Moto Morini is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer with roots spanning in excess of half a century. At present, the brand is enjoying quite a comeback thanks to acquisition by Chinese company Zhongneng Vehicle Group in 2018. Since then, the company has reinvented itself in the middleweight segment with models like the X-Cape 650 adventure bike and Seiemezzo neo-retro models.
Having said that, the time seems right for the motorcycle manufacturer to branch out into the premium segment. With its fellow manufacturers from China—QJ Motor and CFMOTO—moving up the ranks in terms of performance, as well as a slew of other Chinese manufacturers making their way to the global market following EICMA 2022, now’s the time for Zhongneng to leverage on the Moto Morini brand. Indeed, this is exactly what they’re doing, as Moto Morini is expected to release a new flagship adventure bike in 2024.
It’s none other than the Moto Morini X-Cape 1200, and just like its 650cc sibling, it’s designed to be both a long-distance tourer, and an off-road capable adventurer. In an article by MCN, Alberto Monni, Moto Morini’s general manager, confirmed that the Corsa Corta-V2 will be making a comeback for the 2024 model year. That said, the engine will have to undergo quite a development, as new Euro 5+ standards are set to take effect in January, 2024.
As for the bike itself, it will clearly be styled after the X-Cape 650, and feature modern, athletic lines. Performance-wise, it’s expected to produce anywhere from 120 to 140 horsepower, in order to keep up with the competition. It’s worth noting that Moto Morini’s Granpasso 1200, which made its debut in 2008, could serve as the technical basis for the engine. However, with just 118 horsepower on tap, tweaks to the performance will certainly have to be made if it wants to compete with the big adventure bikes from the top manufacturers.
Of course, outright performance isn’t the only answer, either. The upcoming X-Cape 1200 is expected to have a tubular steel frame with a lightweight aluminum swingarm. Suspension duties are also expected to be premium, featuring a full suite of adjustability. Furthermore, the bike is expected to come with a suite of electronic rider aids such as traction control, ABS, as well as multiple ride modes. The bike will roll on a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel, and feature dual-purpose tires.
Sources: Motorrad Online, MCN