Can a mass produced motorcycle be unique? In a way, it can be, if you make it too expensive or in limited numbers or simply sell it in select few markets. Do any of these and you will have fewer people buying it eventually making it a rather rare sighting at most places and motorcycle meet-ups. This shall pass the high-end Ducatis and the MV Agustas as unique.
But this isn’t the kind of uniqueness we are referring to. We want to talk about uniqueness in its truest sense, which is when you look at something you say it is unlike anything. Something which has a certain visual characteristic that is totally uncommon. Sure the Ducatis are unlike most Superbikes with their L-twin motors and they come sans any graphics, but they are still not quite there when it comes to being distinctive enough. It is the reason people customize their rides.
However, let us point your attention to Moto Guzzi to start making sense of things. To say all their motorcycles are powered by V-twin engines wouldn’t do justice to the brand. It needs to be seen and to be shown to really understand that the transverse mounted V-twin engine in a Guzzi is one of the few unique designs currently in production.
And we got to experience one in the Audace – Moto Guzzi’s stripped down cruiser.
Possibly the most important design elements in any cruiser is its engine. If 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 Moto Guzzi Audace.
The transverse mounted V-twin engine with the two cylinders protruding at either side is Audace’s biggest visual impact and there’re no two ways about it. This arrangement makes everything else big and wide as well. The fuel tank has to be wide enough to keep the proportions alright. When everything is put together, the first-half of the motorcycle looks big and wide, highlighting its mechanical beauty. The drag-bar handlebar and shorter mudguards add muscularity to the design.
The Audace is quite 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.
Give a slight throttle in neutral and see the 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.
For all its big size and heftiness at 299 kg, the Audace is pretty good to ride even in the normal city traffic. It handles surprisingly well repeatedly making the rider realize that modern engineering can do wonders to the bike’s dynamics. The performance from the 1380cc, air-cooled, 8-valve 90 degrees V-twin engine is responsive, to say the least. With 96 BHP at 6,500 RPM and 121 NM of torque at 3,000 RPM on tap, the Audace advances with authority and is one of the best performers in its category.
One of the things that impressed us very much was that it never got uncomfortably warm in the traffic. We could feel some warmth at our legs but it never bothered us enough to dilute our riding experience.
We immensely enjoyed every minute we spent on the Audace. It is a unique and special motorcycle with rich and exotic appearance. For sure, it is absolutely worth keeping.
Today, there is more than one way to own such a lovely motorcycle as rather than going to the showroom, you can search it on OLX and maybe, you will get lucky.