Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 Montreal Moto Show: Kawasaki and Moto Guzzi




No surprise.  Each year it is the same story…

…after a too long winter, I take my Versys out of the garage, fire the engine, go for a ride and come back with this smile Hot smile.

There is no doubt in my mind, Versys motorcycles are fun to ride.  The engine is Kawasaki’s best selling argument for its small Versys.  I am convinced that the new Versys 1000 will carry the same soul and will be even more pleasant to ride on paved roads.  

However, I had some disappointments while at the moto show.  First, mirrors.  I had a clue that they could be weak, but when I sat on the bike and tried to adjust them, it was clear that Kawasaki did not do its homework to improve them compared to the small Versys.

Second, the seat.  It is made with same cheap material used on the small Versys.  So comfort may be an issue during a long ride.  Last note, the design.  Not what I would call a beauty, especially when you look at it from the front.


Conclusions: a good motorcycle with some caveats, will be fun to ride on paved roads and probably on nice gravel roads.  The new Versys misses some polishing to be a great motorcycle.  It looks like Kawasaki put all its mind power on the mechanical aspects, but ignored the low hanging fruits.


Moto Guzzi


Moto Guzzi Stelvio is one of the adventure bikes that grabs my attention.

The goal of this motorcycle is to be a direct competitor to the big GS from BMW and capture some of the adventure market share.

However it seems that Moto Guzzi took the bull by the horns and built a quite competent all-roads bike.

The look is unique and not bad at all as well.

However, when I sat on the motorcycle I had a strange impression.  There is a huge gap between the tank and the dash… which gives a odd feeling of emptiness.  It will probably take some time for future owners to get used to it and it could also be a problem to fit a tank bag.


You can see in this picture the engine skid plate and a specially bent kickstand…is this to give more stability to the bike when upright?

Overall, this motorcycle is interesting and will certainly please people that like to stand out.  After looking over the internet, the main grip for the Stelvio is its poor autonomy.  So that is to consider when planning an adventure ride.

Next stop: Suzuki and Yamaha

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