By Ryan Adams
The Paris-Dakar rally, a true test of endurance, the ultimate adventure. I’m referring to, of course, the Paris-Dakar of old, when it ran from France to the west African capital of Senegal, Dakar. It was a time when men were men and women were women and the rally itself was more of an adventure, where “winning” was simply finishing. The rally has changed a lot since its inception in 1978. Now, the incredibly competitive teams are hell-bent on racing through the South American Dakar rally stages at break-neck speeds to ensure their spot in Dakar history whilst backed by chase vehicles full of sponsorship money.
The 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT is not the bike you would be racing, well, anything on, but the styling is reminiscent of the V65 TT run by Claudio Torri in the 1985 Paris-Dakar – the yellow and white livery complete with red frame. Motorcycle.com was invited to the launch of the 2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT in Sardinia to determine where this retro adventure touring bike lands amongst the field and to truly test the capabilities of what would turn out to be one of the most tech-heavy Guzzis in the brand’s 98-year history.
What? Too soon? Shootouts. It’s what we do here at MO. So, what would we be shooting out against the Guzzi when it comes time? That’s a loaded question. Would we compare it to equally positioned retro motorcycles that are sincerely meant to keep going when the pavement turns to dirt? Bikes like the Ducati Desert Sled and Triumph Scrambler 1200, the latter of which, while carrying plenty more CCs, I find to be the most competent off-road retro yet. Or do we look to other tall(ish) touring bikes like the V-Strom 650, …read more