to ride, and has some sleek styling, look no further - Moto Guzzi has created a street standard for the next millennium.

Street standards aren't as popular these days as they were 20 years ago. Prior to the birth of sportbikes and customs/cruisers, street standards were all the rage, whether it was the CB series from Honda, Triumph's Bonnevilles or Harley Davidson's Sportsters. Then the onslaught of customs, cruisers and sportbikes took off and street standards took a back seat, both in popularity and on the engineering curve.

While Honda and Suzuki have been consistent with making a limited number of street standard models, such as the Nighthawk and Bandit, little has happened with these bikes in terms of their current designs since their inception over a decade ago. Kawasaki made a good move with the ZR-7S in 2002, but the bike was a bit over-engineered performance-wise to make it very exciting in the street.

Moto Guzzi's Breva is a landmark standard in a number of ways. First, it is the company's first new model offering since Guzzi got married to its Italian competitor, Aprilia, in 2002. The bike features engineering that reflects both street and performance savvy.

Secondly, the Breva V750 IE is a step down in displacement for Moto Guzzi's popular V11 motors of today, but may very well crack a market niche for the company, as the bike caters to riders looking for a smaller displacement motorcycle that's easy and fun to ride.

It's all that and more.

Our test ride of the Breva included both highway and city driving. The first obvious characteristic of the bike showed up immediately. The bike feels like an old pal on the first ride. Its handling ability is friendly, not awkward, initially as its Asian competitors are. So friendly that I found myself wanting to hang off the seat in tight turns, as if being beckoned by its rock solid center of gravity to have a little fun. So I did. At just 401 pounds the bike is both agile and manageable at both high and low speeds.

The next notable attribute of the bike was the smoothness of the Marzocchi suspension system. Across the raggedy surface of Queen Anne's upper arterials, the bike was smooth as silk, where others typically show their inadequacies.

highway driving was fun, even at the legal speed limit. The bike isn't over-engineered for the street - instead its right on the money.

The transmission was interesting. It seems it's delivering equal torque across the band and it's not always obvious when to shift up or down because it just wants to give at any RPM.

If there was anything clunky about the bike it was the choke. Guzzi always makes good on the little things and I suspect it might even come as soon as mid-model year on this bike before they get the bugs out. Its fuel injected delivery to the power plant was otherwise excellent.

Seat height is a low 29 inches making it a good choice for those who need to be closer to the street. The ergonomics, however, are ripe for all-day riding delivering a decent upright position on the back and close to a 90 degree angle at the knee - just what the doctor ordered if you like to ride for hours at a time.

How about making life even easier? Guzzi sticks with its shaft drive system which means you won't be lubing a chain every 500 miles, something that gets a little tedious for those of us who like to ride a lot and often. And speaking of distance, the bike is outfitted with a 4.49 gallon fuel tank.

If you're into accessories, Guzzi provides a number of them for the bike. A windshield, center stand, tank and rear bag systems, a low profile seat and a rear suspension kit.

The Breva V750 IE responds to a lot of market needs that street standards have been missing over the years. At a list price of $7,490, the bike is both affordable and a good choice for someone looking seriously at street standards.

PT/Summer 03

For a listing of Washington State Moto Guzzi dealers CLICK HERE

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