The Moto Guzzi I always wanted but never knew I did

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by Dracula, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    I have been riding since 1989, started with small two stroke 50 cc and worked my way up.. had owned various makes and models. The last one, a BMW R1200 GS purchased new in 2007 has now 140,000 miles. And I have been thinking all past years - there can't be a better motorcycle for me, for the type of riding I like. Long distance, off road exploration, camping, comfort, reliability, easy maintenace done with on board tools, in the middle of Alaska, or elsewhere remote. And of course, grin factor. Yet the idea of Moto Guzzi was somehow always with me for the past few years. Intriguing. Since I already loved my GS 1200 so much I considered a complimentary model. Problem was, on paper, made no sense at all to consider any Guzzi model. Eventually when California 1400 came out I went and tested one, out of pure curiosity and because it looked so darn good in pictures. I was not disappointed, regardless of it's suitability for my riding style, I almost bought one. But I knew then and there, it has to be another Guzzi model I want. Cruisers aren't my preference, and although speeding on sport bikes was once a passion, getting older brings the desire for comfort. And being able to explore forest roads, too. And so I came to consider the Stelvio. After having ridden one now cross country, I can tell you that all magazines and media articles I kept reading were 100% biased and full of their own agendas when reviewing it. Fast forward, past dealer research and showroom standing and seat trying, I had somehow still not been decided. Always going back to ride the GS - was all I really needed and truly enjoyed. All the memories of hundred of hours over vast expanses of the North America, good weather, bad weather, all kind of roads, it never failed me. I do take care of it and also am the adept of doing maintenance with on board tool kit whether at home or on the road. I rarely need to use the tools on trips, yet always carry them. This trust makes me feel free. If and only if I can fix it for the most parts, and totally understand the others, then I trust it. Decision spurred when I noted a 2013 Stelvio for sale here in ADV market, in Colorado no less - while I live in North Carolina - Raleigh area. Even more intriguing, I felt desire to fly and ride a used bike more appealing than buy one from dealer's showroom, so financial reason wasn't top on my list. Instead, I saw a clean bike with low miles in a location perfectly fit for an adventure trip. Just for the record, inmate's comments on the sale add made all the difference in shaping my decision. This lengthy blurb is meant to explain where I am coming from in terms of rationale of wanting this motorcycle, and what I actually discovered in the Moto Guzzi Stelvio. Some people just swipe credit cards and never think twice. I'd rather understand the bike, even if I still swipe a card to pay for someone else's servicing it. But there is so much more I eventually discovered in only few days! Going forward, I will keep impressions short and share more of the pictures. I am not even sure if this is a day or epic ride report or what, so I posting it here as my own impressions and first experience with the Stelvio, along with my first fly, buy then ride home experience, ever. So there it is, pictures since day one after flying to Denver, driving up to the place where I picked up my first Moto Guzzi, and riding it back home over the course of four days.

    Landing in Denver airport at 8 AM on a Thursday

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    Needless to say how excited I was to meet the owner, see the bike in person do the deal and get going!

    Steve graciously picked me up and we had a "short" two hours ride at the end of which we have concluded all the business part and I was ready to see the bike! So yeah, that's me the fat guy with a stupid grin seeing my new bike!

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    in a place like no other, so close to the sky

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    Steve took good care of me in helping me get acquainted with the bike, adjusting it to fit and installing my GPS and heated vest connectors. After strapping my carry on luggage and saying goodbyes I set off some 30 miles on this recommend nice gravel road to reach I80

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    ahhh the solitude of Colorado!

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    some livestock (more or less)

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    rain threatens to make me try the Heidenau's grip..

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    but eventually I reach I 80
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    #1
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  2. mjs3800

    mjs3800 Adventurer Supporter

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    I'm all in
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  3. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    The first impressions as I rolled out the driveway and down the several miles of relatively steep (for this flatlander) switchback mountain gravel road were how tall the seat was and how different the Stelvio felt from my familiar GS! I was tip toeing it not knowing much what to expect of my inputs. But slowly I started gaining confidence and even rolling the throttle to get a bit of wheel spin and see how it feels. Heidenau K60 is supposed to be a great tire with long life and handling both on and off road. The ones on this bike had been on for a while, and the center stripe on the rear tire makes it squirm over loose terrain or wet asphalt. I guess it's a trade off for long life. One thing that struck me was how lively the Stelvio motor is! Not only does it make nice hot rod noises, it has the juice to back them up and go! Throttle becomes easy an addiction and gas mileage concerns - a thing of the past.. In this trip I noticed reserve coming on at 210 ~ 240 miles, however each time it took roughly 6.5 - 6.7 gallons to full. The funny part is that once on reserve the computer tries to calculate remaining range and starts really low then builds up, as if somehow miraculously it grows. I had seen it show over 100 miles left to go with reserve light on, as such. Of course I knew not to push my luck either. I was too tired anyway so my first stop happened in Sidney NE, no other than home of Cabela family and where this chain store started, their headquarters now.

