Честный обзор Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello
In the class of liter touring bikes, motorcycles with hi-revs engines or with a sporty ergo. Just fast enough motorcycles with a relaxed riding position and a low-revs engine for those who don't want to be the fastest on the block, there aren't many in this segment, which is why I was interested in the Moto Guzzi V100. Plus, the V100, at a fairly reasonable price, contains a pack of interesting technological solutions. It is worth saying that for Moto Guzzi this model is in many ways a concept.
The first water-cooled engine, the first semi-active suspension, and so on. Yes, until recently the guys produced only air-cooled engines. As a result, the motorcycle turned out to be strange. It’s as if grandfather, who collected vintage machines all his life, was given top racing technologies, and the grandfather again assembled a retro bike from these parts. The V100 engine sets the style for the entire room, so that's where we'll start. I didn’t look at the dyno graph before the review, but I saw that the geometry of the cylinders was almost square.
Usually, this hints that there will be a fat low-revs, but a sluggish acceleration. If you want the very first reaction - disappointment. The engine is relatively low-revs, yes, but it doesn’t have enough torque to feel that powercruiser vibe - it doesn’t feel powerful. Even a more sluggish response to the throttle than expected - at first I thought that maybe I had confused the engine mode - it is adjusted with numbers from 1 to 3, theoretically this is possible. I changed it to Rain, where I didn't changed the response: “Could it be that much worse? That’s it, I understand, I’m behind.” Mandello from a series of quiet "liters", such as V-Strom and NT1100.
Moreover, the engine was not as fat at the low-revs as I expected. To feel the fun, the engine needs to be turned at 5000 rpm and above. It is in this range that the engine wakes up and gives pleasant acceleration. You feel that there is honest liter dynamics here, but the Mandello takes a long time to spin up to high revs. In general, I quite often unscrewed to full throttle with the thoughts: “Well, come on, let’s go.” Then I got used to the engine, turned off the reviewer mode, expecting more from the engine, and just began to enjoy it.
Firstly, the engine is soft - you don’t get tired from riding all day. At idle, the bike shakes a little, but when you ride, everything is more than good in terms of vibrations. Secondly, the motor is flexible. What I mean is this. If you twist the throttle from 2000 rpm - usually even powerful motorcycles sneeze, twitch and do not really accelerate until they reach somewhere around 4000 rpm - from there the real working rpm begins. Below there may be enough torque, but you need to either slowly add throttle or play with the clutch. The Mandello responds smoothly and doesn't jerk, making it a pleasure to sit at low revs.
This is a subtle nuance that cannot be conveyed in graphs. It's a funny situation here. I placed a sliver of wood under the stand, calmly flew the drone, and after 15 minutes the stand and the sliver finally fell into the ground. -520 € out of the blue. It’s good that
boosters and patrons support me - it’s not so offensive. Actually, the existence of this review is entirely the merit of boosters and patrons, this is not coquetry. Unfortunately, the V100's quickshifter is simply terrible. So much so that I stopped using it completely. At the same time, the gearbox itself is rough and stringy.
Sports tourers are characterized by instantaneous operations, but here each shift is a pronounced leisurely action with feeling, with real sense; even if you try, you will not be able to shift gears in sports mode. Standing at a traffic light, you turn it from neutral to first gear and a shock wave goes through the entire area. But this elasticity saves the day - the engine allows you to switch gears less often if you don’t want to. Just like on the classic cars, you put one gear in and drive all day.
In the mountains, where the speed ranges from 30 to 120 km/h - third gear covers everything and works smoothly - there is no need to twist or play with the clutch. Or, for example, you ride through a ring at 25-30 km/h - you can ride in third gear - there is a feeling that the engine is good, no need to play the clutch. In short, if you forget about sports, in this lazy mode the engine provides only pleasure. There is also a peculiar behavior due to the shaft drive. Moto Guzzi had their own version of paralever on the old Stelvio, but for some reason they abandoned it. There is a slight lift effect
when opening the throttle, which is not present on new motorcycles. The effect is smoothed out by the long swingarm, but it is still there. And when braking with the engine, at some point you feel a kick. For example, the day before Mandello I rode the new Tiger 1200 - there the shaft drive doesn’t draw any attention to itself, just like on a BMW, but here you feel like you’re riding a motorcycle with a shaft drive. This doesn't interfere if you ride in moderate mode - just a cool vintage nuance, like a slight rocking of the motorcycle to the side when you unscrew the throttle.
