Want to wow the crowds?

The Griso is named af­ter a myth­i­cal evil baron who lived near Moto Guzzi’s fac­tory, writes HAMISH COOPER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Carsguide.com.au -

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.

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