Moto Guzzi has been in the game since 1921, which is a success in itself by anyone’s reckoning. Our friends over in Mandello del Lario, Italy, have produced many different bikes over the years, but none of them are quite like the Griso 8V SE. Lean and low with a curvaceous flow, the Griso is not exactly what you would call a typical MG. The overall look of this ride is unique. As with most MG V-twins, the engine is the dominant design feature, but the rest of the bike just sets the stage for the star of the show. The result is a ’bare bike’ that favors the all-up-front look most commonly associated with race bikes and streetfighters

Continue reading for the my review of the Moto Guzzi Griso.

  • 2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE
  • Year:
    2015- 2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Four-stroke V 90 twin
  • Displacement:
    1151 cc
  • Price:


2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE Exterior
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The factory shunned its usual blocky look with abrupt changes to the lines in favor of sexy-smooth and curvy lines that suggest a continuity of flow – and the result is a teardrop shaped bullet that looks fast even standing still. A compact and comfortable rider triangle puts the rider in a slightly aggressive, forward-leaning position that is perfect for offsetting acceleration forces and wind pressure on your upper body. Minimal fenders and a single-sided swingarm leave an unimpeded view of the classic-looking laced wheels and the big front brake discs, and the overall look is fairly uncluttered and clean.


2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE Exterior
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MG built the Griso for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers among us. Designed for torsional rigidity, the frame keeps the center of gravity low. While the steering head angle is only set at 26.3 degrees, the offset steering brings the total steering angle to 34 degrees to provide an overall wheelbase of 60.78 inches with 4.25 inches of rake. This makes for an agile ride that responds well to handlebar pressure, and it can make decisive reversals when tackling particularly bendy roads.

This makes for an agile ride that responds well to handlebar pressure, and it can make decisive reversals when tackling particularly bendy roads.

The hollow swingarm serves as not only part of the chassis, but the drivetrain as well. Housed within the swingarm is the drive shaft, using the Cardano Reattivo Compatto (CARC) system. Gone are the days of the rear end popping up and down in response to throttle changes – the CARC system transfers rear-wheel torque to the frame while preventing it from ’jacking up’ the bike. The result is better behavior when changing the throttle in corners, and more consistent handling across the board.

Rear suspension is handled by a Boge progressive suspension, and it has adjustable preload, compression and rebound settings so you can dial the bike in for varying loads and conditions. Stiff 43 mm inverted front forks stabilize the front, and they also have adjustable compression and rebound features as well. Brembo brakes work with ’wave’ brake discs that dissipate waste heat more efficiently than traditional round rotors.


2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE Exterior
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The factory chose the 1,151 cc ’Quattrovalvole’ engine, which represents the pinnacle (so far) of its transverse V-twin development, to serve as the beating heart for the Griso. MG touts this engine as the most powerful it has ever built.

A two-into-one header system channels the exhaust away from the engine and terminates in a very unusual-looking asymmetrical muffler.

The engine produces a generous 110 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 80 pound-feet of torque at 6,400 rpm – plenty of power that can push the bike close to the 150 mph mark. Unfortunately, a considerable amount of hand-numbing engine vibration is transferred to the rider through the frame, which will result in increased fatigue over long trips.

A pair of 50 mm throttle bodies manages fuel delivery through Marelli IWP 189 injectors. The valvetrain uses a four-valve head with a single overhead cam to allow the engine to breathe, and the valve springs have a conical cross section to prevent valve float at high rpm. A two-into-one header system channels the exhaust away from the engine and terminates in a very unusual-looking asymmetrical muffler.

A six-speed transmission quietly sends the engine power to the rear wheel via the single-plate clutch and the CARC driveshaft within the swingarm.


2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE Exterior
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The Griso is priced to move at $12,999, which puts it within reach of most customers looking for a good ’around town’ bike, as long as you like ’Rosso Trophy,’ which is the only color scheme MG is offering on this ride.


