Moto Guzzi pre- Piagio vs post Piagio

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by Qaz, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    Moto Guzzi's are a good solid bike but they seem to usually have some niggling problems. Has the quality of the bikes gotten better since Piagio purchased them.
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  2. motomoda

    motomoda Long timer

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    Not really. A couple of years ago there was a fiasco where a batch of bikes were sent out without crank thrust bearings installed, (V7-II's). There was a rash of demand sensor failures on Cali 1400's and of course although the design predated their ownership the 8V flat tappet fiasco was woefully inadequately dealt with under their stewardship.

    They are, generally, very solid and reliable but the factory does periodically fail spectacularly.

    If you are considering a V85 there haven't so far been any tales of glaring inadequacies but it's early days yet.
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  3. s-flow

    s-flow Adventurer

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    I'm new to guzzi, got the V9 Bobber 2016 and now I ride the V85 (only at 605 km).
    My impression is that fit and finish, the details and materials is equal or better then the japanese bikes I'v owned but as the bikes still are produced
    at a smaller factory with, as I understand a higher grade of craftmanship and less automation, there might be some occational fails.

    My Bobber leaked from the final gear and it took a few attempts to get that fixed, the highbeam flash control stuck and there was an overpreassure building up in the tank.
    The engine just got better and better until I traded it in at 20000 km and the chassie was solid, nothing came loose or broke.

    I think the quality should't be a concern at all these days, if it is Piaggio or just the general evolution in materials and tech that has made it improve I'm not sure.
    Having a hard time to belive that having Piaggio behind the product would not improve quality though.

    Greetings!
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  4. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    s-flow, those are problems bikes start having when they are 10-15yrs old not 3yrs old. So I don't believe they are up to Japanese quality and to be honest, that is rather disappointing for a almost hand built bike. What I don't understand is their quality and reliability of the scooters does not pass on to the bikes.
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  5. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    motomoda- A couple of years ago there was a fiasco where a batch of bikes were sent out without crank thrust bearings installed, (V7-II's). There was a rash of demand sensor failures on Cali 1400's and of course although the design predated their ownership the 8V flat tappet fiasco was woefully inadequately dealt with under their stewardship.

    They are, generally, very solid and reliable but the factory does periodically fail spectacularly.

    In my opinion these problems and the way they were delt with is uncalled for. Although it doesn't scare me away, it does make me weary of them. I was at a table talking to the guy that designs the Guzzi at Sturgis a few years ago and his passion for what he does comes through. The bikes were going out on test rides that should not have. I rode a V7II scrambler and V9 Bobber that shook at all RPM's like a paint shaker, there was something wrong there!!
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  6. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    The flat tappet thing was an inconvenience. The factory supplied the parts for free. I just had to pay for installation, which was less than a minor tune up on a Ducati. My bike was 3 years out of warranty. My wife's Griso was a couple of years out. I have no complaints of the way it was handled. FYI, there have been multiple Japanese bikes with soft cams, shit suspensions, shit charging systems etc. Almost all the Guzzi's in our garage (8 ranging from 1966 - 2016) have nearly 100,000 miles on them. I've never pulled a tool out on the road on any of them and that includes mulitple cross country trips and fairly abusive offroad work on the Stelvio.

    FWIW, I never owned any Japanese bike that was as reliable as any of my Guzzi's, and I had a bunch of them. Shit water pumps, shit charging systems, etc. And none of them were anywhere near as easy to work on.
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  7. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    Gosh Witch, I am sorry you have had so many problems with Jap bikes. It sounds like you have gotten some lemons and there are some in all brands, but it sounds like you attract them. Stick with the Guzzi's, it sounds like you get along with them! If you don't mind me asking, of all your Guzzi's which have you had the least problems with?
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  8. s-flow

    s-flow Adventurer

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    Oh, these faults was from factory not due to wear, it happens with all brands sometimes.
    I.ex my previous Yamaha XT1200Z (before the Bobber) had fork seal that leaked, replaced 3 times and a crank case that leaked.
    After the initial things was fixed the Bobber got better and better while the Yamaha got slightly worse with the miles (in the sense that it simply felt more worn down, still worked though).

    So, no, from my personal first hand experience I wouldn’t say Japanese bikes are of higher quality. Now I got a few miles on the new V85 and it’s rock solid, very well built with great attention payed to details, the miles to come will tell how it keep up but atm. It looks awesome
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  9. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    Without exception, all my Japanese bikes had charging issues at one point or another. A few later ones had waterpump issues. Most had these issues by 10,000 miles. They weren't lemons. They were problems most people had with the same models. Japanese bikes have plenty of faults. It's a fallacy that they don't. Talk to any Gold Wing rider about recalls, collapsing forks, cracking triple trees, etc. etc. I haven't owned a Japanese bike in close to 20 years, so perhaps they're better than they used to be. All the ones I had from 74 - 2000 had some niggling issues. And the fasteners that they constructed the bikes with were a complete joke.

    It's hard to say which Guzzi I've had the least problems with. I've never been stranded on any of them. They all have performed basically the same. I guess the one of had the least "issues" with is probably my 2004 V11 Sport Ballabio. Nothing in 75,000 miles. Zero. Fuel, ride, repeat. The Stelvio for all the shit that poor bike has been put through should have given up the ghost long ago but has basically been spotless in nearly 100,000 miles. It did get the roller conversion, but other than that, the bike has been perfect and it is as close to what I would describe as abused as you can get. It's done 3 cross country trips, up to Alaska, across all but one of the Canadian Provinces, The Trans Lab to Newfoundland and everywhere in between and a ton of dirt. I've never broken out a tool on a trip. Ever.

