- Guzzi V35 TT Manichino -
“A one of a kind prototype”
In the 80s Guzzi followed the trend of large displacement enduros by producing the TT e la NTX. The first one was derived from a prototype (the V50 TS, where TS TS meant “Tutta Strada” or “All roads”), which was basically a street bike which could also be utilized as a light off road motorcycle capable to be driven anywhere. The assembly line production of this motorcycle never took place and it remained a prototype but served as a basis to start and complete the development of the series TT (Tutto Terreno or ‘All terrains”; available as V65 and V35, more versatile because of its light weight and size: the motorcycle had the frame of the street versions, which could be disassembled as the other v65 in few points; 2 into 1 exhaust, front and back disk brake and drive shaft. The only main difference was really the front forks, a longer fork with a 21″ wheel and obviously a different setting regarding the tank (inspired by the enduro races of that time), one longer seat, a larger front fender and a rack in the back, one small rectangular front light and a small fairing which got inspired by the 70s scramblers.
The typical semi-enduro configuration was pretty successful and evolved into a more complete dual purpose version: The NTX (where the acronym means Nuovo Tipo X or “new kind cross”. The new series NTX (available in 350, 650 and 750 engine configuration), was the same TT (separate brakes, transmission, front end) but had a higher frame from the ground, 2 into 2 (the 750 model), and a new integrated fairing, more useful for long term journeys (very similar in concept to the Honda Transalp) rather than to enduro racing. The engine output was decreased to 48HP to allow a better lower torque response, but the tank was not taken from the enduro racing bikes as the TT, rather from the Dakar bikes that Guzzi prepared (in fact Guzzi realized several Dakar bikes based on the TT that were called Baja. Such NTX in their most recent configurations were produced until 1994.
Besides the 15 Baja produced for the Dakar (I am the lucky owner of one and the Duna (which was produced as a prototype model to follow the NTX), Guzzi also produced my experimental motorcycle (Manichino – Italian for Mannequin as I like to call it – BTW I have a certification of origin signed by Moto Guzzi). Such bike was built on a new frame made of square tubes and utilizes a v35 engine. The most salient point of the bike, which utilizes a lot of components from the Baja, is the central monoshock. The Duna was also a Monoshock. Guzzi was hoping to bridge to a more modern frame design and produced 2 prototype off road bikes; a Manichino to be used more as a light enduro bike and a Duna to continue the dual purpose trend.
1986 GUZZI TT “Manichino”
The bike is an assemble of different parts used on different bikes. The expert will recognize the front front end from the Cagiva WMX 500 for example and the headlight from the TT, the tank from other enduros bikes of the 80s as well as the different fenders and exhausts. When I received the bike, it was missing the front caliper and the seat which I made out of a Garelli motorcycle. It is common on prototypes building to use items you have around in the shop to put together the bike to show it. I heard this bike was not put together in Mndello, Lecco but rather near Modena at the old Detomaso R&D that at that time belonged to Guzzi. One of the main peculiarity of this bike is the configuration of the exhausts which reminded me of enduros bikes of the 70s as well s the monoshock set up built my bracing the original alum swing arm.To add more, the frame which is made of tubes -round and squares similar to the Morini 501. Not sure of the benefits rather than the strange looking aspect of it. The bike has a long side stand, similar to the Baja.