Through Europe Imports, Moto Morini is about to launch the X-Cape (variant of escape, geddit?) 650 adventure bike here, with sharp pricing. Competition includes CFMoto’s 800MT twins, along with Yamaha Tenere 700, and the incoming Tuareg 660 from Aprilia and Tiger Sport 660 from Triumph.
Under the ‘Ride Freedom’ slogan, Moto Morini is now and has been for some time a division of Zhongneng Vehicle Group or ZVG.
What the new machine brings is Italian styling mixed with Chinese production smarts. Despite sharp pricing it features twin Brembo brakes under (switchable) ABS control, 50mm fully adjustable Marzocchi USD forks, a KYB shock adjustable for preload and rebound, 19/17-inch spoked wheels and a seven-inch TFT. Seat height will be variable at 810 or 835mm. Expect an adjustable screen and Bluetooth-enabled dash as well.
The 232kg middleweight combines a tubular steel trellis frame and aluminium swingarm. It is powered by a liquid cooled eight-valve 649cc IL2 engine producing 45kW (8500rpm) and 56Nm (7000rpm). An 18L tank should imbue it with good touring range.
X-Cape 650 is expected to be popular not just because of price but also because it offers a mix of off- and on-road ability so will work for adventure riding, touring and commuting.
Local pricing kicks off at $12,990, slightly beneath CFMoto 800MT adventure bikes, though these are 800cc machines. These significantly undercut the class fave, Yamaha’s Tenere 700 at $17k.