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Reviewed: Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello

Moto_Guzzi_V100_Mondello_Black_Rider_Street

The V100 Mandello is an extremely significant bike for historic Italian marque Moto Guzzi. With no 1000cc+ machines in its range since the old California 1400 was killed off by Euro5 in 2020, the all-new 1042cc V-twin returns Guzzi to the big time. Conceived, named and built to mark the Mandello-based firm’s 100th anniversary in 2021 (yes, it was delayed by Covid), it’s a flagship, statement-of-intent machine set to form the foundations of its range for years to come, with the Stelvio adventure variant joining the range this year as well. And, with an all-new engine and electronics, it’s not only the first liquid cooled Guzzi, it’s sufficiently potent and high-tech to match, for the first time in decades, the best from Europe and Japan.

Most importantly it has been achieved without losing either Guzzi’s traditional character and classy Italian style, or resulting in an astronomical price. The V100 Mandello is not perfect and unlikely to tempt everyone, but it’s a handsome, classy and effective Guzzi for the first time in decades.

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mondello Red

 

How does it go and handle?

At the Mandello’s heart is an all-new, liquid-cooled engine, which is a massive leap forward for Guzzi after decades of big and small block, air-cooled transverse V-twins.

It’s still a signature Guzzi motor, meaning it remains a transversely mounted, shaft-driven V-twin, but is truly modern. Liquid-cooling plus modern electronics (four riding modes, Tour, Rain, Road and Sport plus lean-sensitive ABS and traction control) were inevitable but the rotated cylinders (to both improve rider legroom and shorten the block’s length) is a clever advance. The result from the 1042cc unit – 115bhp and 77ftlbs of torque – isn’t earth-shattering but is sufficient for this type of sports-tourer, plus there’s lots of mid-range grunt and Guzzi character.

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mondello Red Engine Details

 

The compact engine and (now left hand mounted) lengthened shaft drive housing/swing arm also help deliver decent handling. Steering geometry is slightly lazier when compared to some rivals but it still swings through bends pleasingly enough.

Braking-wise there are no complaints whatsoever. The Brembo M4 32 radial calipers offer plenty of power and feel and are more than up to the competition.

It’s worth noting here there are two Mandello models. The base version features more basic, but still multi-adjustable, suspension from Kayaba, while the top spec S costs £15,750 and comes with semi-active, multi-adjustable Ohlins, fancier paint and more. For this review, we rode the £13,500 standard model.

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mondello Black Dash

 

Comfort and practicality…

As a half-faired sports-tourer the seat is decently low and accessible. It is unintimidating to climb on board and the riding position, mostly upright and leaning forward to wide-ish bars over the small, frame-mounted fairing, reminds of BMW’s R 1250 RS, while the electrically adjustable screen adds a versatility which means it can happily take on the role of a tourer, commuter or sporty Sunday toy. Leg room is improved over old Guzzis by the new engine’s 90-degree rotated cylinders (meaning the throttle bodies are now above the cylinders rather than in the way of the rider’s knees, as before), the seat is impressively comfortable and, for all-round, multi-purpose riding, it’s a nice place to be.

Historically big and heavy Guzzis have never been particularly practical, but the Mandello sets a new standard. Comfortable, flexible, fast enough and well-equipped, the Mandello is just as happy eating motorway miles as it is cutting through city congestion. Luggage is an easy-fit option; at 233kg and 115bhp it’s neither too heavy nor too potent to be off-putting and new goodies such as the electric screen and heated grips add to its practicality. Adventure-style off-roading apart, the Mandello is truly a do-it-all Moto Guzzi.

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mondello Black Rider on Road

 

What’s it got and should I buy?

Depending on which spec you go for, the Mandello comes with pretty much everything you could need. Apart from the rider electronics, there’s a slick new colour 5-inch TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity, shaft drive, electrically adjustable screen and even ‘active’ aero in the form of ‘wings’ mounted on the tank, which open according to settings (although in our experience they make little difference but are a nice gimmick). In top spec S trim it’s better yet with two tone paint, semi-active Ohlins suspension, heated grips, up/down quickshifter, tyre pressure monitor and more. Hard luggage is available as an optional extra.

For the last few years you simply couldn’t buy a big bore Moto Guzzi, so hard core fans will be satisfied straight away. On top of that, it’s also a credible, characterful all-rounder that stands out from the crowd. It’s handsome, well-specced, an invigorating performer, classy and, in base trim, arguably pretty good value, too. If you’re someone who likes big, comfortable, versatile and characterful European twins, until now you’ve mostly been limited to the omnipresent BMW boxers. With the Mandello you can have a similarly performing all-rounder which, although lacking the German bikes’ refinement, proven reliability and slick dealer experience, compensates with Italian style and exclusivity.

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mondello Black

 

Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello specification

Price:                                            £13,500

Engine:                                      1042cc V-Twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, liquid cooled

Power:                                          115bhp (84.5kW) @ 8750rpm

Torque:                                        104.3Nm (77lb-ft) @ 6750rpm

Transmission:                        Six-speed, shaft final drive

Frame:                                          Tubular steel trellis frame

Suspension:                                 (F) Kayaba preload and rebound damping adjustable 41mm USD fork, (R) preload and rebound-adjustable mono shock.

Wheels:                                    Cast aluminium, 17”/17”

Tyres:                                     (F) 120/70 x 17, (R) 190/55 x 17

Brakes:                                         (F) 2 x 320mm floating discs, four-piston Brembo monobloc radial calipers, (R) 280mm disc, 2-piston Brembo caliper. Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment

Weight:                                     233kg (kerb)

Wheelbase:                               1,476mm

Seat height:                               815mm

Fuel tank:                                 17 litres

Fuel consumption:                     60mpg

Service intervals:                       7500 miles/12 months

Warranty:                                 24 months unlimited mileage

Contact:                                     www.motoguzzi.com

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