Moto Morini X-Cape 650X first ride review
Now the year is 2022 and if you haven't heard of Adishwar Auto Ride India (AARI), you sir or madam, must crawl out from your cave and read the news. AARI is the same firm that has brought in motorcycle brands like Benelli and Keeway to India, and now the company has just recently introduced a new umbrella brand 'Moto Vault' under which has two more brands under it. The first of them is Moto Morini which has two motorcycles and two variants of each motorcycle, both 650cc bikes, parallel twin, not too tech heavy with rather attractive styling in their own right. This bike, the X-Cape 650X has to be the most interesting of them and I'm going to be sampling the bike to see what it's all about out here at the Pro Dirt Adventure park near Pune. We're here to swing a leg over the bike, kick up some muck and find out what it's all about, so let's get right to it then.
Design and Features:
The X-Cape looks like nice and slick ADV bike according to me. It's got a nice big bike stance with the 19-inchfront/17-inch rear wheel setup. The fully adjustable USD Marzocchi front fork and the KYB rear shock not only add to the bike's substance, but visually give you some reassurance that this machine is built to go places while allowing you to set it up as you please.
You have the 7-inch TFT digital instrument cluster, adjustable windscreen, all-LED lighting and backlit switchgear which not only looks neat but feel like good quality parts too. You get a nice wide handlebar, an aluminium bashplate to keep the engine safe while you have some fun off-road and even a couple of USB sockets to keep your devices up and running on the go. The crash guards you see on the bike here, however, are an add-on accessory and are not standard fit.
The Moto Morini X-cape comes with two variants and the only things that separate the pair are the wheels they come with the standard X-Cape 650 comes with alloy wheels and the other, the 650X, gets spoke wheels. Also the X's seat height is 25mm higher at 835mm.
Ride and Handling:
As soon as you swing a leg over the X-Cape you'll immediately see how easy it is to ride. The clutch like the weight of the bars is nice and light, the throttle response is good from the get-go and even when you stop the brakes function predictably well, with or without ABS. The X-Cape feels nicely balanced at low speed, while sitting and it gets better as soon you stand up because of its narrow mid-section. It's a very forgiving motorcycle if you were to make mistakes and come to a halt in a tricky patch off-road. It's a motorcycle that will manage your skillset and urge you to try and get the hang if something new and ace it. So in that respect, it's quite a commendable machine.
After riding the X-Cape 650 X, well it certainly is a very capable machine. Not only does it look good, but it manages the rough stuff quite well. Out here today I went through some mud, slush, slippery rocks and light off-road trails and I can just say one thing. Boy will you have a load of fun on this bike. You have the adjustable suspension which I didn't really fiddle with this time, it's still in its stock setting. The seat is very comfortable on the go, the height isn't too high so short riders won't find it to be too much of a problem. You get a good grip of the tank with your knees every time you stand up and give it the beans.
The engine, lovely once again, parallel twin 649cc, around 60PS of power and about 55NM of torque. Nice amount of torque low down the powerband. After 2,000rpm, well that's when the fun really starts. It's just such a simple enjoyable machine. You only have two ride modes ride and off-road, and you also have the option of switching ABS off completely in the latter setting. So not too tech heavy, just the way I like it and just the right amount of equipment on this bike for you to really have some fun. For adventure touring, this is seriously a very nice machine.
I really liked how simple and easy the Moto Morini X-Cape 650X is to ride. It doesn't feel very heavy, at least not as much as it actually weighs which is around 220kg. If you get stuck, you can just rock it around till you get loose and then be on your way again. Yes it is a real hoot to ride, it allows you to make mistakes and take corrective measures and it definitely is a motorcycle that someone who is upgrading and venturing into the mid-displacement ADV space for the first time should consider. Yup, the incoming Himalayan 650 will definitely have its work cut out for it when it arrives.
Now we don't have the price for the X-Cape 650X as yet, and Moto Morini should reveal the prices of the lot sometime next week, but know one thing - this is the same bike that's sold in markets abroad and undercuts bikes like the Yamaha Tenere 700 and the Triumph Tiger Sport 660, and the Tiger costs around 9 lakh out here in India. So if it is priced below that mark, which it's expected to, you will seriously have to consider having this in your garage because it's just a heap load of fun to ride.
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