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Old 01-31-2013, 08:59 AM   #3916
James Adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn slim View Post
I apologize in advance if I'm asking a redundant question, but I haven't read the whole thread yet and maybe someone can answer a brief question.

I ride a WeeStrom which is showing its age. I'd like something with a little more power. I ride 99% street, commuting and short trips (around 100 miles) with a couple of longer trips /year. But mostly local.

I think the Stelvio is overkill and more than I need (but maybe a bigger and more comfy ride will get me out more and longer), but on paper I'm crazy about the bike - I probably don't think anyone here needs convincing (not that I'm crazy, but that the bike's a peach). Comfort, reliability, endless grunt, farkled out of the box, ton of bike for the money...

Here's my question: my Strom's like a bicycle around town - weighs around 425 or so, feels like nothing but a little topheavy. How's the Stelvio in this regard?

I've heard it wears its weight well, feels lighter than it is. For a tall bike, how planted (i.e., not top heavy) does it feel, particularly at low speeds? How much of a handful to push around town is it? I'm not expecting it'll be as flickable as the Strom, but how much more ornery?

Of course a ride would answer all these questions, but my closest dealer is an hour away and doesn't have a test bike - says MG won't underwrite a tester and he can't afford to lower the value of a new bike by letting people put miles on it.

I guess I can see his dilemma, but are there that many people out there who'll drop 16K on a bike they haven't ridden? I won't. If I have to, I'll travel to find a dealer who'll let me test ride, then buy from him if I like the bike, and look forward to a sweet ride home.

Anyway, any enlightenment much appreciated.
I feel like it's surprisingly maneuverable once you get rolling. The longitudinal engine layout means that the flywheel and other rotating masses offer no gyroscopic resistance to leaning like they would on any bike with the more common transverse layout (like the Strom). I haven't ridden a Strom for comparison, though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:01 AM   #3917
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn slim View Post
I apologize in advance if I'm asking a redundant question, but I haven't read the whole thread yet and maybe someone can answer a brief question.

I ride a WeeStrom which is showing its age. I'd like something with a little more power. I ride 99% street, commuting and short trips (around 100 miles) with a couple of longer trips /year. But mostly local.

I think the Stelvio is overkill and more than I need (but maybe a bigger and more comfy ride will get me out more and longer), but on paper I'm crazy about the bike - I probably don't think anyone here needs convincing (not that I'm crazy, but that the bike's a peach). Comfort, reliability, endless grunt, farkled out of the box, ton of bike for the money...

Here's my question: my Strom's like a bicycle around town - weighs around 425 or so, feels like nothing but a little topheavy. How's the Stelvio in this regard?

I've heard it wears its weight well, feels lighter than it is. For a tall bike, how planted (i.e., not top heavy) does it feel, particularly at low speeds? How much of a handful to push around town is it? I'm not expecting it'll be as flickable as the Strom, but how much more ornery?

Of course a ride would answer all these questions, but my closest dealer is an hour away and doesn't have a test bike - says MG won't underwrite a tester and he can't afford to lower the value of a new bike by letting people put miles on it.

I guess I can see his dilemma, but are there that many people out there who'll drop 16K on a bike they haven't ridden? I won't. If I have to, I'll travel to find a dealer who'll let me test ride, then buy from him if I like the bike, and look forward to a sweet ride home.

Anyway, any enlightenment much appreciated.
Make no mistake, the NTX is heavy and a handful to push around compared to your Wee. The seat is also very tall, even in the lowered position. I have a 33-34" inseam and I have to be very deliberate with my footing when not on clean dry pavement. However, like everyone says, its heft is not noticeable once it's rolling, even at slow speeds.


I would also say that the NTX has a stiffer ride than the Wee, in spite of its weight.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:03 AM   #3918
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Weird. My dealer will let me test ride anything in the showroom.

anyway...

I find the Stelvio relatively light handling and don't notice any real difference between it and any of my other bikes riding around in town. I use mine to commute into Boston and have considered its weight an issue.

