Introducing our first official long-term test motorcycle - the Moto Morini X-Cape!
It's official! We have secured our first long-term test bike with the Moto Morini X-Cape 650 joining the OnThrottle garage for the winter of 2023.
We originally tested the Moto Morini X-Cape when it arrived in New Zealand last year, but since we usually only get access to a press bike for a week or two to do our evaluations, there was more we wanted to try with the bike but couldn't make happen in our short time with it.
So now with the X-Cape in the garage for the next few months, we aim to take a closer look at the ownership experience, along with what can be achieved on this mid-capacity LAMS adventure tourer.
By the end of our long-term test, we should have a really good understanding of the bike, where it shines, where you might want to invest in the aftermarket catalogue, and answer that all-important reliability question.
Along the way we’ve also go planned a few adventures to take the X-Cape out and enjoy some of the best riding the North Island of New Zealand has to offer.
Moto Morini X-Cape Recap - What makes it attractive?
The Moto Morini X-Cape sits at an interesting junction of adventure motorcycling, particularly here in New Zealand.
It's not only priced very competitively (from as low as $11,500 for an ex-demonstrator!) compared to the rest of the 650cc adventure market it also boasts features that many aspiring adventurers have on their must-have list. Switchable ABS, a huge 7-inch TFT dash with phone connectivity and tubeless wheels with tyre pressure monitoring are just some of the features the X-Cape brings to the table.
With its 60hp 650cc parallel-twin engine, Brembo brakes, and adjustable suspension with 175mm of ground clearance, the X-Cape offers a good physical base for adventure touring.
What's different between the two test bikes?
Our first test bike came in the Smokey Anthracite colour with the gold spoked rims and also the factory hand guards. Our long-termer arrives in the very attractive Red Passion colour scheme and apart from the premium gold rims, is a complete blank canvas. That is something we hope to change during our time with the bike as we'd love to find out how easy it is to install the accessory windscreen, skid plate, crash bars and those hand guards - all of which would make nice additions to the platform to make it an even better back road explorer. We can't promise that Moto Morini NZ will give them to us to try out, but it's not going to hurt us to ask.
What can you expect from this long-term review?
So what can you expect from this long-term review of the Moto Morini X-Cape? Well, we've got a few things we're aiming to find out. Fuel economy is always important for adventure touring, so we're hoping to get a handle of how economical that 649cc parallel-twin engine is in real-world New Zealand conditions for starters. With the bike currently in its run-in period, we plan to start tracking its economy once it's had its first service.
Speaking of servicing, with us needing to take the bike back to Auckland and Moto Morini HQ for that, we plan to find out just what is involved in that first service and just how much it should cost you at the dealership.
We'll also dive into how to use some of the features of the X-Cape, such as navigating the TFT dash, how to switch off the ABS, and how to connect your phone for connectivity.
Heck, if the winter isn't too rough, we even have hopes to get out on a Great X-Cape (see what we did there?) and take the X-Cape off on a moto camping mission to explore somewhere new and get away from it all.