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Breva 750 or GS500?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by jd, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Don't have any real reason to get rid of the GPX, but nonetheless I am start to ponder what I could replace it with maybe sometime next year.

    First up, I know the two bikes I've listed in the title aren't exactly modern, but this to me is a good thing. My main requirements are something which is cheap and easy for me to work on myself, which the GPX fits just fine, however I have found myself wanting more torque on more than a few occasions (usually very tight and steep uphill corners).

    The GS is on the list since I suspect they're going to be phased out next year with the new emissions regs, so I'm hoping this might mean I could get a good deal on a new one (I also have a fondness for air/oil cooled Suzukis). However, The 750 Breva is a bike I looked at buying new a while ago, mainly due to the fact that the nearest dealer was 6 hours away (and it seemed expensive for what it was). I have however noticed a few used Brevas with low kms (ie 30-40k) down around the price of a new GS, and given I now live only 15 minutes or so from a Guzzi dealer it is looking like a definite possibility. Guzzis are also something I've had something of an interest in ever since I first saw a V10 Centauro (which is still in my top ten list for best looking bikes ever made).

    I'm already reasonably familiar with the GS, but would certainly be interested to hear from anyone with familiar with the Guzzi as to how it compares in terms of performance/rideability and of course reliability and cost/ease of maintenance (particularly with regards to the dry clutch and shaft drive which I've not had experience with on a bike). I'm also finding conflicting info about the Breva as to whether it had a 5 or 6 speed gearbox, and the fuel system used (I've seen references to carbs and two different injection systems). So if anyone knows if there was any changes to the model sold here over the years I'd love to know.

    Finally, feel free to suggest any other bikes that might be worth a look. Main use will be commuting and touring - so something comfortable and stable at highway speeds, with the ability to carry a reasonable amount of luggage (ie at least as much as I strap to the GPX now) is really what I'm looking for. So this does rule out motards, as fun as I find single cylinders to be, and I'm not exactly a fan of the lack of cornering clearance on a cruiser. In terms of budget I'm ideally looking at something around the 6-8k price range unless I have a good reason to spend more.

  2. You could get a stonking GSX750F for that money. Still fairly undemanding to work on (apart from the need to pull the plastics off), much more capable than the GS (not that I've anything against the GS by any means), not a hoon bike so cheapish insurance and it's one of the last of the oil cooled fours AFAIK. Only cons I can see are that it's probably a bit bland compared to the Guzzi and you're starting to get towards big bike tyre and chain requirements so costs go up.
  3. Very true, although I probably should have mentioned I do already have a GSX750SF. So a 750F would just feel like riding its ugly sister :LOL:.
  4. Look I like the GS, but I'd take the Breva any day.
  5. I reckon the Breva would gratify somewhat more. They've been EFI for a few years now, but if you can't find clear info online about which year, I guess you'd have to ask the seller of any one you might be interested in.
  6. Just to be clear (and I admit I may be getting my suffixes wrong) I'm talking about the long-lived, still just about current, fully faired sports tourer with the detuned GSXR oil cooled lump.
  7. Pretty heavy and gutless though.
  8. The Guzzi 1100s went EFI in the mid 90s because I was looking at a 1100 sport. The first few were problematic though on the big bikes.

    Have you ridden the small block, its more like a Bonny power than what you could get for your budget in Japanese.

    The GS is overpriced, you could get a non lams 650 like the SV for less money.
  9. Yep, that's the one I thought you meant. Pretty much the same engine as the pop-up Katana I already own, though I think the Kat engine is slightly less detuned. Only problem with the later models of the 750F is the fact they look like a pregnant guppy, and that alone is what kept me from buying one a while ago. I did almost buy one of the earlier models, but got scared off by what sounded like the beginnings of some very expensive top end issues on the test ride.

    True, but this is why I'm hoping they have some sort of run out on them and drop the price. Although I don't actually consider their new price all that bad compared with what else is on the market - it's the used prices that are ridiculous compared with something like an SV.