If every turn is “under the knee”, it will be infuriating, which is not always possible to achieve the smoothness of a typical sports tourer, there are jerks. The suspension, which is available in the rich S version, is a clear example that the factory is incapable of modern technology. There is a semi-active suspension controlled by Ohlins Smart EC2.0. To be honest, this is overkill for the almost square character of the Moto Guzzi with 115 horsepower and 233 kg. But why is understandable.
Moto Guzzi has never had any semi-active suspensions before. Moto Guzzi and Aprilia are part of the same Piaggio holding. Older models aside, Aprilia currently only has semi-active suspension on the RSV4 superbike. Like all self-respecting top superbikes, from the Yamaha R1M to the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2, there is an Ohlins Smart EC2.0 control system. Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, but, if you don't take hypernakeds and top-end superbikes, the only competitor with such a system is the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak. Also not a simple bike
with one and a half times more power, and almost 2 times more cost. Mandello somehow found himself in the wrong company. There, of course, the hardware itself is not the same, but it’s still top. I think the guys from Moto Guzzi asked Aprilia: - What do you have in stock? - Well, Ohlins Smart is lying around, they seem to be praising it. Ohlins Smart EC2.0 is by far the coolest suspension
with Groundhook logic. Skyhook, which is installed on all Multistradas except V4 Pikes Peak - with a reverse action, when the suspension tries to work out all the irregularities for maximum pilot comfort - you don’t really feel anything, but the feedback is weak - you float along the road. Groundhook, which, for example, on all WP electronic suspensions, or on Ohlins Smart, tries to maintain the maximum contact patch between rubber and asphalt on any uneven surfaces. To put it simply, the motorcycle tries to be glued to the asphalt, giving improved feedback - it’s like a sporty superhard suspension, but the algorithms tighten it up a little as needed so that the wheels don’t bounce off. Ohlins describes the suspension as
giving a feeling of constant pressure on the wheel - which is a pretty good representation of what it feels like to ride. In principle, it is impossible to compare with Skyhook - these are diametrically opposed suspensions. And the WP even on the Super Adventure or Super Duke GT has a simpler suspension compared to the Ohlins Smart - it’s not for nothing that they put it on top models.
Moreover, right after Pikes Peak I rode the Super Duke GT - after such an ideal suspension, the WP is perceived as simply rough, although in reality it is a good suspension, which I have always praised. Now roll your lip. Moto Guzzi have been riding on vintage suspensions all their lives, and they tried to reconfigure this brilliant suspension in their usual style. A funny nuance is that on Moto Guzzi the shock absorber preload is still adjusted by a knob, and not by software. And on the fork, the preload is adjusted with a tool.
It was 2023. There are two preset modes - both are disgusting. If we take the standard dynamic mode, it would seem that there should be a sporty one, especially since there are short-travel suspensions of 130 mm each, and my little soul is accustomed to crossovers, but when you lightly touch the brake, the wheel dives deep, for example. In comfortable mode, the bike rides in a rocking motion even on smooth asphalt. Only sailors can call such a suspension comfortable. And this setting is not suitable for a bad road, because the bike’s ground clearance is small - the bottom will have to sit on bumps.
Fortunately, you can manually adjust the parameters in some detail here. I slowly tweaked and tightened it with a smart look, and eventually settled on the hardest mode. The only thing left to tighten was the fork preload, and I can’t say that in this mode the suspension became completely stiff. For my taste, this should be a comfortable mode.
