Author Topic: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15  (Read 6705 times)

Offline leafman60

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Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« on: April 18, 2015, 06:27:36 PM »
I just read the short review for the current Norge 8V in Road Runner (June 2015).

The overall gist of the piece is that the Norge is an okay ride but lacks a lot of stuff and drags its centerstand on hard cornering.

One thing dwelt upon was the noise from what they called a clunky-shifting transmission. Their bike exuded a whine in a couple of gears that sometimes was louder than the motor.

I have a '12 Stelvio with basically the same transmission that exhibits none of those traits and receives accolades from most magazine reviews.

On top of all that, the 566-pound-dry Norge received minus points for being heavy. The only wet weight I could find for the Norge is a review that stated it to be 640 pounds wet. The Honda ST1300 is 730 pounds wet and the BMW R1200RT is 604 pounds wet. Doesn't look to me that the Norge is out of line on the weight category.

The other negative points were the Norge's lack of electronic cruise control, electronic suspension and electronic shifting!

They didn't do much of a pricing or reliability comparison, though.

In the end, they dismissed all the negatives for someone attracted to the "character" offered by the Guzzi.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 06:30:00 PM by leafman60 »

Offline JeffOlson

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 06:32:27 PM »
My transmission has a bit of clunking and whining as well. But it is not horrible. Actually, I like the clunking into gear (shades of Harley Davidson?).

The bike is a bit heavy (and top heavy), but that heft adds a bit of stabity, I think. (At least, that is what I like to think about myself!)

PS: My center stand drags, too--quite easily, especially two-up. However, my toes drag almost as easily, so removing it would not help much!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 06:39:00 PM by JeffOlson »
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 06:45:59 PM »
Let the reviewers get a little older and wiser and they'll all come around to a Norge. You really can't blame them for their lack of experience, understanding or knowledge, it takes time.

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 06:22:06 AM »
Unless their test bike had issues the only "clunk" my transmission has is going into first if done from a stop in neutral, otherwise snick, snick, snick. Weight wise it is one of the lightest sport tours there is. One can scrape the center stand, but I at least have to work at it and my outer boot sole usually starts scrapping first. A cruise control would be nice but then the bike does not sell for 20K+ either.
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 06:22:06 AM »

Online blackcat

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 07:36:08 AM »
Unless their test bike had issues the only "clunk" my transmission has is going into first if done from a stop in neutral,

If you roll the bike back a few inches there is almost no clunk.
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Offline leafman60

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 08:01:16 AM »
Sounds like this is all adding up to some quirks that may, in fact, exist and would be fair game for a journalist (who may not be an enthusiast), to mention.

I think we, as Guzzi enthusiasts, often expect new entrants to "understand" these bikes and accept the quirks that must be sorted out.  These days, expanding a customer base and financial footing requires bikes that are turn-key, ready to ride with few issues to deal with.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 08:04:39 AM by leafman60 »

Offline nikwax

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Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 10:22:34 AM »
Center stand doesn't drag if the suspension is properly adjusted....that's what that knob on the rear shock is for.


I think the bike feels much lighter than it is and is very agile. Handling is a dream.


Magazines are written by advertising fueled wankers. Don't know why they bother printing them.
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 10:40:50 AM »
Let the reviewers get a little older and wiser and they'll all come around to a Norge. You really can't blame them for their lack of experience, understanding or knowledge, it takes time.

 :+1 As for myself, I can do without the electronic accessories they're carping about in the review. It's supposed to be a motorcycle, not a Cadillac.

Online blackcat

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 10:57:55 AM »
"The other negative points were the Norge's lack of electronic cruise control, electronic suspension and electronic shifting!"

Jeez.

I assume cruise control will be in the next version of the bike but the electronic suspension is just another problem waiting to happen, then there is cost. Electronic shifting is just laughable.
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Offline Nic in Western NYS

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 12:52:31 PM »
It doesn't drive itself. Behind the times.
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 01:32:00 PM »
My transmission has a bit of clunking and whining as well. But it is not horrible. Actually, I like the clunking into gear (shades of Harley Davidson?).

The bike is a bit heavy (and top heavy), but that heft adds a bit of stabity, I think. (At least, that is what I like to think about myself!)

PS: My center stand drags, too--quite easily, especially two-up. However, my toes drag almost as easily, so removing it would not help much!

