Moto Morini’s correctly again in enterprise, with a pair of latest machines which hark again to one of the crucial iconic bikes in its historical past.
WORDS: Dave Manning PHOTOS: Potski Media
The brand new Moto Morini Seiemmezzo (which is Italian for ‘six-and-a-half’) is a swift look within the rear-view mirror for Morini; named just about the enduring 350cc air-cooled vee twin that was known as the three ½. And this new parallel twin is of 650cc capability. So 6 ½. Easy.
There are two variations to select from: the STR (Road) and SCR (Scrambler), with the latter having wire wheels; the next entrance mudguard; an extended rear muddie; completely different tyres; and a fly-screen above the headlight, in addition to quite a few completely different color schemes. Apart from that, they’re equivalent.
Naturally, with the few variations that the 2 fashions have – together with tweaks to the ergonomics within the type of completely different handlebars – they do really feel barely completely different to experience, however earlier than we have a look at how that comes throughout on the street, let’s have a look at the bits which are the identical, particularly that 650cc engine.
With the way in which that the motorcycling world is in 2023, it’ll come as no shock to listen to that the engine is a parallel twin. Though, to be frank, the Morini’s powerplant is a little bit older than most, what with it being a CF Moto model of the venerable Kawasaki ER6 motor, as launched again in 2006. Very similar to the Moto Morini X-Cape, with which it shares its engine, the 6 ½ doesn’t fairly have the identical immediate urge or free-spinning rev-ability that newer parallel twins have developed – partially due to the present development of 270° crankshaft layouts, whereas the Morini retains a extra conventional 180° association – however that doesn’t make it boring or outdated.
In isolation it’s a high-quality engine, being easy, environment friendly and able to out-accelerating just about something with greater than two wheels that you just’re more likely to meet on the roads on an on a regular basis foundation. Making 61bhp and 49lb-ft of torque, it’s admittedly no fire-breathing monster however it’s a pleasing, environment friendly and competent powerplant.
The tubular metal body is equivalent for each fashions, as is the swinging arm, rear shock and forks. Nevertheless, the wheels are completely different – spoked for the SCR, solid aluminium for the STR – and though the wheels are the identical measurement, as are the tyres, the rubber is completely different with semi-knobbly Pirelli MT60s for the SCR and road-biased Pirelli Angle GTs for the STR. All relatively logical actually.
Whereas the engine could possibly be seen as being a lower-spec different to equal powerplants in the marketplace, Morini clearly has had no qualms in making certain that different elements aren’t fairly so lowly. Whereas not radially-mounted, the four-piston Brembo calipers and 298mm discs on the entrance (and 255mm disc, twin pot on the rear) are prime grade, and matched to fully-adjustable Kayaba suspension entrance and rear, with an identical 120mm journey at each ends for each fashions.
With an preliminary experience on the street-focused STR, and an overriding impression of simply how welcoming the using place and ease of use are, I then slipped over on to the taller-looking (and feeling) SCR with its knobbly tyres and scrambler vibe. “Ooh, this feels extra like my form of bike!” I stated out loud inside my full-facer, with these taller (by 35mm) and wider (70mm) bars instilling a way of faster steering and higher manoeuvrability, in all probability on the expense of lane-splitting slimness. And whereas these ft/palms/arse dimensions are undoubtedly completely different, the dealing with felt equivalent (as you’d anticipate) and equally as confidence-inspiring, a lot in order that I’d kissed peg to Tarmac inside a few passes for the cameras, on a chilly street and with out attempting particularly arduous to take action. And whereas this does replicate on how assuring the Morini’s dealing with is, one does marvel if floor clearance could develop into a difficulty on sizzling, grippy roads by way of the summer time.
Leaping again on to the STR, I used to be really actually shocked to be considering, “Ah, really I like this one higher!”, due to the marginally extra compact using place and fewer of a sense of being open to the weather. Though, studying this again to myself and contemplating it as soon as extra, I’m now considering that each types of the 6 ½ have ergonomics which are to my liking, and that the one method I might select one over the opposite can be dependant on the kind of using I is perhaps doing. The SCR and it’s extra open using place can be best for exploring and pottering alongside again roads and lanes (and blasting by way of mountain passes and gorges), however can be problematic in tight metropolis visitors and may show a little bit tiring on sooner using on motorways and the like, due to the huge bars and extra upright stance turning the rider into extra of a wind sail than an aerodynamic bullet…
It’s all too simple to imagine that the people who’ll select a motorbike just like the Seiemmezzo are those that select type over operate – that they give attention to design and magnificence relatively than precise using practicalities. And that’s unfair, as nearly each motorcyclist desires their bike to look nearly as good because it performs, and the Morini isn’t only a styling train. It’s a motorbike that’s very easy to get on with – not one thing that may be stated of different bikes which have fashion as their prime issue, and a big quantity spring to thoughts – for each skilled and new riders, and the using place and seating association will make for lengthy days within the saddle with out requirement for an osteopath appointment the next day.
The Morini could be very a lot within the ball park for present mid-range bare bikes, being priced barely under it’s foremost opponents; though the truth that it’s operating a much less highly effective and barely extra dated engine, alongside the next weight, signifies that it’s maybe not as aggressive as is perhaps thought. Whereas the SCR is a quid in need of seven grand, at £300 much less the STR is extra competitively priced in opposition to different producers’ merchandise, which embrace such spectacular bikes as the brand new Honda Hornet 750, the Yamaha MT-07 and the brand-new Suzuki GSX-S8, all of which have the aforementioned 270° crank structure, greater capability and, unsurprisingly, extra energy. However have they bought the fashion of the Morini? And what in order for you one thing a little bit completely different to name your personal?
Morini salesmen could have a tough time promoting their wares in 2023, however I’ve a sneaky suspicion that there are a good few potential consumers on the market who’ll have their heads turned by the Seiemmezzo’s styling – and the shortage of technological ‘gimmickry’ will certainly enchantment to a sure section of the market. And, whereas some could level out that the CF Moto engine is ‘old-fashioned’, keep in mind that it does have 8000-mile service intervals (for example, the MT-07 has 6000 service intervals).
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