Here at Insidebikes we absolutely love a middleweight. There’s such a mixture of machinery from the fun and playful to the impressively retro, all offering a different style but nearly all doing so for a very reasonable price. And now, there are to new kids on the block from Moto Morini; the 6½ Seiemmezzo, which comes in a roadster style with the STR, and an urban, dual-purpose retro style in the SCR.
Powered by a 649cc twin, the Seiemmezzos offer up 61bhp at 8,250rpm, along with 54Nm torque at 7,000rpm, which although isn’t ground-breaking, is still respectable. What is ground-breaking however is their list of components: a 16-litre tank, Brembo brakes, Pirelli rubber, fully adjustable Kayaba suspension, Bosch ABS and even a 5” colour TFT dash, which comes equipped with smartphone connectivity as standard. Both models share this same basis, although unlike the roadster-style STR, the SCR not only has a different, retro look, but also comes with higher ‘bars, dual purpose Pirelli MT60RS rubber, spoked wheels, a higher mud guard, a small fly screen, a fancier seat, gold forks and a slightly different tank. We tested Morini’s X-Cape adventure bike a few months ago. That bike shares the same motor as the Seiemmezzos, and the only drawback I had was the lack of punch from the engine, but with a little less weight on the naked machines, they should be slightly better equipped. So, for £6,699 and £6,999 respectively, how do they perform?
Riding the STR roadster style Seiemmezzo first, I have to say that the finish of the machine is sublime for the price. Not only does it have a nice silhouette, but it looks great in the sunshine and everything is finished nicely up close, with a quality, big-bike feel as soon as you jump on. The dash is really informative and a good size, and all the switchgears are exactly where you need them to be. Riding at slow speeds I have to say that the STR feels like a very accomplished machine, that’s not only smooth but well balanced too, with a gentle throttle, soft clutch and decent turning circle too. It really feels like a proper machine, with the only real niggle through town being the fact that gearbox doesn’t quite feel ultra-refined, with the gaps between gears being far bigger than you’d expect.
Getting the STR onto the open road and it more than held its own; the suspension and brakes offered a respectably pliant ride with bucketloads of feedback, while the engine was more than capable of keeping things fairly interesting. The most impressive thing though is how it really does feel like a proper, big bike; in a world where some machinery can feel small and toy-like, the STR really does give that essence of a higher capacity, and indeed a higher priced machine. But that does have a drawback, as it’s not quite as playful as some of the competition in the middleweight, naked sector; it just lacks that agility and eagerness that come so easily to bikes like the Yamaha MT-07, or the Aprilia Tuono 660. But then again, it works in its favour in some respects, as not everyone wants big wheelies and wild rides.
And on the subject of which, this is where the cool, calm and collected SCR comes into its own. Unlike the roadster, which is always going to be compared to its rivals in terms of performance as its in the nature of the category, the SCR feels absolutely spot on in terms of where it sits in the sector. With those subtle tweaks it looks and feels that little bit more laid back and even just the small details, like the little fly screen, make a big difference to creating a really enjoyable ride - even the change in rubber doesn’t detract from the riding experience. Everything works so well and in all honesty I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the retro frock as much as I did, because as far as a middleweight machine goes, the nature of the engine and chassis just works perfectly with Morini’s aim of crafting not only a trendy and unique machine, but a machine that makes you feel trendy and unique as well. In all honesty, after racking up the miles on the SCR I could happily see myself having one in my garage, for those chilled out, evening rides on summer.
I have to admit, considering the asking price I wasn’t expecting the Seiemmezzo models from Moto Morini to be as good as they are, not just in terms of their components, but in terms of their general riding dynamics. Sure, I loved the tall-rounder iteration in the X-Cape but I actually think the platform suits these two machines just as well, with a slightly better execution when it all boils down to the riding experience. If you’re after something cool and Italian on a budget, you really won’t be going wrong with one of these two little gems.