Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT test

Velvet instead of special

With the Norge, Moto Guzzi finally says goodbye to the image of the coarse racing cars. Velvety soft and cultivated, it should also be possible to travel on the machines from Mandello del Lario in the future.

D.he experience is pre-programmed. At every petrol station, at every rest area, at motorcycle meeting points anyway.

People circle around the Norge, appreciate the design, and then ask skeptically: How can it be switched? Does it vibrate? How does the gimbal behave? And as if they were considering the answer "everything is okay" as a cliché of decency, they add comfortingly: "For ?? ne Guzzi, isn’t it." Which means something like: great marathon time ?? for a one-legged man.

For ?? do Guzzi ?? The Norge also has to live with this indulgent relationship. Understandable. Because for too many years the motorcycle manufacturer on Lake Como has been bobbing about, relying on the myth of bygone days when it comes to model updates. But since 2000 Aprilia and in December 2004 the Piaggio Group put its financially strong arm around the shoulder of the Guzzi Manufactory, which has become very narrow, things are moving forward. In 2005 the two naked bikes Breva and Griso appeared, now the Norge is to round off the top of the travel department, which has long since ceased to be adequately occupied by the aging California. Tradition still remains an issue. Norge, the local name for Norway, is reminiscent of the journey of Giuseppe Guzzi, the brother of the company founder Carlo, who wanted to demonstrate the stability of his machines with that legendary ride to northern Norway and back at the end of the 1920s. What, Signor Giuseppe? not taken for granted back then succeeded without any problems.

And the Norge also preserves this spirit of remaining true to one’s convictions. One press of the starter button is enough for the proof. When the engine swings the handlebars back and forth while idling, and every throttle pushes the engine to the right like a small push, then you hear, you feel: this is a Moto Guzzi. After the dry clack with which the first gear audibly engages, however, it becomes clear how intensively the venerable V2 engine has been renovated. Jerk-free and with noticeable vibrations, which are only annoying from 7000 rpm, that pulls in the Norge to 1151 cm3 displacement ?? Griso and Breva compete with 1064 cm3 ?? The increased 90-degree unit already briefly above idle speed. From as little as 2000 rpm, the Magneti Marelli injection system and the new double ignition bring harmony to the gas exchange. From 4000 rpm, the lighter pistons accelerate their likewise slender connecting rods even more intensely, until at 8000 rpm the rev limiter warns: Please shift.

That we understand each other correctly, the revamped engine did not become a dragster. Especially since only 82 of the promised 93 hp are actually sent towards the rear wheel. In terms of performance, the travel-ready competition starts with the Ducati Multistrada with 92 hp, the BMW R 1200 RT with 110 horses and the Yamaha FJR with a whopping 144 hp on a different level. And yet the travel steamer immediately arouses sympathy. Just the newly designed six-speed gearbox ?? no more comparison with the rumbling past. Only when downshifting do the shifting claws slip into one another a little bit hooked. But is it not this helpful short burst of double-declutching that makes the gear shift into a comprehensive experience with this cozy Guzzi thump?

The new drive unit with cardan shaft, huge single-sided swing arm and floating torque support is also impressive. Without any noteworthy reactions? no lifting when accelerating, hardly any rattling when braking hard? the drive train causes little stir. Which leaves the pilot with leisure for the essentials. The comfortable bench, the appropriately positioned footrests and the high handlebars complement each other to create a chauffeur’s chest of drawers, on which larger distances can easily be torn down. It is around 400 kilometers that the Italian spans between two refueling stops with her 23-liter tank and motorway consumption of 5.6 liters. Time enough to occupy oneself with the rectangular on-board computer integrated into the three round instruments (tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge), which steals the show from any iPod with its wealth of information.

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Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT test
Velvet instead of special



The Norge is up to something.

The traveler looks in vain for an electrically adjustable windshield like on the BMW or the Yamaha on the GT version of the Guzzi Norge. In addition to two handwheels, two cap nuts must be loosened with a size 13 wrench to adjust the height of the disc. After all, in the extended position it completely protects the upper body and head from the wind, which then hardly tugs at the shoulders. Noisy turbulence is limited to a minimum. Even in the version lowered by five centimeters, the head is largely spared from wind pressure. As with all four versions on offer: The T version (half fairing, mechanically adjustable window, 12,790 euros), the TL version (T plus electrically adjustable window, 12,980 euros), the tested GT version (full fairing, case, heated handles, 13,790 euros) or the GTL model (GT plus electrically adjustable window, top case, navigation system, 14,790 euros).

Back to the circumstance shopkeeper: the dipstick for checking the oil only reveals itself when the left lower part of the fairing is removed with a total of seven screws. An absurdity. In order to attach and remove the case, a safety hook hidden behind a plastic cover must be folded up. Could be solved more elegantly. And the handwheel for the hydraulic preload of the shock absorber is permanently covered in dirt from the road.

In spite of everything: The contents of the suitcase stay dry even in a thunderstorm, and the monoshock is well matched in the standard setting. Likewise, the fork, which can only be adjusted in the spring base. The comfortably adjusted duo even takes away the horror of bad country roads, encouraging them to take a brisk pace again and again. But be careful. In left-hand bends, the boom of the main stand keys down much too early and leverages the rear wheel dangerously. And in rectangles, the stand scratches the asphalt later, but still in good time.

All the more does that result? can be switched off for detours on unpaved terrain ?? standard ABS sense. Sensitively controlled, the system keeps the 275 kilogram touring steamer safely on course when fully fueled, even in the event of forced braking. Whereby the Voyageur has to take the two four-piston brake calipers courageously.

The force of two fingers is barely enough for an emergency stop. In addition, the lady from Mandello always needs a little pressure on the handlebars after the somewhat imprecise turn-in phase due to the soft suspension in order to circle the curves on a clean line, even though she has first-class tires with the neutral and handy Metzeler Roadtec Z6. After all: load change reactions remain at a minimum despite the gimbal drive, which is critical in this respect. The pillion seat cannot quite compete with the established travel competition in terms of space, but it still sits comfortably on longer tours.

The Norge also proves its long-distance qualities on the motorway. Up to a top speed of almost 200 km / h, even longitudinal grooves do not bother it, and the comfortable suspension means that it ignores distortions. And then at the latest, the guzzist will be looking forward to the refueling stop and that "for a Guzzi" Simply add a word to the curious: What a Guzzi!

Data and measurements

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, a chain-driven camshaft located below, two valves per cylinder, injection, Ø 45 mm, regulated catalytic converter, six-speed gearbox, cardan.

Bore x stroke 95.0 x 81.2 mm
Cubic capacity 1151 cm3
Compression ratio 9.8: 1
Rated output 68.3 kW (93 hp) at 7250 rpm
Max. Torque 96.2 Nm at 5500 rpm

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm, central spring strut with lever system, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 282 mm, double- piston floating caliper, ABS.

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1495 mm, seat height * 800mm, weight with a full tank * 275 kg, payload * 217 kg, tank capacity / reserve 23.0 / 4.0 liters, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

Guarantee: two years
Colors: silver, blue metallic
Price: 13 790 euros including additional costs

* MOTORCYCLE measurement

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