Although the Italian company was in dire financial standing, Moto Guzzi came out of the darkness full-speed with fledgling models of a classic and robust Nevada Classic 750. A close cousin of Moto Guzzi’s sportier Breva 750, the Moto Guzzi Nevada has aspirations as a cruiser via some skilled technical tweaking by the Italian engineers. The company’s California line of motorcycles shares a resemblance with the Nevada as well, but employs a flowing fuel tank and moderately forward-mounted foot pegs that lack a cumbersome footboard. The Nevada’s riding posture is upright, which is comfortable for drivers venturing out on long highway drives. A wide-set handlebar and comfy saddle, coupled with a low, 30-inch seat height, contribute to the overall leisurely nature of Moto Guzzi’s newest Nevada line.
Explicit technical updates include a transition from a carburetor transmission to a 25 electronic ignition fuel injection system built by Weber-Marelli, which makes the engine come alive. Power resonates in the longitudinal dual valve motor, with cylinder heads peeking out from the flanks and pushrods accentuating the two valves per cylinder. Horsepower reaches 45.59 at 6600 rpm, with a matching power torque of 77.29 Nm at 3000 rpm, pulling the 176-kg motorcycle forward even at the highest speeds. Engine power is routed via a single disc dry clutch to a five-speed gearbox, followed by a shaft drive typical to Guzzi’s fashion and flair for aesthetics.
In road tests, zigzagging turns, mountainous terrains with uphill and downhill paths, and obstacle-riddled forests served as mere challenges for the talented Moto Guzzi Nevada. An interesting fact about Moto Guzzi is that it is located in Mandello del Lario nearby the country’s northern Lake Como and the southern point of the Alps mountain range. The Nevada’s hometown roots became apparent while driving on mountainous trails as well as on the racetrack and the corner clearance was spectacular for a non-sports vehicle, let alone a cruiser. On winding roads, power may be slightly decreased, but the torque powers through to create a seamless drive. Response to the throttle is easy and well behaved, and the engine pulls cleanly with only a slight exhaust chord that is soon ignored as the driver immerses him or herself into the drive.
Drivers have few reservations about Moto Guzzi’s Nevada; however, there were a few complaints. Some low-frequency vibrations can be felt in the foot pegs and wide handlebars while driving at high speeds above 80 mph. Little effort is needed to turn the clutch, which is impressive for a dry clutch. Shifting is responsive and deliberate, although there is a noticeable noise and revving bump when shifting gears. Additionally, the low-mounted pedals might be hard to reach for shorter-legged drivers.
When it comes to the suspension, Moto Guzzi spares no effort in creating a smooth, high-quality machine. A 40mm Marzocchi non-adjustable damper-rod fork in the front pairs well with the dual rear shocks, which are adjustable for preload and rebounding. Although they were suitable for milder pavement undulations, drivers felt an unpleasant jolt on sharper bumps and rigid dips. No issues with safety were found, though, as Moto Guzzi continues in its tradition of using high-quality Brembo brakes, with rotors fitted into each wheel and four-pot calipers in both the front and rear. Braking was fierce and effective, such that a second front rotor was entirely unnecessary.
Moto Guzzi’s Nevada renders most accessories useless, as many conveniences come standard. For example, a tachometer and speedometer are both included in the motorcycle’s display. Furthermore, a trip meter and analog clock are included on the dashboard. A nifty feature in the clock allows the driver to toggle in order to retrieve a temperature readout in Fahrenheit or Centigrade, which is useful for determining whether or not to expect trouble with ice while driving, especially at night.
Overall, the Moto Guzzi Nevada is a solid, elegant vehicle that is tame enough for novice drivers, yet exciting and fun enough for a pro driver both on the track and in obstacle-riddled courses. The fit and finish of the machine is excellent, although unfortunately it shows in the price. In spite of the price, Moto Guzzi’s genealogy is brightly exhibited in this characteristic bike that follows in the reputation for stylishness and durability.