    After an interesting evening in the local Silver Dollar bar accompanied by local's conversation, I had slept like a log and awake rested, to continue my next day on road.
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  4. Crazy Legs

    Crazy Legs Let's Ride!

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    +1:clap
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  5. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    if you never crossed Nebraska riding, this is what it looks like, it seems as if it never ends and you better have a comfortable seat!
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    But if you are on a Moto Guzzi Stelvio, have your ER6 in ear plugged on your favorite rock music - just roll on some more of that throttle - life is good!

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    #5
  6. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha Guru

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    awesome Victor...congratulations...many miles and many more smiles...
    had to edit that....miles and smiles yes...pls forgive me as i am on pain meds...wheee
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  7. cognosticator

    cognosticator YOU do it

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    Great write up and I know you are enjoying the bike. I bought a new 2013 last month and only did 560 miles on the ride home.

    I sent my ECU to Todd at Guzzi Tech and he flashed it, and I installed the PCv with auto tune and put on a Mistral exhaust and BMC air filter. Damn what a difference in power delivery and acceleration. It is what it should have been from the factory.

    I recognize that smile in the first picture, enjoy the ride
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  8. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha Guru

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    Life is too short..live and ride your dreams...so glad you are doing that...
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  9. RamMan4x4

    RamMan4x4 Been here awhile

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    Beautiful bike!

    I'm sure a GS 1200 is a great bike, it's too popular for it not to be...but, it's also too main stream for me. Kind of like an iPhone.

    Your MG Stelvio seems plenty capable while also being somewhat different. I'm looking forward to the rest of your post.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk
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  10. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    Thanks! Funny you should say that. And so true. It makes an individuality statement, everywhere I stop it makes a conversation topic with some of the most unusual persons. For example, in downtown Saint Joseph MO, I had this hot looking female passing by compliment it with a huge smile and "I really like your bike!". Now, I am not one to be easily impressed but this never happened in all miles and years I have been riding a GS :lol3
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  11. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha Guru

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    Get a Guzzi...get a Woman...:evil
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  12. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha Guru

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    Indeed the individuality of MG and their distinctive styling and design has always been an attraction to me...They are stunning bikes and amazingly just as technically sophisticated as any BMW yet still allow the rider to be in total control..not only in terms of riding but in terms of really making it personal by its ease of maintainence...the more i read and the more i see only confirms the fact that this bike has been a stellar design that has been overlooked by mainstream ADV riders...Indeed Victor I cant fathom keeping the old BMW...it will never live up to the MG...I understand the emotional aspects of wanting to keep it...but reality is that you will get back on it and realize how much it leaves to be desired...love your report pls continue when you have the convenience of time....
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  13. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    :rayof
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  14. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    Appreciate the feedback! Well one of the things that made me feel content with the GS was having GS911 which is similar to Guzzidiag but commercially sold, with all the research stuff already sorted and comes with an app on the phone. I am having a learning curve now having had to find and order the right cables which hopefully arrive before weekend and will see if they work. It's nice having so much information to go by however it can also be confusing at times :D I tend to agree a different mapping could improve it, right now I can tell if quick blip throttle when idle settles down and picks back up - it's not bad by all means - but am sure could be improved. I am still amazed how Guzzi manages such a strong motor with just one spark plug per cylinder, whereas BMW had to add a second one.
    #14
  15. cognosticator

    cognosticator YOU do it

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    Dracula, here is a great place for info on the Stelvio and a better place to empty your bank account :D A lot of info on how to do most anything for the Stelvio too

    http://www.guzzitech.com/forums/
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  16. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    lol! Good link!
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  17. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    What a great looking bike! Congrats!
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  18. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    Thank you!
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  19. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    Attractions along this cross country route through the huge mid West expanses are rare and far in between, hence when I see a sign try checking out at least some of them.

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    I cheat on reading all the history facts and instead save time - take a foto for later review..
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    and keep logging more miles, which the Guzzi does with aplomb..
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    That was Saint Joseph MO, and a stop for the night after a mere 490 miles miles... not before wandering aimless through downtown and seeing places - getting the feel for this city - then finally resting in the room after a great Texas Roadhouse steak.

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    I wish I took more pictures and visited Jesse James home museum place, but can't see it all in few days.. who knows when I will be back there. With every day, the bike becomes more familiar and I enjoy it even more. Everything about it is set for long distance riding perfectly, the huge 8+ Gallons tank, the firm and surprisingly supportive and comfortable seat, handlebar - feet - seat form a perfect triangle for me. As is comfortable and natural standing on the pegs to stretch for 5 or more minutes at a time. PO mentioned having the lower version and asking which one I wanted to try. Without hesitating I opted for the stock height as I know the compromise in leg room and foam padding with low seats. But with my 30 inseam this machine is challenging me. Not to worry, so now I mount it while on the side stand, as one would a horse - which works perfect and less stressful than karate high kicks that may end up in the side cases :lol3 At stops, one tip toe either side is all I really need to balance.
    #19
  20. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    There is something about those lazy mornings, when I see everyone rushing to check things off their to do lists, and I just take my time.. :D

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    #20
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