MOTO MORINI X-CAPE 650 (2022-on) Review | Owner & Expert Ratings

Highlights

  • Free-revving parallel twin engine
  • Capable, practical and pleasing to ride
  • Sub-£7000 launch price with impressive spec

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 59 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.3 in / 845 mm)
Weight: High (512 lbs / 232 kg)

Prices

New £6,995
Used £6,200 - £6,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The middleweight adventure market is hotting up with Yamaha, Aprilia and Triumph all fighting for the biggest slice of the pie and yet the Moto Morini X-Cape 650 should not be ignored.

The X-Cape is capable, practical and pleasing. It is somewhat basic, with no riding modes and it is also a little on the heavy side, but it’s a welcome £4000 cheaper than Aprilia’s Tuareg 660 and £1500 less than Triumph’s Tiger 660 Sport.

Many will be happy to have fewer bells and whistles, but more cash left in their pocket. But with a fully adjustable Marzocchi front end, Brembo brakes, Bosch ABS and Pirelli tyres as standard... there’s still a lot to like.

The Moto Morini is comfortable, boasts a decent build quality and certainly stands out from the crowd. And all for under £7000.

Riding the Moto Morini X-Cape 650 on the road

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Where the Moto Morini X-Cape immediately stands out is when you climb aboard. Even with the taller of the two seat options (845mm or 820mm) you feel yourself nestling into the bike in a way that makes you feel at one with it, and it’s very well balanced.

This means the weight isn’t really an issue, even on gravel tracks or light trails. It’s slim and narrow just where it matters, making this a twin that thinks it’s a single in terms of its agile handling, and its carefully designed seat and flanks make it easy to ride standing up on the pegs.

It’s a genuine go-anywhere motorcycle and can tackle light off-road work without any difficulty. It will appeal to dirt-riding novices or those wanting to explore gravel trails or farm tracks.

Exploring a light trail on the Moto Morini X-Cape 650

The Morini is comfortable too, with adequate (if not exactly spacious) room for a passenger. Though the 845mm seat height may be a little tall for some shorter riders, it’s perfect for my 5ft 10in and getting both of your feet flat on the ground at a standstill is no problem at all.

Spec-wise, Marzocchi 50mm forks are fully adjustable, have 160mm of wheel travel and are set at a 25.5° rake, with a generous 123mm of trail. There’s 135mm of movement at the rear with the X-Cape’s aluminium swingarm working a direct-action KYB monoshock that’s adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Wheelbase is a rangy 1470mm.

Claimed wet weight is 232kg with the 18-litre tank at 90% capacity, which is pretty substantial compared to a full-tank Yamaha Ténéré 700 (205kg) or new Aprilia Tuareg 660 (204kg).

Front wheel set-up on the 2022 Moto Morini X-Cape 650

Elsewhere, the Bosch ABS can be switched off for trail riding and the Chinese-made 298mm steel front discs are gripped by twin-piston Brembo calipers. There’s a similar caliper biting the 260mm rear.

These work fairly well, but with so much weight to haul up, a bit of forward planning is advisable.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Though the Euro5-friendly 649cc, 59bhp parallel-twin engine needs to be revved for brisk progress, there’s a decent spread of torque. It's also made by Morini's Chinese neighbours CFMoto and acts as a stressed member in a robust-looking tubular steel frame.

The X-Cape pulls strongly from 2000rpm in sixth gear with smooth fuelling and zero transmission snatch.

The parallel-twin engine is similar to a Kawasaki 650 lump

There’s no trace of an abrupt pick-up from a closed throttle, just a smooth, liquid response which adds to the sense of controllability, and the X-Cape’s flawless gearshift and light clutch action make riding in traffic or off-road a breeze.

The parallel twin is torquey, free-revving and smooth, thanks to the single gear-driven counter balancer and hefty weights in the ends of the handlebars there’s no vibration at any revs, even when the needle heads towards the 10,500rpm rev limiter.

The delivery is pretty linear with a slight surge at 7000rpm. A 47bhp version is coming for A2 licence-holders, too. Because there’s still a conventional cable throttle it doesn’t have riding modes or traction control.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Moto Morini don’t have much of a presence in the UK. At the time of writing there are just three dealers, which could make servicing a bind, and none of them are carrying stock yet – although the bikes are due before long.

The X-Cape is also entering a challenging part of the market, up against some of Britain’s best-selling bikes where the competition is fierce and proven.

