The most important desigh element in any cruiser is its engine. Of it’s not substantial and beautiful enough, it can ruin the whole style completely. A cruiser’s engine is its brawn and its heart at the same time. And it is all the more prominent in the Moto Guzzi Audance.
The transverse mounted V-twin engine with the two cylinders protruding at either side is Audace’s biggest visual impact and there’s no two ways about it. This arrangement makes everything else big and wide as well. The fuel tank has to be wide enough to heep the proportions right. When everything is put together, the front-half of the Moto Guzzi Audace looks big and wide, highlighting its mechanical beauty. The drag-bar handlebar and shorter mudguards add muscularity to the design.
The Moto Guzzi Audace is impeccably finished. There are no unnecessary gaps and flimsiness anywhere. It is very much an Italian masterpiece. The quality of switches is admirable and so is the stitched seat. The bottom of the engine looks big enough to power something much bigger. Aesthetically, it doesn’t feel like a motorcycle engine. The shaft drive further magnifies its mechanical charm.
It is a long motorcycle stretching the overall length up to 2445mm. The thin spoke aluminum alloy wheels look absolutely fantastic while the Brembo calipers at both ends lend a sense of competitive braking performance.
Give a slight throttle in neutral and see the Moto Guzzi Audace tilt slightly to the right; such is the nature of the transverse V-twin. The exhaust note is typical for this engine but does not have a laid-back attitude. The acceleration is brisk and instantaneous for such a bike motorcycle.
For all its big size and heftiness at 299 kilograms, the Moto Guzzi Audace is pretty good to ride even in city traffic. It handles surprisingly well repeatedly making the rider realize that modern engineering can do wonders to the motorcycle’s dynamics. The performance from the 1380cc, air-cooled, 8-valve 90 degree V-twin engine is responsive, to say the least. With 96 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 121Nm of torque at 3,000rpm on tap, the Moto Guzzi Audace advances with authority and is one of the best performers in its category.
One of the things that impressed us was that it never got uncomfortably hot in traffic. We could feel some warmth on our legs but it never bothered us enough to dilute our riding experience.
The Moto Guzzi Audace is a thoroughly modern motorcycle. The Ride by Wire throttle is equipped with three riding modes – Turismo, Veloce and Pioggia. The throttle response changes as per the selected map. There’s also MGTC (Moto Guzzi Traction Control) which complements the selected riding mode rather nicely. We did not experience any unnecessary wheel spins even with a little aggressive throttle input. The Moto Guzzi Audace has good torque almost right off idle and we were impressed by the way the traction control system kept the wheel spin under control ensuring a smooth ride.
This also brings us to the braking performance. With dual 320mm discs up front along with the Brembo radial mounted calipers, the braking was reassuring. We rode the motorcycle extensively in city traffic for the majority of the day and the brakes maintained good feedback and bite throughout the ride. There was no inconsistency in the braking performance nor did it appear to fad at all. Of course, we were never too aggressive on the brakes but we did encounter few situations where we had to panic brake and the brakes slowed the motorcycle down nicely.
We immensely enjoyed every minute we spent on the Moto Guzzi Audace. It is a unique and special motorcycle with rich and exotic appearance. For sure, it is absolutely worth buying, even with it price being a bit over 1.1 million THB.