2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello review | Entirely brand new, and it has wings!

Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello 2023 review

With 100 years of heritage behind them, it’s time for the 2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello to take the Italian marque into the future - with active aero wings!

It’s not often that we see the launch of an entirely new motorcycle with no direct predecessors, but this latest offering from the Mandello Del Lario factory is seriously promising - we were out at the home of one of Italy’s most luxurious motorcycle brands (of which there are a few) to ride the new Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello.

Moto Guzzi has gone right back to the drawing board with the V100 Mandello & V100 Mandello S, designed from the ground up with a brand-new compact liquid-cooled 1042cc 90º transverse V-twin with 115 bhp & 105 Nm, a full electronics suite with 6-axis IMU, cornering ABS, traction control, quickshifter, active aero wings (for the first ever time on a motorcycle), and more - even heated grips!

But that’s not to say this V100 doesn’t pay homage to the storied 100-year history of Moto Guzzi - with the 1976 Le Mans appearing in the under-seat slits in the side panels, the 1981 Le Mans 850 III given a nod with the top fairing. The bike itself is positioned as a sporty roadster & touring mix, focusing on comfort for the rider with a neutral riding position, but with pure thrills on the twistier roads.

Unfortunately for us, the typically sun-soaked Lake Como was surrounded by fog and looming rain clouds… our set route was set to twist down from the Mandello factory, over to Sormano, down to Pusiano, and back across to loop around Lecco to Varenna and home. Factor in the rain, and this became much more of a UK road test!

Naturally, the same elegance and poise on the road we’d expect from Moto Guzzi is reflected in the overall design, the designers making a point of highlighting the engine’s dominance in its silhouette with cutouts in the body panels, a bold and muscular midriff and total geometric construction. In my opinion, the styling of this bike is spot on.

Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Price & Availability

Depending on the model you opt for, the 2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello is priced up at £13,500 for the standard model with adjustable 41mm Kayaba forks, whilst the V100 Mandello S is priced at £15,750, with semi-active Öhlins electronic suspension, quick shifter, tyre pressure monitoring system, heated grips and Moto Guzzi’s MIA phone integration.

We’re told that the first models are due to land in UK dealerships in November, which does technically make it a 2022 model… 

Colour options depend on the model you opt for, the standard edition has white & red with gold wheels, whilst the S has grey/green (as ridden) and full grey with black wheels. The grey & green option is spectacular. 

There is also the Aviazone Navale limited edition, an F-35B jet-fighter-esque limited 1913 unit run to commemorate their ties with the Italian navy - very fitting with those aero wings that deploy at speed.

The standard V100 Mandello has the Kayaba manual-adjust suspension setup, aero wings, electric adjust screen, 4 rider modes, LED lights (with iconic winged DRL), the S model adds heated grips, tyre pressure monitoring, smartphone integration, quickshifter (up/down) and the Öhlins semi-active suspension.

As always, style is subjective. But in my opinion, the overall design here is impeccable, with top build quality on show on what is a surprisingly compact machine. The single-sided swinging arm impresses, the exhaust is not the full trumpet case treatment, and with little to no wires on show, the steel frame & body panels surround the highlight of the show - that motor.

So, more on this new V-twin.


It’s an entirely re-designed 1042cc V-twin from Moto Guzzi, with 4-valves per cylinder, DOHC camshaft timing with finger followers, itself housed as a stressed member in the chassis and made 103mm shorter than any previous Guzzi motor, plus tilted forward by 5%, all in the name of additional legroom.

Now a liquid-cooled unit, a first for Moto Guzzi, the 90º transverse V-twin still gives you the characteristic throw when giving a bit of throttle - though a counter-rotating shaft minimises the overturning torque effect somewhat for rider comfort. 

Power figures are a peak 115 bhp @ 8700 rpm, and 105 Nm of torque at 6750 rpm, though 82% of that torque is available from around 3500 rpm, effectively giving you instant pull at the twist of the throttle from cruising speed. It’s certainly a torquey motor to ride with, and drier sections of the road really let us unleash the V-twin, and it was a smooth ride when riding steadily.

