Uhh Sean, my compatriot is right. So far my feedback is that you have provided extremely limited coverage and no pictures. I already know where the MG factory is located, so the review looks a little thin.
PLEASE GET RID OF THE DUMB ASS "SMACK BACK," I am beginning to think this site is run by idiots. Fix this or I will personally drain the blood from the necks of each of your staff members except JohnnieB who I am certain is far too intelligent to have cooperated in you addiction to Eubonics.
The bike looks nice in pictures and indeed sounds like a nice "beginner" bike. I've been riding for about 15 years, but have recently been looking at some light-weight fun bikes to ride around. I've been considering the Monster 620ie, the SV650 and the Triumph Bonneville. I should add the Breva to my list of bikes to try out.
The story mentions that the Italian price for the Breva undercuts the Monster, but I've read on some of the M-G boards that the U.S. price will be around $7,500... about $500 more than the Monster 620ie (with glossy paint). Of course, it looks to be a more comfortable bike and more capable than the Monster for taking longer trips or carrying a passenger. Then again, it's been a long time since Moto Guzzis have sold for MSRP in the States. I recently found a dealer selling left-over 2002 California Stones for around $7k.
Is there any official word on the U.S. MSRP for the Breva?
My thoughs exactly. My teenage daughter has been nagging me for a 620 Monster, but I will have to show her this one as well. She is just 5" tall, but doesn't want a cruiser-style bike so the choices are a bit limited. Actually, I was thinking that one for myself would be nice.
The Breva is a welcome "breath of fresh air" -- especially for Guzzi's shrinking North American dealer body. This will finally give them something they can actually sell at a competitive price point. While I am a guzzi fan and owner, I would take a Monster 620 over the baby goose. I had one of the first M600s and enjoyed it IMMENSELY -- after pipes, jets, sargent seat, etc. I'm waiting for the new guzzi customs rumored for '05.
While this Review does make this MG sound like an Excellent Beginners-Bike, or an all-around Commuter... I wonder if the Definition of a Beginner-Bike should not also consider Repairability, and ease of finding Parts. If this bike is ever dropped on its Cylinder or Tank, it is going to cost a pretty-penny, and may take a while to get the Parts. I am not sure that this is the type of 'Introduction' to Motorcycling that a prospective Owner should have! I applaud Moto Guzzi for trying to broaden its market, but I am not sure that it should be done on the Shoulders, and Wallet, of the un-initiated!
Seems like it has had the details nicely upgraded from the old 750, itself based on the V50, and hopefully to a modern standard of reliability - this kind of pleasant motorcycle all too rare in the modern world. However, you can see that it is obviously a makeover rather than fundamentally new design - the mass is up on the original V50 (360lbs I think) and a frame redesign could have got it much closer to 300lbs than 400lbs, using the bulk of the motor as the main element. The BMW 650 similarly way overweight for a single. That lower mass would've made it even more fun on the road. If the jap's can make 350lb 600's...
Funny, dealers here in CA are offering discounts on Sportsters now. I walked into a dealership in Fremont a couple of months ago and when I looked at an 883R the first words out of the salesman's mouth was "$1000 off." Of course, that was a left-over 2002 model, but the tide is sure changing.
It doesn't sound as if the Breva shares the 2003 Guzzi 1100's hydraulic lifters. Maintenance requirements on the bigger M-Gs appears to have been reduced substantially by this change. At least the cylinder heads stick out on the Breva so maintenance is relatively easy. My old BMW R1100R required regular valve adjustments but it was a simple matter of putting the bike on the centerstand and pulling a stool up to each side of the bike.
The biggest deciding factor would be dealer location & support, Living close to a city that has just about any bike you want, it's not a problem for me, but MG or Ducati dealers might be thin on the ground in other places. They all look pretty cool to me, since the 620 monster is air cooled, I'm guessing it doesn't require $800. valve adjustments every 2k miles, if price was a factor the SV 650 would probably be best, otherwise I'd go with the 'Guzzi, it seems more substantial than the others, and I'd trade up to a V11 Scura after a year or two so at least I'd be in the loop.
I found the M750 cheap to maintain. The key is learning to do your own valve adjustments. It's pretty simple, no harder than adjusting eight valves on an two valve per cylinder four, and the valves are easy to get to, unlike many other bikes I've worked on. The rest of the maintenance is pretty similar to any other bike. Overall I would have to rate the Monster series as in the "better half" for maintenance. They are reliable in stock trim.