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Review of the 1979 Moto Guzzi 850 T 3 California:
Wrong top speed shown
Author: George Bearden, 2008-02-24|
I am an experienced rider, my impressions of this bike follow. Solid performer, very reliable, good commuter, good mpg, great tourer.
This motorcycle can easily exceed 100 mph. I was riding briskly, but not hard, when I wound it out in 4th a healthy amount. Not a LOT or really high rpm, just to the point where the powerband felt ready for the next gear. Can´t say now what rpm that was. I looked down as I shifted to 5th, I was doing about 104 indicated, and by feel I´d say I had at least another 10 mph, probably 15 left to go.|
I have put many miles on this bike in the country and in town. Never touring. I kept the bike about a year, but it belonged to my elderly step-father. I never tried to find the top speed, but I *know* it is over 100 mph. And, yes, I know how bad Italian speedos are.
My mother and step-father toured all around the USA on this. They pulled a small calm-shell trailer. They used a 12v refrigerator, tent, stove, etc. They never had mechanical problems in the years they used it. For a big bike I remember it got fairly good mileage, but, sorry, can´t quantify it now.
Like most Italian bikes, it handles well. It is still a fun bike in the mtns. Any heavier and it would not be. This is the heaviest of them I have ridden. It rides firmer than the BMWs or Harleys. Corners well, but not sure I could stay with a BMW in the twisties. When I say this, note that this was YEARS ago, and I am comparing to BMWs of its era.
It had a healthy exhaust note, louder than my BMW, maybe a bit louder than a Harley, but it wasn´t intrusive.
It shifted easier than BMW. Not as easy as a large Honda or Ducati. the gears and such are of course, larger and heavier. You feel vibration in the handle bars, more than the BMW but not to the point you would mention it. No numbness or discomfort. It accelerates very well. Back in the day when I rode with the Harley club, where there were all large tourers represented, it could keep up with or blow off almost all of them. A 1200 Harley couldn´t stay with it on curves or on the straight. Oh, it isn´t a racer, just strong. The brakes are great! The brake pedal activates one of the two front rotors, and the rear rotor. You can also grab a handful of front brake handle, to activate the other (huge) front rotor. Very balanced braking, VERY good brakes. It is nice for just riding, at low rpm there is plenty of power without having to down shift at every little hill or corner.
It is heavy though! Over-balance it in your driveway and it is going DOWN!
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