That power is put to the rear wheel via a shaft drive, 6-speed gearbox (the S model gets an up-down quickshifter), wet clutch with anti-hopping & assist, and ride-by-wire. You have a selection of 4 rider modes - road, tour, sport, and rain - which all adjust power delivery, engine braking and electronic interventions accordingly. Though the differences between road and tour were fairly negligible, sport mode was noticeably aggressive (not quite the one on wet roads), and rain worked well to deliver a subdued cruise through sodden towns.

I felt the quickshifter was a bit lacking, in all honesty. Clicking up from first to second was often met with a sudden surge of power as the second gear engaged regardless of revs applied, and at some points even raising the front and rather drastically unsettling the ride. So much so that on the wet roads, I resorted back to using the clutch. Downshifts were fine, rewarded with a lovely reverberation and the occasional pop & bang.

Gearing, on the other hand, is great. Some V-twins feel somewhat short-geared, but you can hang onto gears when in twisty segments, utilising that immense torque to pull you out of corners - and negate having to touch the quickshifter when leaning!

In short, the motor here is the star of the show. It’s a big step forward for Moto Guzzi, and whilst it’s not the most powerful motor you can buy for the money, it’s a real treat to work with - you get the feeling of really pushing the motor to its limit without getting yourself into too much trouble.

Wings & Electronics

In a world-first for motorcycles, the V100 Mandello features active-aero winglets on the tank that will deploy depending on speed and rider mode. Said to deflect up to 22% of wind from the rider, backed with a mention of nearly 200 hours spent in the in-house wind tunnel, the little wings are paired with a 90mm electric-adjust windscreen to try its best to create that cocoon we all love when touring. 

Is it effective, or a bit of a gimmick? Well, I certainly didn’t notice much difference, but I’m a 6-foot-3 rider. I’d probably need a sail propped up on the tank to notice a huge difference. That being said they’ll certainly have some effect, even just to stop a few rain droplets from reaching your jacket.

Elsewhere, the electronics suite is packed to the rafters - particularly with the pricier S model. A six-axis IMU uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to read the bike’s position on the road, feeding information to the traction control, cornering abs module, and power delivery to provide (what it hopes) is the perfect riding experience depending on which rider mode you’re in.

The V100 Mandello S furthers this with the semi-active electronic suspension, feeding from the ECU and adapting the play of the fork, shock and steering damper, and the addition of the Moto Guzzi MIA smartphone integration.

If only the quick shifter was on board, too!

Brakes & Suspension

Both V100 Mandello models (Standard & S) have top spec Brembo discs with radial calipers with 4-pistons up front, mounted to twin 320mm discs, and a single 280mm disc with a floating 2-piston caliper at the rear. Mounted to the 17” front and rear wheels, they provide sharp punchy stopping power even in damp conditions - in part thanks to the grippy Pirelli Angel GT II hoops, which at no point squirmed on the wet roads.

Suspension varies between the two models, the standard going for a Kayaba 41mm adjustable (rebound/preload) fork and adjustable shock. The Mandello S has the 43mm Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension system, adjusted on the fly via rider modes, or manually when delving into the TFT rider mode menu.

Standard setup has dynamic and comfort modes, and as you’d guess, sports mode has the firmer ‘dynamic’ as standard, whilst touring and rain modes have the softer ‘comfort’ mode to soak up the road when in the saddle. My few stints in sports mode certainly felt much firmer than comfort, and considering the road conditions (both wet & bumpy), I was happily sat in comfort mode for the most part.

Whilst guilty of sometimes feeling a tad too soft, you can still fine-tune the settings to match your riding and/or weight on the bike - whether riding two-up or with luggage, with the rear suspension given a manual adjust if needing a quick adjustment with luggage (or lunch) weighing you down.

We only had the opportunity to ride with the electric Öhlins on the launch, but if the deciding factor is coming down to the suspension you’d be in good hands - or forks - either way. I will note that my left boot seemed to rub against the lower portion of the rear shock a tad. It didn’t seem to influence the ride at all, but I was fairly conscious of it. 

