Road test: Moto Guzzi Griso 8V Special Edition 2009
This Griso will certainly have Guzzi fans enthusiastic over the 2009 offering as Moto Guzzi undertakes a strong brand relaunch, which sees the Griso as protagonist.
We have watched the new 2009 models from Moto Guzzi with interest, including the Nevada 750. V7 Cafè Classic and Griso 8V Special Edition. and we recently had the chance to take the new Griso for a test ride.
This new model perfectly unites history with innovation, showing that Moto Guzzi is keeping up with the times and creating charismatic bikes. The name “Griso” comes from a famous character in Italy’s canon text of “The Betrothed”, written by Manzoni who lived not far from Mandello, where Moto Guzzi has its factory.
In the text, Griso is the head of a band of bad guys, but he’s couragious, determined and shows skill and derring do. All characteristics which we expect to find in the Moto Guzzi Griso. The Griso is designed to be both a show stopper and an everyday companion both on the road for a long trip and around the urban traps.
It’s a motorcycle that needs to be ridden decisively, but that adapts to the rider. The seat is comfortable, though a little wide around the tank. The special edition has an imitation leather seat, with elegant spoked wheels and lovely colours.
It is equipped with a V90 four-stroke engine, capable of 110 hp at only 7,500 rpm. It has a tubular twin cradle chassis in a larger format, with a wheelbase of 1,554 mm, rake of 108 mm, and steering rake and angle at 26.30° and 34° respectively.
Depending on your taste, you’ll either like the style or not, but the Griso certainly has personality. The general assembly and production quality is good, with no question marks over how trustworthy this Moto Guzzi is.
We also need to take into account that the main rival to the Griso is the highly tested and praised BMW R1200R. Happily, the Guzzi Griso seems to have all the right cards to play, to challenge the BMW on equal footing. The Griso is dynamic and with a pleasing technical set-up.
When riding, the Griso is definitely well thought out; it’s agile and fast in changing direction, dancing around corners like the best in its segment. The handle bars are wide, giving excellent handling, though at high speed it can create some discomfort in terms of aerodynamics.
The rear swing arm has been built as one whole piece, with a C.A.R.C reactive drive universal joint transmission system which reduces the effect of a raised rear wheel during in acceleration typical of this type of transmission. The Pirelli Scorpion tyres give plenty of satisfaction around corners and mountain roads.
The Griso can quickly reach its top speed of 200 km/hr, though its a more comfortable ride at about 150 km/hr, given the low aerodynamic protection available at the front of the bike. The engine is wonderfully fluid at low revs, allowing for use of the fifth and sixth gear even at low speeds.
The braking is fine, although the clutch feel is not the best, as it could be faster along some changes. The brakes perform very well, as does the torque from a standing start thanks to the transverse engine.
As a summary, the Griso generally has good handling and riding style, giving plenty of fun on some roads, though not travelling at high speeds. It features a 16.7 litre tank, Pirelli Scorpion tyres measuring 120/70-17 at the front and 180/55-17 at the rear, and a dry weight of 222 kg. The price is 13,770 euros.
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