Test Moto Guzzi Quota 1100 ES

Test Moto Guzzi Quota 1100 ES

Agricultural machine

There she is again. Imperturbable. With an even bigger engine. Happy to travel. With outrageously rustic charm: the quota.

Six years ago, when Moto Guzzi’s glorious 90-degree V-Twin found itself in a travel enduro, in line with the general trend, the Italo freaks howled angry.

Gran Turismo – okay. California – it’s better. Sport – most of all. These were the desired forms of use of the Guzzisti for their air-cooled two-valve engine. An enduro was not planned.
The first quota was already convincing with dignified comfort, good braking and adequate performance. That is to say: On the enduro it was possible to do sport much longer than on most of the others and back then it was often much too tough Guzzi. And so we should be welcomed in every respect when the manufacturer and German importer allow this hitherto somewhat unsuccessful machine to make a second attempt. Compared to the 1000 cm³ first work one promises improved quality – there were a few small but annoying defects – and a seat height on Euro standard. The old quota could frighten even tall people. Thanks to a new rear frame, however, the seat height has shrunk from 870 to 840 millimeters – at least.
Getting in touch with the 1100 injector that was taken over from the California is really nice: Although it remains incomprehensible why it has six horsepower less in the aardvark quota, its well-behaved performance is definitely sufficient. Without shaking it reacts to gas commands below 2000 rpm, but revs up to 4000 revs rather cautiously, only to discover something like old sportsmanship. Not a Superbike suspect, but at least: The basic construction of the 30-year-old journeyman hisses rapidly over 7000 revolutions even in fourth and penultimate gear. This area is highlighted in yellow in the tachometer. At 8000 the instrument then sees red, but the ignition simply turns off well before that. No more sport.
The first everyday tests on the MOTORRAD test machine were not very dynamic. The usual routes on busy federal and city roads were rather accompanied by annoying constant jerks in the lower and middle speed range. The engine did not regard the gentle cranking of the throttle as a clear order to march, it twitched indecisively to itself. Reason enough to ask the Guzzi agency Mörk in Leonberg for help. Lo and behold: Careful synchronization of the throttle valves and a little fine-tuning transformed the Guzzis Twin into an obedient touring unit with a spontaneous and gentle throttle response and only a hint of jerking at constant speeds between 3000 and 4000 rpm.
The quirks of the transmission came up all the more. Like once at the Deutz from the farmer around the corner, the gears crack when someone doesn‘t shift gears slowly and gently. When things had to go fast, there was two or three idle times, and at the traffic lights, when the idle control turned green, just as often nobody was there. Everyone already knows that about this transmission, and experts also know that it lasts for tens of thousands of kilometers, but still: What looks charming on a tractor does not have to adorn a motorcycle.
By the way, said idle control is in a tidy console (with a carbon look!), Which also offers space for the two calmly indicating and objectively designed main instruments. Switches and fittings are impressive, only the starter button looks cheap, like on a hardware store scooter. The striking double headlights are in the half-fairing carried over from the previous model, and its beam of light encourages people to go out into the country even on moonless nights.
The disguise itself shows less practical disposition, which in turn is only logical: on a motorcycle as large as the Quota, to place this touch of plastic clothing so far ahead, that had to end in a stormy way. The vortices of air roll between the windshield and the driver’s stomach, so from 160 km / h it gets really uncomfortable. Otherwise, the long-distance comfort is convincing, the driver feels more integrated than on the old quota, the seat is comfortable, the handlebars, which are almost too wide, should be a bit lower.
All in all, this ensemble puts the quota driver in a position that tempts more dynamic curves than rabid robberies. Which in turn corresponds to the possibilities of the chassis. At high freeway speeds, this Guzzi commutes very, very easily. That was the custom six years ago for large enduro bikes, and just because such bad habits are completely alien to a BMW R 1100 GS or a Cagiva Gran Canyon does not lead to an excited reproach. No, there is little to criticize about the stability of the coarse frame made of cast parts and the rectangular, pale gray painted steel profiles.
Not even in the handling of the 265 kilogram heavy chunk. Once on the move, the long-legged Guzzi shakes off everything sluggish, only demands a more energetic pull on the handlebars in quick alternating curves in order to be helped over the middle position. Only with a decidedly sporty approach on bad roads does the soft, springy and comfortably damped fork prevent a razor-sharp line. Then the 21-inch front wheel prances over the asphalt, slightly irritated. However, the fact that the rear mono-spring strut was given a rebound stage damping that was too tight even in the basic position, paired with a spring that was too soft, had a very irritating effect. Do any of these landing gear people understand why they had to exchange the good Marzocchi strut of the old quota for one of …….
Und then promptly went completely wrong because the spring progression is also wrong. In two-person operation, the quota sinks deeply, then it likes to touch the main stand in tight bends. Does not have to be. For two reasons: The stop of the stand can still be modified. As it is, however, the stand horns protrude even deeper than the oil pan and exhaust manifold, which incidentally present themselves unprotected to towering rocks. Which would answer the question about the off-road qualities of the Guzzi: Yes, agricultural machine, but no farm equipment.

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