Want to wow the crowds?
The Griso is named after a mythical evil baron who lived near Moto Guzzi’s factory, writes HAMISH COOPER
IF YOU were to drive the latest $500,000 Italian supercar, you’d probably get fewer envious looks than if you were to ride Moto Guzzi’s outrageous Griso. At $22,990, the Griso is not only one of the most expensive naked bikes, it’s one of the most exclusive.
You certainly don’t see one of these on every street corner.
Only seldom does a prototype get into production, and so it is with the Italian-built Griso, named after a mythical evil baron who lived near Moto Guzzi’s factory at Lake Como.
The original Ducati Monster naked bike paved the way for the Griso.
This V-twin-powered creation is a strange but compelling mixture of old and new. It has the latest radial-mounted brakes and light weight wheels and an engine that started by powering a small troop carrier in the 1940s.
The Griso’s styling includes a petrol tank cover that looks as if it melted over the engine.
Since the 1970s, Moto Guzzi V-twins have been a 200km/h proposition. This performance is taken to a new level with four-valve heads and a ‘‘high’’ camshaft that operates tiny pushrods similar to the system employed on BMW’s Boxer twins.
The flow work wrought on the heads is enormous, with 50mm diameter throttle bodies and drainpipe-sized exhaust headers.
Displacement is 1152cc, claimed peak power is 81kW at 7500 revs and peak torque a massive 107Nm at 6400 revs. Power is channelled through a six-speed gearbox.
Fire up the big Guzzi and blip the throttle and it rocks from side to side, hinting at a beast that wants to be unleashed. But this is a modern Guzzi — Aprilia’s ownership of the company has given it reliability and ease of use.
The rear shaft-drive on an old Guzzi used to rock the bike back and forth under braking and acceleration. In contrast, the Griso remains poised and balanced. Once you’ve taught yourself to push the bike down hard into corners, it turns quite quickly.
Aggressive looking from some angles and classic from others, the Griso is special.
Cool: the petrol tank cover on the Moto Guzzi Griso looks as if it melted over the engine.