Morini poised for desert action: Italians hint at rugged new up-spec’d X-Cape rally edition

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Moto Morini have shown a glimpse of a possible rally raiding future by showing a mocked up adventure version of their X-Cape in Milan.

Appearing on the firm’s stand splatted with mud, the ADV-R (R for Racing) features visible upgrades over the road-going X-Cape.

The 649cc parallel twin remains unchanged, but helping it breathe is an SC Project Racing exhaust system that should add a few ponies to the existing 60bhp at 8250rpm.

Moto Morini X-Cape ADV-R SC Project exhaust

For added off-road protection, the engine is cradled by a steel tubular crash bar that is available as an optional extra on the X-Cape and bolts on to the same steel trellis. Unlike the standard black add-on, the ADV-R features a silver version to complement the silver, black, gold and white livery.

Additional extras include a full aluminium sump guard – a €200 extra on the basic model – plus hand and lever guards and an aluminium radiator screen to help keep the bike protected on rutted lanes.

An Öhlins shock with a remote preload adjuster damps the rear, while the original 50mm fork tubes appear to remain unchanged.

Moto Morini X-Cape ADV-R front brakes

Elsewhere, front brake shrouds protect the dual discs, which again look unchanged from the base model.

Gold wheels adorn the ADV-R with a 19in front and 17in rear providing off-road capability, with Metzeler Karoo 3s replacing the original Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs.

Stylistically, the R benefits from a slightly more aggressive look at the rear to accommodate the raised off-road seat, which may be a problem for shorter riders as the standard model already measures up at 845mm.

Moto Morini X-Cape ADV-R rear hock adjuster
Moto Morini X-Cape ADV-R rear shock adjuster

Should it make production, the ADV-R’s trail focused extras should make it a contender. The X-Cape retails for £7000 as standard, considerably less than a Yamaha Ténéré 700. The Racing model would go up against Yamaha’s £11,800 World Raid edition.

Moto Morini X-Cape ADV-R in detail

Rally raider: The ADV-R enters a popular segment of the market, with more riders opting for lighter more manageable adventure bikes for on and off-road adventures.

Hit the trails: The bike is based on the X-Cape, which features a decent 18-litre fuel tank as standard – plenty of juice for getting off the beaten track.

Added adjustment: An Öhlins rear shock with remote adjuster replaces the standard KYB preload adjustable monoshock.

Make some noise: The full SC Project exhaust will unlock a better soundtrack, but it’s not road legal and unlikely to feature on any production models.

In safe hands: The reinforced handguards will protect your fingers from knocks against branches when riding off-road.