Real Rides: Lemar’s Griso

Dailies -


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A roadster is a naked motorcycle that has performance and agility like a sport bike – they still have a comfortable riding position for the rider. They are not outright sport bikes but they do retain some of the specs that a sport bike has. The Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE was introduced in 2007 with a redesigned larger capacity 1200cc engine.

Lemar on his Griso.

The Rider
Lemar is a 34 year old army officer with 3 tours in Afghanistan, 1 in Iraq and was a peacekeeper in Kosovo. He’s been wanting to ride a motorcycle since he was a child however “his mother said that she would disown him if he bought one.” So he purchased fast cars instead – a BMW 3 series, a Dodge Charger and Porsche Cayman – until in 2011 he attended the MSF course and purchased a 2011 Yamaha Star Stryker. A year later, he upgraded a 2006 Harley VRSCR street rod and then then to a 2009 Moto Guzzi Griso for the better performance and handling.

The Moto Guzzi Griso.

The Bike
In 2005, Moto Guzzi introduced the Griso as a performance roadster with a v-twin engine with Italian looks and design. Its 1151cc engine has 110 horsepower and 80 foot pounds of torque. It was designed to have all the power and performance of a sportbike but with the looks of a Italian roadster. It has been designed to look like a work of art – with distinctive lines and styling accentuated by the gas tank. The engine is the heart of this design being shown off at the center of the frame. It’s an Italian cruiser that screams power, performance, looks and agility. We’ve written about how much we love the Griso here and here.

Lemar and his daughter with the Griso.

Why He Rides A Griso
Lemar bought the Griso because he was “drawn to the Griso’s modern, muscular and chiseled lines.” To him it looks like “a classic roadster that Marlon Brando would ride” yet it “still has modern features like shaft drive, adjustable suspension, and a 8 valve 1200cc oiled cooled engine.” Lemar also enjoys the Griso because its capabilities, he says “The ride gives you a sense of power and domination on the road, it does lack the smoothness that comes from today’s more tame metric bikes, this brute torquey power yields a sensation that can only be describe as riding a wild bucking bronco as a opposed to a well mannered riding horse.” In dancing terms he says to think of the Griso as “hot chick that can bump in grind to some good hip hop” compared to a “a ballroom dancer which more metric sport bikes are.” Performance wise, he compares it to “a sassy Italian mistress,” and it has the brute power needed to be confident riding in today’s streets.” With the Griso, he says “I easily turn into corners, I feel like I am part of the bike and truly one with it.” He enjoys this feeling while “riding and exploring Monterey County’s back roads.”

Lemar purschaed the bike with the following modifications:
1) ECU flash
2) Custom mapping of the engine
3) Power Commander 5
4) The suspension was set up for canyon carving.
5) Custom Exhaust

“I usually doesn’t pour thousands of dollars into modifications on motorcycles because I know from personal experience that it usually doesn’t pay off when it comes time to sell.” However, he purchased this Griso with the mods already on them because he enjoyed how it changed it changed the bike’s performance.

Lemar states “I might purchase another bike, but I will keep the Griso in my stable.”

  • Brian Milburn

    Ballroom dancer… an apt description of my I-4 600, actually. Yummy bike there.

  • Ross Elliott

    The griso is really one of a kind. The character (sometimes a euphemism) adds, rather than detracts from the experience for me. I don’t ride a motorcycle for efficiency or cost; I’ve got enough appliances.

  • thegreyman

    Cool article, even cooler bike!

    • BigRooster69

      Love the bike – article needs edited…badly. A fun read but Q/C not to the standard of HFL.

      • thegreyman

        needs some editing- but makes its point.

      • Michael Howard

        +1. When something is written for public consumption, it really needs to be read at least once before being released to the world.
        “…1200cc oiled cooled engine…”? “…can only be describe as
        riding…”? If stuff like that jumps out at me the first time I read it,
        it tells me no one involved cares enough about quality to bother
        proofreading. This site and its writers are better than this.

  • Scott Sweeney

    The Griso is everything a Sportster should be.

    • thegreyman

      It’s actually everything a VROD should be. The VROD needs to lose 120lbs, gain a 6th gear, and have ABS standard.

      • Scott Sweeney

        I think the XR1200 and the Griso are much more closely related than a Griso and a V-Rod.

        The V-Rod is a muscle bike more akin to a V-Max or Diavel.

        • Ricardo Gozinya

          Technically the V-Rod is a power cruiser, not a muscle bike. The V-Rod’s competition, insofar as it has any in that weird class, would be more along the lines of the Victory Hammer or Suzuki M109.

          I always thought the most direct competitor to the Griso was the BMW R1200R. Same approximate power and torque, both big naked roadsters, both shaft drive, both have longitudinal cranks. Priced pretty similarly too, I believe.

          • stever

            Where does the Rocket III fit in this panoply?

            • Ricardo Gozinya

              Definitely muscle bike. Though with the power cruiser and muscle bike categories, it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s what.

          • thegreyman

            I agree, but dont forget the 2006 Harley Street Rod ( VRSCr)- It’s water cooled, shaft drive, and offers a “standard” riding position.

            • Ricardo Gozinya

              Street Rod is a belt drive, like all V-Rods.

            • Scott Sweeney

              uh….. no

          • Scott Sweeney

            I agree, well said.

  • Sasha Pave

    The Griso has a very high bad-assery quotient. Some will bring a sharp knife to a fight, while others will bring a baseball bat.

  • disqus_2cQVjSgYK0

    Yes, but your life is satisfied with a ballroom dancer who can make your eyes roll to the back of your head as best of both worlds; BMW R 1200R

    • thegreyman

      I think Griso owners are insatiable :)

    • Ricardo Gozinya

      They’re both damn good bikes, just different flavors of the same idea.

  • stever

    I wish it still came in green.

  • Speedo007

    I almost bought one of these, great looking bike, and these Guzzis have great character!

  • Ross Elliott

    The day before I was set for an awesome ride I came home to find my griso had marked its spot! The oil filter seal had gone, so I needed a new filter and enough 10w60 to cover the loss. All was well in the end though.