All Duels – Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? – Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

DUEL

Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival ?

All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

Moto Guzzi is relaunching in 2019 on the (all) terrain of trails with its new and original V85 TT, a motorcycle with a nice look, reasonable performance and reasonable price. A trifecta that seems to be a winner…

including facing the excellent Honda Africa Twin Honda? The answer in this new MNC duel !

    • Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Like SUVs with motorists, trails are popular with bikers! Whether it is to give yourself an image of an adventurer or to "go off the road" without hurting yourself – and even having fun! -, this type of motorcycle is very popular for a lot of reasons…

      • MNC Moto Guzzi V85TT test :
      • Test MNC Honda Africa Twin 2018 : Looking for new model, Adventure Sports if affinities
      • This duel in video :

      To our readers

      Subscribe now to to support the independence of the, access to all our without intrusive advertising and take advantage of exclusive advantages (invitations, gifts, discounts with our partners, etc.) !

      We have to take their users’ word for it: these machines are as smart as a roadster in the city, as fast as a sports car on a regional road, as comfortable as a road on a national road and as enduring as a GT on a motorway … one word would suffice to describe them: versatility !

      To meet the significant demand, manufacturers have developed a very substantial offer: V-Strom 250, Versys-X 300, G310GS, Himalayan 410, TRK502, V-Strom or Versys 650, Ténéré or Tracer 700, F750GS, 790 Adventure , Turismo Veloce 800, F850GS, Tracer 900, Multistrada 950, Versys or V-Strom 1000, S1000XR, Tiger Sport, 1090 Adventure, Tiger and Super Ténéré 1200, R1250GS, Multistrada 1260, 1290 Super Adventure…

      This is of course a non-exhaustive list which notably excludes countless scramblers !

      In the trail range of the Honda range alone, there are currently no less than five models: the sporty CRF450L, the newly updated CB500X, the double clutch NC750X (DCT), the Crossrunner 800 with the noble V4 and the Africa Twin 1000 which oversees everything since the stop of the big Crosstourer 1200.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Released in 2016, the "CRF1000L" marked a turning point in the approach of the "maxitrail": unlike their competitors embroiled in an incessant arms race, the Tokyo Reds have voluntarily explored a new avenue by limiting the engine capacity of this motorcycle at 1000 cc and its power at 95 hp, by favoring the TT rather than the GT and by limiting the use of electronics … until last year.

      Africa Twin: the essentials or almost

      Because in 2018, the Africa Twin was the subject of an update which mainly included the adoption of a ride-by-wire electronic accelerator, bringing with it more advanced piloting assistance: driving modes, finer engine brake and traction control settings. But nothing superfluous, Honda always guaranteed !

      By taking possession of "his" Africa Twin, Site is instantly and voluntarily immersed in a rally raid atmosphere. The color chosen by Honda France has a lot to do with it: it is very close to that of the original Africa Twin from 1988. !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The presence of upper tubular protections makes us wince for a moment: would we have been mistakenly entrusted with the keys to the top-of-the-range model and very high suspension, the Adventure Sports? It would be nerd, because for this duel against the V85 TT, MNC was counting on a "CRF1000L" as standard and as inexpensive as possible….

      Fortunately, a few quick and precise glances reassure us: moderately high bubble, not too large tank, reduced engine guard, left lever hidden behind the handguard. We are indeed in the presence of a "short" Africa Twin with a manual gearbox. Phew !

      Site advises in passing that to have the pretty blue-white-red paint and its golden rims, the future buyer will have to provide an extension of 300 euros (same for the red-white-black tricolor with black rims). Without counting the crankcases (490 euros in the Honda catalog), the motorcycle we are testing today therefore costs 13,899 euros.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Crossed at Honda France, the Africa Twin painted in matt black has four advantages for it: its floor price of 13,599 euros, its greater discretion – but isn’t that rather a drawback in traffic? -, its beautiful golden rims and makes it appear more compact. Which is not a "small" task, given the size of the beast !

      Because the Africa Twin is a trail, a real one, with long travel suspensions (see the technical sheets on the last page), tall and thin spoked rims, "Tubetype" tires – with inner tube – which can be used with a damaged rim but are less practical to repair on the side of a road or path.

      Le Journal moto du Net takes the liberty of wishing the biker good luck – or the biker, we are all equal when it comes to punctures! – who goes on an adventure alone and without the central crutch sparingly offered as an accessory at 220 euros. The simple but necessary maintenance of the chain promises to be joyful…

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      In the same adventurous spirit, the tubular steel frame – rather than aluminum – is intended to be easier to re-weld in the event of a very large problem. To deal with the smallest impacts, the Africa Twin has a metal engine guard and plastic handguards as standard..

