Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES


Make Model

Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES


2000 -


Four stroke, 90° V twin, longitudinally mounted, OHV, 2 valve per cylinder.


1064 cc / 64.9 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 92 x 80 mm                 
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 9.5:1


Weber-Marelli fuel-injection


Starting Electric

Max Power

70 hp / 51 kW @ 6200 rpm

Max Torque

85 Nm / 62.7 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm


5 Speed 
Final Drive Shaft
Frame Steel twin-beam with duplex cradle

Front Suspension

42mm Marzocchi fork
Front Wheel Travel 200 mm / 7.8 in

Rear Suspension

Marzocchi monoshock with preload and rebound damping adjustment
Rear Wheel Travel 200 mm / 7.8 in

Front Brakes

2x 296mm discs  2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 260mm disc  2 piston caliper

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

Wheelbase 1600 mm / 63 in
Seat Height 820 mm / 32.3 in

Dry Weight

245 kg / 540.1 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

20 Litres / 5.3 US gal

Consumption Average

19.1 km/lit

Standing ¼ Mile  

12.8 sec

Top Speed

194.8 km/h
The best roadgoing enduro from Moto Guzzi was the Quota 1100ES, a big hairy I not only looked the part, but also did the job. With the two-valve engine couplet gearbox, it produced just under 120mph top road speed with handling to match, improvement over the earlier Quota was the much lower seating position at 32.25 it accessible to very tall riders.

Moto Guzzi's Quota traillie has always been as honest as they come - simple and capable. Mark Fattore puts the past to the test with the updated ES incarnation.

Sometimes, now matter how hard you try, it's hard to change your spots. Take Mike Tyson as a prime example; he may have the big dollars and lavish lifestyle, but he can't hide the traits - eg losing his temper in interviews - that re-confirm to all and sundry that he's probably one of the biggest gooses on the planet.

Motorcycles are like that too. Go beyond the propaganda and a fair majority of the time a superseded model is almost a template of the one it has replaced - in a behavioural sense anyway. That's not necessarily a negative, as I recently found out after sampling the Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES, which has replaced the old 1000cc model.

The staple of this bike hasn't changed in that it's still as far from the mainstream as you'll get - in both a mechanical and behavioural sense. But once you work around those traits - the long-leggedness, longitudinal crankshaft, clangy gearbox, massive bars et al - then life is really quite simple. And that's what I grew to admire - again - after a few weeks in the saddle.

No more wobbles
The last time AMCN put a Quota through its paces was in 1996, when the Ed donned his sparingly-used offroad attire for a few wobbly gravel shots on the 1000cc incarnation - priceless viewing. Those escapades for Wootton are now a thing of the past, and ditto for the old Quota, which was replaced by the 1100ES in 1998, although Australia didn't see the bike until '99.

The 1100ES has jumped in capacity by 115cc (for a bore and stroke of 92mm x 80mm). The Marelli fuel-injected donk still utilises a modified version of the California engine, with Moto Guzzi claiming 69ps of power at 6400rpm and a hefty 8.7kgf-m of torque at a low 3800rpm. It really is a torque machine, and will pull from 60km/h in top gear (fifth) at 3000rpm. Anything below that and the pushrod, four-valve powerplant gets a little upset and starts to moan and shake.

There isn't really a top-end to speak of with the ES, but that's not a big issue as this is one bike that responds best to short-shifting through the gearbox (watch the false neutrals!) and riding the torque curve - do that and you'll be setting a pace that any sportsbike rider would be proud of.

In fact, you would probably be on the mark if you labelled this bike a sportstourer rather than a big-bore dual-purpose machine. That's because it's the type of machine you want to put in top gear, sit back and relax - riding at its simple best. And the Guzzi is up to this type of mile-eating riding, with a strong chassis that is well mated to the engine and suspension. Just throw on the optional panniers ($1118) and top box ($694) and it's long-haul heaven.

As the Moto Guzzi press blurb says: "The roads wind through green countryside, turning white and unmetalled as they take us far off in search of stones and primordial things. A noble, powerful steed accompanies us on this journey - the Moto Guzzi Quota 1100ES." Hands up those who've now got a tear in their eye?

By the way, the 1100ES averaged around 15km/lt during its tenure at AMCN, which equates to 300km-plus with a full 20lt fuel tank.

The Quota is still shaft-driven, but it lacks the sophistication of its road-based siblings. That aside, there's very little shaft reaction to speak of.

Tail-sliding antics
Although the 1100ES may do its best work on the open road, that doesn't mean it's not capable of mixing it in the dirt - after all, with such huge handlebars you've got enough leverage to muscle the bike wherever you want. But on a gravel road there's always an underlying vagueness that tends to get a bit unnerving at times - not so much of a problem with the rear where you can enjoy some semi-controlled, tail-sliding antics, but it's a different story at the front, especially when tipping into a turn on a trailing brake.

That can probably be put down to the road-based, 90-section Pirelli MT80 radial losing its way on the shifting surface. So the message is to keep the offroad antics to smoother, hard-packed terrain if you want to stay out of trouble.

Seat height has been reduced 60mm on the ES, with a decrease of a similar amount in the suspension travel. That's a shrewd move, as there's not much point in risking vertigo if you don't have to, and it allows tallish riders some chance of hiding behind the bike's screen on the open stuff, which previously was a difficult proposition.

The brakes are particularly good on the Quota, which sports twin-piston Brembos front and rear. They are not super on the road, but are just about spot-on for gravel where the softly-softly approach works best, especially on the front end.

Moto Guzzi claims 245kg dry for the 1100ES, which is a whopping 35kg more than the claimed figure for the previous model. Problems with the electronic scales at the Mandello (Italy) factory?

Besides the mechanical updates, the Quota also sports a new front fairing, headlights, side panels and graphics. Additionally, there are now four colour schemes to consider: black and champagne coupled with sun yellow, petroleum blue and byzantium brown. Only the champagne colours are currently available Down Under.

Aggressive pricing
It's a fact - dual-purpose bikes are not big sellers in Australia, and the Quota falls into that zone. But if there's one way to prick the ears of potential customers it's by playing some aggressive marketing games - and there's nothing more aggressive than dropping price by around $1500 in one fell swoop. That's what Moto Guzzi recently did in Australia, which reduced the retail of an 1100ES down to $13,995, which compares more than favourably to its two major competitors, the Honda Varadero ($15,065) and BMW 1150 GS ($16,645). The Cagiva Gran Canyon ($14,490) was another player in the market, but it will soon be replaced by the new Suzuki TL1000-engined Navigator.

Undoubtedly, the 1100ES is one of the most 'individual' machines I've ridden - and that goes for the entire Quota lineage, which began way back in 1989. Some may call it a motorcycle dissident, but that's a harsh summation.

Source Bikepoint