The big news at Moto Guzzi for 2008 is the Stelvio (see our report). But the Mandello del Lario based company has also made a few updates to the 1200 Sport and a major engine update for the Griso for 2008.
“….His power was increased both by the fact itself and in public opinion”.
This quote from “I promessi sposi” by Alessandro Manzoni refers to Griso, the head of a group known as the “Bravi”, “to whom the most dangerous jobs were entrusted”.
This also refers to the character of the new Griso 8V; the smartest and most high spirited Moto Guzzi ever made. The new Griso 8V encompasses an absolute new sense of “sporting spirit”, a result of the power and technology of the innovative “Quattrovalvole” engine.
Although designed along traditional lines, the new engine features 563 brand-new components and is a celebration of the logic behind the 90° V concept.
The engine has a single overhead camshaft per head that operates the four valves on each cylinder with noiseless timing chains. This is quite an evolution of the 1200 cc engine that, with its 75% of its components renewed, now puts out 110 CV at 7,500 rpm with maximum torque of 11 kgm at 6,400 rpm.
The power delivery is claimed to be silky smooth and on the open road the bike’s “true sports character shines along with the countless technical innovations and the new sense of style”, according to Moto Guzzi.
Although the exclusive exhaust system with twin coiled pipes has been seen before, it now truly reflects the greater power of these machines.
The Griso 8V has undergone some customizing that includes stylistic details like a new saddle and streamlined bodywork, as well as a higher level specification of some of the equipment. Even the most discerning of palates will appreciate the front end with its Brembo P4/34 radial caliper brakes that act on wave floating discs measuring Ø 320mm; they will also delight in the Showa upside-down forks that have had 43 layers of carbon nitride treatment.
Sitting astride the bike, the rider can immediately appreciate the sports riding position that the new setup between handlebars, saddle and foot pegs provides. These are all new components and were specially designed to make the rider feel completely in control.
The two-seater saddle creates a superb rear view but the tail makes the bike look like a single-seater. Guzzi claims that there is more than enough room for a passenger to sit in great comfort.
Powerful, elegant and exclusive, the Griso 8V will soon become an icon among those who truly appreciate elite motorcycles. The Griso is offered in two color schemes: Jet Black or Moon White.
Incomparable Moto Guzzi Style (by Moto Guzzi)
With the Griso 8V, Moto Guzzi once more majestically demonstrates how it can come up with a concept then develop it without having to give in to technical, traditional or other constraints.
This machine is an instinctive creation, pure, solid as a rock and has a distinct personality. It appears simply as a work of art. Design details, discreet hollows and unexpected new lines blend together in chrome and satin finished metal to form miracles of design.
The fuel tank for example seems to bend to the power of the massive frame only to form an aerodynamic teardrop of exquisite beauty. The tail seems no more than an afterthought yet houses three high intensity LED light units. The new Griso is decidedly masculine and powerful yet the “Quattrovalvole” engine seems to be set like a jewel in a frame that shows off its revolutionary design to the utmost effect.
A glance at the fins carefully laid out on the black cylinders is all that is needed. They have been so designed to provide maximum cooling. The rocker covers too draw the eye and, bit by bit, the care and attention paid to the creation of this machine come clear especially when you examine the superb exhaust system; tThe incredible two-into-one exhaust system underscores the potential of the new Griso 8V.
Returning to the reality of performance, it becomes obvious that the sophisticated components are not mere technical details included for the sake of style. Take the front end that would be more at home on a racing bike with its oversized upside-down forks, radial caliper brakes and wave discs.
The sporting lines of the saddle and bodywork complete the picture as do the new handlebars that have been specially designed to improve the aerodynamic package with the rider an integral part. Details like this and simple intuition make the Griso 8V a machine to leave an impression before you even ride it.
With a new setup between saddle and the sports type handlebars, the Griso welcomes the rider with a spectacular view of chromed, anodized and satin-finished components, displays and commands that leave nothing to the imagination.
Once aboard the Griso, the saddle that is only 800 mm from the road grips the rider yet allows easy changes in riding position further aided by the slightly set-back high racing type footpegs.
The riding position is sporting where the rider is not “in” but over the engine and the feet feel “natural” on the footpegs. The rider’s body tends to lean in to the handlebars that are now wider and provide a perfect grip of the levers. This position is ideal for precise accurate steering made even better perfectly designed front end geometry and generous tire sizes.
The Griso is a hedonist’s dream come true and the growl of the new “Quattrovalvole” engine echoes in your ears even under the most difficult conditions like city traffic. The 8V takes conditions like these in its stride and the ease of changing direction and constant load on the front end make even such riding a pleasure.
