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Picture Special: Guzzi Griso

Published: 25 September 2007

The Griso sports roadster has become the first Moto Guzzi to receive the Italian firm’s virtually all-new and impressively potent eight-valve version of its transverse V-twin, powerplant.

And in doing so, the striking-looking Griso has been transformed from a lumbering yet evocative old-school roadster into a charging rhino of a motorcycle with true 140mph potential.

Although outwardly, as these pictures show, not much – ‘8V’ badging apart – appears different, there’s actually a whole raft of improvements.

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.

What hasn’t changed is the Griso’s classy, bullish, heavyweight character.

It’s just that now, at 5500rpm or thereabouts, it’s almost as if a turbo chimes in: the big Guzzi fills its lungs, twitches, gets up on its haunches and takes off like a Yankee musclecar. No sportsbike, maybe, but Guzzi now demand some respect…