Pushing it around in the garage is the only time I really notice the weight. The guys with the new ones with the big tanks may have a different opinion though (but I doubt it).
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:36 AM   #3919
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Brooklyn Slim;
I came off a 2006 Multistrada, lighter and more flickable than the NTX. I seldom ride around town because I'm in the middle of a huge metro complex and just can't feel comfortable on a bike when surrounded by idiots moving at high speed while doing really stupid stuff. My bike sees mostly longer trips. With that said, the NTX is just about perfect for me. I have a 32" inseam and feel that the seat to ground distance is the most important decision point here. If you are comfortable on a Strom with the similar seat to ground distance I don't think the NTX will be a problem. Yes, the Guzzi is heavier and will be a real bitch to pick up if you drop it. Some riders (Leafman60 comes to mind) take the NTX off road and think nothing of it. I'm more cautious. Around town or on the highway the bike is very easy to live with but I find myself being a bit more deliberate so I don't get into a situation where I might end up with the bike taking a nap. The benefit of that huge fuel tank, good ergos, ease of maintenance, and good suspension are just hard to beat.

RE the demo ride. My dealer has an NTX as a demo. I'm not sure if that is totally on his dime of if MG offers some kind of concession to the dealer, I'd hope that to be the case. If your dealer is a low volume MG dealer he might not think that the MG offer is good enough to offset what he thinks he will lose in terms of sales due to the bike having a few hundred miles on it.

Just a point of interest, the new 1400cc California will hit the dealers in March but those bikes can only be used as demo bikes for the first 120 days. Looks like the first batch will only be a small number and MG wants to make sure they get maximum exposure from that small number of bikes. Also, only dealers with techs who have gone to the 1400 training will get these demo bikes.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:50 AM   #3920
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NTX off road
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:08 AM   #3921
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Slim,
I'm a 62 year old, 30 inch inseam guy. I came from a F800GS which was tall but nimble. I also had to wait for the bike to begin my adventure. So, when it came in I took it with no test drive. I immediately realized what a big girl she was and, having become retired from my trade and having become somewhat fat and lazy I knew this was going to be a handful. At that point I made the decision to conquer the challenge of thee bike. I wear some silly assed riding boots

that I had made up Elton John style with an inch and a quarter of sole added and at stop and goes and parking I have made myself extra cautious. My biggest fear has always been dropping the thing and calling a tow truck to pick it up. Knock on wood that has not happened. But, here's the thing. I have conquered her, a feat that came easier than I would have expected. She is rock solid on the road and handles crosswinds much better than previous bikes. I remember the first time I hit dirt with a white knuckle grip only to find that, hey, more steady as a rock shit. Where the F8 used to twitch around the Gig Gal just plows on thru. And the cushy set makes up for any saddle sores of the past. My love/hate relationship is mostly love.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:19 AM   #3922
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Slim,

I'll likely get skewered by the Guzzi faithful, but while the NTX does feel very well balanced, it's still a 600+ lb bike that you will feel when parking, moving, etc.

Might I suggest a Triumph Tiger 800 (roadie, not the XC)? Plenty of power, comfy, and 150lbs lighter than the NTX. It doesn't have the "soul" of a Guzzi, but given your criteria of what you're looking for (more power than your Wee, light(ish) weight, not too tall), it seems to fit the bill, at least on paper. Another choice may be the BMW F700GS, but I'm not sure it presents enough of a power increase over your Wee to really make a difference. Dealers of both of those brands typically have demo bikes available, which I always recommend riding before making a purchase.

-SM
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:41 AM   #3923
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SKEW THAT MONKEY1
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #3924
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Wow, seven replies in under two hours. You guys are serious. Thanks.

I'm not as concerned about seat height, having the kind of legs designed to make me miserable in airline coach seats. It's more the tippy, unstable, topheavy factor, and the resistance to inputs I was concerned about (and thanks James for the clarification on that point).