Yup, two bikes of identical make and model, one might clunk a bit, the other not. They are mechanical things. I don't think there is a one way for any of them, some make a bit more noise than others, so long as they work, who cares?

Like a bit of popping on deceleration, no big deal. It isn't like anyone else is saying "oh listen to that, must be horrible". They don't care either.

Online MLR

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2015, 06:12:48 PM »
I agree with Nikwax the Norge handling is sweet at least on the 8Vs. I scrape the peg feelers all the time but have never scraped the center stand & I corner fairly hard.

Offline frans belgium

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2015, 01:44:32 AM »
Sigh ....

Otoh, they didn't mention that it flings you on the floor (right hand side) once you blip the throttle.

Got away with that one  ;D
Owned and sold: V65, Nevada, 2xCali, Breva 1100, Norge 8V, Breva 1100 with Squire sidecar
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2015, 03:31:18 AM »
Center stand doesn't drag if the suspension is properly adjusted....that's what that knob on the rear shock is for.


It'll sure drag on my Breva 1100 and I think that is the same basic chassis and suspension as the Norge.
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2015, 03:53:30 AM »
I've dragged my center stand once, it's not fun and does otherwise detract from the confidence I have in the bike's handling.

As for the gearbox. It might be clunky and noisy. But I for one love the fact that it means you pretty much always know when you have a gear. Also you need to add to that the fact that I have never, and I mean never ever, gotten a false neutral with the gearbox.

I would like to see Guzzi join the 21st century with electronically adjustable suspension. Riding a Ducati with properly good ohlins suspension is a revelation and I feel it's sorely missed on Guzzis. That said I find the suspension on the Breva/Norge to be acceptable compared to some of the bikes I've ridden. It's a bit soft in the springs but it's decently well dampened.

Offline Noguzznoglory

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2015, 04:05:27 PM »
all the bike magazines criticize a bike without all the latest gadgets. the lack of electronic stuff is one of the attractions of the Norge to me. truble waiting to happen. i find i leave the suspension setting on my f800gt on "comfort" 99% of the time
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2015, 04:30:37 PM »
Electronic Gizmo's are nice until they break..
And that's why I'll probably never own a BMW car or motorcycle.

To me their engineering team when it comes to electronic gizmo's have gone way over the top.
Sure the stuff is nice.. but I worry when I am on a trip more about reliability then diminishing returns these things offer.
Frankly I like some character.. I like that I still have to use some skill to ride a bike. 
That being said: ABS and Traction control.. I like having both of them on the Stelvio.


Offline segesta

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2015, 05:53:44 PM »
A cruise control would be nice but then the bike does not sell for 20K+ either.
GliderJohn

But its sister bike, the California 1400, has cruise control for ~$800 less. Of course, it's clunky and hard to use with my short thumbs, but hey...
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Offline jbell

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2015, 06:09:59 PM »
What works for me on my clunky BMW K75 transmission is to "preload" (put a little pressure on the lever) before shifting.  I'll see if it works for my G5 when I get it back together.
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Online pyoungbl

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2015, 06:24:26 PM »
Leaf, it's the same old review but with a different person doing the writing.  They all end up commenting on the "character" of a Guzzi, like that is supposed to excuse all the defects that have been pointed out in great detail.  We all know that the Norge is a darn nice bike and one heck of a package for the price.  The problem is that Guzzi is such a small player, there are few dealers, and the factory is not bringing out a totally new bike every two years.  That's not much to write about.

FWIW, my buddy Mark just got one of the new Kawasaki H2 (200 hp supercharged super sport).  It has lots of bells and whistles to go along with way too much horsepower.  He needs to get 1000 miles on the bike before he can start to use it to its full potential, limited to 5K until then.  The problem is that the bike is so uncomfortable he can only stand to ride it for about 50 miles at a time.  All the numbers make this bike look like the ultimate ride.  I'll take a Griso any day.

Oh, and where is the comparison of maintenance costs between the Norge and anything similar.  Multistrada, ST1300, BMW RT...all gonna set you back at least $1K for a major service.  Not so the Norge...do it yourself for peanuts.

Rant over
Peter Y.
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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2015, 08:39:08 PM »
Leaf, it's the same old review but with a different person doing the writing.  They all end up commenting on the "character" of a Guzzi, like that is supposed to excuse all the defects that have been pointed out in great detail.  We all know that the Norge is a darn nice bike and one heck of a package for the price.  The problem is that Guzzi is such a small player, there are few dealers, and the factory is not bringing out a totally new bike every two years.  That's not much to write about.

