2016 Moto Guzzi MGX-21
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If Batman wanted to do cruising, this is what he would do it in.

Moto Guzzi has been the greatest brands in the motorcycling world and boasts of nearly a century of rich history and expertise helping them produce motorcycles that are often ahead of their time. The company has not, even for today, compromised its Italian soul be it the race track or the streets. And for the first time in the company’s portfolio, it has developed a motorcycle that expresses the same influence of its past in an increasingly personal and an exclusively styled machine that you can tour and put your favourite music on.

Given the evocative sobriquet as the “Flying Fortress”, the MGX-21 is Italian’s take at the traditionally styled cruisers and tourers or what we also call as Baggers, a mainstay of motorcycling in America.

It has been nearly thirty-five years since McLaren first made use of carbon-fibre to build a monocoque chassis for its Formula One car. Since then, it has come a long way into making its use as both an aesthetical and functional unit of high-end production products as this MGX-21 which is abbreviated for Moto Guzzi eXperimental and 21’, the year when the first motorcycle came out of the Mandello del Lario factory.

This motorcycle was primarily developed to boost the brand’s American sales and now has entered the Indian shores along with the V9s’. As stealth as something on two wheels can get, this motorcycle features everything you would expect in a bagger. Half-fairings, sound system, hard panniers, comfy saddle and a whole lot of flair being exuberated; if you can still see it after it has absorbed all forms of radiations.

Quick Specs
Year: 2016
Make: Moto Guzzi
Engine: V2
Displacement: 1308 cc
Top Speed: 143 mph (Est.)
Price: INR 2778000
Price: Super
Economy: 7/10
Features: 9/10
Performance: 9/10
Quality: 9/10
Safety: 9/10
Styling: 9/10
Overall: 8.7/10
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STYLING

Designed by the futuristic thinkers of the Centro Stile Piaggio Group, with input from the Piaggio Advanced Design Centre (PADC) in California, this mysterious nocturnal creature fulfils everything for a bagger connotation and does it in carbon – fibre.

Lines and contours are decided by the honchos after undergoing careful fluid dynamics analysis with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations including the wind tunnel. This has led to a streamlined figurine that lets it cut the air like a fighter jet. Hence drubbed as “Flying Fortress” aptly.

A futuristic looking batwing-style fairing at the front is what you see as an immediately obvious appearance and then there is the big 90° transverse V-twin engine with two large cylinders that seem to literally explode out of the petrol tank. The red paint on the aluminium head covers is the only place other than the brake callipers where you will see a concept known as ‘colour’.

There is a huge deal of thought and meticulous selection of materials everywhere on the motorcycle. The electric controls on the handlebar are finished with metal shells and use of carbon-fibre is done lavishly on just about everywhere from the front mudguard, the fuel tank panels, the side pannier covers and the engine cover. Showing off is not a very difficult job for a Moto Guzzi, especially this fortress. It flaunts the large 21" alloy front wheel which also has lenticular carbon covers with small openings where the spokes intersect with the channel.

You will definitely get a wind screen protection, which works absolutely fine unless you do not twist that throttle wide open. It is not the best wind deflector in the industry. At the rear, you get two strips of LED flanked by two hard panniers which will carry 58 litres of your stuff around with you. And if you need more, you can swap the pillion seat for another saddlebag in its position.

The instrument cluster is made up of monochromatic, dot matrix display giving you a wealth of information on the move including fuel, gear indicator, clock, average and instantaneous fuel consumption and air temperature indicator. As a brand’s first, this motorcycle features a complete entertainment system including a stereo equipped with radio, with a 25W per channel amplifier blasting through a pair of loudspeakers housed within the fairings. You can connect a total of five Bluetooth devices and you also get a USB connector to hook on to any of your portable devices to stream music. MG-MP is the Moto Guzzi system that allows you to connect to your smartphone for telephonic or GPS navigation other than music of course. All of these adds as an important value to one’s ride and get the most possible enjoyment from the riding experience in full safety and control.

Overall Dimension

Length 2560mm
Width 920mm
Height 1275mm
Wheelbase 1700mm
Seat height 740mm
Wet weight 341kg

POWERTRAIN

Carried over from the award winning Moto Guzzi California, the MGX-21 is armed with 1,380cc, longitudinally mounted, V-twin, fuel-injected and air and oil-cooled motor. The classic looking engine includes a very modern head design with four valves per cylinder and 10.5:1 compression ratio. It is also the same engine featured on the Audace we featured sometime back.

Armed with a pair of 104 x 81.2mm cylinders, it punches a flat torque curve of 121 Nm at 3000 rpm and power peaks at 97 bhp at 6500 rpm. The big air-cooled V-twin is a little too lazy and soft to be considered angry. Make no mistake, since the 1400 engine features ride-by-wire, it has three on-the-fly, rider adjustable engine maps: Veloce, Turismo, and Pioggia. When in the fastest of the three engine modes — Veloce — the MGX is a beast around town with it exploiting all the available power and torque. Turismo provides a smoother ride and Pioggia is suited for low grip conditions.

The most interesting and unique trait of this engine is the characteristic longitudinal vibrations at idling that turns into a silky smooth delivery above 2000 rpm. The motor houses a set of rockers and rollers to reduce loss due to friction and a double lambda sensor to reduce emissions as well. Backed with a hydraulic clutch, the engine transmits power through a 6 speed gearbox to the final shaft drive. Starts with an exhilarating bark, the exhaust settles for a muted unintimidating tone that turns into a beautiful whine during those quick dash on the highway and has earned EU4 certification with very long horizontal exhaust terminals.

Engine Specification

Capacity cc 1380
Bore/ Stroke mm 104/81.2
Output 97bhp@6500rpm
Torque 121Nm@3000rpm
Type 90° Transverse V-twin, 4-stroke, 4-valve, dual spark ignition per cylinder
Valves per cylinder 4
Clutch type Single plate with integrated flexible coupling
Transmission 6-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

This MG has developed a new steering geometry unlike any other in its line-up that ensures balance and ease of riding. This motorcycle has a small trick up its sleeve as well: a patented piece of tech having a system of regressive springs and particular kinematics. What it does is, it provides manoeuvring assistance to “close” in low speed and high steering angle shifts, counterbalancing the weight of the steering.

The riding position on the 21 is semi-upright and comfortable with its high semi-handlebars leaning towards the rider and footrests in a forward position. The contoured low saddle height of 740 mm occupies anyone of any size and provides a good level of back comfort.

The motorcycle is mounted on new, closed double cradle tubular frame structure consisting of larger diameter tubes in the front section and reinforcing plates in the rear thereby enhancing the stiffness too. Moto Guzzi has developed a new system to mount the engine called as elastic-kinematic mounting system which eliminates the vibrations produced due to the transverse engine. Nonetheless, you will still feel the pulsations the big block produces due to the huge 104 mm pistons. Allowing a purist to be excited every time he is on the saddle.

Moto Guzzi uses a benchmark braking and suspension units to heave this 341 kilo bike to control. Huge 320 mm double stainless steel floating disc are gripped with Brembo radial 4- piston opposed at the front and a single 282 mm disc with a two-piston calliper at the rear. A two-channel ABS with patented three- level traction control along with cruise control will give you miles and miles of travel without a sweat or effort from you. Suspension duties are handled by powerful 45 mm stanchions forks at the front and a pair of rear shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload to keep your ride soft and supple.

Chassis Specifications

Suspension / Front 45 mm telescopic fork
Suspension / Rear Swingarm with double shock absorber with adjustable spring preload
Brakes / Front Double stainless steel floating disc 320 mm clamps radial 4- piston opposed
Brakes / Rear Stainless steel floating disc 282 mm, two-piston callipers
Tyres / Front 120/70 R21 62V
Tyres / Rear 180/60 R16 80H

PRICE

A price tag on the motorcycle depicts ₹27.78 lakh (ex-showroom) which is definitely not cheap. But is very much in line with the likes of the Harleys and the Indians available making the choice a rather more difficult one. You will get it in just the carbon-fibre flaky natural colour.

One can elevate the feel of this motorcycle and make it his own with their range of quality accessories that brings out the exclusivity within. They include a vast selection of items like the oversized top fairing, black aluminium mirrors, back levers, electronic devise bracket, cylinder guards, footboards, leather bags, and the list continues. You can also add more carbon if you feel this is less. You get carbon fuel tank cover, injector covers, side covers, passenger seat cover and luggage rack.

COMPETITION

Made to out-win the American brands, the MGX-21 was in the first place designed to reign the segment which was already ruled by the likes of Harley and Indians. To take head on is a bold move by the Italian and is no doubt weighing down the Harley Davidson Street Glide Special.

Harley Davidson Street Glide Special

The Harley Davidson Street Glide Special is powered by a four stroke, air cooled, Twin Cam 103B engine, which displaces 1690cc and puts up 130Nm of torque. These figures do make the Street Glide Special match the credentials of the MGX, but the overall refinement and the aural pleasure from the exhaust pipes from the MGX are marginally better. There is nothing much to differentiate between both the motorcycles when it comes to ride quality and comfort on both the motorcycles, which are absolutely stellar on both the machines.

VERDICT

You look at this machine as though it was designed to trample over the world and conquer, just like the stealth Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Apache helicopter or even the B-17 bomber. They present an aura of superiority who created a raucous. And somehow, all of these just work for the better with the MGX-21. You have to be scared, very scared.

This motorcycle tells you a story of courage and tradition of MG’s the journey form 1921 till the current date. If you love exclusivity, then this could possibly be your best bet to bath on the majesty of this prestigious Italian bike.

Its visual presence is arresting and its build quality is simply excellent. What really makes it stand out is the amount of fun you will end up having on this, especially the feel of the internal trembling before-while-after you throw your legs around the saddle. It will totally rock your world and in a very literal sense.

It asks you to forget everything you know and hop on it to feel today what others will only make you experience tomorrow. And to live up to that statement, it gives you a taste of Italy wrapped in an American notion. Nothing could literally mean ‘Best of both worlds’.

  • Leave it
    • Wind protection at high speeds
    • Small luggage space
    • Pillion ride
  • Engine
    V2
  • Top speed
    143 mph

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PRESS RELEASE

MOTO GUZZI MGX-21

FOR THOSE WHO STILL KNOW HOW TO GET EXCITED, MOTO GUZZI DEDICATES MGX-21, THE SEDUCTIVE AND UNCONVENTIONAL CRUISER FROM MANDELLO

THE TECHNOLOGICAL BANNER OF MOTO GUZZI MOTORCYCLES BOASTS A SUPERIOR EQUIPMENT PACKAGE, LUXURIOUS TRIMMINGS AND A FUTURISTIC AND BRAVE DESIGN THAT REMAINS ETCHED ON YOUR HEART

The MGX-21 is the most unconventional, rich and technological of the 1400 cc grand cruisers built at Mandello del Lario. It is the latest distinguished representative of a line begun in 1921 when Moto Guzzi started building unique motorcycles, strictly assembled by hand, as unique collector’s items. Moto Guzzi is one of the greatest brands in the motorcycling world and in almost a century of history has produced motorcycles that are often ahead of their time, forging new ways forward subsequently adopted by everyone. From the racing track to the streets of the world, the company has not compromised its Italian soul. Backed by universally recognised values, Moto Guzzi can now express the influences and stimuli of motorcycle culture in an increasingly personal and exclusive style. The MGX-21 is the latest example of Moto Guzzi’s originality and courage, a traditional part of its heritage.

The MGX-21 is dedicated to lovers of exclusive motorcycles, to people who know how to get excited even before they embark on a journey, simply by giving themselves over to the majesty that this prestigious Italian bike emanates, even from a standstill.
The MGX-21 seems to invite you to fasten your helmet and set off, heading wherever the map takes you. This Moto Guzzi offers a different and unique way of looking at a bike trip: it is not just the body that is transported, but it is the rider’s soul that is involved in a beautiful and emotional experience. It is the sensation of perfect harmony with a muscular looking motorcycle. It is the purest essence of the voyage itself, made up of adventure, freedom and discovery.
The internal trembling and vibrations felt even before you climb on board, multiply when the 90° V-twin engine starts up: from the banks of the Lario to the borders of the world, your journey moves to the rhythm of the strokes of the huge pistons of the Moto Guzzi big block.

Miguel Galluzzi, who heads the PADC (Piaggio Advanced Design Center) in Pasadena, California, describes the genesis of this new spectacular Moto Guzzi: “How do we imagine crossing an entire continent on a Moto Guzzi? This is the first question we asked and the immediate response was, on board a California 1400, a recently renewed classic. But we wanted to push beyond our thoughts and our dreams, to take a leap into the future. We dared imagine a different way of travelling, cooler, as the Americans would say. And we imagined that Moto Guzzi would design and build its own bagger. How could that be? How could a project like this steep itself in Italian design? So my thoughts turned to masters and masterpieces of our design: I think of Bertone, and his extraordinary Alfa Romeo BAT machines from the ’50s, when these mad Italians interpreted the American taste for extreme shapes and translated the wildest dreams into precious metal, masterfully combining Italian creativity with American pragmatism. And of course we thought about infinite spaces, with straight roads heading to distant horizons, to speed records snatched on the expanses of salt lakes, to travelling aimlessly and freely. In this way a blurred image started to take on a definite shape, and so the MGX-21 was born.”
The cruiser stands out for its design, build quality and attention to detail

The immediately obvious aspect of its appearance is also wholly exceptional: the technical and stylistic features of the prototype, which had surprised everyone at its first presentation, have been kept totally intact. This is not a marginal detail, given that very important changes are usually made between a prototype version of a motorcycle and the final production model. Indeed, in the case of the MGX-21 a considerable detail has been added: MGX-21 has become a large touring bike, with a pair of rigid side panniers that in no way distort that purity of design the prototype boasted, integrating harmoniously in the style of the back end. The 58-litre carrying capacity and the presence of convenient, removable internal bags guarantee space and practicality for world travellers. The external pannier covers are in carbon: the deep reflections that come from the fibre are combined with “total black” graphics that make the MGX-21 the darkest and most attractive bike from Mandello. This is a bike dedicated to those who appreciate fine aesthetics, the stimulating touch of the surfaces when they are caressed and the alternating volumes and textures that delicately explore the sensibility of a design rich in content.
The design of the MGX-21 leaves little room for indifference and, like all Moto Guzzis, begins by showing of the engineering of the big 90° transverse V-twin engine with two large cylinders that seem to literally explode out of the petrol tank, helping to make the side view considerably lower and streamlined. The red paint of the aluminium head covers emphasises the power this engine is capable of expressing, even in its aesthetics. Low in the back and raised at the front, MGX-21 tells you from the first glance that it is capable of eating up the miles smoothly. It’s certainly no wallflower, but rather seeks to attract people’s attention with its original shape and the mysterious nocturnal appearance created by the PADC (Piaggio Advanced Design Center) designers in California who conceived its look. Particular attention was given to the study and definition of the “batwing” design, the large top fairing that makes an essential contribution to the bike’s futuristic look. Form and function once again come together in perfect balance: the careful fluid dynamics analysis with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations and the numerous test sessions in the wind tunnel have led to achieving optimum air protection capacity, a quality that a bike destined for long trips must possess. The shapes at the back also stem from the same studies and they are enhanced by carbon profiles and the dual series of built-in LED lights.
To celebrate such a personal, powerful and brave style, Moto Guzzi gave the MGX-21 the evocative soubriquet of Flying Fortress. The Flying Fortress also stands out for meticulous and obsessive attention to detail: the spectacular headlight cluster uses LED DRL lighting technology, whereas the electrical controls on the handlebar are finished with metal shells. While respecting the solid century-old tradition, the MGX-21 reaches out to the future, employing materials typically used in the most advanced sports motorcycles. In fact, numerous parts are made of precious carbon, such as the front mudguard, the fuel tank panels, the side pannier covers and the engine cover. The new Moto Guzzi shows off a large 21" alloy front wheel, now protected by lenticular carbon covers with small openings where the spokes intersect with the channel. This stylistic choice also brings the technical advantage of increased stability and ease of handling due to the passage of air from one side of the hub to the other while the bike is in motion.

Moto Guzzi’s technological flag

MGX-21 rises up as the Moto Guzzi technological banner. The new Italian cruiser boasts a complete electronics system package which, in accordance with the happy tradition Moto Guzzi adopted with the California 1400, is included as standard equipment. It is a riding accessories package that makes travelling safer and more comfortable. The refined electronic engine management includes the “full Ride-by-Wire” electronic accelerator that manages 3 different engine maps, easily selected from the handlebar controls to adapt power and torque distribution in any situation:

• VELOCE exploits all the available power and torque with an output that favours performance and response with every twist of the throttle. This is perfect for a dynamic ride and for getting the most of the chassis features for skilled riders;
• TURISMO provides a smoother power distribution for smoother riding on a long trip;
• PIOGGIA is the map suited for low grip conditions, decreasing the torque and engine brake management.

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 is also fitted with two-channel ABS and an advanced (and patented) traction control system that can be adjusted to three different settings (that can also be disabled). The new cruise control from Moto Guzzi with multiple features makes its début on the MGX-21: this system allows the rider to maintain the selected speed without touching the throttle, as well as increasing or decreasing cruising speed using a toggle button on the left-hand handlebar control. The speed can be temporarily increased by twisting the throttle; once released, the bike returns to the cruising speed. The system disengages automatically, not only by braking or pressing the selector switch, but also by twisting the throttle in the opposite direction. Once disengaged, you can return the bike to the last cruising speed set simply by pressing the “resume” button.
The top fairing hides a highly refined instrument cluster with a monochromatic, dot matrix display with a wealth of information, also including the fuel level and engaged gear indicator, clock, average and instantaneous fuel consumption and air temperature indicator. The MGX-21 dashboard also provides a complete entertainment system that includes the stereo system, equipped with an AM/FM radio with a 25W per channel amplifier connected to a pair of loudspeakers and it manages the intercom system. A Bluetooth module, that can host up to 5 devices, and the USB socket guarantee complete interaction with external devices, including a smartphone that can be used as a music player or to manage the multimedia platform, also included as standard equipment. MG-MP is the Moto Guzzi system that lets you connect your smartphone to the vehicle to transform it into an exceptional source of useful trip information. MG-MP is also able to handle telephone calls (answering and hanging up through the handlebar buttons) and it can use the smartphone’s voice recognition features to place calls or activate a playlist. Therefore, a bike that supports the rider with cutting-edge technologies so he can tackle his trip with complete peace of mind and get the most possible enjoyment from the riding experience in full safety and control.

State of the art technology for maximum riding pleasure

The adoption of the 21" front wheel led to a major evolution of the frame that ensures high levels of comfort and riding pleasure. Moto Guzzi has developed a new steering geometry that ensures balance and ease of riding, admirably reconciling two qualities: the comfort and load capacity of a custom with the dynamism and performance of a cruiser. Also contributing to achieving this goal is the brand new (and patented) manoeuvring assistance system that reduces the tendency (connected to the size of the front wheel) of the steering to “close” in low speed and high steering angle manoeuvres, counterbalancing the weight of the steering, thanks to a system of regressive springs and particular kinematics.
Another aspect of the MGX-21 that was given particular attention is the riding position. The two high semi-handlebars that lean toward the rider, along with the forward footrests and a very comfortable seating position just 740 mm from the ground, ensure a dominating posture in the saddle that is comfortable and extended for the back. This way the rider has total vehicle control, both at a standstill and in motion. Luxurious and dark, the flagship of Mandello can comfortably seat a passenger or be enjoyed alone. In the case of the latter, the portion of the saddle dedicated to the pillion can be easily removed so you can travel like a solitary knight in perfect harmony with your mount. In place of the passenger saddle, you can install a carbon fibre cover or the topcase mounting bracket, both available in the rich Moto Guzzi accessories catalogue dedicated to the MGX-21.
The new, closed double cradle tubular frame structure, stiffened thanks to new, larger diameter tubes in the front section and reinforcing plates in the rear part, uses the ingenious elastic-kinematic engine mounting system developed by Moto Guzzi to eliminate the vibrations transmitted to the rider when rider. Nevertheless, at a standstill you will still feel those pulsations generated by the powerful action of the two 104 mm diameter pistons in the Moto Guzzi big block that excite even the most experienced biker, amplifying the “living” character of this motorcycle. The largest V-twin ever produced in Europe, which can deliver more than 120 Nm of torque with ease and precision from very low revs, has earned EU4 certification and a new exhaust unit with very long horizontal terminals. It is an ultra-modern powerplant, characterised by four valve per cylinder heads, driven by an overhead cam per bank through a system of rockers and rollers in order to reduce losses due to friction. The modern character of the engine is also demonstrated by dual ignition in order to guarantee perfect combustion, as well as by the double lambda sensor that creates a uniform mixture at the cylinders in any operating conditions, consequently improving consumption and harmful emissions.

All this verve is controlled by a benchmark braking system for the category worthy of a sports motorcycle, comprising a trio of large diameter discs and four-piston front callipers and radial connection that is painted red to highlight the MGX-21’s exhibitionist personality. The suspension system also boasts quality elements: the powerful fork with 45 mm diameter stanchions works with a pair of rear shock absorbers that have adjustable hydraulics in extension and spring preload through the convenient remote hydraulic preload.

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