We spent a few days with the V100 Mandello - but was it long enough?
When the V100 Mandello was launched, I was excited to learn more about this new bike from Moto Guzzi that is taking a step forward in terms of technology in comparison to the Guzzi’s already out there.
My local dealer, On Yer Bike, asked if I would like to have the demonstrator bike for a few days so I could see for myself what all the fuss was about. It didn’t take me long to say yes.
4 Riding Modes is unnecessary as I found myself staying in Sport Mode most times.
For $16,247 USD, you are getting a lot of bike for your money.
At 233 kg shorter riders may be able to feel the weight more and struggle maneuvering the bike.
The sound of the exhaust is glorious but I think the styling could be better.
I would like heated grips fitted as standard across both models.
When I was at On Yer Bike picking up the Mandello, the bike was outside ready for me to pick up. It was interesting to see how much attention this bike was attracting just sitting there. The Mandello is the first time a water cooled engine has been used on a Guzzi although it still has their trademark 90 degree transverse V-twin engine.
Modes have been introduced to the Mandello too along with an electric screen, winglets, 5 inch color TFT screen and integrated LED cornering lights as standard!
Steeped in true vintage traditional Guzzi styling, the tank and side panels’ slits pay homage to the renowned 1976 Le Mans model and the 1981 Le Mans 850 III is honored by the fairing.
Moto Guzzi described the V100 Mandello as ‘A roadster with touring capability being a unique model that combines ‘fun factor’ and handling skills with comfort and wind protection for enjoyable long-distance journeys’.
Let’s take a closer look at the Mandello shall we.
At A Glance:
Weight: 233 kg
Different seat height options available: 815 mm standard; 835 mm high; 800 mm low
When I first sat on the Mandello, I was struck by how solid the bike felt. It is nicely put together and just felt like a quality bike.
The mandello weighs in at 233 kg so for me, at 5’6” this is a heavy bike. The seat on the demonstrator model I had was the standard seat at 815 mm high. There is a high seat option available at 835 mm and a low seat option of 800 mm. Just the balls of my feet were touching the ground so I was a little apprehensive of how I would find moving the bike about.
The 5” TFT screen is easy to read with the main screen showing the basic necessary information you need to know and is surprisingly easy to navigate.
The winglets coming out and going in are so cool to watch and I was intrigued to see how they worked when riding and how effective they would be.
The electric screen is very easy to use and can be adjusted when riding to suit the type of road you are on. For example, when joining a motorway you can adjust the screen to make allowance for the extra wind blast.
I wouldn’t describe the Mandello as a beautiful bike but I do like the styling as it is very different to the bikes on the market today. For me, I like different, it stands out from the crowd but I was interested to see what comments I’d get when parked up.
When I first started the bike, I was really pleased to see that you still get the iconic ‘Guzzi twitch’ on start up and that had me grinning to start with. The noise of the V-twin combined with the sound of the exhaust immediately had the Guzzi trait to it.
When I first rode the bike out of On Yer Bike and opened it up, the grin just spread across my face and I knew then that Mandello and I were going to have a great few days together.
This is the first Moto Guzzi powered by the new “compact block” engine with a radically new 1042cc 90 degree transverse V-Twin engine with refined technical characteristics that also benefit from a new compact block architecture. With the traditional shaft drive but now with liquid cooled with 4 valves per cylinder configuration.
The engine is giving out 105 Nm of torque @ 6750 rpm and 115 bhp. This is the first time Guzzi has used a water cooled engine with a steel tube frame using the engine as a load bearing component. The wet clutch on the engine shaft with assist and anti-hopping function is hydraulically operated.
The single sided swing arm is mounted on the gearbox housing. I am a fan of a single sided swingarm (my CB1000R has one) and this adds to the overall styling of the bike.
The compact design of the chassis has been designed that way to not only ensure riding is fun on the twisty roads but also giving great stability on longer transfers with the tubular steel frame and aluminum lateral plates.
On the front there are USD forks which are adjustable in pre-load and rebound damping. The rear wheel has a single sided aluminum swingarm on the left which is also adjustable in rebound damping and preload via remote control, designed to make it easier for the rider to adjust the setting when carrying a pillion or with panniers.
The remote control adjustment is a great addition as really the perfect time to make adjustments with a pillion or panniers is when on the bike, makes perfect sense!
On the V100S model, the conventional front and rear suspension are replaced with Ohlins Smart EC2.0 semi-active suspension connected to the riding modes whereby the suspension automatically adjusts itself to optimize performance according to the riding style, speed, acceleration and other parameters.
