- The big original trail
- Do you like long-distance trips and motorcycles that are both original and efficient? Moto Morini may have a model to seduce you: The Gran Passo a sporty trail, but not too….
- In the saddle !
- In the city
- Practical aspects
The big original trail
Do you like long-distance trips and motorcycles that are both original and efficient? Moto Morini may have a model to seduce you: The Gran Passo a sporty trail, but not too….
Moto Morini is back to business, that’s great news for fans of original mechanics, with character.. Around the big V2 1200 cm3, the manufacturer’s unique engine available in 3 versions, the Italian firm has developed a versatile trail with a very distinctive front face. Let’s take a closer look.
"Funny insect", you think at first glance. There was undoubtedly better to do, but let’s recognize that the aesthetic standards of the big trails category are often curious and original, BMW 1200 GS in mind, that everyone is struggling to copy today..
With their voluminous proportions and their big “hacks”, these machines are rarely graceful. So, let’s go over it, you will judge for yourself, keeping in mind that the real result and the proportions are more successful in real life than in photos. In addition, the many colors available play a lot on the perception of shapes and volumes. The gray version we saw in the Show room was by far the most beautiful.
Very quickly, we appreciate the finish and the equipment that imposes it: the large inverted 50 mm Marzocchi fork, the superb Ohlins shock absorber flanked on the side of the no less superb hydroformed aluminum swingarm, the Tagasako Excell spoked rims, or even the double front disc and its Brembo clamps. It really hits !
Category specialists will immediately place this trail in the “19-inch spoked wheels and front rim” category, alongside the BMW 1200 GS, Honda 1200 Crosstourer, Moto Guzzi Stelvio and other Yamaha super Tenere. A small reference in terms of its vocation and off-road skills, as opposed to models mounted with stick rims and 17-inch front wheel such as the Ducati 1200 Multistrada, the Kawasaki Versys, or the KTM SMT 990 and the Triumph 1050 Trident , more road, but not necessarily more sporty, we will see.
To conclude this presentation, let’s talk little, but let’s talk about weight, because it is also an important element in terms of ease and versatility. With its 235 kg all full, 27 L of gasoline included, the Gran Passo plays in the "light weight" category so to speak. Apart from the untouchable KTM 990 SMT at 214 kg (with 19 L of fuel), the Gran Passo is freelance to all its competitors except the Multistrada to a kilo near. The KTM Adventure and the Kawa Versys, of the 1000s, also hunt in the same waters, but the other 1200s, Tiger explorer, Super Tenere and other Crosstourer all give him between 25 and 50 kg! It sets the level of the debate. What about the BMW 1200 GS? 246 kg with 20 L of fuel. In fact, the Granpasso is a big “old-fashioned” trail, without electronics or assistance (not even ABS yet!), So we easily gain a few pounds over the competition. The competition that will undoubtedly come from the future Suzuki DL 1000, in price as well as in services. Two V-twin trails, simple and stripped down, well motorized, but at a low price, one playing more on originality than the other !
In the saddle !
Very small sizes will not have feet! The saddle rises to 875 mm! But for them, Moto Morini offers a low version lowered to 830 mm, much more affordable. The hollowed-out saddle offers the rider a secure position, which is one with the bike. Despite the large capacity of the tank, the legs are not too wide apart, which is a pleasant surprise. Placed lower than on the Scrambler, the footrests do not leave the legs too bent. The controls are easy to find. We are at ease. Small disappointment looking towards the dashboard, less nice than that of the Scrambler or the Corsaro. Less nice and less readable too. It’s a little cheap compared to the rest of the bike that had seduced us so far. However, we quickly appreciate the possibility of scrolling through the information available from the handlebars. Well seen ! Fuel gauge, reserve indicator, on-board computer, shift light, engine temperature, exterior temperature, average speed. Just lack the consumption to have the total. Small, but muscular so the meter !
Action! The big twin snorts with a virile sound, but not deafening, where the mechanical noises are little present. We feel the engine well born, with controlled operating games. It must be said that this V2 opened at 87 ° is very widely tested and with 120 ch in this version, or just 100 ch / L, we really stay within reason. All the more reasonable as its hyper-square dimensions would allow it to take many turns and develop very superior powers. In short, he does not force his talent and it is also good for a big trail since who wants to travel far, spare his mount. The clutch is a little firm, more than on the Scrambler which benefits from the APTC assistance. The first pass easily, the box is soft. We take off easily, thanks to the amazing flexibility of the big twin.
In the city
Here the evolutions are easy. Not too heavy, manoeuvrable, offering a good overview due to the high seat, the Gran Passo knows how to be urban at its leisure. Avoid all the same midday in full dodger because the engine tends to heat up. We quickly approach 100 °, which triggers the fan and sends a little heat to the legs, without transforming the city trip into a hike on the peak of the furnace. The handlebars are certainly wide, but the size of the bike is correct. Only the turning radius is a bit limited due to the large inverted fork (32 ° D & G), but overall, this 1200 cm2 blithely passes the test of the city. Come on, to us the great outdoors !
