2008 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V –

29 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2008 Moto Guzzi Griso 8V –
Moto Guzzi Centauro

Four Extra Valves Deliver A Kick in the Pants!

Photos by Yossef Schvetz

Dear MO’ridians, I’m not going to wax lyrical about the beauty of the Como Lake this time and will instead get straight to the point. One proper stretch of the new Griso’s throttle cable in the first bit of clean road I’ve found was enough to convince me: The Messiah has arrived to Mandello, and how. This might not be the type of Messiah who’s going to solve all this world’s problems, hunger or war, but a Messiah nevertheless.

Guzzi fans all over the world can walk proud at last: What an engine! What a peach of an engine! This new 8V power-mill deserves a regal welcoming.

The renewed Guzzi factory has been churning fine new models for the last three years (since the Aprilia and then Piaggio takeover), but they’ve often left me with a feeling of: If only the motor had another 20 hp. Childish, I know, but the agony over power is over then.

Guzzisti wont have to search for meek aliens ate my sparkplugs excuses from now on. The otto valvole , i.e. eight-valve motor fills up a serious gap that had opened up throughout the years of Guzzi’s offerings, a gap called powa’. Don’t worry, there’s a frame, suspension and plastic body parts and great forms attached to that engine too.

But when you read the 110-hp line in the spec sheet, first reaction is: “What? In a Guzzi? Must be a typo.” And yet, you can really feel those 110 horsies pushing you, no doubt about that.

Moto Guzzi Centauro
Moto Guzzi Centauro

Even if this kind of power might cause Supersport riders to giggle, then in the context of a naked bike like the Griso, 110 horsies are a very satisfying herd. Not less important, this is the strongest motor Guzzi has ever mass-produced, and at last, Guzzi can face off other air-cooled 1200cc Twins like Ducati, BMW and Buell without blinking.

The recipe for obtaining this more than respectable power looks simple on paper. New cylinder heads have been grafted on top of the good old big block base, and these have four valves each. A high camshaft rather than a truly overhead one is positioned to the side of the combustion chamber and it operates the valves via tiny pushrods, pretty much like in the last generations of BMW Boxers.

In order to power these high cams, two chain drives run at the motor’s rear, requiring heavily modified cases and new cylinders too, so this engine has no relation to the eight-valve 1000cc Daytona/Centauro motor of the mid-’90s. In order to let this new engine breathe well at high revs, enormous throttle bodies of 50mm diameter have been installed, but even more important is the all-new geometry of the combustion chambers.

During my first miles as I am getting accustomed to the Griso 8V, it’s the really good pull from down low that impresses. Not that the old engine was flat at this range, it’s just that this one is so much better from 2000 rpm and on that I am tempted to compare it to an air-cooled Buell or Ducati, just sweeter. Even without pushing beyond 5000 revs, you can whisk along at a very fast rate and the throttle response is damn near perfect.

Moto Guzzi Centauro
Moto Guzzi Centauro
Moto Guzzi Centauro
Moto Guzzi Centauro

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