FWIW, my buddy Mark just got one of the new Kawasaki H2 (200 hp supercharged super sport).  It has lots of bells and whistles to go along with way too much horsepower.  He needs to get 1000 miles on the bike before he can start to use it to its full potential, limited to 5K until then.  The problem is that the bike is so uncomfortable he can only stand to ride it for about 50 miles at a time.  All the numbers make this bike look like the ultimate ride.  I'll take a Griso any day.

Oh, and where is the comparison of maintenance costs between the Norge and anything similar.  Multistrada, ST1300, BMW RT...all gonna set you back at least $1K for a major service.  Not so the Norge...do it yourself for peanuts.

Rant over
Peter Y.

Rant good.   Lannis rant too.    I think you're right on the mark.    But magazines don't live in the "real world" of how is the bike to live with, how long will it last, what does it cost to maintain, etc.   They're living in Virtual World of selling magazines, so they have to kind of say what people expect them to say.

That's why I like "Roadrunner" magazine the best.   They just talk about riding, real riding, generally long ways to far away places, sometimes on old bikes sometimes new, but never any "600cc Sport Bike Shootout at Willow Springs" or "Cruiser Comparo - Who Has The Biggest Gadget?" and other things that Guzzi riders just swat at and don't care about .... !

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Offline Waltr

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2015, 09:01:09 PM »
It'll sure drag on my Breva 1100 and I think that is the same basic chassis and suspension as the Norge.

Not!

Different parts, different part numbers.  The Breva and early Norges were much more softly sprung.  I have a 2012 Norge and actually wish for more 'float'.   
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 09:07:00 PM by Waltr »
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Offline bib

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2015, 03:37:42 AM »
Moto Guzzi riders don't read motorcycle magazines... they dont have any desire to know what other motor-missiles are out there... its called contentment.
If on the other hand one does find oneself flicking thru a motorcycling mag, one only pays scant attention and even less belief to what is written.
.. now I read forums and opinions of real folks with no agenda's other than joy of motorcycling... long winded I am.. actually relaxing after a big clean of yard and broken tree by high winds. cheers

Offline bobbyfromnc

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2015, 03:40:54 AM »
Moto Guzzi riders don't read motorcycle magazines... they dont have any desire to know what other motor-missiles are out there... its called contentment.
If on the other hand one does find oneself flicking thru a motorcycling mag, one only pays scant attention and even less belief to what is written.
.. now I read forums and opinions of real folks with no agenda's other than joy of motorcycling... long winded I am.. actually relaxing after a big clean of yard and broken tree by high winds. cheers



Well said!

Offline nikwax

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2015, 07:03:40 PM »


I would like to see Guzzi join the 21st century with electronically adjustable suspension. Riding a Ducati with properly good ohlins suspension is a revelation and I feel it's sorely missed on Guzzis. That said I find the suspension on the Breva/Norge to be acceptable compared to some of the bikes I've ridden. It's a bit soft in the springs but it's decently well dampened.


I thought the Norge suspension was OK when new for OEM bits. For not a lot of money you can put high quality suspension on a Norge and you'll be very happy. I recommend Wilbers shocks based on my experience with them.
2014 Ducati Multistrada GT
2011 Norge GT 8V "Otto Valvole" (gone after 32k miles)
2001 BMW R1150 GS (gone after 100,000 miles)

Offline frans belgium

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2015, 03:47:24 AM »
Imho, the early Norge was undersprung.  The newer one are perhaps oversprung, yet you can still drag the centerstand.
According to your wishes and budget, spend some money on decent aftermarket suspension.
On my Norge, this meant Hagon for the rear and Hyperpro for the front (with 10W oil in front instead of 15).  Perhaps not top notch quality, but affordable and good enough for me and passenger in most circumstances. Nice compromise (sp?) between comfort and stability. I don't do circuit.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 03:49:16 AM by frans belgium »
Owned and sold: V65, Nevada, 2xCali, Breva 1100, Norge 8V, Breva 1100 with Squire sidecar
Currently own: V85 TT

Offline Waltr

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Re: Norge Review, Road Runner June '15
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2015, 09:10:17 AM »
   Guzzi/Piaggio  makes the Aprilia Caponard for all who wish cutting edge techno.
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