Moto Morini Seiemmezzo review: engine, price, design, features, riding experience.
Two road bikes from a famous Italian brand that bring a new flavor to the middleweight segment.
There are many things the Italians are exceptional at and among the list are motorcycle designs. Which should explain why my colleagues and I are so captivated by the look of the new Moto Morini Seiemmezzo 6 ½ bikes. Before you ask, the pronunciation is “see-eh-metzo” and the name means six and a half, which refers to the 650cc (649cc to be precise) straight-twin that powers these bikes. They are available in India in two forms – Retro Street and Scrambler, with the differences between them largely being cosmetic. Here’s what it was like to spend a brief moment with these new middleweight nudes.
Moto Morini Seiemmezzo: design and features
As stated earlier, the standout feature of Seiemmezzo motorcycles is the lovely Italian design. The Retro Street variant has a dollop of bare street butchness, evident in the visual mass offered by the beefy tank. The round headlight, the seats and the almost minimal rear section add to the appeal. In fact, the absence of unnecessary body panels keeps part of the frame and subframe exposed. Isn’t that the whole point of “naked in the street”? I also liked the design of the tire guard which doubles as a license plate holder.
Scrambler gets tubeless spoke wheels.
The Scrambler, as its name suggests, has a few distinctive design cues for the roadster. While the fuel tank, headlight and seat are the same (finished in beige brown), there are elements specific to the Scrambler variant. This includes a mosquito net above the headlight and a neat beak below. The side panels are also different, but it’s the rear section that adds more distinction to the Scrambler. I especially liked how it extends beyond the seat to form a mini fender. Speaking of which, the small fender on the front wheel could barely keep it from throwing mud on the radiator when we rode the Scrambler off-road. I guess form trumps function in the case of this Italian machine. Additionally, the Scrambler has a gold fork and rolls on tubeless spoke wheels, unlike the Retro Street’s alloys.
Smart TFT display with Bluetooth.
In terms of features, they both have full LED lights, backlit switchgear and a color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity.
Moto Morini Seiemmezzo: ride and handling
Both bikes have wide, accommodating and comfortable perches. In the case of the street bike, the handlebars are flatter, while the footpegs are set at an appropriate height to form a comfortable triangle for the rider. The Scrambler’s handlebars, however, are slightly higher for easier standing on the footpegs and off-road riding.
Inline-twin packs a solid mid-range punch.
The Seiemmezzos are powered by the same 649cc straight-twin engine which produces 55hp and 54Nm. These figures are significantly lower than other 650cc class motorcycles, such as the Kawasaki Z650 (68hp, 64Nm). Both Moto Morini’s weigh 215kg and on paper they don’t seem to be in the same performance bracket as the competition. However, in the very short amount of time we spent riding them, the bikes didn’t feel sluggish. In fact, there’s a strong burst of acceleration as the revs enter midrange, accompanied by a nice induction roar. There’s decent top-end performance too, but given the limited space we had access to, we couldn’t sustain highway speeds for long. So a full test is what it takes to see what these midweight nudes have to offer.
The Seiemmezzos use a tubular frame, suspended by a fully adjustable USD fork and monoshock. And before you wonder, the suspension travel (120mm front/118mm rear) and wheel size on both models are the same. The only difference is seen in the Scrambler’s block tires for extra grip when riding the trails. On the road, the suspension soaked up the bumps well, although the front fork in our Scrambler test seemed to bounce over some of the bigger bumps. Handling around the only corner we encountered on our route showcased the planted nature of the bike.
The radiator gets dirty in muddy conditions.
Braking performance didn’t leave much to be desired either, although the ABS’s sensitivity under hard braking was more than ideal.
Moto Morini Seiemmezzo: Should you buy it?
Moto Morini’s Seiemmezzo twins are quite different from the competition in the segment. Not only do they look great, but they have a capable engine and chassis to meet what most buyers are looking for in this segment. That said, it’s too early for us to recommend them until a proper test drive is done. Besides the nascent sales and service network, as well as unproven reliability, there are things to consider before dropping the Rs 6 lakh-7.5 lakh (ex-showroom) estimate these bikes may command , once they are launched.