New(to me) bike
April 10, 2011 at 12:22 am #4371
Been away from the forum for a while but the snow is almost melted, the skis are away for the year and my thoughts have returned full time to riding.
Enough so that I just put a deposit down on one of these, a bike I’ve had my eye on for a few years. Found a low mileage bike, very few out there so very difficult to find used, put a deposit on it and late next week it should begin its cross country journey.
Don’t think I’ll get a decent night’s sleep until the truck pulls up.April 10, 2011 at 1:54 am #29469
AParticipantApril 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm #29470
That’s a sweet looking bike but you’ll have to give us non Guzzi enthusiasts a clue as to what it is. I’m not sure I’m wild on having an engine from a truck stuck to a bike though! That’s one seriously big engine.April 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm #29471
It’s a 1998 Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro.
Designed by Luciano Marabese for the 75th anniversary of the Moto Guzzi factory, the V10 Centauro was produced in limited numbers during 1996, ’97 & ’98. It is in essence, a sports bike disguised as a cruiser. I think 600 units were imported into the US for 98.
More about the Centauro: http://www.centauro-owners.com/articles.htmlApril 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm #29472
In the old days of all air-cooled bikes, people on a budget bought single cylinders, and wealthier people often bought twins for more power, or more weight and less vibration to make the bike more comfortable on long trips. The V-twins like a Harley or Indian or Vincent or Crocker were narrow for dirt road ruts, but the back cylinder got hotter and shortened the engine life. Later, Triumph had a parallel twin so both cylinders were in the wind to increase the engine life, and they could have higher compression with higher reliability from less overheating.
BMW has the boxer twin for a lower center of gravity for comfort, but in a tight corner or a crash the heads can more easily hit the ground. The Moto Guzzis had the air-cooled heads higher (transverse V-twin), for more cornering clearance, and the heads are in the wind for more air cooling, to last longer than the Indian or Harley V-twin. Indians had V-twins first, and Harley copied them, but some tiny companies that went bankrupt had V-twins before either of them, with looser patent laws at the time, so there is no patent for the V-twin design. Harley tried to patent their V-twin sound and failed.
Moto Guzzis are nice bikes- the Italian company takes the time and money to make them look and sound good and corner well, but they are small niche bikes with a higher price new or used, and slower and heavier compared to similar Japanese sport-tourers, more on the touring end of the scale, but with a different and to some better look and sound and feel. I think they are too heavy and too expensive for most beginners.
Here is a newer black Griso 1100:
Since they are quite reliable, you can sometimes find an old one like this for cheap that still runs well:
Honda had a liquid cooled Moto Guzzi copy for awhile, but most people said it was too top-heavy and it did not sell for long:April 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm #29473
To be attracted to Italian motorcycles (like I am you need to forget about how they stack up against the competition for performance, comfort or economy. Italian motorcycles are like 4″ heels, they’re all about the sex appeal:)
…the shaft drive is a real plusApril 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm #29474
Found this very interesting, Griso seems to take quite a dip in power at 4500rpm …or at least this 09 one did. Overall though anyone considering the Griso short on power would have to say the Sportster is a slug.April 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm #29476
People will think about closeness to a mechanic and new parts, how it feels to sit on it, luggage space, rider and passenger comfort, cornering ability, looks, and maybe dozens of other factors, but here are some spec comparisons for some sport tourers:
2009 Moto Guzzi Griso:
2011 Triumph Sprint GT:
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14:
price: $14,299 ($13,499 non-ABS)
2009 Suzuki Bandit 1250S (there is an A version for 2011 with a new engine design):
2009 BMW K1200R Sport
2011 Ninja 1000:
horsepower: 123.4April 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm #29477
Mine is an ’09 Griso 8V in Moon White. Thanks for the history lesson Jeff, that was interesting, and well explained. As for the dyno chart posted by TR, most of the early riders, and reviewers, reported a surge in power around 5k, some reporting that it was almost an I4-like surge. Apparently, the newest fuel map addresses this, giving it a much more linear power band. All I know is I can’t wait.April 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm #29478
Jeff, that HP stat is for the older 1100 4 valve Griso. The 1200 8 valve comes in at around 110 HP. That being said, you can certainly find more power for less money, but that’s beyond the point. I bought it because from the first time I saw it, the thought of owning one has made my knees go week. FWIW, I got a killer deal.April 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm #29480
I rode 70 miles today on my 600cc cruiser on a nice curvy country road- it got over 80 degrees F here.
I am getting a 2008 Kawasaki ZZR-600 next month with 350 miles on it, for $6,000. Not as sexy as a Moto Guzzi, but the anticipation is high for me too. This bike was considered a sportbike in 2000, but is now considered a sport tourer with a softer seat and 98 horsepower, 4 old style carbs and a top speed at about 155 mph, not that I will ever try it unless I do a track day.April 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm #29481
I picked up the Griso, with about 4300 miles on it for $7950. A few leftover 09’s are available for about 11k, and I was very tempted. When I spotted this one it was a no brainer for me.April 11, 2011 at 1:32 am #29482
Figured a dip like that would have to be an EFI controller issue, I’m sure it’s very ridable either way. Do you know if it’s a re-programmable unit or does she require replacement parts to benefit from the update ?:i
…that weakness in your knees, it’s amoreApril 11, 2011 at 2:05 am #29483
Simple reprogram. First thing I’ll do is take it to the “local”(3 hours), dealer to make sure everything’s properly sorted.
I’ve had that weak kneed feeling before. Anybody looking for a well cared for Ducati? Amore??? Italian bike(s), Italian jacket, Italian boots, Italian helmets-both of them, and most importantly, Italian wife(3rd generation, so not sure if that counts).April 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm #29484
Eon, it’s certainly a large engine, but I believe what you’re noting isn’t the size, it’s the way the engine sits in the frame. Moto Guzzi uses a transverse V Twin. While most manufacturers mount their engines longitudinally, MG does things a little differently. Imagine taking any V Twin and rotating it 90º, the cylinder heads would protrude like they do on Guzzis, it’s certainly one of the most recognizable trademarks of the brand. Not really sure of any advantages or disadvantages, I do know that it gives them an unusual side to side sway when stopped at idle.
On a personal note, Moto International in Seattle is widely regarded as one of the more knowledgeable Moto Guzzi dealers anywhere. The owner is the author of the book Guzziology. Maybe not on Amazon’s Top 100(or top 1,000,000) but revered in certain circles.
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