When we think of Moto Guzzi, the brand founded in 1921 in Mandello del Lario, the iconic V7 models (and others before them) immediately come to mind, with their traditional transverse V engines and that classic, refined look. The V100 Mandello S is a model that breaks with this paradigm and shows itself to be a modern and evolved motorcycle. An excellent surprise!
When I saw the V100 S for the first time, I didn’t understand what was ahead of me and what segment it would fit into. Apart from that, the bike has futuristic and elegant lines that take those used to the brand’s most iconic models by surprise.
The V100 S is, according to the brand’s own concept, a Roadster-Touring and although it initially tried to include it in the sport-touring range, the truth is that it makes much more sense to see it as a roadster with additional fairings and some “magic” in the mix…
INNOVATIVE AND EYE-CATCHING
It all starts with a reinforced tubular steel frame, to which the new, lighter and more compact 1,042 cc engine is added as the bike’s structural element.
The front is dominated by a Led headlight made up of several elements, with a modern and dynamic visual signature in which the daytime running light is reminiscent of the brand’s eagle, and an electronically adjustable head-up display via the controls on the left handle. Although it’s not very big, it provides good aerodynamic protection and clean airflow, without causing any turbulence. The setting is limited to 105 km/h, so as not to force the actuator mechanism too much.
THE BEST AESTHETICS; ENGINE; SUSPENSIONS; LEVEL OF EQUIPMENT
IMPROVING ENGINE VIBRATIONS; EXHAUST PAN FINISH
The 17-liter fuel tank, inspired by the 1976 Le Man 850, follows the lines of the front fairing and wraps around the valve covers of each cylinder, creating a muscular and compact design. It’s on the sides of this tank that some of the magic happens. The V100 S is equipped with dynamic, variable deflector panels that are said to reduce the aerodynamic load on the rider’s body by 22%.
The movement of these panels is automatic and can be adjusted (between 30 and 95 km/h) in the configuration menus for each of the 4 riding modes, making it the first production bike to feature movable aerodynamic elements.
All these systems, as well as the various menus, are managed or configured by the controls on the left handle, with the exception of the riding modes, which are selected on a button on the right. The information is transmitted to us by a 5-inch color TFT display, which is well designed and offers excellent visibility, even in bright lighting conditions.
The rear is simplistic and ends with stylized LED headlights (thinking of the after-burners on military aircraft). This is where we can find the fittings for the side luggage system that is part of the extensive catalog of accessories available for this model.
LOTS AND LOTS OF HORSEPOWER
The new engine from the Italian factory is a good showcase for the updating and innovation that Moto Guzzi intends to put into its future units. It’s a lighter, narrower and more compact engine, in which various mechanical elements have been relocated and sized to allow it to be placed at a lower point, improving the location of the center of gravity and consequently the dynamic behavior of the V100 S.
There are more than a thousand cubic centimeters, capable of generating 115 Cv and a torque to make many other motorcycles jealous. This torque manages to push the whole assembly in any gear and at any rev range with surprising vigor. This is also helped by the well-staggered 6-speed gearbox and the bidirectional quickshifter (also a first for the Guzzi), which, despite being a little “harsh”, turns out to be an asset for this bike.
The ride-by-wire system allows the bike to be fully configured in 4 different maps, in order to adapt the response of the engine, electronic aids, suspension and adaptive aerodynamics to the needs of each moment.
At the end of the power unit is a well-designed exhaust with a low, addictive sound that brings out the V100 S’s sporty side. It’s a shame that the exhaust pipe underneath the bike hasn’t been given any aesthetic attention, leaving a “clamshell” that stands out from all the design and build quality. A simple cover to match the manifolds would have made all the difference.
The tried and tested Pirelli Angel GT2 (in 190 rear size) do the arduous and important task of keeping everything on the ground with distinction. A little higher up, the luxurious and effective Ohlïns suspension set-up makes everything look easy. The semi-active and fully adjustable Smart EC2.0 fork, together with the semi-active and adjustable TTX Smart EC2.0 rear monoshock, will delight anyone who rides this machine. All the settings are controlled electronically on the TFT (with the exception of the rear spring preload), allowing us to have the best configuration available for each type of riding and road surface. In addition, and with the support of the information provided by the control unit, the set anticipates small adjustments depending on the driving we are doing and the reading of the road, even affecting the adjustment of the steering damper. A treat!
Braking is handled by Brembo equipment, with two 320 mm floating discs and four-piston calipers at the front and a 280 mm disc with two opposed-piston calipers. Both axles are equipped with cornering ABS. The feel on the adjustable lever with radial pump and on the pedal is progressive and yet powerful, even under heavy consecutive braking.
LED, TFT, IMU, Quickshifter, Cornering ABS, Cruise Control, TPMS, driving modes, Apps, adaptive aerodynamics, cornering lights, heated grips and so on are all expressions and acronyms we’ve become accustomed to over the last few years. What we weren’t used to was seeing all these elements together on Moto Guzzi technical data sheets.
Yes, the V100 S has (practically) everything!
I could go into all the equipment here, but many of them are already well known. Instead, I’d rather highlight a few that really deserve to be talked about.
The TFT (very similar to the ones used by Aprilia) is very complete and well structured, and it’s easy to find the information you need.
Here, we interact with the menus and control all the other electronic elements, such as the riding modes, the level of the heated grips or even the windshield position adjustment.
The great novelty is the retractable panels on the tank. These are electronically controlled and make this Moto Guzzi go down in history as the first production bike to use adaptive aerodynamic elements. The final effect isn’t very significant, but it’s sure to be a talking point when you present the bike to your friends!
A brief word also for the cornering lights, which only illuminate “a little something”, and for the heated grips, which help, but could be warmer.
The V100 S Mandello seems to me to be the Moto Guzzi of the future. It breaks with tradition, clearly improves in terms of motorization, suspension and equipment and innovates in terms of technology, and is now capable of competing shoulder to shoulder with the most modern motorcycles on the market.
ON THE ROAD
The riding position is good and allows you to cover a good few kilometers without too much fatigue. The aerodynamic protection elements, while not extremely effective, are sufficient to maintain high speeds in comfort and the Ohlïns suspensions are a clear asset on this model.
The engine seems to be much stronger than the figures show, always able to push hard and with a very distinctive sound. It would be even better if there were no vibrations throughout the rev range. In our test, we managed a pleasing average of 5 liters per 100 kilometers.
233 kg in running order is a slightly high figure, which is noticeable as soon as you take the bike off the side stand, but in motion it feels agile and maneuverable.
The color scheme of our test unit is superb (personal opinion), and there is also a black and grey version. The price of €18,499 is a bit high, but easily justifiable considering the level and quality of the equipment.