Compared to Pikes Peak, the Moto Guzzi's hardest mode with all parameters +5 to maximum is between the Ducati's medium and comfort modes. On Moto Guzzi you can make it look like jelly, but on Pikes Peak you can’t even theoretically achieve this, despite the fact that the suspension travel is crossover. And the Pikes Peak can be made into an hard sportbike, the Moto Guzzi will always remain a bit soft. In general, it is expected,
there is different hardware - for example, Ducati has 48 mm bars, Moto Guzzi has 43 mm. In the hardest mode of the Moto Guzzi, I rode normally on rocky paths, removed asphalt, and gravel roads - the ride was comfortable, without bumps or bounces. Even in such conditions there is no desire to make the suspension softer.
It may seem that I am criticizing the suspension, but no - it is excellent, I would just move the range. I have achieved an almost perfect balance for myself, but I still recommend saving money and taking a Moto Guzzi with a basic suspension, not an electronic one. Whatever it is, you still need to customize it manually, it won’t work out of the box.
Due to the fact that this is a road bike, and the tuning range is shifted too into the soft area, all this dregs with changing modes will never be useful to you, you should not overpay. A regular suspension is also fully customizable, and you can achieve approximately the same effect. The basic version, however, has Kayaba rather than Ohlins, and the bars are even thinner, but I didn’t fall in love with the motorcycle enough to rush to test the basic version. With 130 mm of travel, it is quite difficult to screw up the adjustable suspension - there is no need to be afraid.
Moreover, the basic version of Mandello is sensible - at least with cruise control, and a quickshifter is available as an option. Sudden insertion from the future. I ended up riding the base version with Kayaba. As expected, once you set it up, it's a good suspension with the right balance of comfort and stiffness. Considering that a 130 mm suspension
without a lever progression has a narrow range of operation, even if desired, you will not use any different modes, it makes no sense to overpay for Ohlins. It is also noticeable that in the basic version the seat is stiffer, but also of good quality within its price segment. And with fresh eyes I analyzed the gearbox.
In general, if we take long-stroke two-cylinder engines, it works quite as expected for a European motorcycle. I just want too much, and I compare either with real sports tourers, where there are 4 cylinders, or with Honda, which knows the alien secrets of gearboxes. If you take similar European engines, it’s the same thing. That's it, let's go back to the past. Same story with the brakes. There are serious four-piston Brembo M4.32 calipers at the front and two-piston at the rear,
320 mm discs at the front and 280 mm at the rear. I imagine Brembo offered sport-touring brakes, and Moto Guzzi hinted that their target audience was not used to such harsh brakes and needed simpler pads. As a result, for a sports tourer, the bite of the brakes is too smooth - you won’t block the wheel out of fear. And another curious thing - sports tourers usually neglect the rear brake, but here it works, like on cruisers. The brakes harmoniously complement the engine and the original suspension settings, but in the end, after adjusting the suspension to suit myself, I wanted to change the brake pads.
Fortunately, this is not a problem at all. Moreover, after adjusting the suspension, I finally noticed that the motorcycle has a cool geometry - it is quite short wheelbase, with a sharp trail, wide sporty wheel, etc. On narrow twisty roads, where you can’t really accelerate, the motorcycle gives a very pleasant feeling, steers beautifully, and turns amazingly in hairpins. But due to its light vintage charm in some small details, it is not perceived as a sports tourer. For example, the bike has thick grips, like on cruisers - it seems like a small thing, but it affects the sensations. Mandello always balances between classics and sports.
I can't say I don't like it. Yes, you will lose in seconds, but you will get pleasure. And the Mandello certainly handles significantly better than scramblers and cruisers - and indeed any motorcycle with a vintage flair, the V100 is truly controllable, without compromising on style. By the way, if in the city the sound, in my opinion, is loud, then in the mountains the resonance from the asphalt goes back, and you only hear a charismatic roar with authentic lumbago when releasing the throttle. I would say that this is the most beautiful sound among the competitors. Let's return to technology. Moto Guzzi was too clever.
For example, Mandello is promoted as the first motorcycle with active aerodynamics. At speed or when switching modes, deflectors come out, which, supposedly, improve wind protection by forcing the air flow to go out wider. It sounds better than it actually is. Rather, it feels like they deliberately left gaps between the headlight and the tank, and then they say: “Look, a deadly show! For the first time in the world, before your eyes, we will correct the aerodynamics problems for your own money.” If they had immediately made the tank wider by 20 liters, it would have been no worse.
