Na'e fakatokanga'i 'e: Moto Guzzi Norge misi paiki

20 Jun 2015 | Tokotaha na'a ne fa'u: | Tamate'i 'a e ngaahi fakamatala 'i he Na'e fakatokanga'i 'e: Moto Guzzi Norge misi paiki
Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

Na'e fakatokanga'i 'e: Moto Guzzi Norge

The Moto Guzzi Norge has been on the periphery of my awareness of touring bikes for some time. Ko e taha 'o e toe ongo malohi ko ia ne fakatataa'i 'i he maketi, 'Oku hoko foki ia ke hoko ko e taha 'o e lelei taha 'oku totongi faka'atu'i mo e taha 'o e fakapotopoto – kapau foki ko e taha 'o e mamafa taha. Tukuange 'eni mo ha sipinga fo'ou 'o e ta'u kuo 'osi, Ko e konga ia 'o ha feinga ta'etuku ke tuku 'a e Moto 'a e Guzzi 'i he halanga, 'Oku 'ikai lava ke tukunoa'i pe 'o a'u ki he maketi 'a'ahi ki femo'uekina 'o e 'aho ni 'a e Norge.

Hange ko e kautaha lahi 'o e paiki faka-'Itali, 'Oku matu'aki laukau 'aki hono tukufakaholo 'a e moto 'a e Guzzi, pea 'oku 'i ai ha taha 'oku matu'aki makehe ai 'a e Norge. Na'e fakahingoa ia ko hili e Norge GT, tanupou 'a e kautaha 1928 sipinga – ko hono hingoa ko ia ki he airship ko ia 'a e fuofua puna vakapuna 'i he Pole Noate. Na'e fakakakato 'e he Norge 500cc GT maile 'e 4,000 sivi ke 'ave ia mei he hetikuota 'o 'Itali 'a e kautaha ki 'a Noaue Lapland, 'i he tafa'aki ki loto 'o e ngata'anga 'o e siakale 'o e Arctic.

Ko e fa'ahinga ko ia 'o e heka te tau fakakalakalasi ko ha fononga fisifisimu'a 'o e kolosi he konitineniti 'o a'u mai ki he 'aho ni, pea 'i 1928 Na'e foaki 'e ia mo e tu'unga 'o e ngaahi hala lahi ange ko ia. Na'e ha tu'unga ia ke ke fakamo'oni'i 'a e kautaha: Na'e ngaue 'a honau fokotu'utu'u swingarm mui fakamavahe'i e 'uli – ko e 'uluaki 'o hono fa'ahinga –, pea lava ke ne 'ai 'a e ngaahi fononga 'o mama'o ange 'i he me'a na'e 'ikai kataki'ingofua. Fai 'e he 'enisinia 'o e Guiseppe Guzzi e folau 'i ha uike 'e fa.

'I he taimi na'e toe ai 'a e Norge 'i he 2005, Na'e foki mai mo e fairing fakataumu'a tanolo havili mo ha misini v-mahanga 'o onoponi mo e accoutrements, pea u fakakakato 'a e heka tatau pe. Na'e mahino 'a e lea 'o e loto, though it was not without its issues. Reports of an uncomfortable seat, vibration-happy handlebars and an overheating engine clouded an otherwise solid release.

The 2011-2012 release cycle has seen a heavily redesigned model released, sporting a new fairing, sea, exhaust, panniers, electronically adjustable screen and eight-valve engine. According to press reports, up to 80% of the bike is new. Torque is up by 20% on the old model, alongside a 7% horsepower increase.

With great power also comes great comfort; the suspension is fully adjustable (and a tad firmer) and by all accounts of good quality, and the new seat has redressed the issues of the old.

The upgrades are much needed for a bike in a market dominated by old lineages of sport-tourers. It’s clear that Moto Guzzi are angling for the Norge to go toe-to-toe with Honda’s VFR1200, Triumph’s Sprint GT and other practical all-rounders that double as competent touring bikes. The Norge certainly sports the weight of a tourer – at 257kg without fuel, it is heavier than most competitorsbut it also boasts an impressive array of accessories.

Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

With a standard set of luggage, heated grips, ABS and a bluetooth-enabled Tom Tom GPS, the rather painful-looking £11,549 price tag doesn’t seem so bad. This makes for an especially interesting comparison with BMW’s higher-tech and higher-price R1200RT. Though a full 24kg lighter than the Norge, the BMW is also a thousand pounds moreand that’s without heated grips or a GPS.

With this said, I can’t help feeling serious doubts about the Norge as a genuine all-rounder. The incredible weight and new seating position – an uneasy compromise between high, sporty pegs and upright handlebars – mean that if weaving through traffic is your everyday life there are a thousand other bikes that will make your life easier. Having said that, if you have the upper arm strength to handle it and favour touring, the new Norge’s minimal nods to fun and performance may give your long ride the extra enjoyment a purebred tourer might fail to provide.

The final trick to making the most of the Norge’s considerable attributes is, of course, money – and perhaps more of it than you have concerns about depreciation. The 2012 edition has undergone changes large and small, and all are significant and go a long way towards justifying the “new bike” premium. To buy an older Norge would be to resign yourself to the constant knowledge that you aren’t experiencing the bike at its best.

This may not be a problem, of course, and indeed you can find models over five years old for between five and seven thousand pounds. Even better, they don’t tend to venture above 20,000 'i ha maile 'e, with 10,000-strong odometers a common sight. But they won’t be quite as spectacular and polished, and you’ll need to budget in 6,250-mile service intervals in any case.

The new Norge is a compelling motorcycle, and indeed a surprisingly practical one. On the basis of research alone, how highly I recommend it comes down in large part to how much you fancy your chances hauling it around a u-turn in the middle of nowhere halfway across Europe. If it passes that test, it might just be one of the best deals on the grand touring market today.

Moto Guzzi Norge Sport Touring

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