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ADV BikesMoto Morini And Its 650cc Adventure Bike Coming To The US

Moto Morini And Its 650cc Adventure Bike Coming To The US

The Italian brand announces its entrance into the American market.

Published on 01.12.2023

There’s been some buzz in recent months about whether or not freshly-reinvented Italian brand Moto Morini will bring its bikes to the US market, and now there is confirmation it’s true. Via a press release, Moto Morini conveyed its US headquarters will be in Irvine, California, and a dealer network is on the way. This should be of special interest to adventure riders since one of the arrivals is likely to be MM’s 650cc parallel twin powered X-Cape adventure bike.

Since its founding by Grand Prix racer Alfonso Morini back in 1937, Moto Morini, like many similar Italian brands, has been around the block a few times. There was early success and a postwar boom, followed by stagnation and multiple sales, including to private equity firm Texas Pacific Group, which also purchased the Ducati brand in 1996. 

While Ducati eventually went on to enjoy a storybook resurgence as part of the Volkswagen family, Moto Morini’s comeback sputtered as it continued to change hands, finally ending up in the portfolio of China’s Zhongneng Vehicle Group in 2018. 


Zhongneng has so far done well by the brand, announcing a fast-paced long view that boasts 12 models, including the existing 650cc twin X-Cape adventure bike and Seiemmezzo roadster, already popular in Europe and Asia. To date design and at least partial production remains in Moto Morini’s hometown of Trivolzio, Italy, with its headquarters nearby in Milan. 

Despite official news of US operations and a solicitation for potential dealers being announced the first week of January, there is currently nothing on the other end of the provided link to a US website to show exactly which models are arriving here. However, data Zhongneng sent to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of the application to join the agency’s database, which was analyzed by Cycle World, shows both of the company’s 650 twins, the X-Cape adventure bike and Seiemmezzo roadster, are headed this way. 

Further piquing interest, that same NHTSA VIN data reveals plans for two mystery 750cc V-twin bikes to join the American offerings. 

The current 650cc X-Cape is a swoopy, adventurous-looking bike featuring a 7-inch TFT display, 60 hp, rugged 50mm Marzocchi adjustable forks, 19/17-inch spoked wheel combo, Brembo brakes and switchable ABS. In the UK, the bike is priced from £6999, which looks something like $8500 today, though pricing in different countries can vary dramatically in relation to import taxes and incentives.

Remember when we were all complaining there weren’t enough mid-size entry-level adventure bikes around? Well, if this keeps up the next problem will be we have too many choices (as if).

Moto Morini X-Cape Specs

Engine type:liquid-cooled Inline Twin 4-stroke, DOHC 8-Valve
Displacement:649 cc
Bore x stroke:83mm x 60mm
Compression ratio:11.3:1
Maximum torque:39.8 ft-lbs (54Nm) @ 7000rpm
Maximum power:60 HP @ 8250rpm
Injection system:BOSCH EFI
Maximum speed:106 mph (170 Km/h)
Emission level:euro 5 
Dimensions (LxWXH)2200x900x1390mm
Wheelbase:1490 mm
Dry weight:470 lbs (213 kg)
Seat height:32.3″/33.3″ (820mm/845mm)
Fuel tank capacity:4.8 gallons (18 liters)
Minimum ground clearance:7.5″ (190mm)
Front brake:Double disc 298 mm, floating calipers, 2 pistons
Rear brake:Single disc, 2 pistons
ABS:BOSCH ABS 9.1 Mb (switchable)
Wheels:Tubeless spoked rims (Tubeless alloy rims as optional)
Front tire:110/80-19M/C
Rear tire:150/70-17M/C 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge

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Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
January 12, 2023 9:08 am

Hmmm.. Fuel tank will be either 14.8 gallons or 2.1 gallons

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
January 12, 2023 11:18 am

Typo has been fixed. It’s 4.8 gallons.

Joe John
Joe John
January 12, 2023 9:28 am

I’ll pass on the 500+ lbs 60hp bike but I’ll take a wait and see approach on the 750 v twin. That could be interesting.

January 12, 2023 1:31 pm
Reply to  Joe John

Yeah, dry weight 470 lbs, ouch. Still, seems to offer a lot for the money. Could be a decent budget gravel-road tourer.

January 12, 2023 10:47 pm
Reply to  Joe John

The Chicoms use high density materials in making their bikes. An under powered ‘middle’ weight that comes in at about the same weight as an 1100 Honda AT? I don’t care how much less it costs. I’d gladly pay more for quality and performance.

January 18, 2023 11:46 am

Another brand name swooped up by a Chinese company. No thanks.

Hugh Jarse
Hugh Jarse
January 18, 2023 8:30 pm
Reply to  Mozeby75

As opposed to brand names being eaten by US private equity firms? The Chinese have to start somewhere. Most of the bikes they produce now are damn heavy but in time maybe they will improve power/weight ratio.

January 19, 2023 12:23 am

Hard Pass.


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