2014 Moto Morini Granpasso Test Ride Review
2014 Moto Morini Granpasso – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Moto Morini Granpasso Review

Bike Tested: 2014 Moto Morini Granpasso

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 34,38,460/-

The Moto Morini Granpasso has some serious performance on offer and can surprise you silly with its brutal acceleration

“Step by step and the thing is done” – Charles Atlas. We think this is what Moto Morini had in mind but they took a “bigger” step and built the Granpasso because the meaning of Granpasso is taking a great step. Moto Morini took a huge step and came in the adventure category of motorcycles which is highly dominated by European manufacturers like BMW, KTM and Ducati. They started in a small way by using the same components from other bikes in its stable and still came up with a motorcycle that is poles apart in terms of role play and character. Moto Morini has come to India with the famous custom bike maker Vardenchi which we gave you a sample off a year back. Today we are riding the Granpasso, a bike which aims to capture the most growing market (adventure category) in all countries around the world. We as Indians also want an adventure bike and the craving has begun. So does this help? We take the help of a stool and hop onto the motorcycle to find out how to take great steps with the Granpasso.

Motor Quest: Moto Morini was founded in 1937 and ceased production in 1993, making a return in 2006. The Granpasso was launched in 2008 but due to bankruptcy, production was stopped in 2010 with new owners bringing the company back to operation in 2012.

Tall in height, short in length and arrow shape body helps mark presence

Styling – A lot will be said about the styling. The front end is just striking but not pretty. It ends up resembling a cartoon character which has a long nose or a bird with huge eyes. You can choose to call it either of this or feel free to call it something else too. But as soon as you come to the side, you see minimalist panels above the frame which sits above the engine and ends up giving you a sense of how huge the bike is. The pointy bikini fairing and the huge tank painted in matte white give it a very distinct touch. Moto Morini badges on both sides of the tank and also above the tank help mark its presence. The side is clearly dominated by the humongous seat size and shiny horizontally mounted Ohlins shock. The rear has a three port single exhaust which is well crafted because the tail and turn lights are well integrated but isn’t something special to drool at. Fit-finish is top notch but quality of plastics isn’t that great as they are hard and scratchy at the top and meant to withstand high standards of abuse. Overall, the motorcycle with a huge windscreen, spoke wheels and high stance is meant for a purpose and it’s not some drool-worthy exotic sports bike.

Handlebars fall right into your hands and pegs are positioned for extreme comfort

Ergonomics – After reading the introduction you must have understood what we meant by the seat height. The only grievance everybody has with big adventure bikes is that they are meant for big people only. As two six footers in the team (with boots I am the same too) hoped on the motorcycle, still their toes reached the ground and not even half of the foot touched. Once you manage to hop on by cleverly using the side stand, you notice the rubber pegs aren’t extremely rearset and the handlebar falls into the hand perfectly. Riding position is upright and you feel like you are on the SUV of bikes. Seats are the best we have ever come across for both rider and pillion. Biggest in terms of size, the seats are extremely supportive and very well padded. Mirrors are small but are positioned on the handlebar so well that you get a very good view of what’s behind. Grab handle size is huge and a good thing for the pillion and as per requirement there are endless points where you can fit panniers or mount your sack at the rear if going solo.

Lot of information on display but the cluster is small and minutely dated asthetically

Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The cluster is very small with a blue backlit which also has a built in tachometer and there is a lot of information to be displayed by the click of the mode button on the left switchgear. Time, battery voltage, average speed and km/l, engine and outside temperature, single trip meter and finally the lap time recorder. Switchgear is a cleverly done too. The pass light switch is also the high beam switch like a flap button which can be used normally or kept fully open for the high beam. The main headlight switch is located behind the right switchgear which consists of hazard light button and engine kill switch. Left switchgear also houses heated grip button at the bottom and you can vary the heat level of the grips by using the mode button.

1187cc engine produces power in a very calm manner but rocks your boat with speed

Performance – Powering the Moto Morini Granpasso is a 87-degree, longitudinally mounted 1187cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine which is massively over-square with a 107 mm bore and 66 mm stroke. It ends up producing 116 BHP of power at 8400 RPM and 103 Nm of torque at 7000 RPM. Each cylinder houses a single injector and 4-valves. The engine is very smooth and refined till the redline and only creates slight vibrations around 4000 RPM after which it goes totally berserk and creates a throaty noise while screaming very fast at the same time. The V-Twin offers a lot of torque at the low and mid-end of the rev range to make things easier and require less downshifts. Top-end is healthy too with redline kicking in as early as under 10,000 RPM. Obviously a bike which reaches 85 km/hr in first gear, 124 km/hr in second, 167 km/hr in third and whizzes past 200 km/hr in fourth, it does not let us see exactly at what RPM the limiter is kicking in.

