Moto Morini Seiemmezzo 6 1/2 first ride review
When it comes to Italian Motorcycles, we all have our preconceived expectations, because over the course of time, we have witnessed some really special machines emanating from that part of the world. So one would expect them to not only look great, design wise, but also when it you get out on the road with them, they should really be engaging to ride as well.
When Moto Morini returned to India a couple of months ago, with Adishwar Auto Ride India, things were a little sketchy at first, because although Moto Morini is an Italian company, it is now owned by the Chinese, and many of the parts are made in China as well. We previously had a go at the X-Cape 650 adventure bike, which was a good quality motorcycle and a real hoot to ride, but we're out here today with the Seiemmezzo 6 ½. Now exactly how much Italian DNA does this motorcycle have in its kitty? Let's find out.
On the looks front, we all know that Italian motorcycles generally do anything but blend in with the crowd, but with the Seiemmezzo 6 ½, at least in this retro street avatar, its design might not be overly outstanding, but it does look very neat overall. The round headlight with the LED halo while not very unique looks attractive, and the bike does have a bold solid look about it with the sturdy 43mm KYB USD fork, the big muscular 15.5 litre tank, the tidy-looking mid-section with the exposed steel frame and the slightly contoured seat. Then you have Brembo disc brakes and chunky Pirelli angel GT tyres on the 18-inch front and 17-inch rear and while the tail light is located under the seat, the indicators at the back, like the numberplate, are integrated with the tyrehugger quite neatly.
The Seiemmezzo 6 ½ features 5-inch TFT screen that's very easy to read on the go and the best part about this is the way the numbers on the tacho light as you climb up the band. There are no ride modes or riding aids apart from ABS which can't be switched off. You can connect to your phone to the bike to receive call alerts and toggle though music. Overall the bike looks smart, but rather simple and unsophisticated. It's not exactly overflowing with Italian flair as you would have it but it does pack some serious hardware.
Moto Morini have another version of the Seiemmezzo 6 ½ Scrambler out as well, and in comparison that bike gets a raised handlebar, a beak mudguard up front, spoke wheels dressed with Pirelli dual-sport tyres, different side panels, mirrors, a ribbed seat and tank grips. In my opinion this version of the bike looks a little more the part of an Italian motorcycle. The Seiemmezzo 6 ½ isn't outstanding in terms of its design, but it does look attractive. In terms of performance, the 649cc parallel twin doesn't make as much power as its competition in the form of the Kawasaki Z650 but it isn't anywhere close to feeling sluggish.
The engine is the same 649cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin unit from the X-Cape 650 adventure motorcycle, but power output is down by 5PS. Here the motor makes a max 55PS (at 8,250rpm) and peak torque of 54Nm (at 7,000rpm). The 8-valve DOHC unit is very refined in its method of functioning. Throttle response is smooth and you won't be caught off guard with any spiky surge of power during closed and open throttle transitions. It's all good if you're new to this displacement category of motorcycle, but it won't exactly blow you away with its level of performance either.
The Seiemmezzo can cruise at 100kmph at 4,500rpm in sixth, without a worry in the world. And there's a lot more power on tap should you feel fit to throw it all down, thanks to a strong midrange. The motor can be quite tractable at low speed as well. The biggest downside to this engine is the way heat is dispersed from it. The bike appears to send all that heat right up to your crotch just five minutes into riding it about, and if you encounter heavy traffic thereafter, may god help you, because the bike most certainly won't. But, then again, come to think of it, aren't most Italian bikes like this? They all seem built for European climates and are affected while taking on the conditions out here. Anyway, moving on to the bike's ride and handling aspects..
In terms of ride quality, the Seiemmezzo strikes a good balance between sport and comfort. The riding triangle is a comfortable one and the suspension, although it doesn't kill off bumps completely at slow speed, does remove the sharpness of them. At higher speeds, the bike is very comfortable and predictable in its manner of functioning as well. The quicker you go, the more comfy you and your pillion are going to feel on this bike. The front end does tend to dive down a fair bit under hard braking, but the best part is that the fork up front is adjustable which allows you to change that around. In fact, the Seiemmezzo gets quite a good amount of familiar hardware in the form of KYB suspension at both ends, Brembo disc brakes, dual-channel ABS from Bosh and Pirelli tyres. And all these components work very well together on the Moto Morini.
In terms of handling, the Seiemmezzo steel chassis grants it a certain amount of agility out on the road, but it does weigh 215kg, which isn't exactly what you would call lightweight and you can feel the weight of the bike as you slow down to tip it into a corner. At first, I didn't think that it was able to change direction as quickly as something like the Z650 but after a quick check of both bike's spec sheets I learned that the Moto Morini is the heavier of the two by some margin, in addition to it being longer, broader and taller than the Kawasaki. But that's not to say that the Moto Morini isn't capable of what the others can do, just that it will require a little more effort in do so. Once you get used to it, you will have a good amount of fun with this one.
Overall, the ride posture with this one is quite comfy on the go, although I I would prefer the Scrambler version of this bike which has a slightly raised bar, which in turn would make longer stints in the saddle a lot more comfortable in the long run.
Now is the Moto Morini Seiemmezzo 6 ½ in true essence a thoroughbred Italian Motorcycle? Well to be honest, it does exude a lot of traits that one would associate with an Italian Motorcycle. It might not have really outstanding design and looks for one, but in terms of handling and dynamics, it's all there. The engine might not make the most power in this class, but it doesn't feel sluggish at all, the ride and handling dynamic, the brakes the suspension parts, all high quality parts. Good fit and finish as well. But for me the biggest challenge with this bike will be the sales and after sales network with Moto Morini, because currently, the company are operating under the Moto Vault arena, and there are just about nine showrooms across the country. The good thing is Adishwar Auto Ride India have told us that it will be operating out of Benelli and Keeway service centres for now, but that's something that you will want to factor in before owning a motorcycle that costs more than Rs 7 lakh.
Starts Rs 5,50,000
Starts Rs 5,94,000