Review: 2013 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 8V SE

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2013 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE

What Other’s Say
“Riding around on this thing for a few weeks has me in love all over again: There’s plenty of torquey V-Twin power and sound without being obnoxious in a chassis reminiscent of a wide-barred old superbike with great suspension, in a mechanically honest package that’s as nice to look at as it is to ride pretty much anywhere.” — CycleWorld

“…outstanding steering at low and high speeds, not fast but precisely neutral and obedient, so the bike sweeps and flows along twisty roads and around mountain hairpins effortlessly.” — Kevin Ash

The Price
The Griso is a unique motorcycle, at a unique price point. At $12,690 it’s considerably cheaper than the $18,995 Ducati Diavel, while also being free of the cruiser stigma and riding position. A more direct comparison may be the lighter, faster $11,995 Ducati Monster 1100 Evo, but that bike lacks the Griso’s presence and character. The Triumph Speed Triple is around the same price at $12,799 and includes standard ABS, along with a considerably more powerful motor, tighter chassis and better suspension. Despite bringing its own unique character, the Triumph can’t match the Griso when it comes to charm though. They’re all very different bikes targeted at very different riders. We could see a Griso rider owning both an open-face helmet and a race suit with well-worn knee sliders.

2013 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE
Tall on charm: Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE

 

The Verdict
All the old-world Guzzi charm in a high-quality, 21st century package that’s reliable, fast and compelling. The two-wheeled equivalent of wearing a tux to a ball game. The Griso is classy, desirable and utterly unique.

RideApart Rating: 9/10

Related Links:

A Bigger Guzzi: Moto Guzzi California 1400 Review

And a Smaller One: Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Record Review

The Man Who Designs Moto Guzzis: Miguel Galluzzi Interview

  • Telemachus_1

    Still no ABS

  • dg

    Does anyone know what brand/model is of the chunky tires on the action shots? The still studio shots seem to have different tires.

  • GP

    That green colored one, with the brown seat, just looks incredibly nice.

    • dinoSnake

      Regretfully, that’s a 2012 Griso 8V SE in Tenne Green with genuine brown leather seat. That color scheme is now discontinued but the picture mislabeled it as a [current] 2013 model.

      I wanted a 2012 so bad. I have loved Guzzis since 1984 but still don’t own one; I am waiting with baited breath for Guzzi to do 3 things to the Griso:

      1) add ABS (required)

      2) add 1 gallon more tank capacity, because this review doesn’t mention that the Griso 8V only has a 115-125 mile range to ‘reserve’ (low fuel light), (really necessary),

      and
      3) add traction control (optional, but this is *my* wish list :D )

      Yes, I can get a Norge but the size difference is quite major between the two bikes, the Norge loses the ‘sportcruiser’ size and feel and goes into full boat ‘tourer’ mode, quite a bit taller. The Griso is the size I want but just a bit more practicality would REALLY be nice.

      Please, Guzzi, PLEASE??!

    • Unkept Uncaged

      2011 or 2012 Griso models came in Tenni Green. They are occasionally up for sale…

  • Richard Gozinya

    Seems like a more direct competitor would be the R1200R. Cool bike though!

  • Guzzto

    I still have this on my one day list, the second hand price of Griso SE’s is getting a little more nearer what I could live with (without selling my SP) great to see that you get the Guzzi thing, it’s not about the numbers it’s the feeling and handling. Wes I think you should get one : )

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I’d love one, but living in a city, it’s just a little too heavy and cumbersome for my needs.

      • HenryC

        I live in NYC and my 2013 griso 8v SE is my daily driver. My biggest gripe is not the weight or the reach (which at 6’2″ I have never even noticed) it is the fact that it takes a while to warm up the motor and trans. On a cool day it may take 10 minutes before every thing smooths out and stops clunking, grunting, and grinding.

        • Unkept Uncaged

          Look into GuzziDiag and a remap. I bet it really smooths out your cold running issues. :)

  • TP

    Hggnnnnnn. Want.

  • Cory McNair

    If Guzzi would produce a V7 (in any trim) with about 65-70hp at the rear wheel and some better suspension, I would start writing a check. The Griso just has too much of its Centauro ancestor in the design for my tastes.

  • Jeffree

    I rode a used 07 awhile back and haven’t stopped thinking about that bike. I quickly bonded with that bike. True, not the fastest or best handling bike out there and I can confirm its just aweful in traffic. The clutch pull gave me arm pump after a few lights. That said, it left me with a smile for days. It’s full of character and with an aftermarket pipe it sang like Pavarotti in his prime! You can feel this company building momentum quickly which is a little too bad. Some thing are so good you just want to keep them to yourself!

  • Corey Cook

    God I love that motorcycle, just wish they made one in my size.
    Until then…

  • Larry

    Of all the alternative bikes listed above, you missed the most obvious…how does it compare to the BMW R1200R? They’re both retro-styled modern bikes, both air-cooled transverse 1200 twins producing similar numbers. The Guzzi is porkier but has more style and character. There’s only one way to settle it…video comparison ride to Guatamala! Let me know if you need a camera bike, I can be down there in 3 days.

    • Stuki

      The new Nine-T is probably closer to the Griso ergonomically. IOW, utterly horrible, backache inducing and clumsy for any normal kind of riding. I’ll have to take the authors’ word for it that they do work for spirited runs through 3rd and 4th gear sweepers, but man, what a special use bike.

