Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX Ride Review
We ride Moto Guzzi’s 1200cc Adventure machine, the Stelvio NTX .
Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX – Adventure Plus.
There is often a moment of clarity when test riding a bike, when the intended purpose of the motorcycle is brought into focus for you. With Moto Guzzi’s Stelvio NTX, that moment didn’t come when I was actually on the bike.
I was following it, down one of the most poorly maintained roads known to New South Wales cost cutters*, riding a GSX-R1000 Suzuki. With spine being impacted into base of skull every few hundred metres, and the front end slapping and waving as the suspension geometry struggled on the bitumen supercross track, it was a struggle just to keep the throttle steady.
Watching the the Stelvio in front, it looked like it was floating across the tarmac. Like a big roaring armchair. The next fuel stop confirmed it. – “What bumpy road?”
This is where the Stelvio NTX was at home, the soft comfortable seat, wide bars, and agile handling soaked up the bumps.
Whilst everyone has a different interpretation of what “adventure riding” consists of, roaring along rough country roads at a fair clip of speed is included in most riders definition. And picking your way down a mountainside in a rock strewn creek bed probably isn’t. Think more Charley Boorman, less Chad Reed.
Aimed at the same market as BMW’s class leading R 1200GS Adventure, the Stelvio NTX specs read just like the BMW. Air cooled twin with over 100hp, shaft drive, ABS, wire wheels, spotlights and the usual travel additions such as panniers, bash plate, hand guards and so on. Both machines will also empty out your wallet to the tune of 30 grand, with the Guzzi perhaps being marginally cheaper, option for option.
The NTX features the same 4 valve per cylinder engine as the Griso and Sport 1200, the Quattrovalvole. Tuned for a little more low end torque, with new cams and mapping over the previous model, the big 1200 is now even better down low than the previous model we rode last year. Horsepower is still quoted at 105, more than you would ever need for this style of bike.
While the throttle response is definintely better on the NTX, on some really tight roads, a slightly lower first gear might have made it a little nicer. Still, that’s what slipping the clutch was made for. Out on the open road, and on the throttle, the Stelvio is a very fast dirt bike indeed. I’m sure you could travel at speeds over 160 km/h effortlessly if speed limits permitted.
On the dirt, more speed was better than less, the 250kg bulk of the Stelvio did make for a handful at very slow speeds. It is a big, heavy, tall machine. In fact the slightly inebriated Guzzi fan who asked if he could have a sit while we refuelled at a small country town servo, couldn’t even get it of it’s side stand. He tried for a while too.
Suprisingly for the apparently huge size of the tank, capacity was only around 18 litres, certainly at the low end of what you’d expect on this class of machine. Some of the room under the tank cover is taken up with a handy storage pocket, opened via handlebar swith. Perfect for a small camera, phone and wallet.
The instruments are standard Guzzi fare, with all the usual electronic features in the square LCD screen, with a nice big round tacho nestled alongside.
The adjustable screen didn’t create any noticable buffeting annoyance, although in our great weather, I often prefer the clean air that a naked bike provides. In the rain, cold, or even one of our clouds of insects, it would be welcome.
And living in Queensland – perfect one day, no idea of the next – we did get to ride the NTX in the rain a few times while not wearing rain gear, and the handguards and screen did keep most of the water away. One noticable feature was the mirrors, really good, with an unobstucted view of where you’d been, unlike a lot of other afterthoughts we’ve sampled recently.
The NTX’s harder focus than the standard Stelvio adds an narrower rear rim, for better choice of dirt tyres – both bikes have a 19″ front. This was noticable when playing chasey on the twisty bitumen, while the NTX was still a delight with easy steering, the smaller tyre started to squirm a little earlier than the last fatter tyred Stelvio we rode. It still held its own through the curves though, much to the annoyance of the Sunday sportsbike crowd we came across on a few runs.
Those big wide bars, and a fat torque curve made it a pleasure. Of course the Guzzi character we mention – and love – in every review we have done, made things all the more enjoyable. This is a great sounding bike, even if it does have a weird looking muffler.
The Stelvio NTX is an extremely competent adventure/touring bike and would be well worth considering for anyone interested in a weekend escape or riding off into the sunset on your trip of a lifetime. It won’t be for everyone, but make sure you try to get a decent test ride on one of these unique Italian machines before you purchase a bike in this class, you may find yourself loving it. We did.
MOTO GUZZI STELVIO NTX Specifications
Type 1151cc 90° V-Twin,
Bore and stroke 95 x 81.2 mm
Compression ratio 11:1
Multipoint sequential electronic ignition, Magneti Marelli 50mm throttle bodies.
Exhaust: Stainless steel, 2-in-1 type, three-way catalytic convertor.
Maximum power 77kW (105hp) at 7,250 RPM
Maximum torque 113 Nm at 5,800 RPM
Gears 6 speed
Internal ratios 1st 17/38 = 1 : 2.235
2nd 20/34 = 1 : 1.700
3rd 23/31 = 1 : 1.348
4th 26/29 = 1 : 1.115
5th 31/30 = 1 : 0.968
6th 29/25 = 1: 0.862
Primary drive With helical teeth, ratio 26/35 = 1:1.346
Secondary drive ratio 12/44 = 1:3.666
Clutch Single – disc with integrated anti vibration buffer.
Battery 12 V – 18 Amp/h
Alternator 12V – 550W
Frame High yield strength tubular steel with integrated engine
Steering rake 27°
Front suspension 50mm diam. USD
Front wheel travel 170mm
Rear suspension: Single arm with progressive linkage, monoshock with
adjustable rebound damping and preload
Rear wheel travel 155mm
Front brake Dual 320mm stainless steel floating discs, 4 piston radial calipers.
Rear brake 282mm stainless steel fixed disc, 2 parallel pistons
Tubeless with spokes
Front wheel 2.50″ x 19″
Rear wheel 4.25″ x 17″
Front tyre 110/80 – R19″
Rear tyre 150/70 – R17″
Height (windshield) 1,475 mm
Seat height 840 mm
Ground clearance 210mm
Fuel tank capacity 18.0 litres