2008 Moto Morini Granpasso - First Look

A maxi-enduro for America’s maxi-market.

2008 Moto Morini Granpasso - First Look

A small company with a great past, to this date the new Moto Morini has not been able to capitalize on its highly respected name or on the impressive quality of its 1200cc V-Twin and the line of bikes that have been created around it. The all-new Granpasso, first shown at last year's Milan EICMA show, may change that.

Moto Morini's Chief Project Engineer Franco Lambertini is optimistic about the company's ability to secure a more solid and visible market position. The new owners—now all within the Morini family—have a straighter management policy about distributing and marketing. Lambertini, assisted by former Bimota chief engineer Alberto Strada, is behind the concept and the development of the Granpasso 1200, Morini's entry in the adventure-bike market. That's not an easy task, given the total dominance of the BMW R1200GS in that segment.

The Granpasso is a sharply styled maxi-enduro with touches like the small headlight/windscreen arrangement that makes the front look so arrogantly innovative. The 87-degree powerplant belongs to the smoothly tuned 9½, good for about 120 hp and 80 ft.-lb. of torque. Teamed to a six-speed transmission, this muscular Twin should ensure excellent all-around performance. The Granpasso shares the tubular frame with the 9½, featuring a side-mounted Öhlins shock absorber with 7.9 inches of travel. The rear swingarm is a beautiful new hydroformed unit. At the front is a massive 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork with 7.5 inches of travel. This long travel in front and rear confirms that the Granpasso is set up like a real dual-purpose enduro, not a supermoto, and features spoked, aluminum rims shod with semi-knobbed tires, a 110/80-19 front and 150/70-17 rear. The wheelbase spans 59 inches, seat height is a reasonable 33 inches and fuel capacity is 6.6 gallons. The bike weighs-in at a claimed 437 pounds dry.

Moto Morini will start producing the Granpasso around April and with the help of this new model hopes to expand its production to at least 2000 units in 2008. Moto Morini officials confirmed that the Granpasso was designed to be homologated in the USA. Since they have not yet finalized a distribution contract, U.S. pricing is still unknown.