The new 6-Speed Morini unit is a revy and noisy four-stroke engine that gives an exciting feeling to the bike, and is easily noticed even with the stock silencer. It is very much so a 2 stage engine that can trundle along at very low revs when in the city and looking for economy or can be wound up to the screaming 9,000rpm redline to really get the bike shifting.
However, as cited by MCN, the unit has a tendancy to vibrate a lot. Sachs also hasn’t fixed the unusual gearing which makes the bike frustrating to ride at times. It’s also a shame as the Morini feels like it could give so much more, but the bike has been held back by a large diameter rear sprocket giving it, realistically, top end of 57mph. This is a common opinion amongst all X-Road riders. A smaller sprocket would make things easier on the engine and rider, but this will be discussed in ‘Equipment’.
Ride and Handling
The big fat chunky tyres and low-slung frame make this bike a joy to ride. You really can throw it into whatever the road gives you, and know the bike will come back.
The large front and rear brakes provide more than suitable stopping power, but are not overwhelming in performance, making urban riding a breeze.
A well padded seat with a very effective textile covering gives a great comfort to riding, and allows any surface water to be simply brushed off after a rainy day or night.
Long travel on the front forks and a smooth, fully adjustable, rear swing arm make sure that the bike is always stays in touch, giving a smooth ride when you want it or letting you feel all the bumps when you really want to get going. This really is the star point of the X-Road, giving reams confidence to the rider.
The X-Road as a package is ‘good enough’. However the front mudguard is hopeless. Most water or muck is thrown up and over the guard into the rider’s face. I don’t understand how this could have been overlooked. Just a few inches lower and it would prove to be much more useful. On the subject of which, the bike entirely lacks a rear mud guard meaning at the engine, underseat silencer and pretty much the whole rear of the bike is plastered by whatever you ride over. This is very irritating.
The oil filler cap is the most stupidly positioned part on the bike, right behind the trellis frame, making it very hard to reach and requiring some sort of ‘siphoning’ technique and plenty of spare time to fill up if ever needed.
Aftermarket parts are non-existent, and as I and any rider I have spoken to is aware, Sachs provide no sort of sprockets or other parts whatsoever making the bike very limited.
Quality and Reliability
I have had nothing but trouble with the X-Road. The quality is there, the reliability is not. Over the last 7 months of ownership I have experienced failure after failure, making this bike perform appallingly in this category. Problems from rear bearing cases shattering whilst riding to brake failures and gearbox issues, the bike is frankly a shoddy piece of kit.
However, I hasten to add that this may be unique to my bike [Friday bike, anyone?]. But, none the less, this kind of trustworthiness has really drowned my passion for riding the X-Road. It’s a real shame.
For what it is, the X-Road is slightly overpriced. The runners from the other major ‘Supermoto’ players seem to provide a much better package overall and at a much better price.
Economy wise, the bike is fantastic. MCN lists a 45mpg average for the old Suzuki unit, but by my calculations I have generally experience around 70mpg out of the bike which is brilliant. Be aware though, rev it high and it drinks the fuel. Basically, ride economically and you will get economic figures.
On face value the bike is a quality package. However, as you look deeper, you begin to see the cracks appear. Too many let downs make this bike just not worth what it’s made out to be.
If you’re prepared to face the trouble that may come with the bike [use that 2 year warranty wisely], it can be an excellent first bike that is fun to ride and get the adrenaline flowing. Old timers, stay well way.