2010 Moto Morini Corsaro Veloce 1200 Review
A big and beautiful brute
Mention Bologna and Italian Twins and you’d be forgiven to think of Ducati first. Just a short ride from the Borgo Panigale planet red you’ll find another historic Italian motorcycle manufacturer that produces big bore V-Twin engines, Moto Morini. Its flagship model is the Corsaro 1200 and we have tested the fastest of them all, the Corsaro Veloce 1200.
Moto Morini was founded in 1937 by Alfonso Morini and Moto Morini’s first motorcycle was built in 1946. The first Corsaro was introduced in 1959 and the first Corsaro Veloce in 1961 – the same year Giacomo Agostini started his long racing career first as a privateer on a Morini in hill climbing and then in 1964 for Morini as a factory rider. In April 2010, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s brother Paolo (who also owns Garelli Motorcycles) submitted a bid to buy Moto Morini for 2.9 million Euro. Paolo Berlusconi’s offer was later rejected by the trade unions, though a revised bid is not out of the question.
The modern Moto Morini Corsaro Veloce features a mighty in-house engineered 1187cc 87 degree liquid cooled V-Twin. Veloce means high speed in Italian and with 140 horsepower at 8500rpm the Corsaro is fast indeed. The midrange is mammoth and the feel of the engine is as if a big Twin Harley met a Ducati superbike slightly above the middle. The torque is hugely impressive and I think to myself that this is how a 1200cc Suzuki TL would have felt like in a good chassis.
While a Ducati like the Streetfighter is highly strung in comparison, the Corsaro Veloce features a very meaty rev range. In many modern engines you’ll find a sweet spot somewhere in the rev range, the Corsaro Veloce 1200’s rev range is one big sweet spot throughout. It’s a pure delight to use the throttle both on low and on high revs. Towards 8000 revs the front gets seriously light and just a slight blip of throttle lifts it up.
The seat is quite high and the riding position on the sporty side. The 196 kilos (432 pounds) feels slightly heavy but also immensely solid. With that big 1187cc Twin thundering underneath me some old fashioned proper V-Twin sounds exit the double Termignoni underseat silencers.
Moto Morini’s Bialbero CorsaCorta is nowhere near as technically advanced as Ducati’s Testastretta engine. There’s not enough cash in Moto Morini to compete at the top end, but for the pure feel of that engine I’d give it a serious thought against superior technology. The big bore cylinders are kept under control by a beautifully crafted Verlicchi tubular steel frame connected to a solid cast aluminium swingarm.
The 50mm fully adjustable Marzocchi fork and Ohlins rear shock are only found on the Veloce and along with racing rear sets and exhaust silencers it has reduced weight by 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) compared to the base Corsaro 1200 model. The brakes are Brembo four-pot callipers of the previous generation but they are still very good. Though its brakes are powerful enough, the Corsaro would have benefitted from the latest generation of radial Brembo’s with greater feel and precision than the old Oro’s. It’s the one detail that makes the Corsaro Veloce 1200 look more dated than it is. The Pirelli Diablo tyres in sizes 120/70-ZR17 and 180/55-ZR17 are fitted to lightweight Marchesini wheels.
Through the twisty hills surrounding Bologna I can ride the Veloce nearly like a full on sportbike. It’s only the wide streetfighter style handlebar that separates the Corsaro Veloce from a full on sportbike in riding style. The beautifully balanced V87 engine doesn’t pass on too much vibration to the handlebar and the mirrors are mostly clear. I think the six-speed gearbox had been abused a fair bit before I got a ride on the only test bike available from the factory because it wasn’t always easy to find neutral. Apart from that the gearbox worked fine. The slipper clutch prevented the rear wheel from locking up on downshifts.
The instrument console consists of a digital speed and analogue rev counter on an easy to see white background. There are cables obstructing the otherwise tidy look.
The Moto Morino Corsaro Veloce is basically a big beautiful brute of an engine surrounded by a gorgeous tubular steel frame. It’s the 1187cc CorsaCorta V-Twin that left me with a very moore’ish feeling. All that torque from very early rpm can get you addicted quickly. It feels richer and smoother in a more brutal Neanderthal way than other performance Twins.
If John Wayne was still alive he’d be riding a Corsaro Veloce – it’s a real man’s bike. Slightly crude and under developed due to Moto Morini’s financial troubles, but still a lovely motorcycle with dollops of character.