This however does not mean that the fashion naked from Mandello is not suited to more aggressive riding. In fact there are certain times when the total lack of vibration from the new “Quattrovalvole” seems to get lost in the seductive style, the superb finish, the softness of commands and the of the completeness of the instrumentation.
It is at moments like this when the rider is in complete harmony with the machine, when he or she is in total command of an engine that can take him up to enormous speed or he can just cruise along with masses of torque ever on tap. One thing that is certain is that just looking at the rev counter can never really explain what the new Griso 8V is all about.
Don’t let the long low profile fool you: The Griso 8V has handling that would not shame a Supersport machine. The secret lies in the high-tensile steel frame with twin upper supports whose design owes little to aesthetics and much to sophisticated engineering concepts that provide exceptional rigidity under moments of extreme torsional stress.
The tubular steel twin cradle frame is connected to a single-sided aluminum rear swingarm housing the CARC system.
The frame geometry had been carefully calculated to provide stability with the steering angle set at 26° and rake at 108 mm. The wheelbase measures 1544 mm and the Griso 8V is surprisingly maneuverable, even lightning fast in changes of direction.
These handling characteristics are due to the low centre of gravity and a rock solid off-set steering head that provides an immediate response to pressure on the handlebars. The front end is glued to the road thanks to upside down forks from racing stock.
The 43 mm forks are adjustable for rebound and compression. A Boge progressive suspension unit is fitted to the rear and this too had three classic settings. The sophisticated suspension ensures a neutral set-up on entering and exiting corners, under acceleration from the 110 CV “Quattrovalvole” engine and under braking from the Brembo brake system.
These brakes are both aesthetically pleasing and highly effective with their radial calipers acting on “wave” discs that have been specially designed for maximum heat dispersion. What really counts in the frame is the sum of all the parts and, here again, the Griso is beyond compare.
Engine and Transmission
The new “Quattrovalvole” is the most evolved V 90 twin in the Moto Guzzi range. Even die-hard enthusiasts would not recognize this new engine that features components and performance characteristics never before seen in a production Moto Guzzi machine.
The new engine features a chain-driven single overhead camshaft per cylinder that operates two intake and two exhaust valves inclined respectively at 15.5° and 16.5°.
The highly sophisticated new engine now houses 563 new components specially designed to reduce weight and friction between moving parts and was created through advanced studies into the disciplines of thermodynamics and fuel supply. The final results provide an engine made up of 75% of new components with improved performance, reliability and flexibility characteristics that set new standards in quality.
Among the most important new components are the 55% stiffer crankshaft and a new system of ducting oil to the bearings, 3-segment pistons cooled by oil jets on the casing and extremely light valves with 5 mm stems held by conical section springs that eliminate resonance and power loss at high revs.
Lubrication and cooling are looked after by two coaxial pumps that have drastically reduced engine clutter and are activated by a series of gears. These pumps carry oil in ducts that are separated from the cylinder heads to the exhaust valve seats where temperatures are at their highest.
A new more compact block was designed so as to accommodate these new components and this unit now sits on an integral front support on bearings. The rear support features a new flange and more efficient oil feed system.
The most seductive element of the new “Quattrovalvole” is without any doubt the modern design of the cylinders that are more compact and feature cooling fins aimed at the on-coming flow of air. As part of the new project, the rocker covers have been redesigned and apart from “Quattrovalvole” logos, feature a “floating” system that further adds to the quietness of the timing system operated by Morse chains and fitted with hydraulically operated chain tensioners.
Fuel feed too has seen significant modifications in terms of now having 50 mm throttle bodies and new Marelli IWP 189 injectors. Needles to say, the six-speed gearbox is a gem of engineering. The gears are quiet and finding neutral is easy thanks to the fitting of a soft silent single plate clutch.
The figures speak for themselves: 110 CV at 7,500 rpm with maximum torque of 11 Kgm at 6,400 rpm. These readings make the Moto Guzzi twin one of the most powerful air-cooled engines ever made.
A final drive ratio of 12/44 transforms all this power into over 230 kph (143 mph). Although speeds like this are illegal just about everywhere, they give some idea of what the new Griso is capable of. Perhaps more importantly are the facts that the engine meets the new Euro 3 standards thanks to improved thermodynamic output and that it uses less fuel than the 1100cc version.
8V logo and new Moon White color scheme.
New handlebars in black anodized aluminum.
New sports style saddle.
New streamlined bodywork.
“Quattrovalvole” full black powertrain.
1200 V 90° “Quattrovalvole” twin
Single overhead cam per head with hydraulically operated valves.
Single plate clutch
New exhaust system with two-into-one coiled pipes.