• Moto Morini Seiemmezo : First Ride Review

An Italian Scrambler that takes fun seriously. Sign us up!

The Indian mid-capacity motorcycle market is a lucrative one. It is a fickle one as well and a tough nut to crack. The only motorcycles able to do so are the ones from the land of the Orient. Recently Italian bikemaker Moto Morini jumped on the bandwagon with three 650cc models. While both face stiff competition, the motorcycles have two distinct traits - Italian flair and serious off-road ability and that too in different flavours (ADV, scrambler and roadster). We spent a day mucking about with the first two lets but focus on the Scrambler for now.

Design:

The Seiemmezo Scrambler screams divertimento in all angles! The overall design looks proper Italian! Vintage roots, a racing pedigree and all things Italian coalesce with passion and make their way into this well-sculpted motorcycle. The matte grey finished round LED headlamp gets black detailing inserts and well-integrated LED DRL surround. The off-road styled front beak, an edgy compact windscreen with minuscule turn indicators signals its off-roading intent. Its chunky yet chiselled fuel tank with the logo having double M’s and an eagle with wings spread reminds me of Major Glory from Dexter’s laboratory while the tan ribbed seat seems to have time travelled from the 60s. The Scrambler stands apart from its road-going counterpart with its raised tail section, especially the compact LED tail lamp.

Another impressive aspect is the five-inch TFT display and its well laid out and crisp display. It gets Bluetooth with call alerts but misses out on navigation assistance. The backlit switchgear too feels premium and feels in sync with the rest of the motorcycle’s fit and finish levels.

Ergonomics:

The riding position is fairly upright with wide recesses on the large 15.5-litre fuel tank to grab and grip onto the tank pads when you wish to go scrambling. The ribbed seat is wide and well padded and at a user-friendly height of 785mm which helps manage the Scrambler’s 215kg kerb weight. Riding the Scrambler, I am surprised at how friendly this motorcycle is to hoon around in the muck. I reckon the Scrambler’s comfortable ergonomics and seat should make it a good motorcycle to cover long distances in.

Performance:

The Seiemmezo  Scrambler packs a  649cc liquid-cooled, parallel twin motor that delivers tractability over outright performance. It makes a modest 55PS and 54Nm. In fact, that’s 6PS less than its X-Cape 650 ADV cousin.  Having the opportunity to ride the Scrambler at Pro Dirt Adventure, on a track laden with technical climbs, descends and some jumps with crazy air time, the responsive engine has good mid-range grunt. The gears too are well-spaced out for trail riding and the shifts themselves feel positive and bordering on slick.

The radiator picked up a lot of much during our muddy excursions and while this caused the engine to run hot, the heat is deflected well away from the rider. Although we couldn’t find a clear stretch of tarmac to safely check out acceleration, the motorcycle feels quick to rev and grunty enough to get up to triple-digit speeds with ease. Moto Morini claims the Seiemmezo tops out at 170kph.While it might not feel as quick as the 650cc competition, the Seiemmezo does sound rorty!

The Scrambler misses out on rider aids like traction control, engine maps or even a slipper clutch but the motor’s linear and predictable power delivery ensured that I did not miss any of these on the seriously wet and mucky ride.

Ride and handling:

Underpinnings include a tubular frame suspended by Kayaba upside-down fork and monoshock. While the suspension travel is a modest 120mm at front and 118mm at the back, the fully adjustable front suspension allows you to fine tune it to your liking. Even the dual-purpose tyres come in a modest 18-inch front and 17-inch sizes. That said, the Seiemmezo is the one of most affordable motorcycles to offer spoked wheels with tubeless tyres. While the Pirelli MT 60 RS tyres did a fine job of keeping the rubber side down, I was spoilt by the grip offered by the Scorpion Rally STR’s on the larger X-Cape 650 ADV. That said the Seiemmezo is a lot of fun to hoon around and its balanced frame, accessible controls for stand-up riding and linear powerplant make it quite predictable and fun to hoon around. In fact, the only time you would feel its weight would be if you had to pick it up after a spill. On the road, the Scrambler handles well and feels eager to turn into corners.

 There are two aspects however, that play spoilsport in the offroad experience. The large turning radius makes taking tight turns in trails a three-point turn exercise. The other is the lack of switchable ABS modes which the X-Cape gets. It has dual 298mm front discs and a 255mm disc with dual channel ABS. While the brakes offer good bite and feedback, I felt the ABS to kick in earlier than desired.

Verdict:

What I like about the Seiemmezo Scrambler is that it does not just pretend to be a scrambler, it delivers on the fun quotient of one. Sure, there are improvements to be had, like a larger 19-inch wheel and longer travel suspension. Pricing remains key and a major deciding factor on wether the Scrambler will sell like hot cakes or bite the dust. For now the Seiemmezo 6 ½ Scrambler comes across as a fun and competent motorcycle.

Bikes First rides

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