Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport – Day 8 – Why should I buy a Guzzi?

This is the eighth in a series of posts about the Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport.  The previous posting is here

1000 Miles, 8 days riding:  Do I still like the Breva 1200?

The Breva 1200 Sport, just north of Ventura off the 101, Sunset.

The Breva 1200 Sport, just north of Ventura off the 101, Sunset.

Yes.  Yes I do.  I lost a full day of riding when it rained, and two more when my wife told me to paint the house.  Still managed to get a few miles in though.  The average day of riding put me at about 200 miles each, and I felt like I really got a good idea about what it would be like to live with a Breva over the long-term.

So often one sees a bike advertised or reviewed by a magazine, then goes to their nearest dealer for a trip around the block.  The papers are out on the salesman’s desk at that point, and if you liked what you felt and the deal is right, then you buy.  But what influences really get you to “pull the trigger”?

 I think it’s a little more visceral and subjective, since often one doesn’t have enough data to actually make a decision based on facts.  Purchasing decisions are based on:

  • Previous relationship with the brand/type of bike.
  • Group pressure to consider only certain bikes
  • Family influence
  • “Cool” factor
  • Brand heritage/history
  • Right place/right time – impulse
  • Aspirations or personality, i.e. “people that I want to be like ride this bike”.

I don’t think the Breva 1200 Sport sold well and became a one-year-only model because it didn’t hit these factors closely, and it’s too bad.  Any Moto Guzzi owner will tell you that the marque is awesome, and the bikes are top notch.  I would venture that Guzzi owners’ loyalties are at or near the top of the industry.  I would also postulate that the average bike buyer on the average day looking at a type of bike wouldn’t consider Guzzis because they don’t know about them. If they did, people in their circle of riding relationships would probably raise eyebrows and possibly chuckle if you rode up on one.  You’d end up giving the “iPod explanation”:

While working at a large internet company, I was approached by a Product Manager that wanted to make a deal with a company to supply on-line music.  I asked them if it worked with iPods.  He said no, but it worked with all these other devices, and many of them were just as cool, feature-rich and useful as an iPod…

I told him that I thought it was a bad idea.  My explanation is this.  Every other MP3 player on the market is not an iPod, so every time someone comes up and asks about it, they have to get out their stump speech and explain how it’s just as good as an iPod because — yada, yada, yada.  But anyone with an iPod has no explaining to do.”

And so it goes.  Unless you ride with Guzzisti, you have to explain to them why your bike is so goddamned cool, and it really is.  The Breva is just a masterpiece of handling, aggression and reliability, yet, you’re going to have to explain it to everyone.  That’s why I’m writing this.  I have a different approach.

Just smile and ride.

 Don’t buy a bike for anyone but yourself.  I’ve attempted to give anyone reading this an introduction to the Breva Sport.  You can extrapolate this over the other bikes in Guzzi’s line up.  Moto Guzzi makes an honest bike.  They do what is advertised to someone that wants a bike for their souls, not their friends faint praise.  In most groups, your bike will only be the “cool new one” until the next guy shows up with theirs.  Just blow that whole thing off, get your Guzzi, and when everyone of these poseurs have all moved onto other bikes, you’ll be riding yours with an ear-to-ear grin.

Of course, there are Guzzisti to ride with.  I love these people as they are all the most unpretentious group of people that I’ve ever met.  Further, there’s always a gentle introduction to maintaining your ride if you’re so inclined, fixing it when you’re stuck, and some really great shared experiences when you join up with them at rallies, especially the annual one in Prescott, AZ (springtime). Many of these guys have set up comprehensive sites to help owners out with their particular models (such as Greg Bender’s), and there are Yahoo Groups for nearly all models as well.

I hope that these posts have given you an idea of what it’s like to live with the Breva after you purchase it.  What a horror story to drop 12 large on a bike and hate it after 1000 miles!  It’s so easy to know that if you buy a Kawasaki, Honda, BMW, or even a Ducati that you’ll probably not have any buyer’s remorse, yet smaller, more boutique brands carry with them the risk that you’re getting a bike that, if you hate, you’re going to be stuck with.  

