A Guzzi-man owner of a BMW G310GS
I’m a traitor on this forum. I’m a Guzzi-man. I once bought a R80RT for my wife, but she wasn’t at ease with the big fairing, so I sold it and bought a Guzzi Florida for her, which she loved. I had a R75, with 15” wheels, swingarm fork and Steibb sidecar, but I preferred my California 850 with Watsonian sidecar. Visiting a BMW shop, having time to waist, I fell in love with a R100GS Paris-Dakar. I sold it after 2 weeks because I couldn’t stand the wind pressure on my head, provoking pain in the neck. Smooth bike, soft throttle, but no integral breaking like on my California 1000 waiting for me in the garage and sad I had left her for a short while. I never abandoned her again, until I moved to Crete. We parted in tears.
There’s not one good Guzzi dealer in Crete – Piaggio dealers not even have one single Guzzi in stock; one buys upon order, blindly – and as far as I know only one with “prime service” in whole Greece, in Patras. That’s why I turned to BMW, with my wife’s instruction to buy something light and easy “because you are too old”. I saw the G310GS in red, beautiful; made a test ride and bought it.
It’s expensive for a little Indian machine. The windshield is useless – bought a bigger one –; the handlebar is too low – bought raisers –; there’s no center stand – bought one; the first service costs a fortune – that’s BMW.
There is nothing to hate about this nice little bike. It’s a joy to have a bike again, but I cannot get used to it because it’s not a Guzzi. The sound of a classic twin cylinder is something I miss, something I need, including it’s left-right swing. I don’t like the high-pitched bee-sound of the GS’ single cylinder. The torque of a Guzzi is phenomenal, nil on the GS. Shift buddy, shift and shift again to stay in tours. With the raisers my position is comfortable, but a Guzzi doesn’t need raisers: you sit on it as in an armchair. The GS’ seat seems to be a fakir’s bed; the Guzzi seat is thick and cozy. The GS’ windshield, even the taller one, doesn’t prevent the wind to pressure your chest or shake your head as in a catwalk; the Guzzi’s windshield protects you totally. If you want to go on a long journey with a GS, you must buy a tank bag, rear bags, a top case, for which you must search third party offers. The result is, the beautiful looking GS ends up becoming an ugly bike due to awful excrescencies. For every Guzzi there’s a genuine offer for luggage, perfectly adapted to the bike’s character. Some people must lower their GS because their feet are 10” from the ground. With a Guzzi you have both feet flat on the ground.
Last but not least! Did you ever have a closer look at the GS’ “vital organs”? Did you ever tried to clean it? Impossible! Everything is hidden in an inextricable jumble; one needs to take away 111 parts and 222 bolts! This reminds me of the HD Electra Glide I had for a while: a nightmare to clean! Let me explain you how it goes with a Guzzi. Lift or remove the seat; unleash the deposit and remove the two side panels. That’s it. There is the bike: a frame, a motor and two wheels. Everything is accessible. Clean it, work on it, explore it. Ever changed a spark plug on a GS? On a Guzzi they are there, just in front of you. Chain tension? Wheel alignment? What are you talking about? A Guzzi has a shaft!
Every bike has A character, a proper character and a proper beauty. One loves it or not. I love the Guzzi character; the GS doesn’t have the one I like. I’m not lucky with BMW it seems. They don’t match with my character. The boxer BMW R850 C would have I think, but it’s already forgotten. That’s why I contacted the Piaggio and BMW dealer in Patras, asking him to swap the GS for a Moto Guzzi V7 III Special. This swap will cost me a fortune, loosing a 1000€ on the GS’ price plus the accessories and I will have to add some money on top of it. Never mind.
I already know I will hate the ABS and the TCS (traction control) which are standard on nowadays Guzzis. Soon we’ll have GPS as standard as well … They are just trouble, as is the side stand cutoff switch. I’ll get rid of it immediately. I will shiver knowing the bike has electronic injection. If it fails, I cannot do anything about it. Please! Give us back points and capacitors. Anyhow, I will rediscover the joy of riding on a real motorbike, on one with character, with a unique sound and I will wave at those very few little GS bees passing me with a smile on my face.