Retro-styled Moto Guzzi brings in Italian heritage with a touch of 1960s
The word 'heritage' has become synonymous with a certain genre of motorcycles in India. Now, Moto Guzzi, makers of fine Italian cruisers, has entered the fray with the introduction of the V9 Roamer.
The beautifully sculpted tank, dipped in ruby red and stamped with the winged eagle, is adorned with pearl-white details that stretch all across the front and rear fenders. The long and flat saddle is straight out of the 1960s. You can't talk about its looks without addressing its distinctive 90° V-twin engine with a cylinder sticking out on either side of the bike. Two low-slung, chrome-plated and sparkling exhaust pipes, lead out of the engine on either side, adding to its considerable style appeal. Speaking of the wheels, the 19-incher at the front and 16-incher at the rear sets off the bike's stance.
The Pirelli Sport Demon tyres definitely helps in the handling department
The riding position on the Roamer is upright. The pegs are forward-set, which means your knees may almost touch the protruding cylinders. There is a small digital display that shows trip metres, temperature, and traction control readout, but there's no fuel indicator or rev counter. You can access the latter if you go for the optional MG-MP (Multimedia Platform) in which you get tachometre readings on your phone, and the app offers other features such as lean angle and the ability to engage Eco Ride for better fuel efficiency. Switch quality is commendable, and the concealed kill-switch is a nice touch. So is the little traction control button that allows you to toggle between the two modes (wet and dry).
The Roamer fires up with a crackle, with the bike shaking to the thrum of the engine at idle, although it is subdued once you open it up. The 850-cc V-twin isn't a high-revving motor with its 55 PS peaking at 6,250 rpm, and 62 Nm of twist coming in at 3,000 rpm. It encourages you to shift up nice and early. The engine characteristics aren't suited for aggressive riding, and the Roamer feels sweetest when you are cruising along rather than screaming down the street. The V-twin is air-cooled and also gets oil jets that provide piston cooling, which results in is an engine that doesn't heat up to unbearable levels.
Classic-looking seat is long and flat
The shifts come from a six-speed gearbox, which is mated to a dry clutch. With 40-mm traditional forks up front and twin shock-absorbers at the rear, the ride leaves little room for complaint. The Roamer absorbs bumps decently well, especially at faster speeds. When attacking corners, there is only the slightest initial resistance to turning in. However, once you have the V9 leaning into a corner, the angles you can attain are quite decent. Braking is provided by a four-piston 320-mm Brembo unit up front and a 260-mm twin-piston Brembo at the rear, and comes equipped with dual-channel ABS.
Sculpted tank holds 15 litres of fuel
The V9 Roamer comes in via the CBU (completely built-up unit) route, and it will cost Rs 17 lakh (Rs 16,96,221, OTR, Pune, with TCS, to be precise) to get your hands on the Roamer. What you get for that money, though, is a bike that not only looks the part, but also has a bit of the 1960s flavour in the way it rides. You will definitely stand out riding this around the city; the question is, are you willing to pay the price for that distinction?
The offset single-pod info cluster is retro-chic
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