Ride by Wire Throttle & Modes
The Mandello has a ride by wire throttle therefore there is no physical connection between the twist grip and the throttle butterflies, it is all controlled electronically.
The Mandello also sees the addition of riding modes and four at that: rain, road, tour and sport each of which, according to MotoGuzzi, “manages three different types of engine mapping, four levels of traction control, two levels of engine braking, the opening of the side deflectors and, on the V100 Mandello S version, even calibration of the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension.” You can really set the bike up to suit you and your riding style.
Moto Guzzi describe the different modes as follows:
Rain: To ensure maximum safety while riding in adverse weather conditions
Tour: Designed to make the most of the chassis and engine during long distance exploits. It provides a great level of comfort and travel safety.
Road: Conceived for smooth rides in an urban environment. It provides agility to zip in congested roads while retaining a good level of active safety.
Sport: It enables the bike to express its full potential in terms of fun and dynamic response.
The Mandello is the first motorbike to feature adaptive aerodynamics. These are the winglets that you can see on either side of the tank which are designed to deflect air away from the rider and operate automatically depending on the riding mode and speed.
The winglets are automatically deployed and stay open in rain mode. They are permanently tucked away in road and sport mode. In tour mode, I found the winglets deployed when I reached approximately 40 mph and then tucked back in when my speed went down to approximately 28 mph.
I cannot tell you how many times I sped up to 40 mph just to get the wings to open and then dropped back so the wings would go back in. It really is fascinating to watch and I grinned every time.
When the winglets were opened, I found there was a wind blast at the top of my arms. I did not experience this when the wings were in nor in road or sport mode.
It is my opinion that with all of these things, it will very much depend on the height / weight / riding position of each rider as to the effect these aerodynamic changes will have. A taller person than me probably wouldn’t have a wind blast at all. You just need to ride the bike yourself and see how these things behave for you.
The V100 does not feature a quickshifter but this comes as standard on the V100S. This allows you to change gears without applying the clutch.
I’m not sure if I am enough of a fan of a quick shifter to pay for this as an optional extra. Yes, it is a nice addition to have but I would associate this more for a sports bike as it is a completely different way of riding.
To me, the V100 creates a calm and serene way of riding and I am not sure that a quick shifter is needed. Personal preference also plays a part in this, if you’re used to using one then you may wish to add this.
Both the V100 and V100S feature cruise control meaning that a pre-set speed can be maintained without acting on the accelerator . Just one button is needed to activate and engage the cruise control and to increase or reduce the set speed.
This is a great feature on a touring bike. Touring on a bike is a hugely rewarding experience and while we normally try to avoid motorway riding as much as possible, sometimes it cannot be avoided.
The addition of cruise control makes such riding that bit more bearable.
Electric Adjustable Screen
The Mandellos have a screen that can be adjusted and is operated by using the buttons on the handlebars. Navigating the buttons is simple and this can be done whilst riding along. For example, if you found yourself joining a motorway, you could adjust the screen accordingly.
According to Moto Guzzi, raising the screen can result in an air pressure drop of up to 22% and improve riding conditions under all circumstances.
This is a bit like the winglets, I played with this function so many times. I think I am just easy to please, simple things keep me entertained.
For me, I found the best position for the screen was completely down. When the screen was raised I experienced a terrific wind blast in my helmet. Going back to my earlier point, again the height / weight / riding position of each rider will play a part in the height you have the screen.
The 5” TFT instrument display is a nice addition to the Guzzi. The screen is very easy to read with all the necessary information you need to know on the main screen – revs, speeds, gear and which mode you are in.
I found there was no fuel gauge as such on the V100 but there is a fuel range so I was always aware of my fuel situation.
Navigating your way around the screen and modes is easy using the buttons on the left bar. I found using the buttons really user-friendly, they were simple and easy and the way they work makes sense.
On the V100S model, Moto Guzzi MIA connectivity system comes as standard meaning you can browse trip data, control calls, texts and playlists without taking your hands off the handlebars due to the Bluetooth connection between your smartphone and the bike’s electronics.
You would need a helmet mounted headset to control this of course but the model I was riding does not have this feature so unfortunately I could not test this.
The tires on the Mandello are Pirelli Gran Turismo. My personal bikes have Michelin Road 6’s which are great all round, all year tires which I find work well in all conditions be it hot, cold, wet or dry.
Pirelli describe these tires as designed for high performance, long distance riding and comfort and the ideal tire for using the bike on long road trips looking for safety on wet.
