Mumbai-based Vardenchi had tied up with Italian firm Moto Morini earlier this year, importing two motorcycle models into India - the character-rich Scrambler and the Granpasso seen here.
Moto Morini’s adventure bike, the Granpasso literally means ‘long strides’.
The rugged, distinctive Granpasso never fails to pull eyeballs thanks to its commanding dimensions. The bike comes with a body colour front mudguard, and a tastefully designed bantamweight beak, sticking out from between a pair of bright projector headlights. The Granpasso’s minimal instruments display a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, a fuel-gauge, trip-meter and a clock.
The Moto Morini Granpasso comes with heated grips that feel really good to grasp, as well as fine quality, comprehensive switchgear that works well, and a hazard light switch. Engine-kill and start are cleverly merged into a single button on the Granpasso.
The seat on the Granpasso exudes quality, with a thin, yet firm-enough layer riding smartly upwards onto the bike tank in true off-road bike character. The rider is sat in a pronounced bucket; the saddle offers good comfort and proves roomy enough while covering fair distances on the Granpasso.
We would rate the overall quality and fit-finish at the very top of the pyramid on the Granpasso, with all the materials feeling top quality and perfectly detailed, in typical Italian bike style.
The Moto Morini Granpasso draws power from a willing, powerful feeling four-stroke, Morini typical V-twin that displaces 1187cc and is liquid-cooled. The Granpasso engine revs smoothly - no vibes are felt even when accelerating hard - availing the strong gush of power that instantaneously builds through the motorcycle’s strong mid-range and still decent top-end. The 116.4bhp is hefty enough power for Indian roads, and the big Granpasso smoothly cruises along on open stretches at high speeds of up to 130kph. This can switch to brutal aggression mode as required; the bike is capable of pulling up to 170kph and over in no time.
Shifting through the Granpasso's gearbox involves precise feel as you click through the one-down, five-up shifted six-speed transmission system.
The Moto Morini Granpasso comes loaded with premium equipment. Its front suspension comprises of adjustable Marzocchi-made inverted telescopic forks and a gas-filled adjustable Ohlins monoshock mounted on the bike’s right side at rear. Ride quality is firm. The Granpasso’s tall, commanding riding position makes for comfortable ergonomics, although it also means shorter riders will have to steer clear of this Moto Morini. The tyres however lack serious off-road capability. The surefooted Granpasso corners with confidence-inspiring manners despite its overly tall and high centre of gravity inviting stance.
There’s genius in the Granpasso’s touring ability, the motorcycle simply feels more confident, even lighter than it actually is, as it barrels down open stretches of tarmac.
The Brembo brakes work efficiently. It’s however quite a shame to find that the Granpasso misses out on even the most basic of riding aids - ABS.
The Moto Morini Granpasso, in the end, does make a top-quality, truly exotic and exclusive motorcycle that oozes with distinctive style and a dash of Italian character, along with a few premium bits too. Despite all that, at Rs 31,75,380 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), the Granpasso might just find it tough to justify its more than premium price tag.