We start with small roads full of tight bends and bumps. The very essence of big trails, the terrain where they are more comfortable than most road thanks to their large front wheel which absorbs bumps well and to the large suspension travel which absorbs shocks. The wide handlebars also make it easier to swing the bike, which takes advantage of a high center of gravity. Everything contributes to put the pilot at ease, except in the super tight hairpins on slopes where we would like to have the opportunity to put our feet on the ground in case of difficulty. But given the height of the machine, it is to be excluded … Too bad, that would reassure! Under these conditions of use at reduced speed, the flexibility of the engine is appreciated. Then when the horizon and the road widen, we hook the third and we keep it, to jump from one turn to another, taking more and more angle without the Pirelli scorpion Trail showing the slightest sign of weakness. The limit will come from the foot rests, which rub the road. But before getting there, you’ll have to take some nice angles! Here we use the brakes little, we just cut off the throttle and rock the bike. It’s both cool and very effective. A real pleasure, especially as the engine relaunches are really muscular, without providing any effort.
Now is the time to judge the behavior of the chassis at higher speeds. As we could imagine visually, it does not disappoint! It’s rigid. Between the enormous fork, the tubular trellis and the swinging arm of good pace, there is more than one needs for a trail! The front fork is not adjustable, but it does a great job, without too much diving under braking and absorbing the unevenness of the road well. The Ohlins “full adjustable” shock absorber, but without connecting rod, is flawless. In fact, with the excellent grip of the Pirelli scorpion trails, we are really in total confidence, even when leaving the big attack! But you can also like to ride cooler while admiring the landscape and there too, everything will be fine. Too bad that in the long run, the hard saddle reminds you that you have been riding for a while and that you still have a long way to go! Moto Morini made us try two different saddles on the machines available to us, but we hardly saw any difference for our part. For heavy riders, there is always the solution to put a "cyclist" with a chamois under their motorcycle pants, but it is all the same unfortunate for a "GT". You can also have a comfort saddle made at a props shop. For its part, the engine reveals a little more the large trunk that it has everywhere. It sends really strong !
Paradoxically, it is a place that can be suitable for a big trail. Despite its fairly heavily sculpted tires, its large deflections and its all-terrain vocation, a big trail is also an excellent GT. Sporty, can the Granpasso also meet this challenge? Yes, without a doubt. With its adjustable bubble (when stationary), it protects the top of the bust well. The older ones will even be able to order a high bubble, against 113 €. With its 27-liter tank, it offers a good range, subject to adopting a cruising speed compatible with the speed limits. Of course, the incredible length of the engine pushes you more easily towards 170 cruising and propels you beyond 200 with a gas stroke … Really incredible and nice this engine! The vibrations are not felt, we can cross for a long time … subject to having the leather of the posterior well tanned, because indeed, the saddle is hard. Heavily hollowed out for easy access, it lacks thickness.
The 298mm front dual disc clamped by a pair of parallel twin-piston Brembo calipers is perfect. With its radial pump on the handlebars, it is both powerful and dosable. Nothing to complain about. What more can you add? It’s Brembo, if you had any doubts about the quality! The rear, which measures 255 mm, is a bit violent on the attack. Under the effect of load transfers, it happens that the wheel is blocked without wanting to. He will be more comfortable in a duo, where his power is better suited. Ideally an ABS would remedy this, but the firm is lagging behind in development in this area, due to the shutdown of production for three years. The option will be available soon, but the official date is not yet known in the short term..
Since production has resumed, the manufacturer has focused on perfecting the finish, adding a few carbon parts and correcting small defects (on the regulator side in particular). The dedicated luggage kit, strictly speaking, no longer appears in the options section, but no worries, you will easily find something to adapt a double helmet top case at the accessories shops. In the presence of the silencer on the left side, the bag will be less bulky. Right side, no worries. A tank cover, will allow you to mount a front bag. A 25 L saddle bag is also available for € 254. For 206 €, you can have the option of heated handles, adjustable in 3 levels. We were unable to take a reading of the consumption, but it seems to be in the average for the category, without being in the lowest. No ABS, as we have said, nor any electronic catalog support. It is not in the philosophy of the manufacturer who favors “authentic” motorcycles. Fans of traction control, electronic accelerator and other piloted suspensions, go your way. Last "details", the guarantee is 24 months, the price, excluding options of € 12,500 incl. Also note the possibility of renting the motorbike for a full-scale test. In the event of a purchase, the rental amount is then deducted from the sale price. A good way to reassure yourself and especially to convince yourself if you have any doubts, because frankly, this Moto Morini is worth the detour..
Do not sulk our pleasure. A big light trail, very nice and efficient for 12,500 €, you can’t find it under a horse’s hoof. Electronic inflation helping, the entry ticket is rather between 14 and 15,000 € today, if we do not take options. It can even go well beyond at Ducati or BMW. Admittedly this Gran Passo does not have their prestige, but its engine and its road qualities are up to it, failing its saddle comfort. In a way, the Gran passo is reminiscent of the old Cagiva “gran canyon”, a big sporty trail with a 900 Ducati engine, with excellent handling (and good grip as a bonus). Competition at the same price is to be found at Triumph (1050 Tiger ABS), Kawasaki (Versys 1000 ABS) and Suzuki DL 1000 which arrives … with ABS but only 1000 cm3. No really, there is only this damn anti-lock that the Gran Passo lacks to bring it up to the level of its competitors, because otherwise, question peps and originality, it fears no one !
- Stunning engine / sporty handling
- Absence of ABS, even as an option
- Hard saddle
- Hardly legible dashboard
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