Test driving the Moto Guzzi Griso
Italian motorcycles are always special. But with the Moto Guzzi Griso, get ready for a ride that balances exotic features
with practical handling
There is no way, in which you can ignore the Moto Guzzi Griso. Even though it's a rare spot on Indian roads right now, when you do see one, you won't be able to tear your eyes away. Despite its relatively compact proportions, this Italian machine has a personality that will hold its own even in the fanciest of company.
It's built like a sprinter — squat, low and muscular, and looks menacing. That's because of dominant features like the massive engine and meaty shaft on the right that sends power and torque to the rear wheel. Surprisingly, the rest of the motorcycle is minimal, and still makes a statement on two wheels.
The ergonomics aren't conventional either. You are neither in the most commuter-friendly, backbone-straight upright position, nor are you in crouched on the tank. Yet, it feels quite natural as you reach for the wide handlebars.
While the placement of the switchgear is exactly where you'd expect it to be, the functions of the switches don't always match expectations. So, what you assume to be the headlamp high/low beam switch turns out to be the control for alternating between the trip-metres and for changing ride modes. The moral of the story? Take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the controls.
The Griso's "Quattrovalvole" (four-valve in layman's English) 90-degree V-twin produces oodles and oodles of grunt at every portion of the rev range. As a matter of fact, the large white-backed tachometer becomes pointless because irrespective of where the needle is pointing, there's grunt on tap.
The Griso's instrumentation is minimal; switches and control take some time getting used to, though. Pics/ Sanjay Raikar
There's a healthy 110 Nm of peak torque and a max output of 110 PS, and the 1,151-cc air-cooled four-stroke engine is mated to a slick-shifting six-speed transmission. The only thing one has to get used to is the gyroscopic action created by the longitudinally placed big bore twin-cylinder engine. Basically what happens as a result of this is that the bike drops into left turns and stands up when going into right-handers as you open the throttle.
Once you get used to this, you will discover that you can handle the Griso well. The bike's dynamic abilities are such that you'll come out at the end having had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
The ride quality isn't bad either. It's not cushy, but your rear won't be aching after a day's ride. Braking duties are taken care of by dual 320-mm discs with four-piston callipers up front and a single 282-mm dia disc with twin-piston callipers at the rear. The brakes have sufficient bite.
On the whole, the Moto Guzzi Griso is a good motorcycle for all kinds of riding. In fact, if you're looking for something unique, something with character and different, then the Moto Guzzi Griso is the bike to go for.
Moto Guzzi Griso
Engine type: 1,151 cc air-cooled V-twin, 4 valves per cylinder
Maximum power: 110 PS @ 7,500 rpm
Maximum torque: 110 Nm @ 6,000 Nm
Price: Rs 18.4 lakh, on-road, Pune