The Granpasso’s engine is a rocket in disguise, it propels this bike to insane speeds

The Granpasso’s engine is refined and powerful and has the perfect tune for everyday duties

The limiter could be because the bike was brand new and post service it would open up. The motorcycle seems to be running perfectly fine on normal fuel available in the market today. Engine did heat up in the city but as we all know, this bike is meant for national highways and not national malls of our country. Despite that the motor is a very old school unit with a torquey feel and still is a super fast screamer. Roll on the throttle and it takes off using the massive capacity and engine bore to make the piston go up and down very quickly. No electronics, no riding modes, nothing is present on this motorcycle, it is just you and the throttle. The tall gearing also helps it cruise effortlessly. At 100 km/hr, the motorcycle’s tachometer is ticking in at around 3300 RPM in sixth gear and 120 km/hr is being done at no more than 4000 RPM which is very relaxing for touring and long distance riding.

V-Twin motor produces 103 Nm of torque to propel this 210 kg beast very swiftly

With a mileage of around 20 km/l at these speeds and a massive fuel tank capacity of 25-litres, the Granpasso has a range of above 500 kms on a single tank. By now you must have guessed that the gearing is on the taller side as it helps a motorcycle of this type to be relaxed and efficient in every single way. The hydraulically operated light clutch operation at the top (which is internally equipped with slipper clutch) does the job of downshifting very well. Smooth AFAM off-road gold chain equipped gearbox combo makes the case even better when it comes to all round abilities. Windblast has been kept to a minimum with that oversized and mildly adjustable windscreen and when cruising at 150 km/hr, there is very little disturbance at the top of your helmet from where the wind is crossing from.

2014 Moto Morini Granpasso Review
Turn-in is crisp but feels slow, begs you to go faster through sweepers always

Riding Dynamics – All purpose bikes have to do it all and hence the Granpasso is equipped with a stiff truss-trellis frame which is backed by super fat 50 mm Marzocchi upside down forks at the front with a clamp which has three nuts seen for the first time on any bike by us. The rear suspension is also provided by the famed company, Ohlins and is mounted on the outside of the swingarm which is making way for the under-seat exhaust and catcon. 19-inch wheel at the front and a 17-inch wheel at the rear with Pirelli dual compound tyres on both sides give it decent amount of cornering abilities. Tyres fared good when we took the bike for a mild off-road excursion and spoke wheels love to be more in the mud than on smooth tarmac.

Stability and ride quality is good courtesy of good tuning of the dampers on both ends

In terms of dynamics, a bike which has a height of nearly a small car and the ground clearance of an SUV, the Granpasso takes sweepers well but always urges you to go fast and faster while being calm and composed. Raked out nature of the front-end provides good stability and a not so bad turn-in experience. High speed stability is good but post 200 km/hr, the front wobbles despite a near 100 kg rider being onboard. Like we said, it’s not a ground hugging sports bike but a fast cruiser which can perform on and off-road duties very well. Braking equipment is top notch with Brembo levers, master cylinders, mono-bloc callipers and disc brakes providing superb stopping power and superior initial bite on both ends.

Stand on the pegs, get off the road and pull some slides, will put a smile on your face

Verdict – According to international reports, Moto Morini is one of the best and most reliable motorcycle manufacturer in the European continent. The reason is because all their bikes have the same ditto engine and have very little changes in terms of differences. When it comes to service here, the guys at Vardenchi know how to handle premium customers thanks to what their custom motorcycle work experience has taught them. This is the reason why they will be flying out their service guys to anywhere in the country to service Moto Morini bikes. The only lacklustre in this package is the CBU price because everything else is spot on when it comes to the motorcycle. If you want exclusivity and all purpose motorcycle is your thing, then there is nothing in the market as exclusive as this Italian machine.

The Moto Morini Granpasso may not look pretty but it does the job really well. If 200% exclusivity is on your mind and you have a lot of money then go ahead and get this adventure bike because you don’t care where the road ends, all you want to do is go on and on endlessly.

Moto Morini has been a long time coming and is here to do some serious business

What’s Cool

* Smooth and refined engine-gearbox package
* Stability and ride quality
* Exclusivity to the maximum

What’s Not So Cool

* Price
* Lack of ABS and electronics

The company is willing to get more models to India if the market responds well

Moto Morini Granpasso Specifications

* Engine: 1187cc, 8-valve, V-Twin, DOHC, liquid-cooled
* Power: 116.33 HP @ 8400 RPM
* Torque: 103.5 Nm @ 7000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed
* 0 – 100 km/hr: 3.2 seconds
* Top Speed: 230 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 15-20 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: High tensile tubular steel trellis frame
* Suspension: Upside down forks (Front), Mono shock (Rear)
* Tyres: 110/80/19 (Front), 180/55/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: 298 mm Double Disc (Front), 255 mm Disc (Rear)

Moto Morini Granpasso Dimensions

* Length x Width x Height: 2200 mm x 930 mm x 1180 mm
* Wheelbase: 1505 mm
* Ground Clearance: 200 mm
* Seat Height: 875/830 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 25-litres
* Kerb weight: 210 kgs