2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX – the first 1500 km


I’ve racked up the requisite 1500 km over the past few days that Guzzi wants for the first scheduled service to be done.

The Stelvio NTX is proving to be a big, beefy motorcycle with tons of character.  The big Italian adventure bike elicited a ‘thumbs up’ from a guy driving a Dodge minivan, and I assume the thumbs up was because he liked the bike, not because I was looking particularly handsome that day.

Shakin’.  With the Guzzi big-block V-twin, there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on!  Jerry Lee Lewis would be proud.  At idle, the Stelvio shakes like a big wet dog shedding water.  The mirrors vibrate noticeably, but not as much as your typical Harley. But get the bike rolling and things smooth out.

The engine has a coarseness between 3500 and 3900 rpm which is most noticeable on the highway in 6th gear.  Things smooth out at 4,000 rpm and that’s the bottom end of the smooth cruising range and equates to 115 kph.  The bike will happily cruise at 5,000 rpm, too, but that translates into 150 kph, a speed the RCMP would undoubtedly frown upon.

The vibrations between 3500-3900 rpm aren’t a concern.  The engine still isn’t truly broken in.  If the Guzzi is anything like BMW boxer engines, they need some pretty big mileage to loosen up.  My ’04 BMW R1150RT twin-spark only felt really willing to rev when it reached 20,000 km, and that long break-in is confirmed by many BMW owners.

Suspension.  Is it just me, or is the Stelvio’s new, ‘improved’ (according to Guzzi) suspension really hard?  I guess the suspension takes time to break in too.  It’s set at the factory delivered specs.

Weather protection. Weather protection is surprisingly good.  Ok, it’s not Honda GL1800A Gold Wing comfortable, but what is.  I’m 5’8″ and have the (taller for ’12) windscreen adjusted to full extension, and it’s working well.  I think the tank-mounted deflectors (also new for ’12) help, as well.

More updates to come.  See you back here soon.


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