Updates across the board for this all-new Moto Guzzi model, a step away from the norm. Adaptive aerodynamics with wings that deploy, a new motor, an electronic screen that adjusts via the TFT screen, the latest from the Italian Eagle marque has landed at BikeMatters, and we’re testing the Moto Guzzi V 100 Mandello S!
Having just recently celebrated their centenary year in 2021 – those celebrations delayed due to a certain global situation - Guzzi went back to the drawing board to develop and design something truly stunning and unique, a slight step away from their usual machinery which tended to stick to the classic style.
It was 2 weeks with the Italian eagle, and ultimately it was a huge amount of fun – everything here is new, so there is a lot to dive into.
Moto Guzzi V 100 Mandello S | The Good and Bad
- A truly new Moto Guzzi to fly into the next 100 years.
- New liquid-cooled V-Twin engine is great fun to use.
- Absolute Italian style icon.
- Price - You pay for Italian style.
- Particularly short riders may struggle a bit, especially when stationary.
- Panniers are quite pricey.
Moto Guzzi V 100 Mandello S Price and Availability
There are two models of the V 100 Mandello, the standard model and the technologically packed S variant. We’re riding the S model which comes with semi-active suspension, MIA phone integration, quickshifter, tyre pressure monitoring, heated grips… it really does have everything you’d need to enjoy the road, and it’s priced at £15,750.
The V 100 Mandello S is currently available in two flavours, Grigio Avanguardia (as ridden), or the stunning Verde 2121.
If you can do without some of the above extras, you could opt for the slightly cheaper V 100 Mandello (with no S), which is priced at £13,500.
If after a limited edition, currently listed on the Moto Guzzi site is the V 100 Mandello Aviazone Nationale, which noted from the Guzzi site is ‘Created to celebrate the 110th year of the Naval Aviation founded in 1913, of which the founders Carlo Guzzi, Giorgio Parodi and Giovanni Ravelli were part.’ – this version is laser-etched with the series number on the handlebar riser, and priced at £14,750.
Guzzi with the Characteristic Style
As this is an Italian, let’s start with the style!
I think this is one of the most stunning motorcycles on the market today, if not the most stunning. Look closer at some of the smaller details, and you find tributes to the 1976 Le Mans in the fuel tank and side panels, and the top fairing paying homage to the 1981 Le Mans 850 III.
Colour options are superb for this S model, you have the stunning Centenario-inspired colour scheme with green and grey (as I’ve ridden before elsewhere on the 2022 launch), and this black/grey option simply looks stunning. And how about that single-sided swingarm – truly spectacular to look at, and on the road it holds a serious presence, from the eagle DRL to the overall flow of the parts and components, with little to no wires and parts on show. It’s truly sleek in its appearance.
I’ll touch on the aero wings a little later on, but they add that bit of ‘transformer’ vibe with the wings deploying at a certain speed, or if in the right mode, as soon as you switch on the ignition. Perhaps a novelty, but Guzzi engineers say it provides more than just acting as a gimmick.
New 1042cc Transverse V-Twin | Engine
It’s an all-new compact block liquid-cooled engine at the heart of this Mandello, a 1042cc 90-degree transverse V-twin providing 115 bhp and 105 nm of torque to play with, accentuated with a 6-axis IMU – a first for Moto Guzzi – acting as an Active Safety System with Cornering ABS and Moto Guzzi Traction Control.
You have that characteristic throw from the bike left and right when you twist the throttle at a standstill, never ceasing to amuse and giving the whole bike a unique character. The cylinder heads are big but don’t obtrude past the handlebars, so you can still squeeze through standstill traffic whilst turning heads from the style and sublime exhaust note.
It’s a first for Guzzi to utilise liquid cooling in one of their motors, and though it could be for emissions, it will naturally also give you that peace of mind of consistent performance. Particularly apparent is the power in sports mode, with rider aids set to be as unobtrusive as possible – it can properly hustle and handles anything you throw at it with ease. We found that the bike really wants to work with you, and you don’t have to make sacrifices to your expected riding style to account for the bike regardless of mode (Touring, Sport, Rain, Road).
Torque and power come in a typical V-Twin form with a shaft drive. Plenty of torque low down and up through the rev range to get your heart racing. It’s not the quickest on the market, but I have absolutely no complaints about what’s on offer here.
A quickshifter is fitted as standard on the S model, and though it works well when you’re up high in the revs and at speed – over around 4k or so - at lower speeds (mostly the first two gears) the sudden burst of power can be a bit too much, so you’re best advised to use the clutch until you’re up to speeds.
The new motor is also tilted forward by 5% than previous utilisations of the transversely mounted unit, ultimately providing a tad more legroom, plus a counter-rotating shaft and assist clutch to make light work of getting the bike in motion and ensuring comfort once you’re cruising.
It’s also very likely that this motor will find uses in other models down the line – particularly the rumoured Stelvio that we will very likely see in the metal at EICMA 2023. If so, I think Guzzi will be very content with the fact a solid motor will be at the heart of its future models.
