If you think that the Germans are the only ones who can build large dual-purpose bikes with all the necessary ingredients to satisfy seasoned adventurers, Moto Guzzi will prove you wrong with the new 2012 Stelvio 1200 NTX.
This machine impresses with its size, styling and standard features including fog lights, hand guards, an aluminum sump guard, crash bars for the engine, and black satin-finish aluminum sidebags. It doesn't miss a thing, not even a centre stand.
The 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX boasts the latest evolution of the "Quattrovalvole" engine, which was introduced in 2006 and is acknowledged by many as the most advanced version of the 90-degree transverse V-twin. It makes its presence felt with plenty of torque from just 4,000 rpm and powers ahead up to 7,000 rpm while producing a rhythmic crescendo. There's something charismatic and genuinely Italian about this engine that you'll never grow tired of.
The transmission of the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX is precise and easy to manipulate, ensuring shifts that are on par with the segment's average. However, I would have liked a softer, more rider-friendly clutch. On the plus side, the Stelvio uses a shaft final drive that requires no adjustment and less maintenance than a chain.
|There's something charismatic and genuinely Italian about this engine that you'll never grow tired of. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Playful and effective
Manoeuvring the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX and its 251 kg at low speeds feels like child's play thanks to the wide handlebar as well as the low seat height and centre of gravity. When tackling tight, winding roads, this sweet two-wheeler dances like a ballerina and attacks corners like a sportbike, even with a passenger and luggage on board. Moreover, the long-travel suspension does wonders on rough stretches, while the 90% pavement/10% dirt tires provide excellent grip on wet asphalt.
The ultra-rigid frame of the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX effectively takes the hits when you venture off the beaten path, and the brakes (with defeatable ABS) are progressive and competent at all times. Adventurers will also love the available range courtesy of the larger 32L fuel tank (up from 18 L).
Hungry for miles
No matter where and how you ride, the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX delivers sweet thrills, both from a mechanical and auditory standpoint. It proves lively and always eager to please. Clearly, there's hot Italian blood flowing through its veins.
At higher speeds, like on the highway, riders enjoy tremendous comfort thanks to generous wind protection from the adjustable windshield, a plush suspension, and a nicely padded and sculpted seat. This machine is hungry for miles regardless of road conditions.
|The 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX delivers sweet thrills, both from a mechanical and auditory standpoint. (Photo: France Ouellet)
With comprehensive equipment and a lovely Italian V-twin, the 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX stands as a viable, yet cheaper, alternative to full-fledged dual-purpose bikes from BMW and KTM.
Engine performance and sound