    My wife's Griso has 46,000 miles on it. Zero issues. That bike has been cross country twice including up to Alaska. Her 2016 V7II Stornello scrambler in 5000 miles has so far been perfect as well.

    [​IMG]

    The Roadster I built for my wife. Based on a 1979 V1000. The motor other than a new, slightly hotter cam, and new carbs is completely original with 75,000 miles. It has been perfect.

    [​IMG]

    I restored a 1970 Ambassador about 6 years ago and have put 55,000 miles on it since restoring. It's been completely faultless. Nothing but fuel and oil and tire changes for it either.

    [​IMG]

    The mighty Ballabio at 75000 miles.

    [​IMG]

    That which cannot be killed and not from lack of trying....

    [​IMG]

    So basically, if I'm comparing pre to post Piaggio, I guess I haven't really noticed anything that different other than a degree of refinement on the later stuff.
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  10. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    Witch- Thanks, I now have a large drool spot on the carpet from looking at the Roadster & Ambassador!
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  11. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    FWIW, I've had a completely different experience with MG/Piaggio. As far as I'm concerned, the two best words in the English language are "lemon law." That's what got me my money back after I bought a new Griso...and I would not buy another under any circumstance. Not b/c something went wrong, that happens, but b/c of how they handled it...no parts in the US, long waits, poor communication, no customer service orientation. They should stick to selling scooters. Of course, YMMV... :photog

    unnamed.jpg
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  12. motomoda

    motomoda Long timer

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    Ah, so the shop that serviced it, (Unless you did it yourself?) damaged the plug caps removing them. Scarcely the bike's fault but there ya go.
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  13. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    It is never "the bike's fault," always the people who design it, build it, service it and stand behind it. I believe you're correct that one (and only one) of the problems was defective plug caps. I never worked on it, this all happened in 1200 miles from new. As I recall, the dealer replaced one cap. Then the other. Had multiple oil leaks. A pinched fuel line. Exhaust system was ruined twice. Dealing with Piaggio in NY was, to put it mildly, a nightmare. The one and only reason I was able to get my money back is because I possess certain skills, i.e., I could sue them for sport and it would cost me nothing. Really too bad, the Griso is a cool bike...to look at...I would not know if it was fun to ride b/c it never ran well. The US lemon law is a wonderful thing, and is designed to protect consumers from exactly the kind of behavior Piaggio exhibits in the US: poor support and a non-existent supply chain. As I said, YMMV.
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  14. motomoda

    motomoda Long timer

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    After working on CARC Guzzis for 12 years I have to say that the number of issues, (excluding the flat tappet fiasco and the lack of grease.) I encountered on them was minimal. The number of bikes I've fixed because they've been buggered by shaved apes is another matter entirely..............
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  15. WitchCityBallabio

    WitchCityBallabio Guzzi weirdo

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    I'm curious as to what part you couldn't get. I've never waited more than a couple of days for any part for any of mine.

    Honestly sounds like your dealer kind of sucked too. Sounds to me like some of those things were missed in the pre delivery inspection.
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  16. motomoda

    motomoda Long timer

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    Our importer here is pretty useless Doug. Oddly enough for weird Aprilia stuff I just order from AF1. With Guzzi stuff I don't stock I can get it from Europe quicker than I can get it through the importer and a lot cheaper too! Had to order a big tank Stelvio air box recently, it was delivered in under ten days! Sometimes it takes up to three weeks but usually about a fortnight. I have no real clue as to why the time lines vary so much.

    Does sound as if Kickstand's dealer was a bit hopeless.
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  17. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    I agree dealer sucked, and is now out of business. Fortunately, the new Italian bike dealer in town is terrific, and I bought my current Ducati from them, but I simply would not buy anything from Piaggio again. 2 exhausts had to come from Italy, that alone took about 2 weeks each, if I remember correctly. I suggested swapping the bike for another on the floor, no go. I suggested cannibalizing that exhaust so I would not have to wait, no go. I got Piaggio involved immediately, they would not authorize expedited shipping on anything, the bike swap, or the cannibalization. So when the 30 days out of service (of less than 60 days owned) came up I invoked the lemon law and sent them a demand letter. Then had to fight about that. IMHO, they are a second rate operation. Never. Ever. Again. The OP asked for opinions, that's mine. YMMV.
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  18. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    The dealer network may be somewhat thin and Piaggio may treat Guzzi like a stepchild threatening their beloved Aprilia BUT...there is a strong rider community and support out there worldwide, the bikes are generally simple to maintain , and if you need help or parts, just ask...if you simply must have a dealer holding your hand, a Guzzi may not be for you...but if you want a wonderful road companion that makes you turn around and walk out to the garage for just one more look, come on in...the water's fine...
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  19. motomoda

    motomoda Long timer

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    Be assured, Piaggio have no great love for Aprilia either. Their interest is in moving product, principally scooters, in high volume, low profit markets. Why they actually own either brand is a bit beyond me. The only interesting bike I see in development is the RS660 which if I was a younger man would give me a permanent woody just by looking at pictures of it!
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  20. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD!

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    Is there a "US lemon law"? I've only heard of state lemon laws.
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