2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review –

14 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2008 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review –
Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

Italian for GS

So, has anything changed since? Quite a bit, quite a bit. Tall big Twins, the inspiration source for those desert racer replicas, have stopped competing in the P-D many years ago (the race itself might not happen ever again) and the breed itself has slowly turned away from the off-road roots to become mostly a super-comfy road tool.

While the big trailies have lost their exotic African appeal, thousands of riders around the world have discovered that these are the most effective mountain tourers, especially when heavily laden with two riders and full hard cases.

More to the point, BMW’s 1200GS has been an hysterical sales hit in Europe for the last few years – you have to witness their oppressing presence in the Alpine passes in the summer to understand just how many GSs have been sold. They simply outnumber anything else out there.

Even in sportbike-crazed Italy, the mighty GS has taken the honor of becoming the biggest seller (GS and GS Adventure sales combined), pushing aside even scooters, supersports or what have you, and that, with a $14.6K tool. Quite amazing, methinks, and, no, Ewan McGregor’s well-publicized around the world tour on a GS can’t fully explain that.

Japan’s answer? The Suzuki V-Strom and Honda’s Varadero are just too plasticky for real he-men. Yamaha has stopped producing the 750 Super Tenere a long time ago while Kawasaki has never been really interested in the (multi-cylinder) genre.

KTM’s V-Twins? Too revvy and professional.

One company, though, seemingly had all the right cards to play the GS game again. A big air-cooled Twin with an imposing technical presence? Guzzi’s got it. A shaft that doesn’t require maintenance on those long trips and doesn’t get clogged with mud (when you hit a muddy trail once a year…)?

Guzzi’s got it. An industrial-agricultural poise? Guzzi’s got it. Sounds like Guzzi really had no choice but to make this thing.

Well, the Stelvio is here at last, and it’s not hard to see that all the ingredients needed to create an Italian GS are there. The sheer size, the right attitude, the classic big trailie treats. With Guzzi being Guzzi, the styling is classic, too, to a certain extent.

Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

The Stelvio designers consciously avoided the asymmetric aggressiveness of the GS articulate front end and went for a much smoother look. If the GS’s disjointed body panels composition is too much for you, then the Stelvio can offer instead a much more quiet and restrained appearance. Those big, bug twin headlights might be hard to swallow, but other than that the Stelvio is quite a gem while the fit and finish is really good, a cut above the current GS that shows some corner cutting in the finishing department.

Other than good, classy looks; there’s also plenty of tech-substance in the Stelvio. The new high-cam eight-valve motor displacing 1151cc was lifted straight out of the Griso and was only mildly detuned for the Stelvio. With a claimed 105 hp at 7500 rpm, the Stelvio matches the updated 2008 R1200GS in both output and rpm in the Adventure-Tourer category power wars.

The closeness of the healthy (79.7 ft-lbs) torque peak at 6400 rpm to the power peak rpm hints at a worryingly revvy motor, but we’ll get to that later.

The upside-down front fork with its 50mm tubes looks mighty, and on the back, the progressively linked CARC swingarm with its torque-canceling design is just as reassuring. The radial-mounted front calipers seem a bit of overkill in this context, while the heavy-duty rider’s seat (at 32.9 inches) looks perfect for long hours on the saddle.

The windshield (as well as the seat) can be adjusted for height, and on the back end, a hefty rear luggage carrier and hard bags attachment points are standard equipment. The Stelvio is quite similar in specs to the basic 1200GS version; things get less rosy when you factor in the ESA and ABS options. The Stelvio will have an ABS option only in a few months time, though it’s doubtful there’ll ever be an on-the-flight suspension adjustment system.

Heated grips and GPS gear appear in the accessories catalog.

Moto Guzzi 1000 Quota Injection

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