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Griso 8V reviews


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Starting with Kevin Ash's write-up in The Telegraph 12 Oct 2007

Referred to before, elsewhere on the Forum, but this is the appropriate place now.


The Moto Guzzi Griso 8v is perfectly potent



The best-looking bike of the past couple of years for me has not been some high-performance superbike, exotic race replica, upmarket cruiser or hand-built special, but it was at least Italian. Moto Guzzi's Griso started life as an improbable concept that turned to reality following enormous pressure from potential customers, and the old but turbulent factory found enough time to attend to a host of pleasing details while remaining faithful to the concept's basic theme.


This year's Euro emissions regulations have done for the Griso's 1,100cc engine, however, so for the coming season the slickly styled bike is fitted with a new motor, and despite following the inevitable transverse-cylinder, 90-degree V-twin, air-cooled format, it's considerably more sophisticated than before. Importantly, the bike has gained 21 horsepower in the process, up to 108bhp. Would this mean a concomitant loss of low-rev torque to achieve it, so important to the Griso's character and easy-riding nature? A switch from two to four valves per cylinder - hence the Griso's 8v suffix - so often leads to a peakier power delivery anyway, but there's no need to worry because the replacement engine also gains capacity, up from 1,064cc to 1,151cc, achieved by lengthening the stroke and leaving the bore alone.


As soon as you pull away, it's clear the low- and mid-range torque are unaffected, and the engine feels much the same as before in terms of how hard it drives, only there's a crisper, livelier edge to it that improves the bike around town and lends it a sportier feel on open roads. But it's not until you're revving the motor hard - 6,000rpm is hard for a big twin of this nature - that the power hike comes into effect, and at this point the Guzzi kicks you up to and beyond its 7,500rpm peak. It's fast enough to be exhilarating here, although the vibration levels rise to intrude at times, and essentially it gives you an extra dimension to the bike's performance, with no obvious consequential loss.


There are other changes aside from the 563 new components in the engine, which amounts to 75 per cent of the total, apparently. The exceptionally wide bars of the first Griso are narrower but still wide enough to take a little getting used to, while the footrests are slightly higher and farther back and the seat is reshaped to be more comfortable, which seems to work. There's a new pearlescent-white colour in addition to the black, the front discs are trendy wave-edged items - no real technical value but they look interesting - and the silencer has an odd Siamese appearance, allegedly to achieve a figure-eight end cross section. Oh, and you also get some tacky "8v" stickers.


The rest is as it was, which means outstanding steering at low and high speeds, not fast but precisely neutral and obedient, so the bike sweeps and flows along twisty roads and around mountain hairpins effortlessly, until you try to hustle it when those bars ask for some muscular input. You could certainly go places on the Griso as well as use it locally, although the 3.7-gallon tank capacity is rather mean. The bike is well finished, though, and Guzzi reliability is good these days, but the spares back-up is still patchy. It looks great too, with the powerful curves of that exhaust defining the left side, the mechanical muscle of oil cooler, motor and transmission exposed on the right and the slender tank draped atop the fat twin frame rails.


Engine/transmission: 1,151cc, V-twin four-stroke with eight valves; 121bhp at 7,500rpm, 58lb ft of torque at 6,000rpm. Six-speed gearbox, shaft final drive.

Performance: top speed 145mph.

We like: Engine, style, easy to ride.

We don't like: Spares back-up, high-rev vibes.


This is Guzzi - and bike design generally - at its best.

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Moto Guzzi Griso 8v



The sudden burst of power was welcome, but unexpected. There I was, on the Griso 8v launch near Milan, cruising behind two riders on identical Guzzis. When they passed a truck in a gap too short for me to comfortably follow, I cracked the Griso's throttle for the first time-and was greeted by top-end power from the eight-valve engine that jolted me awake quicker than a triple espresso.


I shouldn't have been surprised. Moto Guzzi's new 1151cc, SOHC eight-valve twin produces a claimed 110 bhp at 7500 rpm-a 22-hp advantage over the original Griso's pushrod mill.


The Griso's tough-guy name has always suited the bike thanks to its muscular shape, but the pushrod-operated Vee never really lived up to the bike's burly image. The original 1064cc unit incorporated Breva-spec updates including twin-plug heads and a six-speed box. But with a peak output of just 88 bhp, it hardly inspired thoughts of a legendary warrior. Now the Griso has gained strength from a redesigned engine that retains little apart from the marque's trademark air-cooled, 90-degree transverse V-twin layout.


