Review – Moto Morini X-CAPE 649 (2022)
Moto Morini X-CAPE with first class stuff
The Chinese parent company produces a whopping 500,000 two-wheelers a year, so they know pretty well how to put a motorcycle together there. In Europe, however, we are spoiled with motorcycles that are assembled with first-class stuff. Well now that’s what the Chinese sense, because the Moto Morini X-CAPE has Brembo brakes, a front fork from Marzocchi and the two-cylinder engine comes fundamentally from Kawasaki. For the X-CAPE, it has been modified so that the power output is 7 hp less, reaching 60 hp at 8,250 rpm and 56 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.
Appearance a hit
So yes, it can’t be helped that it’s all good quality with the X-CAPE. However, you also buy a motorcycle with feeling. Appearance carries weight. Especially in this black-and-red color scheme with white striping, it’s a handsome motorcycle, and so claimed everyone we encountered during the test. Colors, proportions and details are just right. Whether you look at it from the front, from the side or from behind.
It’s all in the details
Nice details include the tricolore of the Italian flag above the designation 649. Or the saddle finished with white stitching and the time-honored brand logo of the eagle with its wings spread. You can see that in numerous places on the Moto Morini X-CAPE.
Three alu-cases for the price of two
With the optional alu case set, as on this one, it is an impressive sight. Three cases for the price of two at other brands, by the way, as top and side cases plus rack for the Moto Morini come to 1,289.99 euros. They are sturdy, finished with fabric lining, and one case still has a pocket and pouch for small items.
Riding with Moto Morini X-CAPE 649
Time to drive. The paralleltwin runs quietly and the end muffler does an excellent job of keeping the puffs modest. The block picks up nicely and gives home at any rpm when you open the throttle. It never gets spectacular. Nor can it be when you look at the performance figures. There is certainly enough power for nice and smooth touring and steering on winding back roads. Also for overtaking slower moving vehicles.
Stable due to 19-inch front wheel
The large 19-inch front wheel makes the Moto Morini X-CAPE feel stable. The Marzocchi fork with fork legs of 50 mm diameter certainly contributes to this. The dual front brake discs with Brembo calipers deliver more than enough deceleration and are exemplary to dose. The rear brake is less convincing, but that is the case with more motorcycles these days.
How does he steer?
With little effort, you put the X-CAPE in the corner. In other words, it steers lightly and is agile. The high seating position and wide handlebars as befits an adventure bike or allroad naturally enhance the feeling of control over the bike. With a dry weight of 213 kg, the Moto Morini is easy to handle and maneuver. The saddle height is 845 mm, which means that with my height of 1.80 meters I can get my feet on the ground just fine. A lowered saddle of 820 seat height is an option.
The windshield remarkably takes wind away from the body and limits vortices around the helmet. More even than you might expect given its size. It is adjustable in height. LED headlights are standard and so are two USB ports. A large 7-inch TFT color display clearly shows the information. Via bluetooth, the smartphone can be linked, so you can activate your own playlist, phone list and navigation. It is operated by buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. The levers for brake and clutch are also adjustable.
As an all-roader, the Moto Morini X-CAPE 649 has to compete against a lot of popular competitors, such as the Suzuki V-Strom, the Yamaha Tracer 7 or a bike with which it partly shares a beating heart: the Kawasaki Versys 650. The Chinese-made Italian or the Chinese with Italian roots can handle the comparison. In fact, the appearance seems to be a complete success judging by the reactions of bystanders. The ride convinces with its smooth block and exemplary steering and braking. Moto Morini, founded in 1937 by Alfonso Morini, is still legendary for older riders. Who know that the brand was able to make winning racing motorcycles that were also reliable on public roads. How Giacomo Agostini chose a Moto Morini 175 as his first race bike. And who remembers the famous 3 ½, powered by a V-Twin 72° engine designed by Franco Lambertini. The V-twin was the trademark for decades until today. The 1200 CorsaCorta still has an engine according to this configuration. Under Chinese auspices, they are investing heavily in expanding the number of models with the X-CAPE and soon the Seiemezzo, a naked with the same parallel-twin engine and frame. But perhaps the strongest achievement of these new models is the pricing. Because you ride the Moto Morini X-CAPE from 8,599 euros and with spoked wheels from 8,999 euros. That’s a really competitive price, especially when you look at the equipment. With the trunk set, you’re still only just over ten grand. That, without a doubt, makes him attractive. The fact that the mirrors vibrate a bit, making the view blurry, doesn’t really bother then.