MOTO-GUZZI GRISO 1200 (2005 - 2016) Review

Highlights

  • A classic with a fond following
  • 1200 introduced in 2007
  • Fun, cheap, desirable biking

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 91 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 800 mm)
Weight: Medium (501 lbs / 227 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £5,300 - £5,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

As an objet d’art the beautifully designed and finished Moto Guzzi Griso is eye-catchingly stunning. As a motorcycle, it’s fun, functional and pretty much as cool as it gets…

After seemingly decades in the doldrums Moto Guzzi is back with a strikingly styled, well built roadster that’s a match for the best from anywhere. 

Back in 2011 MCN took a Moto Guzzi Griso onto the long-term test fleet as our V7 was on other duties. Find out what happened here.

There's a good enthusiasts' scene for this bike, so once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, why not head along to Griso Ghetto and join the community?

In 2007 the Moto Guzzi Griso SE 1200 was launched. This was a special edition based on the 1200cc four-valve version of Guzzi's brawny, stylish roadster. For £9109 (£300 over the stock bike) you got flash black anodised alloy wire wheels, a sultry matt green paintjob evocative of Guzzis racers of the '50s and a posh brown seat. Think Bentley-style mix of retro and modern and you won't be far wide of the mark. Riding-wise, it's unchanged.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Decent enough. The Moto Guzzi Griso's top notch suspension and brakes front and rear give a classy ride and with the weight mostly low it’s stable yet steers sweetly. Pleaseant enough as a roadster, but long wheelbase means its no Brutale or Speed Triple-style sportster.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Moto Guzzi Griso 1100's trademark transverse V-twin has at last moved on technologically. Latest shaft drive system and four valve heads result in an almost BMW boxer style unit. It’s flexible, friendly and versatile. Why almost? Because it’s still overweight and lacking outright power. More powerful, peaky 1200 8v version introduced in 2007.

The engine is 80 per cent new, up to 1151cc from 1064cc and features newly-styled cylinders and head covers. There are also discrete modifications to the exhaust (now adopting an eye-catching ‘8’ cross-section) and brakes (new wavy discs and radial callipers, the handlebars are narrower and the seat reprofiled.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Build quality of the Moto Guzzi Griso is quantum leap forwards from Guzzis of the last 10 years or so. Paint and metal finishes gleam and glisten, neat design touches (such as the Guzzi Eagle emblem moulded into the rear light) abound. 

We've got 6 Moto Guzzi Griso owners' reviews on the site, with an overall score of 3.8 stars out of 5. Comments mention a few engine reliability problems and a hard ride.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Considering the spec, the Moto Guzzi Griso is pretty good value new and used, especially compared to the likes of overpriced BMWs and the ludicrously expensive Yamaha MT-01.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Moto Guzzi Griso's Brembo wheels, brakes and Marzocchi suspension are among the quality cycle parts and the Griso is not lacking sweet deisgn touches or refinement, but as a naked, this is still a fairly basic motorcycle.

Specs

Engine size 1064cc
Engine type 8v transverse V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 17.2 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 227kg
Front suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Rear suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 282mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £100
New price -
Used price £5,300 - £5,500
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 91 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Top speed 127 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.3 secs
Tank range 130 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2005: Moto Guzzi Griso launched in November.
2007: 1200cc 8v version introduced.
2011: Griso 8V priced at £9,574, Griso SE priced at £9,874

Other versions

850 version is available in Europe but not in the UK

Owners' reviews for the MOTO-GUZZI GRISO 1200 (2005 - 2016)

6 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI GRISO 1200 (2005 - 2016) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MOTO-GUZZI GRISO 1200 (2005 - 2016)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Engine: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
3 out of 5 Impending engine failure
18 March 2016 by Chris Scott

