Moto Guzzi’s Tenni tribute, the Griso 8V SE. Naked sportsbike royalty or just a bad tempered Latin?

What we like:

  • Beautifully suspended
  • Charisma to burn
  • Massive torque range

Room for improvement:

  • Lumpy fuelling
  • Clutch pull ridiculously heavy
  • ABS please

Moto Guzzi 8V SE 2011

The Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE was unashamedly making the most of the brand’s heritage, and, in particular, the 2002 Moto Guzzi LeMans Tenni sportbike.

It sported green and brown bodywork (just like the old dustbin-faired V8 and 350 racers) and was a tribute to Omobono Tenni, who raced to 47 victories for Moto Guzzi.

He also boasted the accolade of being the first non-British rider to win the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race.

So. That’s the bloke. Now the bike – the 8V SE. Moto Guzzi gave the bike a tough and masculine visage from the outset, blacking out the spoked wheel rims, frame, engine, fork and handlebars.

In addition, the pastel green and tan paint and red badging deliver it an exclusive feel and high-end persona.

This one could only be Italian; in that, it’s not perfect, petulantly demanding you earn your relationship. It grumpily thuds, shakes and twists on the gas, sending all sorts of signals back through the bars. It’s an all-sensory experience.

The 1151cc transverse V-Twin, good for 80kW at 7500rpm, pulls strongly off the bottom of the rev-range, making 90 per cent of its peak torque (108Nm at 6400rpm) from 3000rpm to 7000rpm and growling out at the 8500-rpm redline, all the time announcing its loud, booming presence.

This one has a Zard exhaust fitted and I loved scaring dogs and elderly people on my test ride. Yes, I’m going to hell…

Gearing is tall, making the bike pleasingly long-legged for touring. Seat comfort is pretty good, with a 400km day not sending me squealing to the chiropractor.

Suspension componentry and dynamics are a highlight with that fully adjustable, 43mm inverted fork and monoshock provide precise fine-tuning and adjustment.

So, the Griso has its pecadillos, but for mine they add up to style, class and personality. The love affair starts as soon as you discover the angry 90-degree V-Twin exhaust note.

The way it’s styled, the way it demands that you boss it about a bit. This one asks for love and commitment.

Bring that to the Griso 8V SE and you’ll be rewarded in the manner in which only an Italian thoroughbred can.

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