I'm a lurker in some of the Guzzi forums, and more than the thin dealer network, I think a bigger problem might be spare parts availability. Hard parts, engine or electrics sound like they could put you off the road for weeks or months.
I'd love to own a Stelvio, but the scarcity of parts I perceive keeps me away.
Kugeln and Scott, You've raised a really good question and one that I've asked many times of both owners and dealers. Generally, the answer is something like -- the normal preventive maintenance and drive-line repair items are readily available. If you need something for a major rebuild or a unique item from an older model, that may take a bit longer. A complete engine for a Norge may fall into the latter category, but, I admit, it probably should not.
Over the past five years or so, I've been to 25 or 30 Guzzi Rallies in the Greater Mid-West. (By the way, they're a lot of fun if you ever get a chance to attend one.) I've talked to a ton of owners and looked at a gaggle of bikes. I don't hear any of those owners saying that parts availability is keeping them off the road.
, you're in Houston. You have one of the premier Guzzi dealers in the nation in your area. Go there. Ask them your questions, look in their parts storage area and see what's available. Let them answer your concerns. I've been there and have talked to them. I feel they will do anything in their power to keep you on the road.
, if you want to hear what current Stelvio owners are saying, go to the Adventure Rider website, then to the "Beasts" section, then to the line of discussion titled "If you own a Guzzi Stelvio, how do you like it?" This might help you understand how the bike is performing.
Guys, as I said initially, I really want to own/ride a Guzzi in my riding life and my clock's ticking. I recently turned 78, so there're not that many more chunks of time in my bucket to enjoy long distance touring and camping trips. If getting a next generation Stelvio is the worst decision I've ever made, it's been a pretty good ride.