Using the innovative Daytona 1000 engine, and occupying a more boulevard bike place in the line-up next to the 1100 Sport, Guzzi's V10 Centauro was fun as a styling exercise and a powerful grocery getter. Though the basis for the modern V-twin was designed in 1971 by Lino Tonti, a significant upgrade was made in the late 1980's which resulted in the 4-valve single overhead cam engine. The 1997-2000 model bridged the gap until the fuller line of 1100cc machines was ready for the showroom.
Actuating the four valves from a cam in the upper side of each cylinder head, and with fuel injection, the 992cc twin results in 95 hp and 65 ft-lbs. torque. In a departure from their dual downtube, the V10 uses a tubular backbone frame with the engine serving as a stabilizing member. Suspension recieved some attention with WP of the Netherlands supplying inverted forks, and monoshock for the shaft drive system. Brembo supplied 320mm floating front brakes with 282mm rear. The bodywork is a 90's look back at the Le Mans, with small headlight fairing and chin spoiler in a bold two-tone arrangement, with the engine also finished in gray.
Looking very good save some rash on the right head from what appears to have been a zero-speed tipover, this Centauro has a sorry 1,500 miles. Head protectors should've prevented that but were possibly added afterward. The only upgrade appears to be the polished Staintune exhaust. Not much about the history is available but the California dealer says this in the eBay auction:
This bike is one of only roughly 3,600 made over a period of 1997-1999, only a fraction of that were imported into the U.S. making this a very unique cycle. It starts up, runs, and rides great. is equipped with a Staintune exhaust and a "chip" to remap the efi. The bike was a one owner bike before we acquired it. From what I can tell it is still on the original tires.
A peculiar beauty, this half-man half-horse is a good one for Guzzi-sti or fans of Italian design. There is even a fan site with a lot of good info. Reviewed as a torquey, fun-to-ride powerhouse, the lean running of 1990's EPA requirements have likely been solved by the aftermarket exhaust and chip. Parked for too long to put right into service, the new owner will want to do all the rubber and fluids before departing. If not for the track or cross-country, the Centauro is a pretty distinctive way to get around town...