Rideability & Touring

Despite being a compact machine with 1475mm wheelbase, the kerb weight is listed as 233kg, and could be considered a tad weighty for some when moving it around by hand. On the road that compactness allows for a responsive ride, the steel tube frame gives a poised feel mid-corner, and it loves a switchback corner.

Seat height sits at a manageable 815mm, and the riding position is the classic ‘sit up and beg’ that results in a comfortable ride. Pegs and handlebars can be adjusted, but the default is a neutral-to-sport leg position, with arms reaching centrally in front of you for the bar (that tucks back a touch). 

Worth noting that the bike has been specifically designed for riders between the 5-95% bracket of the population, which Moto Guzzi says is 1.6 metres - 1.9 metres. 6 foot 3 is a touch over 1.9 metres, and I was happily sat in the curved saddle (which makes you feel like you’re sat in the bike as opposed to on top of it).

Weight feels like it is carried low, and it’s smooth and balanced at all speeds. Perfect for taller riders, and shorter riders will get on just fine, whether negating city traffic or heading for a weekend jaunt.

Whilst the screen is adjustable via the TFT menu, the stock screen does just about enough to deflect the majority of wind away. If after a bigger option, a touring screen can be found in the accessory catalogue and mounted on the 90mm screen adjuster.

You can also find low & high seats in that catalogue (with added heating elements to pair with the heated grips) - which are decent, and provide a toasty glove as opposed to an overcooked glove. There are also panniers (58L) for the clean mount system, and top box (37L) options. For long-distance riders, the 17-litre tank is said to provide over 220 miles of range, with an optimistic 4.7L /100km (60 mpg) figure. 

The 5” TFT display is vibrant, clear to read, and displays all of the essentials - odometer, fuel gauge, consumption, range, time, gear indicator, etc - plus can connect to your phone to allow Bluetooth controls (phone calls, music, turn-by-turn navigation). 

Ride modes are changed with a dedicated button on the right switchgear, with a long press getting you into the fine-tuning level, for instance allowing you to change the speed at which the active-aero will deploy. Standard wing deployment is set at 43 mph, and can be adjusted to 18-59 mph (or off altogether), coming back in when you drop below 12 mph. Note that rain mode has them always active.

What we like & dislike about the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello

What we like about the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello

  • Everything about it is new, Moto Modern Guzzi
  • Style icon - it has wings!
  • New V-twin engine has plenty of character

What we dislike about the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello

  • Quickshifter was a bit off
  • Would love it to be cheaper
  • I’d have loved to ride it for longer, and not in the rain!

2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Verdict

As far as first rides go on wet roads, the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello did an awful lot of impressing. The re-engineered compact 90º V-twin is a brilliant thing, the heritage and style you’d expect from Moto Guzzi is clear as day, and a modern-day take on where the Italian marque could be heading, with all of the new electronic trickery packed in. To note the aero wings, they’re a nice touch, but not quite as obviously effective as I imagined. Nice talking point at a bike-meet, though.

The V100 Mandello has been crafted as the bike to carry Moto Guzzi into the next 100 years of motorcycling, whilst celebrating the recently celebrated 100th year in 2021 - and it’s certainly a promising look at what could come in the next century. Whilst an electric two-wheeled future looms, we will no doubt see this V100 motor find a home in different guises, perhaps first up would be a pure adventure adaptation of the V85TT, seen accompanying us ridden by the guide riders…

Expect to see this motorcycle a lot in the UK, it may be a tad pricey compared to similar sports & touring motorcycles, but Moto Guzzi has perfectly positioned this machine to have no real direct competitor. In a world where large adventure motorcycles have seemingly morphed into touring bikes, this roadster tourer is a stylish re-entry and re-imagining of what a bike can do with modern tech. 

You can sense how much time & passion has gone into this bike, from the engine to the stitching on the seat, and the end result is seriously impressive - both in photos and on the road. It’s a true head-turner and has the road-going ability to back it up. It may not be the cheapest and most powerful option out there, but it’s a Guzzi, sometimes that character from the engine gives you a cringey smile that’s worth more than hitting 100mph as quick as possible.

Big thanks to Moto Guzzi for having us out to their home for the launch ride, full specs and further information can be found on their page.

Watch the 2023 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Video Review