Sock, the 800 Tiger is also on my short list. Rode one last year (XC version) and was very impressed, except for INCREDIBLY hot engine. I imagine the road version would be even better for my purposes.

I don't know, there's something about the Guzzi that really draws me. Besides the bike's looks and its virtues on paper, maybe there's a contrarian component. Back in the Stone Ages, I was always riding (and fixing) old Triumphs and BSAs when my friends were putting painless miles on their Yamahas. One guy had a big ol' white V7 Ambassador which he let me ride from time to time. A beast, but I loved it. So there's an irrational component to all this. Aside from that, your Tiger suggestion is a good and reasonable one.

I'll keep looking for a dealer within a few hundred miles (or more) of Boston who'll let me take one for a ride.

Thanks again to all for your comments.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #3925
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You're talking about a recreational vehicle. Rationality is over-rated when buying toys.

The un-quantifiable intangibles are why Moto Guzzi is still alive. Embrace them. :)
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:04 PM   #3926
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$0.02 from a non-Stelvio owner

We have a few Guzzis - but both my wife and I decided late last year to NOT buy a Stelvio each - much as we prefer Guzzis and hate the obsolete bicycle technology final drive system used on most others: we simply couldn't see the dollar value difference in the improvement in the NTX over what we already have (Caponords): both are big, heavy, immensely comfortable, very fast tourers with great handling and some competency on dirt roads. As we get older (both mid-50s) we know already that if either of these bikes fell over, we'd not be able to lift them alone.
Yet here, it would cost about $18,000 to turn our 100hp 1000cc V-twin 6-speed Aprilia Adventure bikes into 105hp V-twin 1200cc 6-speed Guzzi Adventure bikes - each; we just don't see that much of an improvement.
Quite what will be in the garage in a year's time is hard to say, but my wife is now keen to sell her Capo and get something smaller and more nimble: if Guzzi did a dirt-worthy 750 Breva, she'd be camped at the dealer's door.
A friend has a Tigerette 800 - and I've had the pleasure of trailering it for him a couple of times: pushing it around the workshop, it struck me that it felt tall - and has a stupid-large turning circle - not reasons NOT to buy one, but features to be aware of.
Good luck with your final choice!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:25 PM   #3927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn slim View Post
Wow, seven replies in under two hours. You guys are serious. Thanks.

I'm not as concerned about seat height, having the kind of legs designed to make me miserable in airline coach seats. It's more the tippy, unstable, topheavy factor, and the resistance to inputs I was concerned about (and thanks James for the clarification on that point).

Sock, the 800 Tiger is also on my short list. Rode one last year (XC version) and was very impressed, except for INCREDIBLY hot engine. I imagine the road version would be even better for my purposes.

I don't know, there's something about the Guzzi that really draws me. Besides the bike's looks and its virtues on paper, maybe there's a contrarian component. Back in the Stone Ages, I was always riding (and fixing) old Triumphs and BSAs when my friends were putting painless miles on their Yamahas. One guy had a big ol' white V7 Ambassador which he let me ride from time to time. A beast, but I loved it. So there's an irrational component to all this. Aside from that, your Tiger suggestion is a good and reasonable one.

I'll keep looking for a dealer within a few hundred miles (or more) of Boston who'll let me take one for a ride.

Thanks again to all for your comments.
Not sure of where you are, but I got mine from Seacoast Sport Cycle in Derry, NH which is only about 45 miles north of Boston. They're usually great about test rides.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:45 PM   #3928
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I bought an NTX last October.... well, I bought 3/8 of one.

I've wanted a Guzzi since 2001 and came close but didn't pull the trigger. In 2011 I decided to get a new bike after not having one for over 30 years. I wanted a Stelvio but they weren't getting good reviews so I bought a Triumph Bonneville T100 (30 inch seat height, 540 lbs.).

