2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel Magazine

11 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel Magazine
Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V

Text: John M. Flores • Photography: John M. Flores, Moto Guzzi

Let’s cut to the chase – I took the 2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V into the wilds of Pennsylvania and felt really connected to this bike. Despite the cold and the rain and the occasional muddy patch, the Norge didn’t miss a beat and, more importantly, made me smile inside my helmet with each apex, each corner exit, and each passing opportunity.

This is a visceral machine capable of carving heavily crowned two-lanes and crossing continents. Are there faster sport-touring bikes? Yes. More comfortable ones? Yes. More featured ones? For sure.

But every once in a while you come across a bike that grabs you by the scruff of your touring jacket and says, “Let’s ride.” For me, this is that bike.


It all starts with the motor. I’m a V-twin type of guy. I started with one (a Honda Hawk GT) and continue to ride them (Aprilia RSV-R). This Guzzi, with its quattrovalvole 1151cc, 90-degree V-twin, makes 102 horsepower and, more importantly, has the torque (77 lb-ft) and feel that I like.

Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

Some people call it “soul,” and I’m not about to argue. The motor is air/oil-cooled, with a new fan to help the oil radiator. Heat from the motor wasn’t a problem in cold weather.

As a matter of fact, I wish it radiated more under those conditions I was very tempted to remove some of the heat shielding. Power from idle is good, with just a hint of side-to-side pulsing that the transverse Moto Guzzi engines are known for. Delivery smooths out around 4,000 rpm, and thrust is clean and enthusiastic all the way to the redline.

Revs climb quickly, and hitting the rev limiter is a distinct possibility if you don’t watch the tach but instead wait for the motor to run out of breath. That’s the benefit of the free-breathing, modern four-valve head. Rolling off produces prodigious engine-braking, often accompanied by an intoxicating rumble from the exhaust that makes you want to find the nearest tunnel just to hear it roar.

From quiet, twisty two-lane to Interstate 80, the Norge GT 8V delivered power whenever asked, lifting the front wheel on occasion while easily returning more than 40 mpg.

A six-speed transmission connects the V-twin to the shaft-driven rear wheel another Moto Guzzi trademark, and particularly suited to touring. Getting into first requires a firm boot, but otherwise the drivetrain is notable for its lack of drama and lack of rusting chains. It’s not buttery smooth like some Japanese transmissions, but it doesn’t require additional attention as it’s carving up the countryside.

Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring
Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring
Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

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