Touring with Wings
Roadster and sports touring boxes ticked, the comfort levels here are top. The riding position is natural in the 815mm saddle, tucking in to feel the benefits of a fully extended screen with deployed wings (said to reduce drag by 20%) you’re in a comfortable place for a long ride – the bike itself having a lot of road presence with a good weight. There is little to no pressure on your wrists, and even for my lanky 6’3” legs there is plenty of legroom. Stick on the cruise control and heated grips, spin up the 17” wheels, and away you go.
Panniers can be fitted to the built-in pannier connections, though the rear pair will be taken off if you fit a tail tidy.
Now, panniers are a must for any successful tour, and though in my eyes, they do subtract from the sleek style somewhat when fitted, there is the accessory option for side panniers (£942.99, 30L left, 29L right) sliding into built-in pannier connection points, and a 37-litre top box – they didn’t come with the test bike, so no comment there.
Navigating the 5” full-colour TFT dash is in particular very rewarding, with the refresh rate super swift and with almost no delay, with the advantage of everything housed on the home menu scrolling left and right (there aren’t endless pages to dive in and out of) and dedicated mode button where you can flick through options are you ride (on a closed throttle).
For those of you who want to charge your smartphone or device whilst riding, you’ll find a USB connection under the seat as standard – a cockpit USB is a reasonable £28.99 accessory option.
A long press of the mode button will also allow you to fine-tune the modes, as well as what speed the wings to deploy per mode (or always on or off). I did find that a long press of the mode button would direct you to the electronically operated windshield setting if the wheels are in motion, which is a nice touch. The semi-active Ohlins suspension also has an option for you to firm up the ride, or soften it, though there isn’t a dedicated custom mode to dive into, you’d have to sacrifice one of the existing modes to mess around on.
Brakes, Suspension, Chassis
Ohlins Smart EC2.0 suspension is dialed in depending on the riding mode (and what you set), with the MGCS setting allowing for a more dynamic feel, or a comfort setup. Up front you’ll find fully adjustable 43mm USD forks, the ECU dealing with semi-active compression and rebound damping – at the rear is a fully adjustable TTX Smart EC2.0 Monoshock with semi-active compression and rebound damping, plus a remote preload adjustment dial.
The smart setup will automatically make adjustments to the compression and rebound on the fly, according to the setting it is in. Sharp and responsive in dynamic, or softer and more forgiving in comfort. Note that you can fully adjust all of the ride mode settings to your own taste – though there is no dedicated ‘rider mode’ to sit to the side with all of your wacky ideas of suspension and engine settings, you’ll have to sacrifice one of the four modes for that.
Braking power comes in the form of twin 320mm floating discs up front, with 4-piston Brembo M4 monobloc radial calipers and master cylinder, paired with a single 280mm disc with 2-piston Brembo caliper at the rear. Pirelli Angel GT II tyres are trod on the 17 inch wheels.
It’s a smart system with 6-axis IMU for the cornering ABS with an overall sharp and responsive feel, with the added peace of mind that you can dab the brakes mid-corner should the need arise, without anything going too astray. Overall, the power here is great and it’s all tied in smartly to ensure your ride is optimised without seemingly dulling the experience.
Handling the 233kg when riding is no problem at all, and shorter riders will be just as well-equipped to jump aboard thanks to the narrow waistline – though there is no accessory option for lowering the bike outside of a 15mm lower seat option (or 20mm high seat if you’re a giant), so you’re well advised to take a test ride first.
Living with the Moto Guzzi V 100 Mandello S
Moving the bike when stationary you do feel that 233kg weight, and low-speed manoeuvres will have to be done with care for those who can’t quite get their boots firmly to the ground if you need to dab a foot, with a fairly restrictive turning circle.
The tank size is 17 litres, and whilst the claim is a solid 185 miles, we found fill-ups required closer to 160 miles per tank. Though quite literally, your mileage may vary.
As for the wings, I’m not entirely sure a rider over 5’10” will notice much of a difference. I’m sure the data says otherwise, but realistically on the road it just doesn’t amount to much. Still, a nice party trick to wow your mates at the pub – but others may say it’s just another electronic thing that can go wrong.
You’ll have no issue taking the Mandello S anywhere as a daily tool, with the knowledge that you can head to the countless B-roads in the UK to let it really spread its wings. Factor in the capable rider modes, electronic screen and wings, MIA smartphone interface, palatable cockpit USB accessory pricing, heated grips… it’s very much a rider's motorcycle with this S model.
Verdict | Moto Guzzi V 100 Mandello S
The eagle takes flight, and ultimately seriously impresses. It has the soul and character that Moto Guzzi has based a century of their motorcycles, taking it a step further here with liquid-cooling and electronic gadgetry to ensure it’s just as good on the road as it is nesting in the garage when you park it up for the night.
Are the wings a gimmick? Potentially, having ridden in the rain on this you do feel like some of the droplets are pushed away from you with the deployable wings, but realistically I didn’t notice a huge deal of difference compared to when they aren’t deployed.
Overall, the package on offer here is immense. Naturally, I’d love it to be a tad cheaper to be in line with equivalent 1000cc touring models, but it is the Moto Guzzi style that naturally carries an exclusive price point. If you bought one, would your wallet being a bit lighter deter you from the sheer joy of riding it? I think not. Guzzi has done a stellar job of launching the brand into the next century here.
Cheers to Moto Guzzi for the loan, head to their website to find out more.