I decided I also wanted a Stelvio after the 2012 NTX reviews and by October 2012 I had $8k saved towards it. In April I bought a Stucchi Luigi Oil cooler cover to save for the day I bought my Stelvio.

Last June I bought 13 raffle tickets at $10 each for a Red Cross Charity raffle for a 2012 Triumph Steve McQueen Edition Bonneville. I figured if I won I could sell it and buy the Stelvio.

They held the drawing on September 30th and I won the raffle.

Two weeks before the raffle I drove two hours to the closest dealership that had a Stelvio on the floor just to sit on it to see what I was in for. My inseam is 30" (maybe 29" but I'm not ready to mentally admit that). I can touch the ground with both feet but with the balls of my foot, only. It didn't deter me, somehow I'd make it work.

The dealership let me apply the full retail value of the Triumph I won towards the Stelvio.

On October 4th I flew 400 miles with my checkbook to pick it up. I then rode 350 miles to the motel for the night. We had a 3-day ride already planned so I met my buddies on the road the next day. At noon on the day I picked it up my brother-in-law texted me to ask how big my hard-on was. I told him it was forcing me back from the tank and I could hardly reach the handlebars.

It's a heavy bike and I've learned to be careful when parking it. If I'm parked downhill towards the front it can be difficult to push back because I'm on the balls of my feet. If I park on loose dirt the sidestand will dig in and I can't get a lot of leverage to stand it up. I have a Stucchi Luigh stand attachment.

Compard to the Bonneville I think it's a "better" bike. The Stelvio is hands down better at 65mph and above. It's a lot more comfortable on long rides and is much more a touring bike compared to the Bonnie. The Stelvio is also more soild feeling at higher speeds. The NTX wants to run and it will hit 90mph without even trying. I have to get on the Bonnie's throttle to get it there and I'm always hunting for 6th gear. The Stelvio wears it weight well. Slow speed handling is OK, like with any bike just don't lean it over too far. I don't have any worries here but I am aware to keep balanced. I keep the bike in the yard and the Stelvio's handlebars are too wide to go straight thru the gate so I "waggle" it thru, one grip first, then the next. I have no problem doing this. In the twisties the Stelvio handles much better. I'm a lot more confident in the turns with the Stelvio. I don't feel much difference in slow speed handling between the Bonnie and the Stelvio. Once the Guzzi is moving, even just a little, I don't notice the weight. When the ground is slippery, like on the moss covered bricks in the yard, I have to be careful to keep it upright when dog paddling it around because I can't get a lot of traction. A 32" or 33" inseam should have no trouble with moving the Stelvio around.

All said, It's a big heavy bike, but, once moving it doesn't feel that way. I love the bike.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:57 PM   #3929
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If one buys a bike with the intent of only riding it for, say, 10,000 miles and then selling...forget the following:

Let's not forget the maintenance side of owning one of these machines...pick any brand. The only normal maintenance item that is beyond the typical shade tree mechanic might be setting the throttle bodies. You will find that problem with almost any fuel injected multi cylinder bike so we can take that off the table. Then it comes down to valve adjustment and chain maintenance. The Guzzi valve adjustment is simplicity itself. Take a close look at what will be required to do the same job on a Triumph, BMW, etc. In most cases you have to pull the cam out of the head and change a shim. At the least you have to remove a bunch of stuff, to include the gas tank, just to get to the point where you can do any checks. I think I can check the valves, change the crankcase oil, change the transmission oil, change the rear drive oil, change the oil filter, change the air filter, and bleed the brakes in less than two hours...in my garage. The total cost will be under $75 because I got a good deal on the oil. Ask your friendly BMW/Yamaha/Honda/Kawi dealer what a major service will set you back. It's hard to find a really bad new motorcycle these days, they are all darn good and very dependable. My point is that once the honeymoon is over waddyagot?

BTW, I always thought the CapoNord was a neat bike. Too bad they did not sell well in the US.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #3930
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KISS Nation!!!!

Seriously tho - whatever works and makes you more comfy with the big girl
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