Introduced by Moto Guzzi in 2009, as a replacement for Moto Guzzi's Quota adventure bike, the Italian manufacturer combines the best of both worlds in the Stelvio, an Enduro-style touring motorcycle that is perfect for highway riding but can also handle gravel roads, though users recommend only experienced riders tackle rough gravel roads because the Stelvio handles differently due to its weight. The motorcycle takes its name from the Stelvio Pass, a challenging, twisting tide in the southern Alps. Moto Guzzi, now owned by Piaggio, made improvements in the 2010 model in response to riders, winning accolades for its responsiveness that, riders said, brought the Moto Guzzi riding experience to this adventure-touring bike. The improvements include a retuned engine with new camshafts and revised fuel injection mapping. It has a top speed of approximately 130 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds.
Riders say this big bike makes graceful turns and is relatively stable, though a low level of vibration can be felt at times. At a speed of 60 mph, the Brembo brakes will stop in less than 123 feet when the ABS is deactivated. It takes about 10 feet more to stop when the ABS is activated. The tubeless Pirelli tires have a good grip on the road; one rider noted it almost seemed as if the radial tires were glued to the road. The spoked rims are made from aluminum.
Available in silver, the Stelvio 1200 ABS, known as the Stelvio 1200 NTX ABS in Europe, comes with a vinyl two-piece seat that can be adjusted to three heights, from 32 inches to 33.1 inches. The seat is well-padded and narrower near the junction where it joins the gas tank, a feature that makes it easier for riders to stand up when they’re riding over more difficult terrain. The windscreen offers good protection. Riders say the mirror-mounted turn signals are a nice touch. The tachometer and LCD display are easy to read. It has both center and kick stands. The frame is made from tubular steel.