      I spent a fair amount of time trying to get used to a somewhat similarly laid out 1150 Rockster back when, and that thing was also impressive for short stints on flowing roads (Cerro Nordoeste, with generous breaks at each end, for CA riders), but a literal pain between the shoulder blades for everything else.

      • runnermatt

        I had the pain between my shoulder blades when I first started riding. It eventually went away, I assume because those muscles developed more. I imagine it would be the same with the 1150 Rockster.

        • Stuki

          By then, I’d already been riding for very long…….. Cruisers with those silly beach cruiser bars give me similar pain.

          • runnermatt

            Yeah, but a different riding position may stress those muscles more despite a lot of time riding already. Sort of like someone who has been running 5k’s for years suddenly starting to train for a marathon.

  • ThinkingInImages

    It’s a beautiful, classic, motorcycle.

  • Thomas

    It is too bad neither Guzzi nor BMW still makes sport bike using their longitudinal mounted twin. But again, that’s why my R1200S is a keeper.

    • Aakash

      Super lovely. I want one now…in white.

    • Stuki

      The finest BMW boxer ever built. Darned things stopped depreciating at 2/3s of retail, and is already climing.

  • Mr.Paynter

    We often hve the same out here in South Africa. Daylight Robbery!

    **Although a quick check shows me that this bike is reasonably priced here, surprise surprise!

  • Mr.Paynter

    I could live with that!

  • vanduc996

    Very sweet bike!
    I have to echo other peoples comment about the lack of ABS. The Griso should have it!
    As should almost any new bike costing more than $10K these days.

  • jonoabq

    I absolutely love it in black/silver. While it’s not got the range or low speed handling I really need, riding the (slightly elevated) pace on big mountain sweepers makes up for a lot. If anything this motorcycle looks like a fantastic platform for a custom project. In a few years when the used prices make them affordable I could see this as a winter project. The biggest contradiction seems to be the poor ergonomics & range for long days in the saddle while dialing it in for big sweepers. Luckily some bars with heated grips, and some hard luggage with a remote gas tank and sending unit hidden away can fix that.

    • John

      I picked up a used 2008 4V Griso in August for $6,500 out the door. Blank canvas. This bike is fun and is only going to be more so as time goes on…

  • Speedo007

    Gorgeous bike, was going to buy one until I sat on it, I have long arms and long legs, and felt the reach to the handlebars were uncomfortable, even for 10 seconds…

    • runnermatt

      Was the reach too long or too short? What is your inseam and arm span so that others will know how it will fit them?

      • Speedo007

        I’m 6’1″ 190lbs, 34″ inseam and long arms like an ape. The reach felt too long. Just looking at the pictures you can see how long the tank is and handlebars are far away unless your sitting on the upward slop crushing your jewels. That said handlebars can be replaced and the concept is still brilliant. For sport riding you probably wont feel it too much as you’ll have an agressive posture anyways, but waiting at red lights in the city should be another story…

        • runnermatt

          So me being 5’8″ 165lbs, 30″ inseam I would be really stretched out. I would wager almost the opposite of a cruiser with forward controls.

  • runnermatt

    I’m not familiar with the NZD currency. Where are you exactly?

    • Paul Elliot

      New Zealand

  • Paul Elliot

    Lovely!
    ps: we also hate you :-)

  • HammSammich

    Looking at the bar clamps, it would seem a small riser might help with reach. Wes, do you think the steering feel would be signficantly adversely affected by small (1″ or so) risers?
    I put flat drag bars with a 1″ riser on my Bonnie and it actually improved the steering feel, but the one time I tried to mount the stock bars with the risers it was miserably wobbly feeling.

  • Unkept Uncaged

    Something to think about is import duties and taxes. I believe almost ALL vehicles in Australia and New Zealand cost significantly more there than in the U.S. I am sorry that they cost you so much… but you could also look at the average U.S. citizen’s salary and realize it’s probably not as “unfair” in pricing as you first thought.

  • Unkept Uncaged

    A fair review, but I have one gripe.

    “…feeling the huge torque reaction from its agricultural motor might scare you off, but it shouldn’t.”

    Agricultural? I am tired of how loosely that term is thrown around when it comes to Moto Guzzi’s.

    It stems from the rumor that the first V7 Guzzi’s v twin engine came from a model of farm equipment that Moto Guzzi had produced, and was retrofitted into their motorcycles.

    It really has no grain of truth, as the V700 had a completely new v twin design. The engine in a Guzzi was never used in farm equipment, and it’s technology status for it’s day was on equal footing with any other motorcycle… if not better.

    Today’s 8v Guzzi engine’s are dual oil pump, overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, fuel injected, high revving v twins… what is so “agricultural” about that? If anything it make’s Ducati Monster’s air cooled engines look agricultural… or a Harley mill for goodness sake. ;)

    I think by continuing to use what is often construed as a derogatory term for a product over and over again is a crime to the public, as they are unsubstantiated and offer nothing in terms of actually helping the consumer to decide what is done right, and what is done wrong on the product…

    Sorry, end of rant. :) I really did like the review though I disagreed with a few things.

  • Mykola

    Goodbye lovely green paint/brown leather colorway. I will remember you fondly… and stay vigilant on Craigslist.