Wrapped around the Milano’s monster engine is a chassis that screams Italian exotica – stiff, direct and compliant. It’s stable on the road and steers into corners with the crisp precision of a race bike. It doesn’t feel a million miles away from a Bimota – hardly a surprise since as one of their former test riders is now at Morini.
ABS-assisted front brakes serve up strong, reassuring power (although the rear is weak), while Pirelli Angel GT sports touring rubber is particularly reassuring in cold and wet conditions.
It may tempt you into spirited riding, but the Milano is as much about going slow and taking in the scenery. Snick a lazy gear, ride the motor’s torque and settle in.
Wide bars are perfectly placed to keep wrists and back happy, the seat is plusher than it looks and there’s so much legroom you won’t need to twist your legs up like spaghetti to get your toes on the pegs. Don’t expect much in the way of high-speed wind protection, though.
Few engines spew out such great gobs of torque as the one nestled in the new Moto Morini Milano’s trellis frame rails. With pistons the size of plasterer’s buckets the 1187cc motor, taken from their Corsaro super naked, does what big V-twins are supposed to do: ooze instant, neck-jarring grunt from the bowls of its rev range.
Moto Morini have tuned its new retro-styled machine, inspired by their 70s 3½, to have a deep well of torque for maximum on-road pleasure and they’ve succeeded.
114bhp might not sound like a lot for such a gargantuan engine, but you never feel short changed when you’re blasting from corner to corner, barely able to hang on, or overtaking traffic with merest sniff of throttle.
Despite having thumping great cylinders dancing beneath you and a deep, clacky exhaust note this is an engine with a power delivery as slick as a Milanese haircut with fuel injection perfectly refined by the Italian factory to be up there with the best ride by systems you’ll find on a Ducati, BMW and Triumph.
Very occasionally they’ll be a cough, or hesitation at part throttle, but that could be down to the handful of miles our box-fresh test machine has under its wheels.
Moto Morini’s V-twin motor has been refined for over a decade and have proved to be reliable and chassis parts are all high quality, so no problems there, either, but some Corsaros (which the Milano is based on) have suffered the odd electronic glitch here and there. There isn’t a huge dealer network, as you’d expect, but service back up is very good.
Its most obvious rival is the new £10,500 1200cc parallel twin-cylinder Triumph Speed Twin, which looks uncannily similar.
The Brit machine is cheaper, has a fraction more peak torque, is a tiny bit lighter and more refined.
But with the Moto Morini you get more instant, throbbing low down grunt. 18bhp more power, extra legroom and the kudos that comes with Italian made exclusivity.
Watch our video review of the Speed Twin here:
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Styling and those huge exhaust cans may polarise opinion, but what you can’t argue with is the way the Milano is lovingly screwed together and equipped, from the deep red metallic paintwork to the Brembo calipers and master cylinders, adjustable Mupo suspension and distinctive whirling exhaust tubes that that wouldn’t look out of place on Pompidou Centre.
Colour clocks are tricky to read at a glance, the gear indicator doesn’t keep up with the gears, green shift lights look like indicators and the high beam light comes on randomly. And 240mph: really? Analogue clocks would be more fitting.
As you’d expect, the Milano isn’t cheap and there’s also a Special Edition model. Only 30 are being built and it’s mechanically identical, save for a Thruxton style aluminium fuel tank strip, an ‘artisan made’ Moto Morini logo’d suede/leather seat with stitched Moto, two tone paintjob, Rizoma mirrors and indicators, white wheels, a bike cover and a Moto Morini jacket and helmet.