Moto Morini X-Cape 650 Review: Likes And Dislikes

Modified On Nov 26, 2022 03:53 PM By Manaal Mahatme for Moto Morini X-Cape

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Is the new Sino-Italian ADV worth your money?

Until a few months ago, Moto Morini was unheard of in the Indian market. But now, having teamed up with Aadishwar Auto Rides, the brand is taking on the big guns of the mid-displacement ADV space like the Kawasaki Versys 650, Suzuki V-Strom 650XT with its X-Cape 650 duo. At Rs 7.20 lakh and Rs 7.40 lakh (both ex-showroom India) for the Standard and the ‘X’ variant respectively, the bikes don’t come cheap either. So, should you bet your hard-earned money on this Sino-Italian brand? We spent a few days with the bike to understand just that and here’s what we liked and disliked about the ADV duo:

Likes

The Hardware

For its price, the Moto Morini X-Cape 650 comes with great hardware. From fully-adjustable suspension and Brembo brakes to wire-spoke rims and tubeless tyres (only on the X) and a heavy-duty crash protection, the ADV has it all. Then, being an adventure bike, it has the essentials like a USB charger and an adjustable windshield.

Ergonomics

ADVs can be daunting for some riders, but thankfully, the X-Cape 650 makes things a lot easier. Firstly, it comes with two seat options – low seat (810mm) and the standard (835). With the low seat, your saddle height is the same as the Bajaj CT 125X

Then comes the handlebar. Not only is the handlebar tall and wide, but can be adjusted for reach. There are three sets of holes on the triple clamp with which you can position the handlebar closer or farther away from you.

Overall, the riding triangle is just as you would want on an ADV like this. You sit comfortably “into” the bike, rather than on it and when you venture beyond the beaten path, straddling it also feels natural.

Tractability

The Moto Morini’s 649cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin is surprisingly tractable. You can ride at as low as 25kmph in the sixth gear and pick up pace quickly without any protest from the motor. Whether it is riding through traffic or on trails, having a friendly engine with enough power in reserve is always advantageous. 

Meh

Handling

Unfortunately, the handling doesn’t backup the tractable engine. Firstly, it’s the top-heaviness of the bike. This makes it feel tippy in corners and a bit difficult when you are walking the bike. Thanks to its long wheelbase, and the Pirelli Scorpion STR dual-purpose tyres, the bike is lazy to steer on the tarmac. 

Dislikes

Heat management

Heat dissipation is one of the major flaws of the motorcycle. While most bikes have fins or other provisions to divert the heat away from your legs, the X-Cape 650 doesn’t have any. So, the hot air ultimately gets channeled to your inner thighs which is irritable and especially in the Indian summer, will make your ride a harrowing experience.

Electronics and modern features

Yes, the big full-colour TFT console is easy to read and even packs Bluetooth connectivity, but has big drawbacks. The console is very laggy and doesn’t show accurate speed. Then there’s the connectivity feature, which despite our multiple attempts, didn’t work as we expected it to. 

Then there’s the lack of electronic aids like traction control, switchable ABS or even ride modes. With the recently updated Versys 650, this is the only bike in the segment to not have any electronics.

Refinement And Build Quality

The refinement levels of the X-Cape 650 are disappointing too. You can feel vibes on the footpegs right after 4,000rpm and as the revs climb, the vibrations can be felt at the seat and handlebar too.

Our test bikes also had a few quality issues, where the windshield or the panel surrounding the instrument console had started rattling. While these issues could likely be limited to our test bikes, the overall build quality of the bike is average and doesn’t feel worth the money you are paying.

Verdict

The Moto Morini X-Cape 650 duo pack a lot of potential. For the price, the ADV has great kit and decent performance to be the first big ADV for anyone who’s looking to get into this segment. Of course it has its flaws like any other motorcycle, but some of them are just impossible to ignore. 

But one major concern with a new brand like the Moto Morini is reliability and availability. For a bike that’s meant to munch miles and tackle trails, it is equally important to have good service support and have parts easily available. Then comes the recent history of new brands in India.  In the last few years, we have seen UM Motorcycles and Moto Royale  (MV Agusta, SWM, FB Monial, Norton) come and go, leaving the customers hanging. So, should you really be spending your hard-earned money on a completely new brand and ADV?

Well, if you don’t intend to upgrade from the X-Cape in 5-7 years, stretching your budget and getting the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT is a much safer bet. But if you are smitten by the X-Cape, having a fair idea of the part availability and service network around is advisable before taking the plunge.

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