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ADV NewsModded Moto Guzzi V85 TT Competes in Italy’s Motorally

Modded Moto Guzzi V85 TT Competes in Italy’s Motorally

Guareschi Moto gives Guzzi’s mid-size adventure tourer the rally raid treatment.

Published on 08.16.2021

Italian brothers, and partners in Parma-based Guareschi Moto, Gianfranco and Vittoriano Guareschi have been making race bikes out of Moto Guzzis for years. Usually it’s Guzzi’s V7 models headed for endurance races that get the GCorse (the shop’s branded line of racing kit) treatment. That is, until this V85TT fell into the vat and came out rally-ready, headed for Italy’s Motorally Championship series.

And what do you know, when entered in the competitive G-1000 class where KTM 790s and Yamaha T7s dominate the roster, not only did the GCorse V85 TT Rally finish its two grueling race days, it placed a surprising 9th the first day, and 8th on the second. This was unexpected, especially considering in the second day, only 13 out of 26 bikes even made it to the finish line. 

Moto Guzzi V85 TT takes on Rally Raid race

So what magic dust did Guareschi Moto sprinkle on the low-key, touring-focused adventure motorcycle to turn it into a competitive rally bike? Less than you might guess. Firstly, they removed all the unnecessary parts to lighten the bike up, simplified the electrical blocks and added custom GCorse protection where needed, namely the skid plate, hand guards and small cylinder guards. A sleek, full-titanium exhaust system from Zard replaced the stock system, further lightening the package. 


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A lightweight cockpit tower created to receive the roadbook scroll replaced the V85’s touring-style fairing and windscreen, and really helped switch the Guzzi’s aesthetic from fancy to fierce, and a minimalistic, non-slip rally saddle clinches the look. 

Modified Moto Guzzi V85 TT takes on Rally Raid race

To improve its off-road performance, the forks received an Andreani Corse cartridge kit while an Öhlins rear damper replaced the stock monoshock. New 290mm front discs from Biting Performance slow the stock spoked wheels, which are shod in Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires and Mousse foam inserts.

The V85TT also had its ECU reprogrammed with new, dedicated mapping tuned specifically for the demands of rally raid riding. In this configuration, the V85TT delivers 83 horsepower to the rear wheel, while weighing in at 419 lbs.  

Moto Guzzi V85 TT takes on Motorally
Modded Moto Guzzi V85 TT

Everyone at the Italian Motorally Championship was impressed with the effectiveness of the Moto Guzzi, including its pilot, pro enduro rider Francesco Montanari, who is said to have had a blast racing the bike. 

Word from Guareschi Moto is that the mods on its GCorse V85 TT Rally were aimed at reliability and weight reduction, and that given the tight turnaround from concept to competition in the July Motorally event, there is even more that can and will be done to improve the bike’s performance for future rallies. 

Moto Guzzi V85 TT takes on Rally Raid race

So not only do we have more V85TT rally raid racing coming up, there are reports the Guareschi brothers are busy creating a V85TT ‘Baja’ variation with several other off-road oriented mods, including more suspension travel and a dirt-worthy 21/18-inch wheel combo shod in aggressive knobbies. 

The sweet, street-biased V85 TT turned full-blown enduro bike? Now that’s something we can all get revved up about.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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4 thoughts on “Modded Moto Guzzi V85 TT Competes in Italy’s Motorally

  1. Pingback: Modded Moto Guzzi V85 TT Competes in Italy’s Motorally - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

    • It was a successful attempt to prove the machine can fundamentally do it, being prepared accordingly and with the right rider onboard. Similar to Yamaha T7 completing the Romaniacs earlier this year – it was never going to win it but lipstick on a pig or not … why not have some fun while being outside the ‘norm’?

  2. Pretty impressive outcome considering the competition and how few entrants actually finished. Guareschi sells a variety of custom add-ons to improve the off-road focus of the V85 (e.g. fork cartridges by andreani and rear mono-shock by ohlins that increase suspension travel by 20mm). Too bad the online store is difficult to use for non-EU purchasers. Another great customizer is Viejos Pistones in Spain, who also offer front fork cartridges (andreani) and a monoshock (Wilbers) with +30mm suspension travel. Expensive mods to be sure.

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