Cagiva Raptor 650 Review Motorcycle Trader New Zealand

27 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Cagiva Raptor 650 Review Motorcycle Trader New Zealand
Cagiva Raptor 650
Cagiva Raptor 650

Cagiva Raptor 650 Review

Cagiva Raptor 650 Ride Impression

I’ve not ridden a Monster so I can’t draw a direct comparison, but if looks are anything to go on they have a lot in common. Just as the 600 Monster has a 900 big brother, so the Raptor 650 has a TL1000 engined big brother.

I reckon 650 is about right for this style of motorcycle. It has plenty of mid-range. It’s fast off the mark, incredibly agile and easy to handle. It delivers the same performance as the 900 Monster.

Consider the extra punch you are entitled to expect from the TL motor, but remember also that you will be paying four to five grand more for it.

The 39mm Mikuni carbs offer crisp acceleration and the 650 motor gets serious at around 3400rpm. It pulls cleanly and effortlessly through to 11,000rpm – the revlimiter is at 11,700rpm – and the long wheel-base keeps the front wheel on the deck. The engine is so smooth that it’s easy to forget it’s a twin. I think I’d have to change the pipes to remind me that it is.

Two Brothers would fix it.

Although the rear end accommodation looks questionable, my wife tells me after more than an hour without a break that it passes the sore bum or knees behind the ears test with flying colours. It would be fine for touring but there is little room for luggage and, since the tank is not metal, magnetic tank bags are useless. I suppose, with a bit of imaginative adjustment, the magnets could be clamped to the top of the frame.

Please don’t try it and then blame me if it flies off. I offer it only as an untried suggestion.

The Cagiva offers plenty of ground clearance and with a claimed 205kph on tap it should satisfy anyone in the market for a multi-purpose naked street bike. At $14,995 it is also good value for money.

The Suzuki gear-box is superb. Changing is slick and precise and neutral is never a problem. The clutch is on the light side, so no sore wrist in town, and the brakes? Well the front Brembos are the same as those on the TL model. Twin 298mm discs with four-pot calipers.

The 650 weighs 180kg and the TL 192kg, so the braking capacity of the 650 is absolutely sensational.

The styling of the bike is unquestionably Italian and with very few exceptions Italian bikes look good. My only reservation is the over zealous use of plastic bits, especially around the instruments. The engine and frame look splendid.

The muscular-looking tubular steel space-frame never distracts from the great-looking 90-degree V-twin liquid-cooled motor. I think it’s a more seductive looking engine than the TL.

The final flourish is a plate on the frame proclaiming that MV Agusta manufactured this machine.

I think we may see more of Cagiva’s output bearing the prestigious MV name.

Cagiva may well be a big name in parts of Europe, but there can be no argument about the world wide reverence for MV Agusta. And while purists will probably scoff at the suggestion that an MV could ever have anything but an Italian engine, economic reality usually wins out over sentiment.

Incidentally the Cagiva name is made up of the first two letters of three names. The Ca is from the name of the Castiglioni brothers, who own the business. Gi is from Giovani, a family member, and Va is from Varese, Cagiva’s lakeside base.

As Alan Cathcart said when he tested the Raptor in the November 2000 issue, this bike should come with a written warning saying: Attention, riding this motorcycle could become addictive. I couldn’t agree more, it’s a well balanced package and fun to ride.

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