Motoring journalists from 13 countries in the Asia Pacific region were here in Kuala Lumpur to test-ride the new V100 Mandello.
I was among the journalists invited for the ride, starting from Moto Guzzi Malaysia home at Motoplex Petaling Jaya and heading to Genting Highlands.
The V100 Mandello is a roadster with plenty of tourer characteristics, and boasts a compact liquid-cooled 1,042cc, 90-degree transverse V-twin engine with a six-speed transmission, delivering 115 bhp and 105 Nm of torque.
Its impressive features include a six-axis IMU, cornering ABS, traction control, quickshifter, and the first of its kind in the world -active aero wings.
The standard variant has a Kayaba manual-adjust suspension setup, aero wings, an electrically adjustable screen, four rider modes, LED lights with the iconic winged DRL.
The S, meanwhile, adds tyre pressure monitoring, smartphone integration, and an up/down quickshifter, along with Öhlins semi-active suspension.
I had the opportunity to ride both variants.
Despite its weight of 233kg, the bike's slim design made it easy to manoeuvre through traffic from Motoplex Petaling Jaya to the foothills of Genting Highlands.
It maintained excellent composure at low rpm in the city.
The V100 Mandello is priced at RM99,900 and the S variant is at RM115,900 (prices are not inclusive of registration, road tax and insurance).
On the Karak Highway towards Genting Highlands, the bike provided an exhilarating ride.
My favourite mode was Sport, one of the three available riding modes along with Tour, Road, and Rain.
With every twist of the throttle, the bike effortlessly surged forward.
The torque was amazing and pleasant.
The riding position was comfortable, thanks to the wide and firm seat and handlebars, perfect for long rides.
The gears and clutch worked in unison offering a flawless transition from the first to the sixth gear and vice versa.
It handles corners and bends with ease, offering a smooth highway experience.
In the scenic Genting Highlands, the bike truly shined.
It effortlessly conquered sweeping corners, twisties, and hairpins. I confidently navigated corners, appreciating the outstanding performance of the Öhlins suspension.
The Kayaba suspension on the standard variant was commendable, with no complaints.
The V100 Mandello line-up is fitted with active aero winglets on the fuel tank that reduce wind blasts to reduce rider fatigue, especially during long-distance riding.
I was lucky to experience this, where the winglets effectively popped out to deflect raindrops while riding in the rain mode — a cool feature.
While riding in the mountains, an unexpected encounter with another rider coming into my path forced me to engage in emergency braking.
My heart stopped for a second, but the Brembo brakes and the ABS brought the bike to a stop with ease, and only then I realised that the front callipers bite harder compared to the rear.
My only concern during uphill riding was the bike's weight and it took me about 20 minutes before I could dance with the V100 Mandello in the highlands.
Overall, Moto Guzzi has nailed it with this bike.