The Moto Guzzi Mandello marks a historic turn for a historic company.
Moto Guzzi unveiled its future, calling the new V100 Mandello both a turning point and a new chapter in the company’s history. Fortunately, the new chapter remains written through the voice of a horizontally opposed (transverse) V-Twin although one that is now liquid-cooled. Without the iconic layout, it would hardly be a Moto Guzzi.
The all-new 1042cc motor will produce 115 hp and 78 foot-pounds torque. To compare that figure to air-cooled Moto Guzzis of yore, the 2020 Eldorado was a 1380cc air-cooled engine that produced 96 hp and 89 foot-pounds torque. The V85TT has a 853cc air-cooled single that produces 80 hp and 60 foot-pounds torque. Moto Guzzi says the bulk of the engine’s performance will be below 3,500 rpm although the motor will rev to its 9,500 rpm redline. It isn’t so much that the liquid-cooled engine in the new V100 produces more power—although it does by a sizeable margin—it also meets more stringent Euro5 mandates for emissions.
If you are going to turn the corner it’s best to do so with a definitive step. The new larger displacement 1042cc engine is significantly smaller in size and lighter than even the V85’s air-cooled unit and is 10cm shorter than that bike’s engine. Part of the reason for the change is the cylinder heads are rotated 90 degrees. Where previous Moto Guzzis had exhaust pipes exiting the front of the bike, the new engine’s exits at the side. The move was necessitated by the radiator that now sits up front.
Other big changes include moving the driveshaft from the traditional right side to the left incorporated with a single-side swing-arm. The company says the new position of the Moto Guzzi Mandello’s driveshaft is much lower than previous model’s, features less driveshaft torque characteristics, and that the set-up is equal in feel to that of chain drive.
You also can’t move into the future without a long suite of riding aids. Ride-by-wire, six-axis IMU, cornering ABS, cruise control, four riding modes, Öhlins semi-active suspension, a quick-shifter and TFT with infotainment centre are also available on the Moto Guzzi Mandello.
A novel feature is what Moto Guzzi calls the first of its kind “adaptive aerodynamic system” that adjusts wind deflectors on the side of the tank depending how fast the bike is traveling. The system is said to reduce air pressure on the rider by 20 per cent.
The motor is most certainly a new direction for Moto Guzzi, an inevitable one really, but the bike itself is a progression. Seeing the motorcycle from across the parking lot, it would obviously be a Moto Guzzi and only upon closer inspection would it be easily identified as a revolutionary new Moto Guzzi. The lines of the bike remain classic Guzzi with few unusual surprises.
Into which segment does the V100 fall? Even Moto Guzzi won’t say except that it is “a bike that refuses to conform or fit into just one category.” With the neutral upright seating position, adjustable windscreen, 17.5-litre tank and big saddle for both pilot and passenger, touring seems to be in the cards. There are optional saddlebags available that do not require additional structural supports. What can be seen in the lines of the bikes, the power output of the engine and dynamics set up by the lighter, smaller engine, is a future bigger ADV bike.
John Molony Canadian Biker Issue #357