Motorcycles

Moto Guzzi debuts MGX-21 cruiser at Sturgis

Moto Guzzi debuts MGX-21 cruis...
The Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress 
The Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress 
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The Flying Fortress might resemble a cruiser but has some decidedly different elements that will set it apart
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The Flying Fortress might resemble a cruiser but has some decidedly different elements that will set it apart
The Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress 
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The Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress 
The Flying Fortress will likely make a statement
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The Flying Fortress will likely make a statement
The MGX-21 Flying Fortress production model
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The MGX-21 Flying Fortress production model
The passenger seat can be removed with the space covered by a carbon fiber accessory
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The passenger seat can be removed with the space covered by a carbon fiber accessory
A carbon fiber luggage rack is designed to support the available top bag
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A carbon fiber luggage rack is designed to support the available top bag
Viewed from the side, the red cylinder covers and Brembo brake pistons make this stand out from the typical blacked out cruiser
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Viewed from the side, the red cylinder covers and Brembo brake pistons make this stand out from the typical blacked out cruiser
The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
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The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
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The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
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The Motto Guzzi Flying Fortress
The Flying Fortress has a stealth look that comes from its sleek lines and blacked out color scheme
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The Flying Fortress has a stealth look that comes from its sleek lines and blacked out color scheme
While blacked out bikes are popular, the Flying Fortress will stand out with its splashes of red
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While blacked out bikes are popular, the Flying Fortress will stand out with its splashes of red
A two-channel, 25 watt audio system is just one of several electronic features embedded in the fairing
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A two-channel, 25 watt audio system is just one of several electronic features embedded in the fairing
The bat wing fairing makes the Flying Fortress resemble something Batman might be comfortable riding
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The bat wing fairing makes the Flying Fortress resemble something Batman might be comfortable riding
A fully kitted out Flying Fortress with tank and top bags
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A fully kitted out Flying Fortress with tank and top bags
The top bag is available as one of many accessories for the Flying Fortress
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The top bag is available as one of many accessories for the Flying Fortress
The front headlight is designed for maximum illumination
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The front headlight is designed for maximum illumination
The Flying Fortress is expected to be right at home on any kind of road with  a ride by wire system featuring three different riding modes
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The Flying Fortress is expected to be right at home on any kind of road with  a ride by wire system featuring three different riding modes
Available accessories include upgraded side mirrors
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Available accessories include upgraded side mirrors
Close up on the dual gage instrument cluster and the USB socket
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Close up on the dual gage instrument cluster and the USB socket
The dual gage instrument cluster provides a plethora of information
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The dual gage instrument cluster provides a plethora of information
Moto Guzzi's MGX-21 prototype
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Moto Guzzi's MGX-21 prototype

First appearing as a concept at the EICMA show in Milan in 2014, Moto Guzzi's slick MGX-21 cruiser made its formal debut as the Flying Fortress at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota this weekend.

Based on the company's California cruiser model, the bike's original alpha-numeric moniker stood for Moto Guzzi eXperiment, with the 21 denoting both the year (1921) Moto Guzzi began production of its first motorcycle and the size of the Flying Fortress' front wheel.

While that front wheel isn't quite the same as the striking solid number we saw on the MGX-21 prototype, the production version still bears a lot of the sleekness and attitude of the initial design, and has some features that make it decidedly different than the baggers and cruisers made by the likes of Harley Davidson, Indian and Victory.

Moto Guzzi's MGX-21 prototype
Moto Guzzi's MGX-21 prototype

The MGX-21 Flying Fortress production model
The MGX-21 Flying Fortress production model

Let's start with the generous use of carbon fiber, a material that's more traditionally seen on sport bikes. There are eleven carbon fiber components on the Flying Fortress, including the fenders, the front wheel, and the pannier (side bag) covers. Moto Guzzi claims a 16 kg weight savings as a result.

Take a look at the front of the bike and the bat wing fairing looks unlike any stock fairing found on cruisers today, with its unique scalloped windshield and more backward angled design. This cruiser wouldn't look out of place on the streets of Gotham City.

The bat wing fairing makes the Flying Fortress resemble something Batman might be comfortable riding
The bat wing fairing makes the Flying Fortress resemble something Batman might be comfortable riding

From the side, the bright red cylinder heads and Brembo brake calipers keep this from mimicking the other blacked out bikes that are now becoming fairly standard issue. Add the carbon fiber and the unique design of the wheels and there's no way this Italian stallion could be mistaken for an American cruiser.

Beyond pure design, Moto Guzzi has also added electronic features that would more likely be found on many of today's sport and dual sport bikes.

The Flying Fortress comes with a ride-by-wire electronic management system that includes three ride maps: Veloce to access the most power and torque, Turismo for smoother power delivery on long trips, and Pioggia for rain and slick road conditions.

The dual gage instrument cluster provides a plethora of information
The dual gage instrument cluster provides a plethora of information

Buried inside the fairing is a dual instrument cluster providing all of the key information including gear indicator, average and instantaneous fuel consumption, and air temperature.

The entertainment system comes with an AM/FM radio tied to a 25 Watt per channel amplifier connected to a pair of loudspeakers, a Bluetooth module that can host up to five devices, and a USB socket for external devices like a smartphone that can be used as a music player or to manage incoming calls.

The one part of the Flying Fortress that is the same as the California is the 1400 cc, 90-degree transverse V-Twin engine. It's mated to the same six-speed transmission and shaft drive, and kicks out a claimed 97 hp (71 kW) and 89 ft-lbs (121 Nm) of torque.

The Flying Fortress has a stealth look that comes from its sleek lines and blacked out color scheme
The Flying Fortress has a stealth look that comes from its sleek lines and blacked out color scheme

Two-channel ABS comes standard, with four-piston Brembos up front and two-piston Brembos out back to bring the Flying Fortress to a stop.

Curb weight is listed at 752 lbs (341 kg), which is about average for a similar bagger and fairing set up.

Moto Guzzi indicates fuel tank capacity as 5.4 gallons (20.5 liters), but no fuel consumption figures were made available, so it's hard to say how far you'll be able to take the Flying Fortress between gas stops.

The one nit we might have is that Moto Guzzi is claiming a low seat height at 29 inches (740 mm). Considering many of the cruisers and baggers made today come in at around 25 inches (690 mm), we think low could be stretching the definition a little.

The Flying Fortress is expected in dealer showrooms later this year, but no price has yet been announced. Considering the California lists at US$18,490, we imagine that this new bike from Moto Guzzi will be come in north of that, and that's before taking advantage of the available accessories.

Check out the official MGX-21 Flying Fortress video:

Source: Moto Guzzi

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 - official video

2 comments
Fairly Reasoner
Does it come in custom inseam sizes?
Imran Sheikh
i just hope that the fuel tank is below the seat instead of Boiling so close to pistons. also this bike needs to add a Stopper between Riders Knee's and engine to protect tall riders from burning knees. it will also purpose as engine guard since engine is so vulnerable in case of fall or accidents.