You will forget about these wings in a couple of days - they are never in sight anyway, and changes in aerodynamics can only be detected in completely ventilated equipment. I look at this misunderstanding and dream that huge winglets could come out at speed, which would create an insane downforce, while they would only come out and go at speeds above 100 km/h. Even if they fell they could not be broken - I would say that this is the future. And so... Something like sliding cup holders in a car - Only a cat can be surprised by this. It's the same story with electric windscreen.
First of all, it's not that cool. The 300 cc Chinese have had this for a long time, and the Tiger 1200 has already returned to manual adjustment. Secondly, standard screen can hardly be called a touring one. Either in a high position or in a low position, it’s still low sports windscreen. Any buyer will immediately put it in the upper position and never touch the adjustment.
Fortunately, it was necessary to make the screen immediately higher, and not sell it as an accessory, and when the engine starts, let this monster screen move to a height specified by the user. On the one hand, they would have increased comfort and a wow factor when starting the motorcycle, on the other hand, the motorcycle would look laconic at the parking. I would say this is the future. And so... If we talk about the comfort of windscreen, it depends on the point of view.
Not bad for sports tourer screen. The wind does not hit the helmet even at speeds under 200 km/h, and there is no such pressure as on some sports tourers, when the helmet is pressed into the forehead by the wind or you have to fight the wind - the windscreen objectively performs its task well. Although, in general, the motorcycle’s aerodynamics are so-so for a sports tourer. Somewhere at 160 km/h the motorcycle won’t wobble, of course, but it will walk along the lane. Even without panniers. And the faster you go, the more it wanders, so a comfortable cruise is about 150 km/h, although the engine has a huge reserve left, but there is no desire to go faster.
By the way, even at such speeds there is still no engine vibration, it’s very comfortable. On the other hand, standard windscreen is definitely not about tourism. It does not allow you to ride around the city with an open visor, even with glasses, only with a closed one. And given the low profile, the visor gets covered in insects pretty quickly. And the same can be said about all the motorcycle electronics.
There is unexpectedly a lot of it, there is even a radar as an option, although only the rear one. For example, there is a step-by-step illumination of turns when the motorcycle is tilted, but it works stupidly. It does not illuminate the path when turning, but rather slightly illuminates the roadsides. The whole point of technology is to be able to look around the corner, but here you are still riding blind. And the headlight itself is ordinary - from the point of view of premium motorcycles, it is not impressive. There is heated grips, but it is of little use, because the wind just blows into the hands, and the fingers freeze outside - there are not enough deflectors or hand guards.
The implementation of heating is also so-so. It heats up not bad, but when you turn off the ignition, the heating of the grips and seat is reset, and again you sit and scroll through the menu in search of heating, there is also no separate button. It's all ultra-nano, but they jammed the socket in front even in the S. Yes, you can buy it as an option, but the motorcycle in the S version costs almost 20,000 €. I can't think of a bike in this segment that doesn't have a power outlet.
For that kind of money, you can already expect keyless ignition, at least in the top-end configuration, by the way. There is cruise control, but it doesn’t work with the quickshifter, and when you squeeze the clutch, it doesn’t turn off the cruise, but simply increases the revs. The cruise control lamp blinks all the time in an inactive state - hello Tuareg.
The color TFT dashboard, but the display itself is barbie-sized, hidden by huge frames, and everything inside is small - you have to look closely. The same story happened with the V85. The interface is also imperfect. For example,
why not give the opportunity to view the range and average consumption at the same time? Instead of a normal brake pedal, there is an inverted gear shift pedal, it feels strange tactilely. And one moment also surprises me. The motorcycle seems to be about style, they tried to make it elegant, complex lines, interesting colors, one-side swingarm, nice wheels, intricate stitching on the seat, stylish tail lights, McGregor in advertising. I’ll say more - I rode various expensive motorcycles non-stop for a month, and Mandello is the only one about which I heard comments from others about how cool it looks.