      The massive muffler manages to pass for smaller than it is, juggling clothing with dark or stainless steel trim and sticking relatively high and near the rear loop. The latter, partially faired, has integrated luggage racks. Like what, Honda knows how to be considerate !

      If the luggage rack is not very large, the handles intended for the "co-pilot" are on the contrary huge and will necessarily please him. This will be less the case of the passenger footrests which, unlike those of the pilot, are devoid of (removable) rubber. Count an additional 99 euros to benefit from "comfort" models.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      On the practical side, MNC notes the presence of a selector with a retractable lug and a brake pedal with a basic and solid appearance. Foolproof, then? MNC did not test the fall, sorry! Under the saddle, it is consternation since it is difficult to slip in anything other than a yellow vest…

      In terms of the levers, it is a semi-disappointment since the clutch control is not adjustable in spacing. However, it should be suitable for the majority of users. On the right, nothing to say: the brake has settings that will allow everyone to find a lever in their glove.

      The settings of the big and high fork are accessible. Site appreciates the presence of a dial to modify the preload of the rear shock absorber spring. A must on a motorcycle of this type! By the way, MNC allows itself to criticize the diagnostic socket that hangs right next to it and deserves to be better stored, like some other cables..

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The Honda is therefore not flawless in terms of finish, but the general level remains very satisfactory. The perceived quality of the paints and the fit of the plastics are good, the colors of the lower engine, the fork and the handlebars bring a touch of luxury when the radial calipers and the petal discs take on the sporty touch..

      Faithful to the "simple and efficient" philosophy of motorcycles, the commodos are as simple as they are ergonomic. The one on the left makes it possible to operate the on-board computer very simply, the numerous data of which are displayed on a screen placed vertically, evoking the counters topped with road-books used on rally raids such as the Dakar. The set is without fuss… nor color. And on the V85 TT, what about ?

      V85 TT: Italian steering

      In front of our Honda stallion, Site positions a great novelty for 2019. A very renewal, hoped for by Moto Guzzi and its parent company Piaggio: it must be disappointing, bordering on annoying to see the California vegetate in the face of American custom references, while the ranges V7 and V9 are dominated by English and German competition…

      To relaunch, the Italians are investing the juicy trail segment with a V85 TT which stands out, like the Africa Twin, medium-displacement trails often very distinctive (either road or all-terrain) and maxisportive maxitrails or maximally comfortable…

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Like the Tokyo giant against whom Site opposes it today, the small manufacturer of Mandello del Lario has also abandoned its large-capacity trail: despite its undeniable qualities, the Stelvio 1200 has never succeeded in to impose survive on the niche occupied by the R1200GS…

      For 2019, Moto Guzzi is exploring another track, parallel to that taken with success by Honda: to offer a motorcycle with adventurous lines, with a simple – and funky – spirit ?! -, measured displacement and power and well-placed price. Damn well placed, in this case !

      Discovered by Site in November 2018 under the spotlight of the Milan show then tested in March under a beautiful Italian sun, the V85 TT awaits us this time in front of Piaggio France, under a thick and gray cloud cover … A change of scenery !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      However, the traffic too dense, the temperature a bit too low, the desperately sad weather forecast and the ultra tight schedule of our driving dissipate at the mere sight of this little bike with the head of a piaf. And this is not pejorative, on the contrary.

      Round eyes like marbles, a large white beak with a black tip, big yellow cheeks … The designers of Moto Guzzi have succeeded in giving their wader a clean and charming identity. Site, for its part, has the pleasant feeling of rediscovering its child’s soul…

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      MNC – who has just celebrated his 20th birthday but still enjoys doing "vroum vroum" with his motorcycles! – is indeed captivated by this new toy that looks like straight out of a Playmobil box. This analogy is particularly striking with the color "Sahara Yellow" with a red frame..

      As for the Africa Twin, a price extension is requested for this crisp tricolor version as well as for the "Kahalari Red" version: 200 euros more than the plain colors more mat (blue, red or gray). But given the base price, customers would be wrong to deprive themselves !

      The V85 TT is actually offered at 11,399 euros, or two thousand euros (depending on the paintings) less than the Africa Twin. For information, the gap rises to around 2,500 euros with the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx and drops to less than a thousand euros with an F850GS without any options … always to the advantage of the Guzzi !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The Italian is not, however, a discount model! Unlike its Japanese rival of the day, for example, the V85 TT is equipped with resolutely modern commodos and a color TFT on-board "tablet" that has nothing to envy that of the RSV4 and Tuono 1100 … since it is is the same: "Grazie Piaggio" !

