Europe’s oldest continual motorcycle manufacturer has come to the table with a new engine, and an exciting new bike. Well, two bikes technically. The Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and its Bobber brother are a duo that is set to suit most personalities.
Sporting a brand new 90-degree 853cc engine, the transverse mounted V-Twin is still very much the signature heart and soul of Moto Guzzi. Based on the popular V7 engine, the V9 has had both stroke and bore increased and provides a responsive performance with a good dosage of torque. Sitting at 200kg, it’s a low down and very manageable bike that can be enjoyed by most riders. Those short of stature or confidence can ride these bikes quite happily, while those that prefer speed and scraping foot pegs (and you will scrape these foot pegs) will also get good value from the V9 range.
The V9 Bobber & Roamer, which very much are cruiser styled, have been chucked under the term “lifestyle” bike as they are set to appeal to a various groups of riders. It’s a bike that doesn’t ask a lot, but can give plenty. You’ve got just the right amount of modern pleasantries as far as technology is concerned, with ABS standard along with a two-level traction control system that can be set for dry or wet conditions.
Moto Guzzi have been taking strides to get their bikes seen more frequently on the roads internationally, in the US in particular where their share of the market has been somewhat more humble in comparison to its booming foothold in Europe. With design input coming from the Piaggio Advanced Design Centre based in Pasadena, California, these bikes are something that certainly has an American flavour mixed in.
So what’s the difference between the Roamer and the Bobber? A keen eye will instantly notice the difference in handle bars, with the Bobber sporting some low drag bars for that aggressive bobber-ish stance that encourages sportier riding while the Roamer has more upswept, relaxed bars that will whisper sweet touring thoughts in your ever impressionable ears. Other key differences include wheel and tyre sizes. Paired with the difference in bars, this makes riding these much more different than you would first expect. While not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things (the changing of bars on a bike can be done before your beer gets warm) the riding feel between the Roamer and Bobber speak for themselves.
What Moto Guzzi has excelled at is creating a bike that has plenty of character paired with modern luxuries. The transverse V-twin idles happily side-to-side when you’re stopped; you know you’re riding a Guzzi. Once the revs are up and the wind is in your hair/beard/nose hair it smooths out and suddenly you’re riding a magic carpet made from velvet, it’s remarkably smooth. The riding stance is very comfortable, with mid controls and both sets of handlebars from the Bobber and Roamer meaning you can sit quite happily on the freeway for hours on end (if that’s your thing) while its light and agile build means once you hit the sweet twisty goodness of your favourite roads, you’ll be more than confident to chuck it around at speed. The use of top quality materials in these bikes such as steel and aluminium bolsters the elegant and stylish aesthetic, with plastic parts being used to the absolute minimal – which is fantastic to see.
To cater to the custom inclined rider, Moto Guzzi offer a varitable treasure trove of accessories and parts that can be chucked on with ease to help personalise these bikes to suit their rider, along with two colour schemes for the Roamer – glossy Giallo Solare with black inserts or Bianco Classico with red inserts. The Bobber’s schemes both come in matte, with Nero Massiccio with yellow inserts and Grigio Sport with red inserts available.