South Africa’s touring motorcycle market was recently given a shot of Italian flavour with the introduction of the Moto Guzzi Norge GT.
The 1151cc twin-cylinder Guzzi sells for R152 000, making it competitively priced against a rival like BMW’s R1200RT which retails for around 20 grand more.
Norge is what Norwegians call their country and the bike is named in honour of Moto Guzzi’s 6 400km journey from Italy to northern Norway back in 1928 with their first shaft-drive swingarm design. It’s aptly named, as the Norge GT is a long-distance cruiser and like its predecessor it comes with shaft drive which means you don’t have to worry about oiling a chain.
This is a big and heavy beast tipping the scales at 257kg, made for open roads rather than inner-city commuting. However, making the Guzzi more manoeuvrable around town is a relatively low 810mm saddle which even shorter riders can straddle with fair ease.