Moto Guzzi have produced some truly iconic motorcycles over the years, but they’ve also made some serious design missteps. We reckon the Griso lurks somewhere in the middle.
It’s by no means ugly: in fact, it’s borderline elegant. And with 108 hp and 108 Nm from its 1,151 cc motor, it packs a wallop too. But take a step back, and it looks a little too lumpy to get the same attention as stable mates like the Le Mans or V7.
Still, those that own them clearly love them. Because when the long-time owner of this particular 2009-model Griso started thinking it was time to move on, he talked himself out of it, and brought the bike to Officine Rossopuro for a makeover instead.
Smart move. Officine Rossopuro frontman Filippo Barbacane has customized all sorts of Moto Guzzis in all sorts of styles. In other words, he’s the guy to go to in Italy.
Filippo can really go to town on a build—but here, he was reined in by a budget, and a mandate to keep the bones of the bike stock.
“The challenge was to create a bike that is very different from the Griso, but without making irreversible or radical changes to the frame,” he tells us. “So the major study was to make a bodywork more streamlined, simple and close to the frame.”
That’s not to say it was a quick and easy job. Most of Filippo’s mods were around the Griso’s bodywork—but the more he changed, the more electrical components he exposed. So in the end, a lot of bits had to be relocated, and a lot of wiring redone.
For the actual redesign, Filippo started with the Griso’s chunky tail section. “Despite the Griso having a very nice body, I wanted to make it look a lot more minimalist,” he explains. “Especially the saddle—which has always seemed too big for a bike that is, after all, sporty and naked.”
So Filippo shaped up a new seat that’s shorter, slimmer and sleeker than the OEM unit. He took care to integrate it with the fuel tank panel up front, and even set it up to work with the original key-operated release.
“I always try to keep the use of the bike practical,” he tells us, “as my customers use their bikes. They are not just ornaments to be observed.”
Without being able to cut the subframe, Filippo decided to show it off instead. So he hand-shaped several aluminum panels to sit between the frame tubes, rather than cover them. “I think this is a beautiful component of this bike,” he says, “that has been undervalued by covering it completely.”
There’s an LED taillight embedded in the back panel, and a pair of skinny LED turn signals flanking it. Filippo moved the license plate to a new bracket lower down, mounted off the Griso’s single sided swing arm. He tells us the reasoning was twofold: keep the tail section clean, and show off more of that 180-section rear tire.
Next, Filippo ditched the Griso’s chunky side panels—the ones that sit just below the tank. In their place, he shaped up a set of aluminum panels, complete with mesh-lined vents to direct air to the area under the tank (which is where the alternator and coils live). A pair of triangular side panels below the seat rounds out the bodywork.
The rest of the project was a series of subtle tweaks—many of them as much to do with practicality as aesthetics. Filippo installed LSL handlebars, held in place by a set of custom risers. Further down, he installed a set of sleek heel guards from his own Officine Rossopuro catalog of Moto Guzzi parts.
The headlight was switched out for an oval unit that sits tighter to the forks, and then the stock clocks were relocated to complement it. Rounding out the parts list are a lightweight titanium silencer from Quot-D, and a set of grippy Metzeler Roadtec tires.
”Now the bike is driving very well,” Filippo tells us. ‘The riding position is more forward, the weight is reduced, and the narrower saddle allows for faster movements and makes you more embedded in the bike.”
Nicknamed ‘Impetus,’ this Griso sure isn’t as extremely modified as some of Filippo’s previous builds. But it is a slick take on the chunky sports naked, complete with a deep red and silver paint job that looks factory perfect.
We’re predicting a good many years before its owner considers selling it again…if ever.
Published at Thu, 26 Sep 2019 17:01:21 +0000