This new powerplant represents a major step for Guzzi, and will be introduced to other models as the marque's Piaggio owners continue their blitz of updated machinery. There are 563 new components in this engine-75 percent of the total. As well as producing 25 percent more power, the motor is more compact, and contributes to a bike that, at 489 pounds, is 11 pounds lighter than before.


The most important changes are in the top end, where each cylinder's four valves are operated by a single cam driven by an inverted-tooth chain. New pistons are cooled by oil jets. The lubrication system incorporates twin oil pumps, as well as a large oil cooler mounted on the right side of the redesigned crankcase. Compression is up from 9.6:1 to 11:1. Bottom-end changes include a crankshaft 55 percent stiffer than its predecessor.


Guzzi has updated the chassis, too. The tube-steel frame and single-sided swingarm are retained, as are the multi-adjustable Boge shock and geometry-a lazy 26-degree steering angle and long, 61.2-inch wheelbase. The fork's sliders are now carbon nitride-coated, and the new front brake combines radial four-pot Brembo calipers and petal discs. The eight-valver also gains a racier image from its lower bars, sportbike-style pegs and stepped seat. Still, the relaxed riding position is essentially unchanged.


On the road the Griso's new personality took a while to reveal itself. My initial impression was of increased sophistication rather than extra performance. The OHC motor seemed quieter than the pushrod lump, and the single-plate clutch was light. The Griso pulled away from stops smoothly, with little of the traditional low-rev lumpiness. Our test ride began with a blat through traffic, where the Griso proved easy to ride. Its injection gave sweet response, and the motor was pleasantly flexible. If we'd remained in Milan I might have concluded the new engine was simply a slightly more refined version of Guzzi's traditional Vee. But when we reached more open roads, the Griso stretched its legs and hit six grand-and suddenly developed a harder, more metallic sound as the bike leapt ahead with a force that grabbed my full attention.From there to the 8000-rpm redline the Griso was a distinctly different animal. Its extra top end changed both the bike's character and the way I rode it. Instead of short-shifting and relying on the motor's midrange, I began revving it harder to maximize the newfound acceleration. While the old model would run out of breath just over 100 mph, the new bike was still pulling eagerly.


Stability at speed was excellent thanks to the bike's relaxed geometry. Where the Griso really impressed was in its agile and confidence-inspiring handling. Though the launch route didn't include many hairpins or high-speed corners, the bike's stability and wide handlebar proved useful. Suspension was exemplary, too, the fork and shock keeping the bike's heft under control even at Big Speeds, the ride being firm but not overly so. It slowed hard, too, thanks to its radial Brembos and wave rotors. The fat Metzeler Sportec tires' grip was especially welcome.


The Griso seemed reasonably practical in other respects, including its informative instrument console and wide-spaced mirrors. The seat's pillion section has been redesigned for added comfort and includes hand-holds. Although fuel capacity is fractionally down at 4.4 gallons, Guzzi says this engine is more economical than its predecessor-though the extra revs may nullify this.


Even if the new engine proves thirstier than before, I can't see many Griso 8v owners complaining. The new bike retains the original model's style, character and chassis performance, and adds sophistication and top-end stomp. It still requires an imagination to see the Griso being hard enough to take on all comers in a street fight. But Guzzi's new-generation eight-valver is quick, slick and well-braked enough that you could have a lot of fun trying.



The Griso is Moto Guzzi's Ducati Monster--a naked roadster with a rational riding position. Now with eight valves, it finally joins 21st-century engine technology.



Various Ducati Monsters, plus the KTM Super Duke 990, Aprilia Tuono and Triumph Speed Triple.TECH


Engine type: Air/oil-cooled V-twin

Valve train: SOHC, 8v

Displacement: 1151cc

Bore x stroke: 95.0 x 81.2mm

Compression: 11.0:1

Clutch: Dry, single-plate

Claimed horsepower: 110 bhp @ 7500 rpm

Front suspension: 43mm Showa inverted fork, adjustable for spring preload, rebound and compression damping

Rear suspension: Single Boge shock, adjustable for spring preload, rebound and compression damping

Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discsRear brake: Single Brembo single-piston caliper, 282mm disc

Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Metzeler Sportec

Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Metzeler Sportec

Rake/trail: 26.0/4.25 in.

Seat height: 31.5 in.

Wheelbase: 61.2 in.

Fuel capacity: 4.4 gal.

Claimed dry weight: 489 lbs.



A better, faster and more exciting version of a naked sportbike that makes its own rules in a world of sameness.

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