Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX – Life with the Italian monster trailie after 5…

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Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX – Life with the Italian monster trailie after 5 weeks 8245 km. Part 1

Posted by admin on July 28, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I’ve had the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX exactly five weeks today. I’ve ridden it from Alberta through Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming to the Top ‘o the Rockies BMW Rally in Paonia, Colorado and home. The NTX now shows 8245 kilometres on the odometer.

After riding a 2007 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A for the past four years, one thing is crystal clear. The Stelvio isn’t as comfortable as a Gold Wing. That should come as no surprise.

The main culprit is the Stelvio’s supposedly ‘new and improved’ saddle, which Moto Guzzi claims has been made more comfy with additional padding. That may be true. The saddle looks flat, which is the first step in building a comfortable seat.

A flat surface allows the rider to easily change their fore-aft position on the seat. While the Stelvio’s saddle LOOKS flat, it isn’t. There’s a small step that rises towards the rear of the main saddle and that bump forces the rider to sit forward mostly in one place. Anybody who says the Stelvio’s saddle is ‘all day comfortable’ either hasn’t ridden the Guzzi all day or is coming from a sportbike.

The Stelvio’s saddle is hard and future plans will include the possibility of having the OEM saddle modified (possibly cut lower so I’m not on the balls of my feet when at a stop and a gel insert added) or an aftermarket replacement saddle.

The Stelvio’s riding position is pretty good and closely resembles that of a BMW R1200GS. I never found the footpeg position to seat relationship cramped (I’m 5’8″ with a short, 30-in. inseam), but the tapered handlebars are slightly low and marginally a bit of a stretch. A friend has recommended Rox bar risers and they have an affordable set ($95) that can move the bars up 1-in. and back towards the rider 1-in.

I’m contemplating this modification.

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

Suspension.

The second issue I’m still grappling with is the NTX’s stiff suspension. I’ve tried softening the front end by reducing the compression dampening 1/2 turn and have played with the pre-load of the rear Sachs shock. The owner’s manual says the factory setting for the rear shock pre-load is 15 turns from full soft (turned counterclockwise until the knob doesn’t turn any more.) I’ve got it adjusted to 11 turns from full soft, and the ride is better.

Am I getting used to the bike’s stiff ride? Or has the suspension ‘broken in’? I don’t know.

Windshield and air management.

The Stelvio NTX’s ‘extra large windshield’ is one of the improvements to the bike for 2012, and with the new tank-mounted side wind deflectors, the bike offers surprisingly good wind protection and wind management. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the Gold Wing, but I am quite impressed with how good it is. I wear an Olympia black mesh jacket with high-viz yellow stripes and even after our 6,000 km round trip to Colorado, the jacket has remained remarkably clean of road grime and bugs. It’s really quite impressive. (My hi-viz yellow Tourmaster Transition 2 jacket is grimy after one season on the Gold Wing.)


Next, in Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX update Part 2, we report on the Stelvio NTX’s powertrain, ‘rideability’ and bodywork.

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

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