Moto Guzzi V 65TT


Make Model

Moto Guzzi V 65TT


1984 -


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


643 cc / 39.2 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 80 x 64 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 10.3:1


2x Dell'Orto PHBH30 carburetors


Starting Electric

Max Power

60 hp / 43.7 kW @ 7800 rpm 

Max Power Rear Tyre

50.6 hp @ 7500 rpm

Max Torque

54.4 Nm / 40.1 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Clutch Dry single plate


5 Speed 
Final Drive Shaft
Frame Tubular cradle, disassemblable

Front Suspension

Marzocchi telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Marzocchi shock 5-way preload

Front Brakes

Single disc

Rear Brakes

Single disc

Front Tyre

3.00- 21

Rear Tyre

4.00 --18

Dry Weight

165 kg / 364 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

14 Litres / 3.7 US gal

Top Speed

106 mp/h
Related links Moto Guzzi V-Twin Off Roaders - Improbable Italian Enduros

I confess that when the new Guzzi importer, Keith Davies of Three Cross Motorcycles suggested the Italian state corporation might be buildinig a Spada powered trail bike.  I could think only of jaundice coloured dwarfs in black button tips peddling backWards for all they were worth on BSA B39 look a likes.  Happily, the reality of the TT650 is as far removed from that as Alfa bodywork is from new metal and, rather ironically, the outstanding impression of Guzzi's first venture into the dual purpose market is one of comparative modernity.

Still it takes a brave man to import such exotica and as Keith Davies was still equivocating. South London maverick Vincent Marcello of Motomecca got in the old Datsun pick-up and headed off for Sicily in search of new specimens. That's the reason the bike is not cheap (£2800) as Vince has to fork out import duties and car tax at Dover - but it's still cheaper than BM's R80 and frankly every bit as competent.
The bike I rode was one Vince picked up only days before and, with the PDI still to be executed, my test ride was limited to a morning's excursion. Having little more trail knowledge than that tyres with knobbles on them are called knobblies did not, however, prevent me from establishing that the bike handled light and steered very quickly for a comparatively long wheelbase confection. There is an overriding impression of leanness and compactness about the plot that makes BMW's 80G/S feel unwieldy by comparison and, with dead neutral steering and estimably grippy Pirelli trail tyres, it'd take an absolute moron to fall off of this one.

Basic constituents of such a surprising delicacy are a traditional double cradle frame (splitting a la Le Mans to allow engine removal) with alloy swingarm extending straight from the end of the gearbox. This in turn is joined to the top part of the frame by conventional Marzocchi remote shockers (adjustable for preload) which are matched at the sharp end by the same manufacturer's enduro forks. Yes, the ride is hard, but never rough. I preferred it 100 per cent to the over-generous compliance of the BOG/S's suspension

The brakes, which are of course Brembo calipers and discs both fore and aft, had something of a shock in store for me. Lunging for the front disc was rewarded by trapped fingers and zero effect. Mecca hadn't set the thing up yet. But I naturally assumed it was the negligible output of a single Guzzi disc and tut-tutted myself for forgetting the foot-operated linked braking system. I spent the rest of the morning in London traffic placing only with the fantastically sensitive rear unit only to find that when I returned to Mecca to extoll it, the brakes were in fact not joined at all. This means the TT is equipped with the best rear brake I have ever used or my sense of adventure on trail bikes has degenerated from cautious to cowardly.

Perhaps the finest revelation, however, is the motor. A direct, untampered liberation from the 650 Spadette in whose clothes it feels positively agricultural, yet which in the new structure and augmented by its two-into-one pipe feels so crisp, free and responsive you'd think it'd collected at least another four valves. Not so; this is the basic 48bhp two valves per cylinder unit with only the aforementioned exhaust pipe to distinguish it from its predecessors: same 80X64mm basic architecture, same 10:1 size bang, same tiresome old contact breaker sparklers and 30mm Dellorto carbs.  Even overall gearing remains unaltered from the tourer though the handbook's quote of 48bhp at 7400 for the TT seems to make no significant difference over ex-importers Coburn & Hughes' more optimistic claims of 52 horses at seven thou for the road bike. So why does it feel like the standard flywheel's been replaced by a Fizzle's? Largely because of the shrunken all up weight and the improved torque characteristics of the exhaust which have bequeathed the TT an urge which feels almost Oriental. It's the best of both worlds - short, laconic, exhaust note and good response yet that same old loping relaxedness which has made Moto-Guzzis and BMW's the sanctuary of natural earth bikers for decades. Fact is the factory's claim of a 106mph top speed seems uncharacteristically frank even a little cautious.  And when was the last time you saw a 650 Spada being wheeled?

The clutch, however, gives you little more help in this respect.  It's the same single dry plate arrangement that'd feel more at home on a circus big dipper. Not in the Jota league or barbarism you understand, or anything like it.  But not for those who find the VF400F's clutch demanding.  Ditto the box, though there is nothing like the kickback associated with the premature down-change  on a big Beemer nor even the general heavy metal sensation of the standard 650SP.  And though metal (or its heaviness and thickness) is not something the Eyeties are famous for, the finish on the 650TT is almost good. Switchgear. once again, degenerates into tootie-frootieness, and nothing on the dashboard is exactly to be commended.

The thing that's holding Keith Davies back as a big time importer is his perception of the market, and in that sense the TT will always be idiosyncratic. Not even the Ténéré could claim a large following, even with all the hype and marketing associated with competing in the Paris Dakar.  But if riding across Africa or wheeling into the city every day are what you're into and, like me, you're neither an afficionado or single cylinder trail bikes nor a devotee of the flat-twin, the Guzzi honestly could be the answer.  Necessity really is the mother all right......

Source Which Bike 1985