Italian brand Moto Guzzi, owned by Piaggio, might not be a household name to general motorists. However, within the biking community, it is legendary, noted for the historical role it played in motorcycle manufacturing, as well as racing and design innovation, so natUrally a lot is expected of this brand. The Stelvio, like the famous pass high in the Alps, is created to be a rarified breed, first introduced in 2009. Its front dual hydraulic disc brakes give it increased stopping power, on demand, lending it the precision needed on a bike with a 1151-cc, V-twin engine and six-speed transmission – especially if negotiating the famous s-turns and tricky bends that make the alpine Stelvio Pass infamous.
Its design and technical updates make it a serious competitor in the big bike market. Increased fuel capacity and economy, a more cutting-edge look, and better suspension are the key innovations to the 2011 model. And with increased torque, its pulling power is not in doubt when the throttle is revved up. There are two models of the Stelvio, one is the 8V while the other is NTX. The manufacturers have tried their level best to silence the internals as much as they can. Each cylinder’s fuelling is treated independently through the use of lambda sensors. The clutch is soft and more durable than some of Guzzi’s competitors and the capacity to cool oil allows better maintenance of engine temperature.
The 90-year-old company has load of goodwill out there, but has been known to contain some annoying flaw that can become a deal-breaker. However, with the new Stelvio, this common perception has been put aside. When put head to head against its competitors, this bike does not come up short in any way. In fact, it may often be a preferred choice over other German bikes, because of the speed, agility, and handing it offers, both on long routes and within the city. There are hardly any fuel glitches, and the lower rev torque allows the bike to be left in top gear on tighter roads. The rider may eventually feel a level of vibration, however, the rubber-mounted bars absorb most of it. The NTX version has no electronic suspension adjustment options which may make some consumers hesitate when purchasing this bike.