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What do you do when a brand stops producing what your customers are asking for? You go from dealer to small-time manufacturer

MW’s new R 18 Custom Touring range has made people look at rival firm’s comparable twin-cylinder ranges, not least Moto Guzzi’s. But right now all the Italian company’s product focus is on its new V85 middleweight platform, half the capacity of the R 18 which, in dual purpose V85-TT guise, is keeping the Piaggio-owned company’s lakeside factory at Mandello del Lario busy – well, until the Covid-19 shutdown, of course.

But between Guzzi’s 853cc V85-TT/V9 middleweights and the 1380cc MGX-21 and California Big Twins, there’s nothing in the current Guzzi range to compete with, say, a Ducati Monster 1200 or a Triumph Speed Twin. The Griso 1200 8V was just such a bike, but it disappeared after 2016 when Piaggio declined to make it Euro 4 compliant, despite its solid reputation for reliability as well as relatively sparkling performance. I say ‘relative’; its Quattrovalvole engine produced just 80.9kW (108.3hp) at 7600rpm, but while these may not sound like big numbers for a 1200, the useful 108.4Nm of torque it produced at 6400rpm resulted in a flexible, friendly, real-world ride with dollops of attitude.

Though there’s nothing like it any more in Moto Guzzi’s current catalogue, a neglect which prompted one of Italy’s largest Guzzi dealers, Stefano Perego of Millepercento (literally, one thousand percent), located just half an hour south of the Mandello factory, to fix that.

“We wanted to restore some of the excitement that’s missing from today’s Moto Guzzi range,” says Perego. “I have many customers who are looking for a Guzzi sportbike, but there’s nothing for them anymore.”

Perego established the store in 2005 and registered it as a standalone manufacturer in 2008, meaning MPC can officially homologate any one of its small-volume products in the EU. There have been three such models so far, all essentially EVO versions of existing Moto Guzzi models.

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