    Haven't ridden a Guzzi but am aware of the sort of engine performance to expect. And yes I could get more performance, cheaper, from a Japanese bike. But modern Japanese bikes seem to be getting more and more difficult to work on at home, and I'd prefer never to have to use a mechanic.
  10. jd you need to google moto guzzi v7 stone

    you won't regret it.
  11. You're right, I like :). Was familiar with the California Stone (which I also kinda like), but didn't realise there was a new version.

    Only problem though is I did check out the standard V7 when it came out and for some reason the riding position just didn't feel right to me - certainly not like it did with the Breva. Perhaps it's time I visited the local Guzzi dealer for another look, after all - what harm could come from just looking at a new bike.......;)
  12. factor in cost for arrows.
    nice bikes.
  13. Well if you want to work on it that does limit it.

    What about the Bandit 1200/1250 or the other big 70s replicas (GSX1400, ZXR1400)? Bit heavy for commuting maybe.

    Oh oh get a Buell.
  14. I always assumed the 750 Kat had the previous generation air-cooled 16-valver which, AIUI contributed some of it's DNA but was sufficiently changed that the GSXR/GSXF oil-cooler could be regarded as a completely new power unit.
  15. Nope, definitely oil-cooled. It was basically just a GSX750ES with a few performance and cosmetic changes (the workshop manual for the SE/SF is a supplement to the ES manual). From what I can find it was the GSX750ES that bridged the gap between the oil-cooled GSXR750, and the GSX750F.

    Not sure where the JDM 750cc replicas of the original GSX1000S quite fit in though. Very difficult to find detailed info on those (in English), so not sure if they ran an oil cooler or not.
  16. $7-8K will get you a W650.

    Very, very well-made and reliable bikes.

    Very easy to work on yourself - they appeared to have ease of servicing in mind when they designed it.

    A really nice spread of torque which makes it very easy around town. A character-filled engine, but one that smooths out on the highway. It's light enough on the commute, but feels long and stable on the highway, and the riding position is very neutral. When it comes to luggage it is, again, thoughtfully designed with occy strap hooks in place and there are a variety of racks available. The tank is 15L and the bike is frugal. There's also a kickstart, which you won't need but it is nice to have :) And the bevel drive means no cam chain and adds a bit of exotica.
  17. If only that were true of more bikes.

    I'd forgotten about the W650, last time I looked at them they were still quite pricey (ie over $10k). But yeah, does seem to be a few reasonable ones on bikesales for 7-8k. Of course that does still seem a little pricey given that I also found a 2011 W800 with only 5,000kms for just under 9k. Hopefully an increase in used W800s will mean a drop in the price of used 650s. [-o<

    Certainly appreciate the first-hand info :)
  18. Interesting. I had the GSX750's little brother, a half faired GSX550, and it was air-cooled in the same manner as its GS predeccessor. It did have a small, supplementary oil cooler but it also had full cylinder finning, unlike the relatively huge coolers and vestigial finning of the SACS engined bikes.
  19. Yeah the Kat certainly has a much smaller oil cooler than the monster they used on the GSXR. But of course even the GSXR had cooling fins and relied to some degree of air cooling.

    I did actually check the original sales brochure for the Kat (got cheap off ebay a while back), and it describes the cooling system as oil-jet piston cooling - which of course refers to the fact it sprays oil directly onto the pistons rather than rely on splash lube. So certainly some differences, but the ES/Katana engine was almost certainly developed alongside the GSXR given they both came out around the same time - and Suzuki is notorious for recycling engine designs. However whereas the GSXR engine was basically killed off in favour of water cooling, it's the ES/Katana engine that lived on and is basically the same as what was used in the GSX750F (which I assume is the reason why they used the Katana name in the US).
  20. If you are (or were) considering a new GS500, maybe a good used DL650 could be had for the same price. They are only ugly when you aren't riding it, they go allright - bloody good motor, easy to handle in traffic, pretty good on the twistys, good long distance bikes and don't mind unsealed roads either.