Year: 2008

Annual servicing cost: £100

I bought the 8valve Griso in January this year, first year model 2008. It has a FSH and 5.5k miles on the clock. I very much like the styling of quasi muscle/retro/cruiser and always a fan of big lumpy twins. It will do nicely for a relaxed ride and our european touring tool. I have not ridden it yet because of an inherent flaw with the flat tappets and camshaft which is well documented on Griso Ghetto forum. These tappets lose their coatings and in turn can cause major engine failure. Despite this being common knowledge Piaggio will not issue a recall. 2013 bikes should have the updated rollerised tappets and camshaft. This flaw applies to Norge and Stelvio too. The 4 valve bikes (pre 2008)are not affected. So if you want to buy one of these gorgeous looking bikes then make sure it has had the rollerisation job done or set aside some cash to have it done. Piaggio will "support" a claim for engine failure providing that FSH is available. Support means just that and all you will get is the components f.o.c. the labour you will have to fork out for. That in itself is a hassle waiting for parts and approval from Italy. This is a scandal. Check out www.grisoghetto and see for yourself.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Not ridden it yet in fear of it breaking.

Engine 3 out of 5

Flat Tappets made out of chocolate. Latent defect, disaster iminent

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

This engine with flat coated tappets is not fit for purpose. Piaggio are negligent and culpable. Deviant scoundrels. I hope they sue me. I would love the opportunity to argue that this engine is not fit for purpose.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Valve clearance is a doddle. A diy dream when it is sorted.

Equipment 4 out of 5

plenty of luggage available

Buying experience: Bought from a good family dealer. No gripe with them whatsoever. I knew what was ahead of me.

4 out of 5
16 June 2015 by peter

Version: 1100

Year: 2006

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5 Exhausting
04 April 2009 by pearlyblue

Changed the standard exhuast for a Termignoni,wow what a difference transformed this bike,and lost weight in the process,not too loud but stop it shuntting in town,probably cos i can hear it:)Love the machine watched its production and enjoy riding it.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 Superb
22 January 2008 by gizzabreak

Now, I understand what people mean when they talk about Italian bike character. It's an old tech air cooled twin-not particularly powerful or comfortable but yet every time I sit astride this superb machine I feel like a million dollars and it really does bring me tears of sheer joy riding it on my favourite roads. I've been riding mostly Japanese multi's for over 25 years now and after this, I cannot see myself going back. Emotional review but then, isn't riding a bike supposed to be all about that ?

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 Almost But Not Quite
30 August 2007 by marty1035

Just sold a black 2006 model. Loved the styling and the bike is packed with features and is extremely well made (apart from clocks that mist up), but unfortunately the bike has rock hard suspension that I couldn't seem to adjust differently, a riding position that only works over short distances. It's too heavy, too slow and the shaft drive is way too clunky and abrupt. This is a bike that sells on looks rather than how it actually works in the real world.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Grab-a-Griso!
12 August 2007 by

The Griso 1100 is a surprising package; visually you will either love or loathe the overall styling, but indifference is unlikely! The handling is much better than the long wheelbase suggests - Slow steering, but planted and well able to give a good account of itself in the twisties and on long sweepers. The Griso comes equipped with full-on sports rubber - some have said overkill: I have out-cornered a good few sports bikes and wet weather performance seems good too. The engine has sufficient grunt to entertain, but does feel strained at higher motorway speeds.The lower gearing means that the Griso seems to be working harder than it should, but isn't unpleasant. The mid-range is dandy and the high torque gives good shove below 90mph.The gearbox is the equal of many and the re-designed shaft drive, at least in my opinion is unobtrusive and shouldn't put you off. A small fly screen is offerd for the Griso - get one. It makes a considerable difference on the motorway or fast A roads; I'm 6ft 5 and pretty powerful(!) but can honestly cruise at 90mph+ for considerable distances, thanks to that bit of perspex! Also have a high level 'Mistral' can - Loadsa weight saving and a cracking sound. I can report that my Griso has done an indicated 128mph(The same as I got out of an MT-01) and is capable enough at 110-115mph Tank range is reasonable - say 110-115 miles, with some feisty riding.Did a trip to France (They LOVED the Griso!) and simply refuelled when convenient. We aren't talking tourer, but certainly not super-moto!. This bike can be more than just a posing pouch. Comfort? Great seat, 'ish' footpeg position: slightly rearset would you believe (Italian cars share creative ergonomics too!). Overall a good-looking, fun package, just be sure to get a demo. The Griso gets better with time and affection....

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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