However, as the first Moto Morini to be developed under Zhongneng ownership the X-Cape is a simple yet effective all-round offering at a very tempting price, with a proven engine, ease of use and comfort, and decent build quality given its pricing. It looks pretty chippy too.

Parked up on the 2022 Moto Morini X-Cape 650

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Don’t be put off by the slightly daft name, with decent build quality and distinctive design, the new Moto Morini is a pleasing and practical machine.

It’s reasonable value, too. Coming in at £6995, the Morini is £2500 cheaper than the best-selling middleweight adventure bike, Yamaha’s Ténéré 700, and £1500 below Triumph’s also new Tiger 660 Sport. It’s a bit like finding premium lager in that bargain-bin aisle at Aldi.

The Moto Morini X-Cape 650 is great value for money

The reason for the X-Cape’s affordability is that Moto Morini are owned by scooter giant Zhongneng. So, although designed and developed in Morini’s factory in Italy, it’s built in China.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite the sub-£7000 price tag, the X-Cape boasts an impressive spec. The 7in full-colour TFT dash gives the bike a touch of modern class, while the tapered handlebars mounted on 60mm risers provide a commanding riding position.

A TFT dash is a great addition to the X-Cape

What's more, the dash supports Bluetooth connectivity to your phone, and there’s a dual USB port for charging on the go, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The screen is adjustable too and can be altered one-handed over its 50mm range.

Elsewhere, the aluminium swingarm works on a direct-action cantilever KYB monoshock. The unit is adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping. There’s 135mm of rear wheel travel.

Specs

Engine size 649cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled DOHC 8-valve parallel-twin four-stroke
Frame type Tubular steel diamond
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 845mm
Bike weight 232kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi upside down forks
Rear suspension Kayaba cantilever monoshock adjustable for preload, damping
Front brake Twin 298mm discs, two-piston Brembo caliper
Rear brake Two-piston caliper with 255mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost -
New price £6,995
Used price £6,200 - £6,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 59 bhp
Max torque 41.3 ft-lb
Top speed 109 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2022: Moto Morini X-Cape 650 launched.

Other versions

There is only one version of the Moto Morini X-Cape 650, however it's available in three colours for 2022.

Owners' reviews for the MORINI X-CAPE 650 (2022 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their MORINI X-CAPE 650 (2022 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your MORINI X-CAPE 650 (2022 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
5 out of 5
26 September 2022 by cooky

Version: Spoke wheels

Year: 2022

Absolutely brilliant bike! I bought this from owning a Honda nc750x. Put the two bikes together and there’s no competition X cape wins hands down. Build quality is far superior and with twin disc brembo’s upside down marizochi forks what’s not to dislike? Oh maybe the heat from the engine but I believe a lot of euro 5 bikes are like it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

You don’t really notice the 220kg wet weight on the move. Perfect all rounder. You can purchase a shorter seat height if you so desire. I’ve done over 400 miles and only 2 fuel stops. Bike is very very comfortable.

Engine 4 out of 5

Great engine although can run hot due to cat and euro 5. Will need a little extra thought when overtaking over 70. Drop down a gear and all we be fine.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Just covered nearly 3000 miles with a trip to the Pyrenees and down to southern Spain. Bike was flawless!

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

TFT screen, brembo brakes and suspension are excellent as is the seat and L.E.D lights. Switch gear light up when travelling in darkness which is brilliant. Pirelli Scorpion tyres are great rain or dry. Not tried off road. Bike is more on road than off I say. As advertised as Adventouring.

Buying experience: Bought from dealers in stoke on Trent Motohub. Ben was Very helpful.

5 out of 5 Excellent X-Cape
30 August 2022 by Oly

Year: 2022

Smooth as silk all through the range. Beautiful as well! I think this bike looks gorgeous. So many people come over to look and ask questions. Never had that once with my 1200 tiger. Easy to ride, standing position is just spot on for me. Some great touches like illuminated switch gear. Usb socket as standard.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Don’t listen to any false comments about the weight, the front brakes work fantastically! I use one finger all the time. Both levers are adjustable as standard

Engine 5 out of 5

Torque is there in any gear. Need to overtake or accelerate out a corner and she does.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Superb finish. I wasn’t in the market for a new bike. Came across an X-Cape at the ABR and had to have one!

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Not played with any suspension adjustments yet. Love the huge dash. Scrolling through a queen album linked to a Cardo unit is easy!

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