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ADV NewsX-Cape: Moto Morini Unveils New Middleweight Adventure Bike

X-Cape: Moto Morini Unveils New Middleweight Adventure Bike

 The new 650cc X-Cape joins the Granpasso in the Italian brand’s lineup.

Published on 11.14.2019

Suddenly everyone wants a piece of the mid-weight adventure market. After years when it seemed like monster adventure bikes were the norm, middleweight adventure bikes keep popping up. The latest, debuting at EICMA, is from Moto Morini, a storied Italian brand that never made it big in the United States.

The Trivolzio-based manufacturer surprised us with the X-Cape. The bike is powered by a 650cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin and features a six-speed transmission, beefy 50mm, fully adjustable forks with 160mm (6.3 inches) of travel and a seat height of 32.7 inches, comparable to the KTM 790 Adventure in the low position and at the low end of the adventure market.

Moto Morini X Cape Adventure Motorcycle
Moto Morini adventure bike headlights

It will come with either a “standard” or “limited” engine, the company says. Moto Morini didn’t publish horsepower figures for the standard, but says the “limited” will put out 48 hp. Morini also didn’t post weight for the bike, but from the spec sheet it seems like they are aiming at an accessible, beginner friendly adventure bike instead of a fire-breathing beast.


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Not that the X-Cape is short on technology. It comes with dual front disc brakes, full ABS, a 7” Bluetooth-connectable TFT display that Morini says is among the biggest in the market, LED lighting and a large windscreen that’s adjustable with one hand. The bike rides on spoked wheels, 19 inches at the front and 17” at the rear, a combination that address both off- and on-road capabilities.

Moto Morini X Cape wheels

From a styling perspective, the X-Cape has a strong resemblance to the first-gen Honda Africa Twin, with a pronounced “swoop” from the high fuel tank to the low-ish seat. That means a lower seat height, but makes it tough to move around much. The dual front headlights blend into a fairing that should provide adequate weather protection, and there’s a skid plate, possibly plastic, that covers many of the essentials low on the engine but appears to leave the low-slung exhaust a bit vulnerable.

Moto Morini X Cape middleweight adventure bike
Moto Morini X Cape engine

Founded in 1937, Morini isn’t new to the game. Although the company has been passed around among owners and sporadically out of business, it is still well known in Europe. There the company’s offerings include a naked bike called the Corsaro, a “modern classic” dubbed the Milano, the v-twin powered Super Scrambler, and a larger v-twin powered adventure bike called the Granpasso 1200.

In 2018 Moto Morini was purchased by the Chinese giant Zhongneng Vehicle Group. Production and design remains in Italy, but with an infusion of cash we could see a more global push from the brand. Whether that means Morini’s coming to the U.S. remains to be seen. Would you buy one?

Moto Morini X Cape Adventure bike

Moto Morini X-Cape Specs

engine649 cc, 2 cylinders, 6-speed
coolingLiquid cooled
seat height830 mm and 845 mm
overall lenght2200 mm
overall width (excluding mirrors)850 mm
steering ability34-degrees
front brakedouble disc, 300 mm diam., floating caliper
rear brakesingle disc, 255 mm diam., double piston caliper
front wheel2.50″x19″ spoked rim
rear wheel4.25″x17″ spoked rim
front tire110/80-19″
rear tire 150/70-17″
engine managementBosch ECU
DashboardTFT 7″ Bluetooth connection
front suspensionØ 50 mm Upside down telescopic fork , fully adjustable
front wheel travel160 mm
rear suspensionSingle shock absorber adjustable in preload and rebound damping
rear wheel travel 135 mm
Rake angle 25,5°

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby
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3 thoughts on “X-Cape: Moto Morini Unveils New Middleweight Adventure Bike

  1. Thanks Bob, well cool name X-Cape (compared to Versys and vstrom) but i dont like the “Morini” wording on the bike (sounds like a tiny moron) – the winged logo would be better on the front alone – I guess we all want to know the HP and torque, and balancing of their (standard) engine? Competitors -> Versys 650 is noticeably more torquey than a CB500XA on a test ride. ie Versys is 68 hp@ 8,500 rpm 64 Nm. The current CB500XA is hilariously easy to ride. XCAPE Italian styling is a plus 1. and way nicer looking than the Versys omg. The Xcape 19/17 wire wheels are a plus 1 too. at this stage its just click-bait without the critical power:weight data.

  2. just begs for some better travel suspension 230mm a 21 inch and 18 inch rear
    strange tapered front forks wheel combo suggests it is more suited for the starbucks crowd
    I like the fact that is a twin cylinder 650

  3. Moto Morini desperately needs some good sales numbers snd that bike might bring in fact in some money. How much of this bike is actually Made in Italy? It looks nice and promisses to be a good tourer for people with limited leg length. It will be intersting to see the weight, but my guess is still around 230kg. With the limited suspension travel this omis just the same calss of bike like the Versys, so an allroad tourer you can also take on well maintained unpaved roads. If you need a bike for the really rough stuff look elsewhere – like st the KTM790@R.