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Bike: Moto Guzzi Bellagio Type: Custom cruiser Engine: Air-cooled, fuel-injected transverse-mounted 90° V-twin Frame: Tubular steel twin cradle Wheelbase: 1570mm



Fuel tank capacity: 19l Seat height: 780mm Dry weight: 224kg RRP: $23,990 Test bike: Triumph New Zealand

WORDS & PICS: Big Dave

Like the idea of a Moto Guzzi but never quite found a model to call your own? The new Bellagio could just be the one you are looking for. Big Dave explains why.


he Ed and Big Dave show arrived at the Aprilia RSV4 launch shindig early early. The ‘prilia weapon was the main event but we kinda’ got caught up with the Moto Guzzi Bellagio before the event began.

known the world over for its beauty with the free spirit of those that revel in motor cycling.”

It was one of several machines available to the moto-noters to throw a leg over and the Boss and I were both quite taken with the 935.6 cc, somewhat unique, Guzzi.

I think in a more ‘grounded’ KR translation however, the dudes from Lariano have come up with a mint motorcycle.

The factory call it a ‘power cruiser’, in between a whole lot of that waffle that probably doesn’t translate well from Italian to English. E.g: “The new Bellagio symbolizes the depth of the relationship between Moto Guzzi and its surrounding territory. This relationship is so strong that the immense beauty of the Lariano area affects both the ideas and creativity of man and in a sense leads him to create works of natural beauty in all his endeavours. This empathy between the local environment and human inventiveness can be clearly seen in the new Moto Guzzi Bellagio that identifies a place Bellagio is described as a ‘power cruiser’ and joins long-standing California model in Moto Guzzi’s ‘USinspired’ line. Look and feel is utterly distinctive with hints of everything from a Harley Sportster to a Ducati Monster. Result is a dynamic dailyrider which has similar appeal to Triumph’s America and Speedmaster models.

YES, WELL… Uh huh?

Our fang around Maraetai and environs revealed a machine with pretty good ground clearance, mid controls, surprisingly comfortable ‘conventional’ riding position and typically spirited air-cooled 90° ‘Guzzi Vee….’ (you know, like a normal V-twin spun 90 degrees in the frame as well as the 90° cylinder V angle). And what a lovely motor it is for road use. Particularly in a cross-over style model like the Bellagio. BROAD APPEAL Unlike it’s more sporty, or touringoriented stablemates you see, the long, low-slung Bellagio has the appeal of a traditional cruiser…you know, a relaxed set of riding ergonomics, big torquey vee-twin, stand out looks and a dose of old-school-brand street cred. Yet none of these characteristics either individually or together, compromise suspension travel and compliance, cornering clearance or general, all round capability. The motor pumps out 55kw at 7200rpm and a healthy 78NM of torque at 6,000rpm. Guzzi says that 80% of the KIWI RIDER 41

RIDDEN MOTO GUZZI BELLAGIO Bellagio is no slouch in the cornering department.

torque is available between 2800 and 4800 rpm and we’d have to agree, the engine being quite punchy without having to go to light speed to enjoy it. A great configuration, in other words, for New Zealand road use. Don’t let the old skool OHV design confuse you either. On-going investment and practical upgrades (in much the same way BMW has upgraded its boxer twin engine) see fuelling by multipoint sequential electronic injection, with twin 40 mm throttle bodies and Weber injectors matched to a fully Euro 111-compliant exhaust system consisting of two stainless steel pipes connected to a central ‘expansion chamber’ then two chromed steel silencers which emit a suitably ‘muffled’ yet distinctive Guzzi ‘twin burble. NUMBERS The wheelbase is a cruiserish 1,570mm which adds to the relaxed manner, as does the efficiency of the 45mm Marzocchi forks and single sided swingarm with progressive action and single rebound adjustable shock absorber. The primary drive is by helicoidal gear and the final drive is by Guzzi’s patented Compact Reactive Shaft Drive (CARC) system housed in the single sided swing arm. It was nice and tidy to ride and as is the biggest advan42 KIWI RIDER

tage with shafties – easy to forget about. In between drives is a six-speed, easy to click, gearbox. Brakes are twin floating 320 mm stainless steel discs, with floating Brembo calipers and twin parallel pistons up front and a single 282 mm fixed stainless steel disc, with floating two-pot Brembo caliper at the rear. These rotors are attached to nice, wide spoked alloy (tubeless) wheels fitted with Metzeler Roadtec Z6 tyres, a 120/70 ZR18 hoop up front and a 180/55 ZR17 at the rear. DETAILS, DETAILS The instrument pod has a real olde-world feel to its array of analogue and digital readouts, the pod itself is housed below some twin riser style drag bars that also help promote the ‘standard’ riding position. Which…….all adds up to what could be the ‘Clayton’s’ Cruiser. You know, the one you have when you’re not having a cruiser. It has the looks and style to fall into the category, but has better clearances, suspension travel and handling than a traditional ‘heavy metal’ job. We found this makes the Bellagio a very interesting and enjoyable motorcycle. See your Guzzi dealer for the skinny. KR

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Kiwi Rider Test Bike


Kiwi Rider Test Bike