Breva 750 - to buy or not to buy?

Hi guys. Spring arrives and a ‘young’ man’s thoughts turn to…bikes. i have a California 1100 which I love and will never sell, but she’s not the most easy to manhandle around the garage/car parks etc. I bought a 1100 Breva this time last year - was very impressed and set about adjusting her to my tastes. Then I managed to write her off on a trip to Wales. So I was looking at maybe getting another one, only to find prices seem to have risen exponentially since the lockdown - have even seen one with an asking price double what I paid last year. Am toying with the idea of a KTM 390 Adventure, but then I had a thought yesterday - what about a 750 Breva? Seems to have sufficient power, easy handling, low weight etc. But there don’t appear to be many reviews on youtube - although I have been reading the series by Jane Jessop in Gambalunga (see did over 100k miles on hers). And prices seem pretty reasonable. But on the other hand it’s going to be 12-18 years old. So…any Breva 750 owners (current or past) out there willing to share the benefit of your experience? Any things to look out for? It seems the ‘click no crank’ issue applies to the 750 as well as the 1100 but that’s easy to fix. If I do take the plunge, any must do or recommended mods (other than screen and luggage) - a crosspipe to allow access to the gear drain plug seems to be a good and relatively inexpensive place to start, anything else? Or should I look at a later V7 or stick with the big blocks? TIA

Hi Steve

I had an early Breva 750 a couple of years back. They are a lovely bike. The only issue I had was wear in the gearbox making a horrible noise. Apparently some of the early ones had bad case hardening on the gears. I took the box to Nigel at NBS and he found me a later second hand box, as the cost of new gears would be prohibitively expensive. So my advice would be to go for as late a model as you can afford.
As for luggage I had Guzzi branded Hepco Becker panniers and top box, which are very good quality and useful. I just ran with the standard screen, which I was happy with.

They are not the fastest thing in the world but have lovely handling and great fuel economy. Having said all this, I think they are now over priced second hand now and would rather go for an 1100 myself as I think they are better value, if you can manage the weight.

Good luck with the search

Cheers - many thanks. Lots to ponder - and I had an 1100 last year and was very impressed.

I had an 1100 for 4 years and loved it. It took me on holidays to France Germany and Italy.

Wish I had kept that one :confused:

Yup wish I hadn’t crashed mine - would have had the added benefit of not having a titanium plate holding my collar bone together!

Ouch not good!

I bought mine new in 2003, was going to buy a cali but the bulk put me off, and I prefer light motorcycles as I have some work related injuries that will get worse with age
had a problem with the gearbox early on, caused by a moron not filling the gearbox up after a service !!, not me, a local Italian Specialist
he had to pay me some money as after 2 years it was still in bits !!!
Nigel at NBS collected the parts, refurbished it and did a few mods and I was very pleased with both the high standard of his work and the final invoice as it was exactly what he said it would be
been to Mandello many times, plus Belgium and Holland and France and Germany
sometimes on my own, occasionally two up
click crank and blowing fuses irritated me, but soon sorted with guidance from club members
I keep it professionally maintained as I do not trust myself with hammers and I have no patience

keep the oil topped up, if it runs low it will burn it off quicker

thrash the stuffing out of it and it runs better and uses less oil ???

high pressure fuel lines need to be replaced every ten years, very few people bother doing this !!!, I would rather pay for this to be done than be a human flambeau

inside the fuel cap are two small vents, make sure they are clear, one is the overflow to let rainwater out that gets past the cap, the other is an air vent
on mine both were blocked with polish
popped the tank off removed the rubber pipes, and poked a thin wire through then an air line, squirt with ACF 50 to stop corrosion, no further problems

rear shock absorbers get tatty, changed for Hagons, much better

charging socket installed to keep battery charged, I use a standard Yuasa lead acid, cant be bothered with all these wonder batteries, simple works for me

the horn is rubbish
removed, relay installed, and twin horns fitted, holes already drilled for them behind the tank grilles

heated bars as I ride for long hours

origional screen removed as although its pretty I hate getting wet hands , tried a Guzzi touring screen, but it sprayed water on my hands
installed a Puig screen wind tunnel designed, and the air nicely hits the visor, so when I am tired I can have a cool blast of air with my visor open
I dont like really tall fairings, buy a car !
it also deflects everything away from my hands so they stay dry and warm

got a tank bag, a French thing with a cover, very good , the origional one i bought with it had a rubbish zip

Hepco and Becker panniers and frames, but I removed and sold the rear rack as bags tended to obscure the rear light

the rear lamp will fail on a regular basis, high frequency vibes
fit an LED stop tail light , not ebay crap, but a good quality one from a specialist supplier

tyres I use either O/E Bridgestones or recently Dunlops 2 rears to one front

fuel economy is good, 60 to 70 mpg

brakes work well
lights seems ok for me, if I cant see I slow down
however the housing for the headlight develops hairline cracks, I found a way or repairing it neatly, but you can get a smiths style metal one to fit
avoid cheap ebay replacements, they are only rated at 35watt and are a bit rubbish

centre stand is a must if you tour

corrosion can be a problem, but I waxed mine from new and used ACF50 on the wheels and frames parts

it will not give you the big willy cache of the large twins, and you often get told the bigger twins are far superior
I dont really care, it does what I ask and I travel far and wide, its easy to negotiate rocky pathways and forest tracks

check for regular servicing, especially oil changes
avoid one that has been used for short urban journeys, this will cause emulsion to build up in the gearbox oil, engine oil, and drive box oil
squirt a small amount of gear oil inside the drive shaft, it will stop the UJ getting rusty
check the rubber gaiter is sound and there is no corrosion on the shaft where it meets the gearbox ( it will destroy the output seal
given the age its likely an outpout shaft seal change needs doing as they go hard
easier to do in a workshop than to keep mopping up oil from the swingarm on a holiday
check the clutch pushrod linkage, it can get blasted with road grit and seize
pay a mechanic to overhaul it, unless you like breaking things
buy a spare clutch cable and keep it in the pannier
swing arm bearings and front fork bearings will be likely due for a clean and grease
worth changing the fork oil at the same time
also bleed the brakes through as well
as I say regular maintenance by a competent motorcycle mechanic and long runs
down sides with mine, whines from the gearbox, although some of that was caused when it ran low on oil, I wear earplugs and dont worry
sidestand switch can fail, keep it lubed, in an emergency join the wires to make it go

other than that ride it no problems

Just bought a 2009 model so all that info is invaluable, thanks very much. As the bike is always parked in someone else’s driveway (I have no driveway and the road is crowded and buses) I’ll be doing the professional maintenance thing too.