Want to go touring on an old-school air-cooled V-twin, but you don’t want to ride a cruiser? Well, there’s always the vintage airhead option. Or you could take a look at this 2007 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200GT, for sale in Stayner, Ontario, for $7,999.
The ’07 Norge (introduced in ’06) was a real step forward over the previous Breva sport tourer, with a bump in displacement to 1133 cc, thanks to both a larger bore and longer stroke. Still, it was overall the same air-cooled transverse V-twin, with two-valve head and shaft drive. Familiar stuff for Guzzi fans of the day, even if it was a remix of a familiar recipe.
The Norge 1200 came in four different trim levels, and the GT was the second-highest, with colour-matched 36-litre bags as the most noticeable upgrade over the 1200T and 1200TL models. The 1200 GTL, with GPS, was the highest grade available.
So what was the Norge 1200GT like? Riders at the time talked a lot about engine torque (supposedly 74 lb-ft at 5,800 rpm), with the six-speed gearbox shifting better than its predecessors. Once broken in (and this one passed that stage long ago!), these were supposed to have a fairly smooth-running engine.
For the era, the Brembo brakes were decent, and while the machine didn’t have the electronics suite you’d expect on a touring machine today, the basics were there: a 12V plug, and ABS that can be switched off. This isn’t as desirable on a machine not intended to go offroad, but choice is never a bad thing.
With lots of bodywork to cut the wind, a two-position adjustable windshield, a centrestand and fuel range more than 300 km, you had the basics of a decent sport-tourer.
All sounds good, right? Alas, the Norge 1200GT was not without its issues, particularly in the suspension department. While everyone thought it was comfortable, the word “wallow” was often used to describe its cornering capability. Two-up, many riders said the machine was just plain unpleasant.
What about known mechanical issues? This is one of the pre-2013 models, reckoned by most to be pretty solid overall, although some of this generation were known for oil pump issues and high idle speeds. With more than 45,000 km on this machine, such issues would no doubt have reared their head by now, and been remedied. It should have the 2V head, which has a reputation for being decently tough; the later 8V models had some kinks that had to be worked out over the production run.
The bike we’re looking at here has a tall windscreen added on, as well as heated grips and a Corbin seat. Those accessories would definitely add to the appeal for most dedicated touring enthusiasts. The paint looks fairly clean in the photos, although the exhaust looks a tad worn.
However! You’d probably have to be not just a touring enthusiast to be seriously interested in this machine, but also a Moto Guzzi enthusiast, because you are paying a lot for this bike. It’s 12 years old, and the just-under-$8k price tag at this dealership is pretty steep, considering you can buy a relatively decent Beemer touring bike or even a lightly-used ‘Wing for roughly the same money in some markets. Given the slump in used Japanese cruiser prices, you could certainly look for a big YamaHondaSuzuKawi barge with hard bags for $8k, if that’s the sort of boat you’d like to float (if you’re interested in sport touring, we’d guess that wouldn’t work, though).
And of course, you could get a nice new bike for that kind of money. Of course, it won’t come with hard bags, etc., and looking around online, the seller is certainly in line with Norge GT prices across the rest of Canada. If you think this Guzzi might be the answer to your dreams of two-wheeled escape, it wouldn’t hurt to contact the dealership and find out more.