MOTO-GUZZI NORGE GT 8V (2011 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
Power: 102 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: High (567 lbs / 257 kg)

Prices

New £12,132
Used £4,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Moto Guzzi’s Norge tourer gets a makeover for 2011. Now called the Norge GT 8V, it has a new chassis, body panels and the latest evolution of the Italian firm’s eight valve engine, replacing the old two-valve motor. It also comes with an impressive array of goodies, all included in the price too. It’s as comfortable as ever with a plush ride, but Guzzi have stiffened up the suspension to help its composure on fast motorway bends. It’s an improvement on the old model, but still on the heavy side and that blunts some of your enjoyment. 

Ride quality & brakes

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

A stiffer suspension set-up makes the Norge GT 8V more poised on fast sweepers and it handles well enough for spirited riding in the twisty stuff. Ground clearance is greatly improved but the centre stand will touch down if pushed hard. But weighing in at hefty 257kg dry (28kg more than a BMW R1200RT), the Guzzi needs to be gently coaxed rather than taken by the scruff of its neck, for best results. The riding position is very roomy, even for taller riders and the seat is very soft, which is fine for some, but a pain for some of our testers.

Engine

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

Producing 102bhp and 77ftlb of torque, the Norge GT 8V is powered by an air-cooled 1151cc, 90° V-twin motor with fuel injection and shaft drive. In typical Guzzi style the motor is mounted long-ways in the chassis, with a cylinder head poking out each side of the bike. There’s a decent amount of poke from the engine, the throttle response is very smooth and the soundtrack is reminiscent of an old Ducati 916. It’s fast enough to have fun on, but relaxed for gentle cruising.

Reliability & build quality

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

Build quality is very good, there are lots of high spec cycle parts, like the Brembo brakes. There are lots of glowing reviews from owners of the original Norge, so expect the new one to be good on the reliability front.

Value vs rivals

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

You can pick up a Suzuki GSX1250 FA ST and a Triumph Sprint GT for less money, but they won’t come with the Guzzi’s impressive array of standard equipment. It comfortably undercuts the BMW R1200RT, Honda VFR1200, Kawasaki 400GTR and Yamaha FJR1300A. If you’re after a relaxed, comfortable tourer with bags of character and lots of toys, the Norge GT 8V is superb value for money.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

There’s a decent amount of goodies as standard, like ABS, heated grips, sat nav, panniers and an on-board computer. It has an electrically-adjustable screen but its buttons are quite crude – one of the left bar and one on the right, out of reach when you’ve got your hands on the bars. Optional extras include a top box, tank bag and a low seat option.

Specs

Engine size 1151cc
Engine type 8v, V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel double cradle with single sided swingarm/shaft drive system.
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 257kg
Front suspension 45mm forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 282mm single disc with twin-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £200
New price £12,132
Used price £4,700
Insurance group 13 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 102 bhp
Max torque 104 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 204 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Model introduced in 2011

Other versions

None

Owners' reviews for the MOTO-GUZZI NORGE (2011 - on)

6 owners have reviewed their MOTO-GUZZI NORGE (2011 - on) 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 NORGE (2011 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
4 out of 5 A bit of of Dinosaur, but still full of character.
08 April 2019 by count wzzini paleologus

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £250

I have always liked Guzzis and have owned several. There won't be any big air cooled twins made in the world soon, so in a sense they are race of dinosaurs. The big twin shakes a bit when idling, blurring mirrors, but smooths out once you get going. Very stylish bit of Italian design, lovely details and good finish. Fiddly computer information system.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfortable. I find it very solid on corners, as if on rails.

Engine 5 out of 5

Lovely big V twin.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Great rich deep paintwork. Needs care in a UK winter. Electrics always let down the old Guzzis, these are top notch. Mine is the 90th anniversary model which comes in a nice red, but hard to find a matching paint.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Quite an easy bike to work on, except the second spark plugs.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I find the electronic information a bit tedious to set up and fiddly.

5 out of 5 Smooth and comfortable.
11 January 2017 by Dale

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £100

Comfortable, nimble, smooth.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brembo's front and rear. Great feel. Unobtrusive ABS.

Engine 4 out of 5

Smooth, strong, broad torque range.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Excellent fit and finish.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Quality saddlebags, excellent factory tank bag.