2017 Honda CB 1100 EX
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2015 - 2017 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE
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At a glance, the Griso profile immediately brings to mind a bike from Honda that is recently returned to the U.S. market: the CB 1100 EX. Yeah, they are plenty different to be sure, but I submit they are much the same bike, just from dissimilar eras. A lone headlight can and paired instrument cluster lead the way over a cut-down front fender, and the Griso brings the look up to date with fully-adjustable, inverted front forks and monoshock. Credit where it’s due; Honda gets props for at least providing an adjustable-preload function on the CB 1100, but that’s not quite as slick as the whole trinity.

’Guzzi packs on more brakeage with big, 320 mm discs up front over the 296 mm Honda discs, but if ya want that ABS protection, Honda has the only game in town. Lookswise, it comes down to personal taste, but for me, Honda gets the vote for its classic style and retro appeal. They really did a good job capturing the essence of the era.

The engine layout is obviously a big factor here. ’Guzzi runs its typical, transverse-mount V-twin while the Red Rider also went transverse, but with an inline-four powerplant. At 1,151 cc, the Griso barely tops the 1,140 cc CB in displacement, but the ’Guzzi outpunches the competition with 109 horsepower and 81 pound-feet of torque versus 82.5 horsepower and 64.7 pounds of grunt from the CB. Having said that, performance from the Honda is good enough, and I’d sacrifice that much for the classic vibe I get from the CB 1100.

He Said

“Good looking bike, and definitely better looking (in my humble opinion) than the usual MG style. I must confess a slight prejudice against the transverse engine design. If I lay my bike down, I will scratch some cases up, but I worry what kind of damage will occur if I went down for a slide on the cylinder heads! Methinks nothing good can come of that, and the slide will end in expensive tears.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "My husband — always the pragmatist — thinks about what happens if things go wrong. I like to think about things going right. Griso was a character in "The Betrothed" (orig. Italian: "I Promessi Sposi") by Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist. The Griso of literature was a tough and fearless leader who, according to Manzoni, “...naturally undertook all the most daring enterprises.” Is it brash or fitting that Moto Guzzi gave the bike his name, especially after modifying and redeveloping the majority of the 1,200 cc engine to increase power and torque to respectable levels?"


Maximum power output
109 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque
81 ft lbs at 6,000 rpm

Engine Type: Four-Stroke 90-Degree V-twin
Cooling: Air And Oil Cooled With Independent Cooling Pump
Displacement: 1,151 cc
Bore And Stroke: 95 X 81.2 mm
Compression Ratio: 11 to 1
Maximum Power Output: Over 109.9 horsepower (80.8 KW at 7,500 rpm
Max Torque: Over 79.7 pound-feet (108 newton-meters) at 6,400 rpm
Fuel Supply/Ignition: Multipoint Sequential Electronic Injection, Magneti Marelli IAW 5A Phased, Alfa-N System; Dual 50 mm Throttle Bodies With Weber IWP 189 Injectors, Lambda Probe.
Starter: Electric
Spark Plugs: NGK PMR8B (Long Life)
Exhaust System: Stainless Steel Two-Into-One 3-Way Catalyzed With Lambda Probe.
Homologation: Euro 3
Gearbox: Six Speed
Gear Ratios: 1st 17/38 = 1 : 2.235
Lubrication: Oil Bath
Primary Drive: Helicoidal Gears, Ratio 26/35 = 1 : 1.346
Final Drive: CA.R.C Reactive Drive; Double Universal Joint With Floating Bevel Gear, Ratio 12/44= 1 : 3,666
Clutch: Single Plate With Integrated Flexible Couplings
Frame: High Tensile Steel Tubular Twin Cradle
Wheelbase: 81.2 inches (1,554 mm)
Rake: 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Steering Rake: 26.30 Degrees
Steering Angle.: 34 Degrees
Front Suspension: Upside Down 43 mm Fully Adjustable Forks (Spring Preload And Hydraulic For Rebound And Compression) With Mounting For Radial Calipers.
Front Wheel Travel: 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Rear Suspension: Progressive Single Swingarm, Fully Adjustable Monoshock With Separate Gas Reservoir (Spring Preload And Hydraulic For Rebound And Compression).
Color: Rosso Trophy
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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