Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ driving report

Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ in the driving report

Euro 4 compliant and with ABS

The completely redesigned Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ is the first ABS and Euro 4 model from the Italian manufacturer. You should end the weak phase.

There it is finally again, the shortest stroke V2 of all time. We’ve missed it recently when Moto Morini practically disappeared from the market. Twelve years after its debut, the mighty 1200s with the full punch celebrates a happy birth in the completely renovated VS.orsaro 1200, which now bears the nickname “ZZ” instead of the previous “Veloce”. Even the changeover to Euro 4 does not make the V2 matt: 139 PS are in the homologation papers. That’s right, other two-cylinder engines are now putting much more pressure on the test bench. But not so direct and untamed, right? Perhaps the joy of seeing and hearing the sonorous, rough sound also transfigures the first impression.

Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ in the driving report

Euro 4 compliant and with ABS

Torque storm from 3,500 rpm

The impressive sound from the new mufflers accompanies the exclusive 250 km tour with the Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ, to the premiere of which Moto Morini has only invited four journalists. The sitting position, which is slightly inclined forwards, looks even more gathered than it used to be, the relatively wide handlebars of the naked bike convey a good feeling of control and thus confidence right from the start. Moto Morini’s chief technology officer, Massimo Gustato, has definitely instilled better manners for the drive, you can tell from the first few meters. Because the engine no longer accelerates so roughly, although it remains an easy and sometimes involuntary exercise to let the front wheel lift. Because apart from ABS and a quickshifter for shifting gears without a clutch, there is no electronics on board, so grip when accelerating depends solely on the sensitivity of the throttle hand. Unfamiliar these days, but very charming: Motorcycling 1.0, so to speak.

The quickshifter, which is only used for upshifting, could safely be dispensed with, because it doesn’t work below 3,500 rpm anyway. And, moreover, he begins very brusquely. With the clutch, on the other hand, the gearbox shifts smoothly and precisely, which is why the automatic gearshift is completely forgotten during the tour. The engine itself wants to be kept happy in the Euro 4 version. At low engine speeds he seems to gasp, so that you involuntarily shift down a gear. But from around 3,500 rpm the V2 unfolds an enormous thunderstorm of torque, which pushes forward with power up to the limiter at 9,200 rpm and creates joyous showers.

Direct descendant of the 1200 Veloce

The well-balanced chassis, which now has more weight on the front wheel, goes well with the powerful engine. The test lap with the Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ leads from the factory in Trivolzio near Pavia through winding Apennine foothills to the Penice Pass. The longer the tour lasts, the easier it is for man and machine to come together. The fast-paced naked bike masters every type of terrain with dedication, rounding slow, tight bends just as harmoniously as it hurries through long, fast corners, supported by the strong first tires, Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. The engine is always a stunner. And the fact that the Bosch ABS decelerates it during test braking, but does not delay it aggressively, further increases confidence.

As with the drive, the whole Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ is a direct descendant of the Corsaro 1200 Veloce from 2005. It has been heavily revised. New features include the geometry with a longer swing arm, increased front suspension travel and a different steering head angle, plus the refreshed design and many exclusive components such as the forged aluminum wheels or the radially screwed four-piston monoblock stoppers from Brembo. Fork and shock absorber, both fully adjustable, come from the Bolognese specialist Mupo and work well on smooth asphalt, but on uneven stretches they can pass blows directly to the back and wrists.

Unbroken fascination with the V2

As a complete package, the fiery Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ brings the brand a successful return. With its powerful acceleration, it remains a demanding machine for experienced drivers who can do without electronic aids such as traction control or driving modes. Pre-production motorcycles were used in the test. Quickshifter and chassis tuning will be further improved by the market launch in May, and Morini will also replace the plastic tank with an aluminum tank. The finish and workmanship testify to a love of detail – every bolt and nut is screwed by hand in the factory.

The price remains as a big mortgage: the Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ costs 19,900 euros, a hefty announcement for an old-style motorcycle without significant electronics. For this, the targeted numbers are within a very manageable range. And so, despite the exorbitant price, Moto Morini has the chance to conquer a market niche – thanks to the unbroken fascination of their V2.

New start as a manufacture

Moto Morini started its third life at the age of 80 – this time as a manufactory: The motorcycles are made by hand, special requests from customers are gladly taken into account. The numbers are low, the prices are high.

That’s steep: the Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ costs 19,900 euros. How do you justify such a price for a motorcycle that only offers ABS and a quickshifter for upshifting without a clutch on modern electronics? “We only use extremely high-quality components, almost all of them from Italy. And we work by hand, which increases the quality, but costs, ”explains engineer Massimo Gustato. He used to work in Aprilia’s racing department and at Bimota and developed the new Corsaro ZZ. Their plump V2 originally came from Franco Lambertini, who was responsible for the legendary 3 1/2 in Morini’s first life. Now retired, Lambertini is still on friendly terms with the brand.

18 people work in the small plant in Trivolzio, 40 kilometers south of Milan, where Morini moved three years ago and gave up the headquarters near Bologna. In 2011, the two Milanese Sandro Capotosti and Ruggeromassimo Jannuzzelli bought the brand after the insolvency in their second life. They only wanted to sell the motorcycles on the Internet. That went wrong, Capotosti was eliminated. Today the owner is the Autjann company, which belongs to the von Jannuzzelli family, who operates as Morini’s marketing consultant. This year 150 motorcycles are to be manufactured, including "one-off" copies, that is, unique specimens according to customer requirements. Jannuzzelli names a maximum of 500 pieces as the future production limit.

At the moment the dealer network is busy building; in Germany Morini wants to supply the dealers directly. Two have already signed, other interested parties reportedly want to wait for the MOTORRAD driving report of the Moto Morini Corsaro 1200 ZZ. well then!

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