Moto Morini Granpasso

Italy's Latest Enduro Veloce

I only had one day aboard Moto Morini's enduro-style Granpasso, but the constantly changing weather and Italian roadways provided plenty of challenge for this new machine. Whether racing along sunbaked hillsides or ducking behind the five-position-adjustable windscreen to dodge rain showers, the Granpasso displayed a blend of performance and versatility that could make it reborn Morini's most successful model yet.

It certainly looks different than the Bologna marque's existing roadsters, with its angular (and massive), 7.1-gallon fuel tank, twin spotlights and a Dakar-ready aluminum bashplate adding an authentic off-road touch. A wire-spoked 19-inch front wheel increases this appeal (the rear is 17 inches), though the tire is a road-biased Metzeler Tourance under a close-fitting mudguard.

The engine is Morini's familiar 1187cc, DOHC, eight-valve V-twin, with smaller valves and softer cams for more low-end torque. The high-level exhaust is new, as are the pistons (engineered for more efficient combustion and improved fuel consumption), and the fuel-injection system has been remapped as well.

The Granpasso is a big bike all around, with its wide, raised handlebar providing a roomy, near-upright riding position. The generously padded dual seat combines with long-travel suspension to give a towering seat height of 34.3 inches (a 1.6-inch-lower seat is an option). At 6 feet 4 inches, I could just get both feet flat on the ground.

With a claimed dry weight of 463 pounds, the Granpasso is respectably light. Smooth, low-rev power delivery makes the bike pleasant and easy to ride through traffic-helped by generous steering lock. Brushing the throttle sends the bike shooting forward with no hint of a flat spot, and enough instant grunt to effortlessly raise the front wheel.

The Granpasso doesn't have the Corsaro's addictive top-end rush, but it storms forward enthusiastically and, with enough run-up, would probably put 150 mph on the digital speedo. Morini calls the Granpasso an Enduro Veloce-fast enduro. Given that it's over 10 bhp more powerful than rivals such as BMW's R1200GS and Moto Guzzi's Stelvio, that's fair. The slick-shifting six-speed transmission is aided by a slipper clutch-the only one in this class.

The Granpasso is comfortable too, thanks to long-travel suspension, a thick seat and a small-but-useful windscreen. The frame is a steel trellis almost identical to the company's 9 1/2 model, apart from slightly more relaxed steering geometry. The 50mm Marzocchi fork is non-adjustable but offers sufficient compliance and still stands up to the powerful-enough twin-pot Brembo calipers. The hlins shock is predictably well controlled, too, and has potential for full damping adjustment if required.

The Granpasso will be priced to compete with the GS when it goes on sale in Europe any time now, with U.S. sales due to follow next year. It deserves to be regarded as a genuine alternative, and further evidence that Bologna's "other" brand is once again a serious manufacturer.

Tech Spec

Evolution
A milder version of the Corsaro V-twin in a modified 91/2 frame with enduro trimmings.

Rivals
Benelli Tre-K 1130, BMW R1200GS, Ducati Multistrada 1100, KTM 990 Adventure, Moto Guzzi Stelvio.

**TECH **
**Price na
**Engine type ** l-c 87-deg. V-twin
**Valve train ** DOHC, 8v
**Displacement ** 1187cc
**Transmission ** 6-speed
**Claimed horsepower ** 118 bhp @ 8500 rpm
**Claimed torque ** 77 lb.-ft. @ 7000 rpm
**Frame ** Tubular-steel trellis
**Front suspension ** 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork with adjustable spring preload
**Rear suspension ** Single Öhlins shock with adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping
**Front brake ** Dual Brembo two-piston calipers, 298mm discs
**Rear brake ** Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 255mm disc
**Front tire ** 110/80VR-19 Metzeler Tourance
**Rear tire ** 150/70VR-17 Metzeler Tourance
**Seat height ** 34.3 in.
**Wheelbase ** 59.3 in.
**Fuel capacity ** 7.1 gal.
**Claimed dry weight ** 463 lbs.

**Contact **
www.motomorini.com

Verdict 3 stars out of 5
A respectable effort from the resurgent brand.

They say: "Why take the shortest route?"
We say: "...when you've got seven gallons of gas to get you home."