The Griso comes to America

Moto Guzzi Griso 8V SE

Moto Guzzi isn’t the easiest brand to find over here, and dealerships are few and far between. Yet, Moto Guzzi still has a dedicated fan base, who’ll probably be a little happier knowing the Griso 8V SE is coming to America. The Griso itself isn’t new over here, of course, but the SE model, with its distinctive styling, has only been available in Europe.

Some might say the engine looks a bit too…agricultural, and, well, I guess I’d be among them. The Griso’s air/oil-cooled 1151cc slant twin does put out a respectable 95hp and 73lb-ft of torque, which combined with the responsive steering and chassis will have you surprising supersports in the twisties–assuming you put on some stickier tires than the EOM Pirelli Scorpions. And that’s even counting the fact that, at 555 lbs–mainly thanks to a big, honkin’ shaft drive–it’s a bit on the portly side.

On the other hand, a day of canyon carving won’t leave you with a notched back and stiff knees.

Ride into the Danger Zone…

Motorcycle vs. passenger vehicle death chart

It’s a dangerous sport we’ve embraced, folks.  Indeed, looking at this graph, it’s hard to make any other conclusion. Motorcycle fatalities per passenger mile are 37 times higher for motorcycles than for cars.

What irks me about this report, though, is that we, as a community, don’t seem to be making it much safer.  Sure, there are cars that turn in front of us, or change lanes into us…I get it. In fact, my last crash was a guy that T-boned me after running a stop sign.

But I notice two salient facts from this report.

22% of motorcyclists that died in 2009 did not have a valid license.

If you’re riding without a license, there’s a couple of things that could be going on. You can’t ride well enough to pass the test. You don’t want to be inconvenienced with getting a license. But, I presume a significant portion of those people without licenses don’t have them because they got taken away after getting caught doing something stupid.  That doesn’t stop them, because…well…they’re stupid and/or reckless, and the odds caught up with them.

30% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved a driver with a BAC greater than .08.

Speaking of stupid and reckless.  If you tie one on and get on a bike, then you’re just a moron.

Overall, those two numbers tell us that somewhere between 30% and 52% of all motorcycle fatalities are stupidity-related. Frankly, I don’t have any sympathy for these people.  Good riddance.

Not only do they kill themselves, and cause their families pain, they make those of us who have licenses and don’t drink and ride look bad.

Just not drinking and riding would lower motorcycle fatalities by 30%. Maybe that would help stop other morons from arguing that motorcycles should be banned.