      Although a little small, the screen allows you to scroll through an impressive amount of information, particularly related to the two partial trips (consumption, range, travel time, average speed … and maximum, etc.!). The colors make it easier to visualize the data placed at your fingertips: short or long press, you quickly get used to navigation in the menus.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Small criticism concerning the controls on the handlebars: the warning is on the right, but on this side the hand already often has a lot to do in traffic jams, between accelerator and front brake. MNC prefers the Honda button placed like a buzzer on the left stalk. We also like the function of automatic triggering of the hazard lights on the Honda, on emergency braking and / or when the ABS is activated..

      The navigation button for the V85 TT is also on the right. It is less annoying insofar as one is not supposed to tamper with the information while driving … and that in doing so, Guzzi has chosen not to overload the left stalk which already accommodates the "cruise-control". .. fitted as standard !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The Guzzi also scores a point thanks to its USB socket housed on the dashboard: very practical for connecting a GPS or a smartphone (with anti-danger zones GPS application). On the Honda, it is necessary to dig again into the accessories … and in the wallet: 65 euros the cigarette lighter socket, less convenient.

      Under its more retro and basic airs, the Moto Guzzi is therefore perfectly anchored in its time and very well equipped. Small tinted indicators, double round and deep brake lights, daytime running light in eagle silhouette that extends over the two front headlights: the Italian is full of LEDs and style !

      Mandello’s eagle also spreads its wings over the reservoir. In comparison, the Africa Twin’s "high-end" badge looks flat and dull. On the Moto Guzzi, we regret that the central strip of the tank is not painted. We note in passing that we can not attach magnets from the countries visited … nor especially a magnetic bag.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The transverse V-twin is by nature and naturally emphasized: these cylinders protrude well on either side, their fins are carefully polished and the front case is nicely machined … but slightly pitted too. Be careful, it will undoubtedly require a little attention and care to age well. !

      The saddle of the V85 TT is also very successful! It is made of two materials: smooth on the sides and faux alcantara on the top, for more grip. The whole is adorned with elegant topstitching. As for the marking on the small backsplash, it gives the impression of having called in a upholsterer. "Ma qué, the class!"

      The site also notes the efforts in terms of finishing, such as the raw plastic injector covers which do not make the most "quality" but have the merit of existing. Ditto for the aluminum footrest plates, pretty but a little too massive.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      The luggage rack, on the contrary, would have benefited from being more extended in order to harness a bag. The completely virgin tubular structure is however ideal for passing straps. The tubes are also very easy to grip for the eventual passenger, who benefits as a bonus – and as standard – footrests with a thick layer of rubber.

      The V85 TT continues this good momentum by offering storage space under the double saddle capable of accommodating a disc lock for urban users, or a tool kit worthy of the name for adventurers. They will note the presence of threads under the rear loop to install luggage racks !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      In addition to its chassis, the Italian skilfully cultivates its trail image with its high exhaust and firmly pressed against the motorcycle. It also has a belly pan that seems sturdy and hand guards that are a little less so. Everything is standard, like the fork leg trims on the beautiful Brembo radial callipers….

      If its rims are lower and wider than those of the Honda (read the technical sheets on the last page), they are of the same "Tubetype". All new Michelin Anakee Adventure are wrapped around them … They may be roughly marked "Tubeless", but V85 TT owners should not forget to slip an inner tube inside. ! They should therefore prefer patches to wicks !

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      On the handlebars, MNC finds a pair of levers whose amplitude of adjustments – on both sides! – will allow large paws as well as small mimines to feel at ease. Le Journal moto du Net also notes that the selector and brake tips are mounted on eccentrics: classy, ​​but less suitable for off-roading than retractable models…

      Ending their owner’s tour, MNC regrets that the rear suspension of the V85 TT is not equipped with an adjuster. The offset shock absorber is very accessible, of course, but it requires taking out the tool kit.

      All Duels - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT: the Honda benchmark or the Moto Guzzi revival? - Duel Africa Twin Vs V85 TT page 1: Find the right track

      Moto Guzzi, on the other hand, confides an exceptional asset to its 2019 novelty: a cardan transmission, therefore maintenance-free! It is an exclusive on a trail of less than 1200 cc. The absence of the original center stand is less cruelly felt.

      After the first conclusive contact with this V85 TT on the pretty roads of Sardinia (Forza Italia!), Site was curious to check what this new Moto Guzzi was worth in "real everyday life" and facing one of the references in terms of trail: the Honda Africa Twin from Honda. On the way…

      Related articles

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *