For Rider That Doesn’t Need To Impress Anyone

Moto Guzzi carries its Griso 1200 8V Special Edition into 2018 with the new “Black Devil” livery over the same custom/blackout treatment as the previous gen, and the customary naked look long associated with the range. Much of that look is centered around the exposed, 110-horsepower V-twin powerplant that comes set transversely in the frame for that instantly recognizable ’Guzzi vibe. A sleek shape and nimble frame provide the agility, but the rider will need to provide all the skill since it runs sans any sort of electronic aids or fandanglery such as traction control or anti-wheelie/slip protection. This is one ride that you can take at face value as a raw, honest streetfighter.

Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.

  • 2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1151 cc
  • Price:
    13190
  • Price:

Design

2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
- image 775872
This ride really connects with the custom culture with all that black paint, from the inverted fork stanchions to the swingarm and almost everything else in between.

MG offers the same graphics as last year with a stripe and swath of color — red on the Rosso Trofeo and silver on the Black Devil — over a predominately blacked-out ride. I mean nearly everything got the achromatic treatment from the inverted fork stanchions to the swingarm and almost everything else in between. Sure, there are a few shiny bits of chrome and the like, but this ride really connects with the custom culture with all that black paint. The front fender isn’t quite down into bobber/gasser territory, but it is cut down enough to look like someone was trying to reduce the unsprung weight a bit for the sake of performance.

From steering head to swingarm, the visible twin-spar frame members seem to cut into the sides of the sleek teardrop fuel tank, but that’s just an optical trick due to the bolt-up tank lowers that bump out to form a knee pocket and to fair out the visual impact of the heads and rocker covers that jut out both sides. The members terminate at the narrow waist just below the scooped, two-tone saddle that sports a grab strap and p-pad to go with the fold-up footpegs; good thing considering how short the pad is and how it tapers off over the slightly kicked-up subframe and fender.

LED emitters provide the rearward illumination, and while the turn signals come on whisker mounts, the taillight itself is recessed and flush with the fender just ahead of the mudguard/plateholder assembly. A tucked-away rear shock does its job from its discreet location under the seat where it won’t mar the cat-ready-to-pounce grace presented by the 1200 SE.

Chassis

2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
- image 775887
The Griso 1200 has agreeable handling that is eager in the corners while remaining reasonably stable on the straights.

The steel twin-spar frame forms a sort of wishbone that serves as the main means of support with the engine pulling double duty as a stressed member. This completes the assembly and saves weight by displacing the downtube/cradle section of the frame, plus it showcases the big V-twin engine, leaves it with access to plenty of fresh air for the air-cooled plant and leaves room for an interesting exhaust-header arrangement.

Rake and trail measure out at 26-degrees and 4.25-inches, respectively, with a 60.78-inch wheelbase, and this gives the Griso its agreeable handling that is eager in the corners while remaining reasonably stable on the straights. Up front, the usd forks run with a 43 mm inner fork tube while the rear end floats on a remote-reservoir gas shock, and both ends come with the full trinity of adjustments; compression/rebound damping and preload.

A pair of four-pot opposed-piston calipers bite the dual 320 mm front discs to provide the bulk of the braking power with a twin-piston anchor and 282 mm disc to help keep the rear-end where it belongs— behind you. If you’re the type of rider who really relies on ABS to keep your ride dirty-side down, you need to keep looking ’cause the Griso has nothing but raw, unaugmented brakes, which means you have to have skill instead. A set of 17-inch laced rims round out the rolling chassis with a ZR-rated 120/70 hoop up front and a 180/55 bringin’ up the rear.

Front Suspension: ø 43mm upside down fork with adjustments for spring preload and compression and rebound damping.
Rear Suspension: Radial caliper mounting on bottom sleeve
Front Brake: Single leverage with progressive separate gas reservoir (spring preload and hydraulic
extension and compression)
Rear Brake: Twin ø 320mm stainless steel wave discs. Radial calipers with 4 opposed pistons.
ø 282mm stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 opposed pistons
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17"
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17"

Drivetrain

2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
- image 775873
Engine control is Pure-D vanilla with no traction/wheelie/slide protection or any other sort of unnecessarily complicated fandanglery to act as a buffer between rider and machine.

MG powers the Griso with the Quattrovalvole powerplant set in the signature transverse position. According to the factory, something in the order of 75-percent of the internal components are new in this mill to include a beefed-up crankshaft and new three-segment pistons to name a few. A chain-driven SOHC times each of the four-valve heads beneath the sound-attenuating rocker-box covers with conical, multi-rate valve springs to help combat valve float at the higher rpm ranges. Oil jets in the cases carry heat away from the piston crowns, and oil also flows around the exhaust-valve ports to pull heat out of that hottest of areas by pressure from not one, but two oil pumps that draw from the boxy sump.

Induction control comes from a pair of 50 mm throttle bodies and new Marelli fuel injectors, but much like the brakes, engine control is Pure-D vanilla with no traction/wheelie/slide protection (again; skills not included) or any other sort of unnecessarily complicated fandanglery to act as a buffer between rider and machine. This here is a full-raw machine folks, all the way around, and I count that as a positive attribute. The final bit of control comes from a single-plate clutch and six-speed transmission with a shaft drive hidden away within the swingarm to put the power to the pavement.

As for the power itself, you can expect to be rewarded with a total of 110 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 78.9 pounds o’ torque at 6,600 rpm; plenty of power for a lively ride, even with the 509-pound curb weight.

Engine: 90° V-twin, 4 stroke
Displacement: 1,151 cc
Power: 104.5 hp (78 kW) at 7,100 rpm
Torque: 78.9 lb ft (107 Nm) at 6,600 rpm
Exhaust System: 2 into 1 stainless steel, with three-way catalytic converter and lambda probe
Transmission: 6 speed
Secondary Drive : Compact reactive shaft drive CA.RC. Double universal joint with floating bevel gear, ratio 12/44 = 1 : 3,666
Cooling: Air Cooled

Pricing

2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
- image 775889
The new Griso 1200 S.E. provides an honest ride for a price that's kept relatively low by the lack of gadgetry even if the adjustable suspension does add a tad to the tally.

Fun, good looks and honest riding qualities can be yours for $13,190 MSRP. The new Griso 1200 S.E. provides that honest ride for a price that’s kept relatively low by the lack of gadgetry even if the adjustable suspension does add a tad to the tally.

Color: Black Devil, Rosso Trofeo
Price: $13,190

Competitors

2018 Indian Motorcycles Scout Bobber - How Does It Stack Up To The Competition?
- image 723797
2018 Moto Guzzi Griso 1200 S.E.
- image 775890
At the checkout, Indian scores a minor victory with an MSRP that is a bit more budget-friendly than the 'Guzzi, but 'Guzzi scores where it counts.

Looking at the sleek flyline and custom vibe of the Griso, I decided the Indian Scout Bobber may be a good match for its ample blackout treatment, custom influence and other performance-minded attributes. Yeah OK, the rear end looks different with the Scout running an angled swingarm-and-shock arrangement meant to mimic the geometry of the old rigid rear ends. Cool looking, but very American looking as well. Chopped fenders show an interest in performance, but as cool as it looks, the solo seat will impose certain limitations. Namely; a trip to the accessories catalog if you want to carry a passenger with you. As much as I hate the look of a radiator, Indian does a good job of making it blend into the design and be fairly inconspicuous ahead of the black hole that is the engine compartment.

Unlike the Griso, the Scout carries its 1,133 cc V-twin in the typical fore-and-aft arrangement that doesn’t stick out the sides, so it doesn’t have that all-up-front look created by the shoulders on the ’Guzzi. Like the Griso, the engine comes with straight-up controls and nothing in the way of electronic wizardry to come between (wo)man and machine. Indian falls a bit short with only 100 horsepower and 72 pound-feet of torque to draw on against 110/78.9 from the Griso.

’Guzzi gets a leg up in the stems since of the two, it’s the only one offering adjustable suspension components. Not only is the Scout non-adjustable, but you know that cool-looking rear end? The price you pay for that is a two-inch rear-wheel travel that makes the Scout about as comfy in back as one of the early Softails.

At the checkout, Indian scores a minor victory with an $11,499 MSRP that is a bit more budget-friendly than the 13 K-plus ’Guzzi.

He Said

“Nice looking ride, sort of strikes me as an Italian Sportster, but with the suspension components H-D ought to be looking at. I like the MG look, but I still worry about those expensive heads and jugs that stick out where all kinds of evil, expensive (yes, I said it twice) things can happen to them. That said, this is a definite alternative to a Japanese crotch rocket if you just want some good, honest fun/transportation.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "It’s really nice for a lazy cruise, rather sedate, but doesn’t seem very suited for low-speed commutes. For low speeds in heavy traffic, it just doesn’t feel friendly. It’s kinda cool that the engine actually gives your legs some wind protection, though it does have some vibration in the handlebar and some through the pegs. The seat is nicely padded and even after spending a couple of hours in the saddle, it’s still quite comfortable. This bike, I think, is good for a rider that doesn’t need to impress anyone.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 90° V-twin, 4 stroke
Displacement: 1,151 cc
Power: 104.5 hp (78 kW) at 7,100 rpm
Torque: 78.9 lb ft (107 Nm) at 6,600 rpm
Exhaust System: 2 into 1 stainless steel, with three-way catalytic converter and lambda probe
Transmission: 6 speed
Secondary Drive : Compact reactive shaft drive CA.RC. Double universal joint with floating bevel gear, ratio 12/44 = 1 : 3,666
Cooling: Air Cooled
Chassis:
Front Suspension: ø 43mm upside down fork with adjustments for spring preload and compression and
rebound damping.
Rear Suspension: Radial caliper mounting on bottom sleeve
Front Brake: Single leverage with progressive separate gas reservoir (spring preload and hydraulic
extension and compression)
Rear Brake: Twin ø 320mm stainless steel wave discs. Radial calipers with 4 opposed pistons.
ø 282mm stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 opposed pistons
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17"
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17"
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 89 inches (2,260 mm)
Width: 34.6 inches (880 mm)
Height: 42.1 inches (1,070 mm)
Running Weight: 509 lbs (231 kg)
Fuel Tank: 4.5 gal, 1 gal reserve (17 liters, 3.5 liter reserve)
Details:
Color: Black Devil, Rosso Trofeo
Price: $13,190

References

Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber

2018 Indian Motorcycles Scout Bobber - How Does It Stack Up To The Competition? Wallpaper quality
- image 723787

See our review of the Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: windycitytriumph.com, motoguzzi-us.com, indianmotorcycle.com

Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: