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Moto Morini is a name that not many many people in India know very well. The storied Italian marque was started way back in 1937 and was best known for its 350 and 500cc twin-cylinder motorcycles. Moto Morini was taken over by the Chinese firm Zhongheng Vehicle Group.
Now in 2022, Moto Morini has entered the Indian market as part of Adishwar Auto Ride India's new Moto Vault multi-brand motorcycle setup. Moto Morini arrived in India with the Seiemmezzo Scrambler, and the X-Cape 650 and 650X adventure motorcycles.
We headed to Hyderabad to test out the Moto Morini X-Cape 650X, the flagship model of the range. Does the new Moto Morini X-Cape 650X have what it takes to rival well-known rivals like the Kawasaki Versys 650, and the much dearer Suzuki V-Strom 650XT and Triumph Tiger 660? Here are our thoughts...
Moto Morini X-Cape 650X Design & Features - Sharp Suited Cape
The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X has a very distinctive and imposing design. The front end is dominated by the high-set fairing with the angular twin headlamps and the cape-like adjustable windscreen that sits above it.
The sides are dominated by the sculpted fuel tank that neatly melds into the side fairing of the adventure bike. The chunky side exhaust, the wide split seat, the spoked wheels and the pointy rear end are the other design highlights of the 650X.
The other major highlight of the X-Cape 650X is the large 7-inch TFT display which offers Bluetooth connectivity. The TFT display is crisp and easy to use and offers multiple themes. Also on offer are dual USB charging ports.
The build quality on the Moto Morini X-Cape 650X is good with decent plastics along with tactile and well-damped backlit switchgear.
Moto Morini X-Cape 650X Specs - Twin Trouble
The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X is powered by a liquid-cooled 649cc twin-cylinder engine 59bhp at 8,250rpm and 54Nm of peak torque at 7,000rpm that is sent to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox.
The X-Cape 650X sports a steel tubular frame suspended by a fully adjustable Marzocchi upside-down fork and a Kayaba mono-shock with both pre-load and rebound adjustment.
Braking duties are handled by dual 298mm floating discs with four-piston callipers at the front while the rear setup features a single 255mm disc with two-piston callipers. The brakes are aided by dual-channel ABS.
The 650X features a staggered wheel setup with a 19-inch wheel at the front and a 17-inch unit at the rear. The wheels are shod with Pirelli Scorpion STR tubeless tyres - 110/80-19 (front) and 150/70-17 (rear).
The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X is 2,200mm long, 900mm wide and 1,390mm tall. The wheelbase is 1,490mm long and the bike weighs 215 kilogrammes. The 650X offers 175mm of ground clearance and the seat rides 835mm above the ground. The fuel tank carries 18 litres of petrol.
Moto Morini X-Cape 650X Riding Impressions - More Than Just Numbers On Paper
The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X's 649cc engine produces 59bhp and 54Nm of peak torque which doesn't seem all that much on paper. However, on the road and off the beaten path, the output from the twin-cylinder motor seems quite a bit more.
At lower revs, the engine doesn't seem to have that much torque and may seem slow. However, once you go up the revs, the bike starts building up speed and the top end feels quite punchy as well as it makes its way to the redline.
On the road, the X-Cape 650X feels quite the well-behaved motorcycle and can easily maintain triple-digit speeds without ever breaking into a sweat.
The riding position on the 650X is quite commanding and the adjustable windscreen deals with the windblast. Riding standing up is an excellent experience on the X-Cape 650X and you can easily grip the fuel tank.
The suspension setup on the ADV deals with potholes and speedbumps quite easily. However, the X-Cape 650X does not like to change direction at high speeds, so quick direction changes have to be planned in advance.
However, turn off the beaten path and the X-Cape 650X comes alive. Be a bit too eager with the throttle and the rear end start to slide.
In the short but fun off-road track that we got access to, we were able to slide and splash through some rather slushy pits on the X-Cape 650X. And when we got the opportunity, the X-Cape 650X proved to be quite the capable jumper.
However, there are some niggles we feel that we should raise. The twin-cylinder engine heats up rather quickly and the heat emanating from it can get a bit unbearable in traffic. There are quite a few vibrations across the rev range, though you will get used to them quite quickly, so hopefully, they shouldn't be that bothersome.
Final Thoughts About The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X
The Moto Morini X-Cape 650X is a proper ADV and we feel is one that you should take a very serious look at and is a motorcycle that we wish we could spend a whole lot more time with.