Having never ridden with these tires before, I was impressed with how they handled. Bearing in mind when I had the bike on loan, the temperature was hovering around 4 to 6 degrees. Although I sometimes had sunshine when riding, there was definitely no heat on the tarmac!
I did experience heavy downpours of rain on a couple of occasions and the tires did not falter and I had confidence in them when riding on wet roads.
The lights on the Mandello are full LED equipped with DRL (daylight running lights) and a bending light system with the pair of additional headlights in the parabolas that illuminate the inside of the bend as standard.
The light at the front is in the shape of an eagle, the Guzzi emblem, and this looks really cool when you turn the lights on as the lights go on from the middle to the outer edge.
I am showing my age here by saying that the way the lights come on remind me of Kit, the really cool car in Knight Rider but I am happy to say this comment was made to me a few times so I am not the only person showing their age too!
The rear light is equally as stylish as the front, again LED. The shape neatly compliments the style of the bike and sits nice at the rear of the seat.
The LED lights themselves gave off crisp white light and were really effective especially if the weather was poor or at night.
What’s The Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Like To Ride?
So what is the Mandello like to ride? I knew before I picked the bike up that it was a heavy (for me) bike so I was a little apprehensive about how I would get on with it.
As far as riding the bike is concerned, I needn’t have worried. You really don’t notice the weight of the bike when riding and indeed because it is that bit heavier, it feels a really stable bike especially in the corners.
There is a favorite stretch of road I like to ride which has long sweeping bends and a few long straights. Riding the Mandello along this road was just beautiful, it felt as though it was gliding through the bends in a relaxed and calm manner, it was effortless.
I could feel myself grinning under my helmet when riding the bike, the Mandello oozes fun and really does enjoy being ridden.
The Mandello soaked up the lumps and bumps in the roads nicely even with the standard suspension that is on the V100 Mandello.
The V100S model comes with Ohlins Smart EC2.0 semi-active suspension connected to the riding modes whereby the suspension automatically adjusts itself to optimize performance according to the riding style, speed, acceleration and other parameters.
It would be interesting to see if there was a huge difference in the feel of the suspension on both bikes as I thought the ride on the V100 was very smooth.
At 5’6” and with the bike weighing 233 kg, I did find maneuvering the bike difficult. The bike had the standard seat with a height of 815 mm. Just the balls of my feet were touching the ground. There is a lower seat option of 800 mm and I’m thinking that perhaps the lower seat would allow more of my feet to be on the ground thereby giving me more leverage to move the bike about.
I did enjoy seeing the winglets being deployed and then going back in when riding, it is such a cool feature to have on a bike but, for me, when the winglets were opened I had wind blast on the tops of my arms.
Being able to adjust the electric screen whilst riding is a really handy function although for me, this was best placed when completely lowered because of the amount of wind blast in my helmet when the screen was raised.
As the Mandello is designed as a touring bike, you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the design process to make riding the bike as versatile as possible whilst riding to save having to stop to make adjustments to your bike depending on the road you are on.
With the winglets and adjustable screen, how these features behave will be different for every rider. Many factors come into consideration – height, weight, build, the positioning of your body on the bike. Everyone is different so what works well for one person will have the total opposite effect on another. You really need to adjust the bike to suit you.
I found the brakes very responsive but as the V100 is a very torquey bike, when you ease off the throttle there is a lot of engine braking taking place so really it’s just coming to a stop when then brakes were used the most.
I think the best thing for me about the V100 was the noise the bike made. The sound of the engine and the traditional ‘Guzzi twitch‘ when you start the bike has you grinning and then when you open the bike up on a stretch of road say, or for an overtake, the sound of the engine and the exhaust is just glorious, it really is addictive.
If you are looking for a bike that offers you maximum grin factor, look at the Mandello. This bike offers you a fun ride while taking its job seriously to ensure you get there in the most safest, comfortable way possible.
Even though I found the bike a little heavy, riding the bike more than compensated for this and I think with the lower seat option it would be perfect.
My few days with the V100 were too short and went way too quickly. You definitely need to get yourself a test ride on a V100 and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
Thank you to On Yer Bike for the loan of the V100, it was a privilege to ride.
2022 Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Video Review
Very easy to ride
Electric adjustable screen
Winglets which are designed to deflect air up away from the rider
5” TFT color screen
The Guzzi twitch is still part of the new, modern bike
Weight – it is on the heavier side at 233 kg
No radiator guard
Heated grips as standard on the V100S model only
Moto Guzzi connectivity only available on the V100S model