Buying experience: Bought new from dealer

4 out of 5 Smooth, comfortable, nimble.
27 September 2016 by Dale Baker

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £200

Comfortable, poised, and great sound going up the gears. Seat is superb, suspension plush. At 5'8" tall, it took a bit to get used to the high footpegs, but after 9,000 miles, they seem second nature. Only complaint is the lack of a turn signal detent, and the odd position on the windshield buttons. 100 lbs. lighter than a Concours or FJR - very nible. Super stable at high speeds.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Excellent brakes (Brembo). Progessive with a non-intrusive ABS system. Rear brake is stronger than I am used to. Front brakes have smooth initial bite.

Engine 4 out of 5

Needs another 20 HP and another 10 lbs. of torque.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No problems so far. Paint is superb.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Do my own service - engine, trans, rear oil changes. Filter easy to reach. Comes with a factory center stand. Rear tire change is a breeze with single sided swingarm.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Factory tank bag is excellent, as are the factory saddlebag liners. The saddlebags are wonderful - large, watertight, and easy on and off. Double latches for security.

Buying experience: Great dealer in North Georgia, unfortunately they retired and closed the shop.

4 out of 5 Great, both characterful and very capable - as long as you have had the cams done.
24 June 2016 by faxer

Version: 1200 GT 8v

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £180

Brilliant as long as the cam issue has already been sorted.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Good ride, not a sports bike but still possible to have fun, and some adjustability in the suspension. Feelgood factor is way up there compared with most tourers (or even most sports tourers). Feels very different and so a little bit 'special'.

Engine 5 out of 5

Character!! A rare thing. Vibey at low revs, but feels fab, and smooth when you get into the higher rev ranges.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Quality is excellent in terms of fit and finish. There is an issue with the cam followers, as at 2016 we are on I believe the 3rd fix, which now WORKS!!. If that has been done it better bike, feels smoother and dare I say it it more powerful. So if the cam followers sorted it is also reliable... if they haven't it would be a 2* if they have a 5* so you decide. Don't let that put you off, it IS a great bike, just make sure it has been done. I assume models from 2015/16 will come with done already, otherwise check as it is a £1500 fix. MG may pick up part of the cost but not all of it.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

36/42 mpg average. Servicing very reasonable. Depreciation seems to have been lower than other bikes, (subjectively). I bought mine used as a 12 month old bike. That was 4 years ago, and it seems to be worth more now than I paid for it.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Great, although most bikes in this bracket are well equipped anyway. Traction control and gear indicator are the two things missing.

Buying experience: Dealers good, I think they need to overcompensate for the poor customer service from MG itself.

4 out of 5 Norge 1200 GT 8v private review
11 November 2015 by Cameron Clarke

Version: GT 8V

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £250

Great for touring and have 'done' the Pyrenees and France this year, some 2500 miles over 10 days with a wide variety of roads and never found her lacking even on very tight twisties. I have found her a little heavy for Town work and she has a tendency to over-heat if stuck in heavy traffic for any prolonged periods. She is built for touring and she does that very well and is so comfortable. The panniers can take a full face helmet and she has plenty of grunt.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

She is best touring and on longer runs. very comfy and I have ridden 500 miles non-stop apart from re-fuelling no problem.

Engine 5 out of 5

No issues here- she has plenty of grunt and pulls away very smoothly.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

I have had a problem with the oil light coming on which needed a new switch and some over-heating problems, so is back in the garage to try to find the fault. A previous owner didn't look after her very well and I might have to change the disc's to get through the MOT.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

No major issues and she is quite cheap to run compared to other major competitors.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Equipment level is fine. I don't think all the fancy stuff and electronics you get with BMW are really necessary anyway.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer and paid for an extended warranty, just in case. I have not had any problems though. Paid £7500 with a £500 discount from advertised price.

4 out of 5 Norge GT 8V
08 October 2011 by Doug45

After already trying the earlier 4V version, this is a great improvement. Lovely chracterful engine, great riding position and comfort (400 miles in a day no problem). However, your review says you get a Sat Nav, which you don't. I had to add my own. Overall though, I'm loving it! Looking forward to getting across to Europe on it next year, fingers crossed.

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