I’m saying here and now that if you are looking for a bike to help you define your ride and not define what your peer group’s ride is, then you’ll be happy with the Breva, if your ride involves commuting, riding through canyons and enjoying a big, naked, individual motorcycle.  Sure, Ducati’s Monster, KTM’s Duke and other brands are all fielding big nakeds, but I think the combination that the Breva and also the continuing-to-be-manufactured Griso (oh, the white is so beautiful) offer is unlike the others, and worthy of consideration.

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6 thoughts on “Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport – Day 8 – Why should I buy a Guzzi?

  1. Wow, love this review because you tell it like it is :) I live near Daytona Beach and Biketoberfest is going on right now, so I’m experiencing the “me-too” bike syndrome. People always want to be original but then don’t deviate too much from what is the accepted norm…

    I appreciate your views on the Guzzi because I can tell the review is coming from a real rider who appreciates the true essence of what riding a motorcycle is about. I’m totally into customization, but it all starts from the base or foundation. You have to connect with the bike as you say viscerally..then you can tweak as you go!

    I’ll totally consider adding the Breva 1200 Sport as one of my next bikes to ride. Thanks and keep it up!

    Mark

  2. I’ve put nearly 7,000 miles on my Breva 1100 since buying it in late June this year. The key to owning a Moto Guzzi is having a good dealer for things you cannot do yourself.

    Mine had the misfortune of an electical gremlin that revealed itself on what was supposed to be the last day of a cross-country trip. North Country Cycles in Whitesboro, NY, thought they had fixed bike and the next day I made it to my destination of Plattsburgh, NY.

    Shipped the bike home and it died again on a ride to the Oregon Coast. Finally, ended up trailering the Beverton Cascade Moto Classics in Beaverton, OR, after my buddies and couldn’t resurrect it even with lots of internet help. Fantastic shop. Evicted my gremlin, replaced a defective rear seal and the rear brake pads that had been contaminated. Guzzi warrantied all work. They were a standup company.

    My point? Go to any Guzzi website and the patrons have lots of technical support. I got boatloads of helpful suggestions and tips. They were correct, it’s normally something simple on a Goose. For me, it was a bad wire from the wiring harness to the battery.

    Since then the bike has been as reliable as an anvil. And there is no finer way to experience a curvy mountain road than aboard a Guzzi that is running between 4,000 and 6,000 RPM’s.

    No one will call a Breva 1100 flickable, nor probably would they call a 1200 Sport flickable, it’s not a 600cc crotch rocket, but they handle. Once you learn how to use the engine’s massive torque to your advantage when setting up for curves and exiting, you’re hooked.

    Simply put, a Guzzi is a bike for riders. I’m still grinning from my ride yesterday on 200 miles of switchbacks, hairpins, sweepers, and even the inevitable straight stretches.

    You’ve captured the essence of Moto Guzzi. The people who ride them are passionate but also they are welcoming. This is not a poseur’s bike, the Guzzi bikes are for folks who flat love to ride.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the sound of a Guzzi twin.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences with the 1200. Now go snag a Stelvio and let us know what you think! I’m dying to try one and you riding and writing about it would be the next best thing.

  3. Pingback: Moto Guzzi Breva 1200 Sport — 1000 plus miles, back to the factory! « As the dude abides…

  4. In case Peter Russell reads this: what were the symptoms of your gremlin? Did the bike die while riding, or didn’t it charge? Thx!

  5. Danilo Dude,
    Thanks for sharing the Breva Sport “diary.” Interesting read. And better than the cookie-cutter writing so often found in motorcycle magazine reviews.
    Question; I’m considering a 2008 MG Breva Sport. A friend of mine has a couple Guzzis, so I know a little about them. I am enamored with the Breva Sport. One thing that I’m unsure of about it- that is essential to me- is wind protection.
    I’ve read your comments about how effective the small screen is, and I believe you mentioned it was better than your Duc ST2.
    Can you tell me a little more about it? I currently ride a Honda Blackbird.
    If I can get at least the protection offered by the ‘Bird I’m thinking of acquiring the Breva Sport. Thank you,
    JN

  6. If you ride full face helmeted, it’s as good as any ride I’ve ever had. It’s a little high-waisted, so it can be a cranky bike in parking lots.

    That little spoiler in front is fabulous.

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