First Ride: Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V

A grand turismo intended to have all the fun of a naked sportsbike but with all the protection of a tourer.

Posted: 8 April 2011
by Tom Higham

It's clear that Moto Guzzi know their customer base and have aimed the bike at riders of 40 plus. The changes to the new bike have exisiting 1200 owners to thank, as well as the long arm of the law.

With the Norge a popluar choice for Police forces in cities such as Berlin and Milan, the model has obviously covered a fair few miles with some of them at a brisk pace. In fact, the first few times I saw a pair of them in my mirror I instinctively double checked the speedo.

One of the issues the Police reported with the previous bike had occasionally been overheating so the design team have spent some time working on the internal oil system.

The oil cooler has been relocated lower than previously and other changes made to guard against overheating. It seems bizarre to then say that the engine bay is insulated, but this change has been made to stop the rider getting too hot rather than the engine, with heat escaping through the rear wheel bay.

The result is less noise from the latest evolution of the "four valve" series engine along with the promise of improved reliability and engine life.

The Norge has previously been labeled ugly by Visordown but I think likening it to Sylvester Stallone's mum is a bit unfair.

The looks of the bike certainly grew on me over the two day launch in Florence and the press bikes in white certainly looked the part. And built to a high standard. If you're not into this season's colour, the bike is also available in a 'titanium' silver and black.

Keeping things Italian, Brembo calipers are used and haul the bike to a stop pretty effectively. ABS comes as standard on the Norge 8V and although you are aware of the ABS kicking in, it is in no way obtrusive on this bike. You can switch it off using a button on the right hand control switches but if you're covering lots of miles, especially with a pillion and on unknown roads, it's a no-brainer not to have it on.

Continue reading the Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V first ride report 3/3

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