First Ride: 2007 Moto Morini 91-2

Corsaro too lairy? Then here's a more amiable naked.

0
By Jon Urry on Wed, 2 Apr 2008 - 12:04

Visordown Motorcycle News


Nostalgia is a powerful thing. There is no way half the crap that's sold on eBay would have been shifted if it wasn't for someone, somewhere, remembering their youth. And the bike world is no different.

There is currently a revival in the retro bike market, or at least for modern bikes that look like their predecessors. Moto Guzzi, Ducati's Sportclassics and Triumph's Bonneville range are now joined by another famous name of yesteryear enjoying a resurgence: Moto Morini.

Those who aren't of an age that goes misty eyed at the mention of the Moto Morini 31/2 perhaps won't understand the significance, so here's a potted history. The Morini 31/2 was a 350cc V-twin of the late 70s that was fast for its time and fell into a cheap insurance bracket. Maybe not as quick as RD350s and 400s of the day, but for those with a discerning palate, desirable nonetheless. And the 91/2 pays homage (read 'cashes in') on the nostalgia created by this bike.Which is all a bit confusing, because the 91/2 doesn't have a 350cc engine, or a 950cc as the name suggests, but rather a de-tuned version of the 1187cc V-twin used in the firm's Corsaro. Somewhat wisely Morini has taken the edge off the 140bhp engine and created a far less aggressive 117bhp version for the 91/2. And that's no bad thing as the Corsaro's engine is, quite frankly, a bit too much.

In its de-tuned guise there's still more than enough power to make the 91/2 fast enough to be fun while having the feeling of control that the Corsaro sometimes lacks, especially in the wet. From low down, power builds at a gentle rate while still retaining a bit of the Corsaro's top-end kick.

With Morini aiming the 91/2 at riders who want to cruise as well as sometime press on, the riding position is fairly relaxed. The pegs and bars are set at a comfortable rather than sporty position and the seat is sculpted to improve rider comfort. But this doesn't stop the Morini being fun to ride fast. On standard settings the suspension was a bit too hard, but there isn't much wrong with the 91/2's handling.

Although the riding and visual experience of the 91/2 is very pleasant the actual build quality leaves a bit to be desired. From a distance the bike certainly turns heads, but get up close and there are a few rough edges that we wouldn't expect on a bike costing £8499. Ducati's Sportclassic range, arguably the Morini's main competition, is far better finished and has a wider dealer back-up. Personally I'd probably opt for something from that range over the Morini.

That said, if the 91/2 floats your nostagic boat, and you're prepared to put up with a few cut corners, the Morini looks great and does go well.

VERDICT 3/5

Good looking and fun, but build quality doesn't reflect the price

SPECS

TYPE - STREETBIKE

PRODUCTION DATE - 2007

PRICE NEW - £8499

ENGINE CAPACITY - 1187cc

POWER - 117bhp@8500rpm

TORQUE - 75.2lb.ft@6700rpm

WEIGHT - 198kg

SEAT HEIGHT - 800mm

FUEL CAPACITY - 20.8L

TOP SPEED - 145mph

0-60 - n/a

TANK RANGE - N/A

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. There is no way half the crap that's sold on eBay would have been shifted if it wasn't for someone, somewhere, remembering their youth. And the bike world is no different.

There is currently a revival in the retro bike market, or at least for modern bikes that look like their predecessors. Moto Guzzi, Ducati's Sportclassics and Triumph's Bonneville range are now joined by another famous name of yesteryear enjoying a resurgence: Moto Morini.

Those who aren't of an age that goes misty eyed at the mention of the Moto Morini 31/2 perhaps won't understand the significance, so here's a potted history. The Morini 31/2 was a 350cc V-twin of the late 70s that was fast for its time and fell into a cheap insurance bracket. Maybe not as quick as RD350s and 400s of the day, but for those with a discerning palate, desirable nonetheless. And the 91/2 pays homage (read 'cashes in') on the nostalgia created by this bike.

Which is all a bit confusing, because the 91/2 doesn't have a 350cc engine, or a 950cc as the name suggests, but rather a de-tuned version of the 1187cc V-twin used in the firm's Corsaro. Somewhat wisely Morini has taken the edge off the 140bhp engine and created a far less aggressive 117bhp version for the 91/2. And that's no bad thing as the Corsaro's engine is, quite frankly, a bit too much.

In its de-tuned guise there's still more than enough power to make the 91/2 fast enough to be fun while having the feeling of control that the Corsaro sometimes lacks, especially in the wet. From low down, power builds at a gentle rate while still retaining a bit of the Corsaro's top-end kick.

Continue the Moto Morini 91/2 Review

Crash Media Group
Visordown is part of the CMG Full Throttle Network© : welcoming over 3 million consumers each month