Here’s an Intermot release that we forgot. Well, not so much forget, as ignored because it’s just the normal Moto Guzzi Stelvio with standard sump guard, engine protectors, handlebar bash guards , aluminum panniers and halogen spotlights, but hey, there’s a new “NTX” sticker too. Actually, dismissing the Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX due to silly stickering doesn’t do it justice. In a class crowded by feature bloat and the kind of technology you wouldn’t want to rely on in deepest Mongolia, this Moto Guzzi is probably the most direct rival for the GS that there is.
The heart of the Stelvio and the thing that endows it with its most closely GS-like character is the 1,151cc, air-cooled, four-valve, 90° v-twin. That kicks out 105bhp of unflustered power at 7,250rpm and 83lb/ft of flexible torque at 5,800rpm. That has to motivate a bike that weighs 251kg/553lbs (wet). That compares reasonably well to the BMW R1200GS’s 110bhp, 88lb/ft and 229kg/504lbs. What both bikes really have in common are simple, air-cooled twins that were designed centuries ago, but have recently been updated with four-valve heads.
The rest of the bike is equally simple. There’s a few features in the form of an adjustable screen, handlebar-operated glovebox and switchable ABS, but really, this is just an easy going engine in a tall chassis, a big screen and shaft drive. There’s around an inch less wheel travel than the GS, but the Guzzi’s telescopic front suspension is actually fully adjustable while the rear only omits compression damping adjustment.
We suppose the way to think about the Stelvio is as a bike that doesn’t quite achieve on-paper parity with the GS, but should be an equally capable bike for people that prefer Italian character over German brand snobbery.