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Affordable Italian: 1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport

While there are certainly other, more exotic and rare Moto Guzzis to consider, the 1100 Sport is a fine choice for those interested in Italian ownership without pandering to the chores of hyper-rare, unobtainium parts, and temperamental Italian thoroughbred ownership. With the 1100 Sport you get all the basics you would expect in a Guzzi – transverse 90 degree V-twin with air cooling, a sporty silhouette and shaft drive – packaged in a bike that you can ride. The longevity of these machines is legendary. What you don’t get is all of the headaches associated with the Corse models, nor the added complexity and maintenance of the “upper scale” versions with higher horsepower ratings, 4-valve heads, etc. But fear not, even a pedestrian model Guzzi will turn heads, and give forth smiles and miles aplenty.

1997 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport for sale on eBay

If you are familiar with Moto Guzzi history, you could consider the 1100 Sport model as a successor to the legendary LeMans series – although in reality it never really captured hearts and wallets in the same fashion. It is what one might consider a bargain Daytona of the brand, or possibly even an alternate take on a 90s era Ducati 900 Super Sport. Riders of Japaneses hyperbikes deride the Guzzi for its loping, slow delivery of power. They point out it is heavy, and that no real sport bike ever used anything but a drive chain. But the 1100 Sport was not made for the cut and thrust of the race track. It is a real world rider, with 90 horsepower all coming in below 8,000 RPM. At about 480 pounds this is no featherweight, and its forte is much more the sweeping corners of a canyon than late braking into hairpins (although the triple Brembos are up to the task). It is reasonably comfortable with good ergonomics and adequate wind protection from the sport-styled fairing. It is a motorcycle with which one can do motorcycling things, and it does none of them so well as to make it stand out.

From the seller:
Up for sale is my 1997 Guzzi 1100 sport this bike has no known issues that i am aware of a complete service was just done at the AF1 shop here in Austin tx. . there are new Michelin tires with less than 1k miles on them.this bike may not be for the average rider but if you have ever ridden one you will know what i am talking about.condition is above average for this bike. thank you for looking. Buyer will pay for any shipping cost needed. Clear title/ new battery

If it seems that I am damning the 1100 Sport with no praise whatsoever, fear not. The 1100 Sport is a truly capable motorcycle. It is not available in copious numbers in the US like your average NinjaBusaBlade. It is not ultra rare like an NR750. It is not lusted after like a RC30 or OW01. This is a motorcycle to own and enjoy because you like to ride. It will never be a collector, but that is not a bad thing. In many ways, this 1100 Sport is everything a motorcycle *should* be, without a lot of the flash and drama to confuse the experience. Reliability is good, maintenance is relatively easy (no belts to change, fewer valves to adjust, shaft drive, fuel injection, etc), and yet you still get the exotic aura of an Italian machine. Check it out here, and let us know what you think. The pics are a bit low res, but the bike really stands out in “arrest me” red. The miles are more than one might expect from a sport bike, but (with proper maintenance) that is right up Guzzi territory; like their BMW counterparts, these bikes are meant to eat up miles. The asking price might be a bit on the upper scale of the range, but the seller is open to offers. This could be a fine rider – and a bargain in the making. Good Luck!

MI

7 Comments

  • One of my brothers has a ’95 Guzzi 1100 Sport. The 1997 is an “1100 i”; the first year for fuel injection, as well as for inverted forks.

    You don’t feel the weight, and it switches side to side effortlessly, due to the longitudinal crankshaft. Handles well.

    The transmission might well be called ‘agricultural’ in nature. Firm and purposeful shifts are a necessity, or it falls into a false neutral. My own ’08 Guzzi 1200 Sport is much better in this regard, but neither are smooth in manner of a Japanese bike.

    They’re fun. Short shift and use that wonderful torque curve, enjoy the sounds of a big bore v-twin and that giant dry clutch.

  • Thanks for the comments, John. I agree that these are a wonderful riding experience, as long as you don’t rush it.

    – Mike

  • I sold my black/olive 97 about 7 years ago and regretted it immediately. It was such a neat bike and the fact that it was a slower partner than any sport bike at the time was actually a plus. It forced me to enjoy the ride, scenery, smells, temperature changes… just everything about the ride. I had been looking for a low mileage 1100i since and then last fall a beautiful 97 Daytona RS presented itself and I jumped on it. This one is a keeper.

  • I’m a Daytona RS owner as well, with some other guzzi’s in the stable. With a little more than 1,300 produced, the Sport ie is pretty much as exotic as it gets for a Guzzi, other than The Daytona models.
    If it’s clean, $4,000 is a pretty decent price IMO.
    I wouldn’t write it off as a collector yet. With Lemans and 1000s models going up in price, these may start to rise.

  • I really like these bikes and agree with Turin: I think they’ll be collectible. Not “RC30 collectible,” but collectible. But I do have a soft spot for them: my very first Italian bike “ah ha” moment was when one of these with Termignoni pipes went booming by me on the street in Burbank. And I’m sorry, I don’t care what anyone says, or if even Guzzi’s own press materials sometimes mess it up: this is a LONGITUDINAL v-twin, not a transverse v-twin. It’s all about crankshaft orientation, not whether the cylinders stick out to the sides. Yes, I will die on this hill.

  • Longitudinal, transverse, translongitudinal, longiversal – it’s all good. With Guzzi vibes and the sound I’m still grinning, just as long as the crank is spinning! (but point well taken)

    – Mike

  • Had a 2002 1100 Guzzi V11-still miss it. Wont see where an R6 went but will pull on forever. Sort of Corvette Stingray sports motorcycle. Lumpy motor and comfortable slow handling – you need to be a certain age to appreciate the ride.
    Rode fancy BMW R1100 back to back with my Guzzi on typical Irish roads at the time , and the Guzzi was by far the better bike to ride.
    In my humble opinion.

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