Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 8V review

31 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 8V review
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 8V NTX

Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 8V review

The Stelvio NTX is a smart big-bore dual purpose bike that is a cut-price rival for the BMW.

Craig Duff road tests and reviews the Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 8V.

Learning from your mistakes makes you a better rider. It makes for a better bike, too, at least in the case of Moto Guzzi’s dual-purpose Stelvio NTX 8V.

The last model was criticised for only having an 18 litre tank. When the competition and class leader – BMW’s R1200 GS Adventure – nearly doubles it and dual-purpose riders like to cover lots of kays, that was a drawback. Enter the 2012 model with a 32 litre tank, revised front end and impeccable manners.

The Guzzi costs $22,990 but that money buys you a lot of bike, all made with quality gear. The brakes are Brembo, the front forks Marzocchi and the rear monoshock is sourced from Sachs. It’s all mounted in a twin-spar alloy frame and the overall impression is quality.

It is $4300 cheaper than the class-leading BMW R1200 GS Adventure and coin adds up to a lot of extra riding or decent new gear.

Traction control and switchable ABS are standard on the Stelvio NTX. Both are good, as is the remapped fuel injection that helps transmute the 77kW/113Nm into an easy riding machine that is superbly comfortable to ride for such a bike bike. The seat has been reshaped for long rides and there isn’t a lot to criticise on the bike.

This Italian adventure machine is physically imposing but rides lighter than it looks. It also comes with all the barwork needed for off-road duties – engine and oil sump guard, hand guards and a tall windscreen that deflects dust, rocks and rain. The detachable alloy panniers add to the aggressive picture.

Motorbikes don’t come with ANCAP ratings: crashing one is never a good idea. That’s especially true of dual-purpose machines designed to go well off the beaten track. The Stelvio is equipped with enough protective plates that the chances are good it will survive the fall – the same can’t necessarily be said of the rider.

It’s not very often that big adventure bikes put a smile on my face – I’m in the minority who see dual purpose machines as inherently compromised. And I’m not that good on the dirt. Still the Stelvio is reassuringly solid on lightly corrugated gravel but it comes into its own on broken bitumen where it keeps encouraging you to go harder.

Behind the bars you can forget about how big it is and concentrate on how well it flows. There’s a little bit of vibration from the big V-twin but it is muted enough that it won’t start inducing pins and needles. The revised screens are easy to read at a glance, which helps when you’re standing on the pegs.

The Stelvio NTX is a smart big-bore dual purpose bike that is a cut-price rival for the BMW. The quality is good, the ride is fun and it will be interesting to see how Triumph’s new Explorer rates against it when it lands Down Under later this year.

Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 8V

Price: $22,990

Warranty: Two years/unlimited km

Engine: 1151cc V-twin, 77kW/113Nm

Transmission: Six-speed, shaft drive

Fuel tank: 32 litres

Seat height: 820-840mm

Suspension: Inverted 45mm front Marzocchi forks with adjustable rebound, compression and preload; monoshock Sachs rear with adjustable rebound and preload

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