Café Veloce: 1978-1988 Moto Guzzi SP1000

We take a look at the legendary Moto Guzzi 1000SP, compared to the BMW R100RS and the late Honda CBX Super Sport.

| January/February 2021


A period brochure highlights features of the SP1000.

Years produced: 1978-1988

Horsepower:  62hp @ 6,500rpm (rear wheel)

Top speed: 112mph (period test)

Engine: 948cc, (88mm x 78mm) air-cooled, OHV L-twin

12/26/2020 9:16:44 PM

I owned a '77 RS for 30 years. Yes, the "gummikuh" handling was there, but most owners put on a real top yoke on the steering head, and added a fork brace, and learned to be smooth in the corners. I've watched many RS-riding friends leave faster bikes in the corners (not me), and it has the best fairing ever mounted to a motorcycle. I love all things Guzzi, but the SP was a bit of a mashup to try to get into the sport-touring market. Not as fast as an RS, nor as comfortable or reliable. Better handling, yes.

12/25/2020 8:33:20 AM

I had a '79 R100RS - and yes, beautifully made and no oil leaks - but it simply didn't handle. For a start it was a heavy bike - and it had to be laid down in a corner in a steady state - no accelerating, braking or line changing in mid-corner otherwise it all suddenly went pear-shaped. The only bike I ever owned that sometimes felt as though it oscillated (in azimuth) around a point midway between the front and rear wheel. Very off-putting. I wanted very much to like it but it wasn't for me. I sold it without a regret.

12/24/2020 3:28:27 PM

C'mon guys - an 'L-twin"????? This is a V-twin, L twin is a term reserved for Ducatis. And 'with two, straight, parallel top tubes inboard of the jugs. These tubes were triangulated to the top of the steering head, not the bottom, ' - better have a look at one - the top frame rails are attached to the front engine mount tubes, which attach to the bottom of the steering head. Merry Xmas!

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