SAME AS IT EVER WAS
Morini’s grunt-laden Corsaro is back with some updates to try to compete with 2018’s best nakeds: is it a welcome return or an ill-advised comeback?
IF YOU WANT nothing more than exclusivity from your naked bike, the Corsaro’s the bike for you. Nobody knows what it is, who makes it, or even the country it’s from. Some going for a company in existence since 1937. They’re Italian, by the way...
But in that time, they’ve not done much, so it’s little surprise they remain in a blind spot – a few air-cooled twins in the 1970s stand as their only memorable bikes. Even the website’s ‘company history’ section can only add a few tiddler racebikes from the postwar era. But in 2006, they built a 1200cc twin, and the bike to go around it.
It was a lovely thing. Considering the typical naked bike of the day was a detuned sportsbike engine in a porky, low-spec chassis (with a few exceptions), the Bialbero CorsaCorta lump’s grunt in a decent chassis made a nice change. But, the stereotypical Italian issues applied: poor dealer network and support, questionable quality (the last one PB tested spent the whole test shedding components), and then inevitable company collapse in 2010. They’re back again, with an updated, Euro 4 compliant range, and a UK importer, Amore Moto, who also bring in whatever Bimota get around to producing these days...
If you’re one of the few who recalls the first generation Corsaro, the latest one will be familiar: the frame, engine and geometry remain. The bodywork is almost unchanged, barring a numberplate and fender now mounted on the swingarm, and some carbon bits.
There’s new suspension – Marzocchi checked out of motorcycle shocks a few years back, so it’s now running Italian firm Mupo’s CNC-machined fork and shock parts. There’s a set of Brembo M50 calipers, forged aluminium wheels and a TFT dash to tempt you. Top-notch stuff.
Before you get too interested, it costs £17,900. A Tuono V4 Factory is the closest money-wise, but even that’s ‘only’ £16k. Bet that raised an eyebrow... Prepare to raise the other one: for that money, you get no riders aids, except a crude wheel speed-based ABS system. A quickshifter is listed on the spec sheet, but they’ve since made this a cost option, so this test bike didn’t have one.
Dialling it in
This better be good. Or, at least, have some sort of whopping USP. The Corsaro made a bit of sense first time round, even if the sales network did it a disservice. Now, the whole of Europe makes shit-hot naked bikes, and Japan does a few good ones for not much cash, too.
First impressions are poor: the forks are topping out so hard they clunk. The shock is super-saggy, and there’s no damping anywhere. Rear sag needed a drastic reduction, and more added to the front, and the damping ramped up all round to correct the attitude and control.
With that resolved, it no longer feels like a bucking chopper, and it becomes a nice handling bike, albeit one that requires the hydraulic preload adjuster ratcheted up to maximum, which is far from ideal. The M50s have the usual feel and power, and it laps up rural Rutland and Lincs with feel, agility and ground clearance in good measure. There’s no steering damper, but it doesn’t need one.
The motor has a lovely clean response (the throttle is still a throttle – the plastic Domino
‘Once you get going, it’s fine on a basic level: it goes, stops and turns well. The issue is... everything else...’
Mupo shocks needed a huge tweak
Larger numbers for important info would be nice Euro4 charcoal breather is filthy-ugly Once set up, the ZZ does its thing ably. But at £17,900, it delivers nothing exceptional