In general, there are a lot of references to the Moto Guzzi Le Mans of the 70s - both the gills, the pattern, and the shape of the seat. My favorite part is the almost horizontal top line of the long tank and the visually short seat, especially when there is no topcase - it seems simple, but in modern motorcycles the tanks have a different shape, and this uniqueness is immediately noticeable. But why was it necessary to install default mirrors, similar to BMW standard ones? Most of the time while riding, all you see are the mirrors, and these certainly don’t evoke a sense of sophistication.
However, this is the only thing I can get to in terms of design. When it comes to comfort, the seat is a blast. It is tactilely cool - something close to suede, and the filling is not bad. It is important to know that the angle at the knees is acute. Not because it’s really that sharp - rather, it’s ordinary for the class, you can travel with it. The problem is that this is the weakest part in terms of comfort.
The seat is pleasant, the seating position is relaxed, there is no need to reach the handlebar, there are no annoying engine vibrations, the suspension is comfortable. Yes, not everyone will like windscreen, but there are also optional ones from Moto Guzzi and other manufacturers. And it turns out that in a long distance you will only feel numb knees. Moreover, there is a margin for lowering the footpegs, it’s just that the engineers tried to sit on two chairs, giving the opportunity to lay the motorcycle down extremely, which Mandello definitely doesn’t need. Fortunately, when I write this review, kits for lowering the footpegs by at least 4 cm are already being produced, and it looks laconic, plus there is a higher seat, so there is no particular problem.
What is difficult to fix with tuning is the tank. Official consumption is 4.7 l/100 km. My consumption almost always stayed at 5.5 l/100 km. Here it is necessary to clarify that I picked up the motorcycle on new tires - at least, I rode very carefully the first day. In fact, the range is 300 km, which is so-so even for a sports tourer. I have no more complaints.
If you add a little accessories, you get a quite comfortable touring motorcycle. The seat height of the motorcycle is more than moderate even with a standard seat, and there is also a lowered one. The seat itself is not super wide and the weight is normal, so the motorcycle is not bad for people of short stature.
I hesitate to recommend, but Mandello is difficult to compare with anything. If we take the driveshaft as the main criterion, then we can only compare with the BMW R 1250 RS and Moto Guzzi V85. Still not the same. If you forget about the shaftdrive and focus on touring models with a similar price tag - diverse, but not the same - there are no competing models with vintage charm. If you turn to the all-knowing YouTube query suggests - actually, yes, the main comparison is with the BMW R 1250 RS.
And somewhere in the distance there is a comparison with the Multistrada V2. Which, by the way, is also reasonable. When I saw Mandello in person, I immediately thought that only Ducati also works with plastic in such a difficult way. From the point of view of an aesthetic touring motorcycle at this price tag - yes, the Multistrada is quite a competitor to the V100, although they are still in different classes, and the Multistrada V2 has a high-revving, jerky engine that is just not for everyone. Plus, there are a crazy number of Multistradas in Europe, and they haven’t caught the eye for a long time. By the way, Moto Guzzi promises to release a crossover based on the V100 that has the right to exist.
Compared to the R 1250 RS. Firstly, the BMW clearly does not look as aesthetically pleasing, the seating position is crouched in sporty style, which Mandello does not have, and the V100 is more comfortable, at least due to the lack of vibrations and a good seat. RS is also more expensive. Yes, you can also find advantages in the RS - for example, all the electronics on the BMW work better, except for the suspension, plus the 1250 is an already well-functioning platform. But the Moto Guzzi V100 is a dark horse, and not every supermarket has spare parts for it - the other side of the exotic.
Some will defend the RS, personally, in this budget I would choose either the hyper-versatile Tiger 900 GT or the more touring NT1100, but all these motorcycles cannot compete with the V100. They feel plasticky and the Mandello is more of a sleek vintage bike that handles well and rides smoothly. Plus, the Mandello will always be an exotic motorcycle, even in Europe, unlike all of the above. He has no competitors, if you appreciate all this.