First Ride: The Aerodynamic New Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Hugs the Road by Adapting to Your Ride

By any measure, the V100 Mandello S is a landmark motorcycle for Moto Guzzi. First unveiled in 2021 and formally released in late 2022, the V100 was created to celebrate Moto Guzzi’s 100th anniversary since opening its doors at the same factory, in Northern Italy’s Mandello del Lario, that it occupies today. The bike, priced at $17,490, was also created to signify the next 100 years.

As such, the V100 Mandello S, which we recently tested, is all new—from the motor, to the chassis, even the handlebar grips. And believe it or not, this is Moto Guzzi’s first bike fit with a liquid-cooled motor, although it still retains the transverse V-twin layout so closely linked to the company.

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The Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S motorcycle.
The Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S.

Producing 115 hp and 77 ft lbs of torque from a 1,042 cc displacement, the new “shortblock” motor is four inches shorter from front to back than the old air-cooled, 1,200 cc power plant. Tilted five degrees further forward in the chassis, the engine configuration has allowed Moto Guzzi’s engineers to create a chassis featuring a long swingarm with a low pivot point to offer exceptional traction under acceleration.

Running a shaft final drive as opposed to a chain, the bike requires a level of maintenance that’s about as carefree as you can get, and the revised internal layout of the shaft setup means that the dreaded rise of the back end when you go hard on the gas is almost negligible.

The Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S motorcycle.
With 77 ft lbs of torque, this is Moto Guzzi’s first bike fit with a liquid-cooled motor.

Much of the V100 Mandello S’s development, however, was focused on its adaptive aerodynamics, making it the first production machine to feature such an addition. The aero flaps are located on the top side of the fairing, below the rider’s wrists, and open at 43 mph in the Tour riding mode to alleviate a claimed 22 percent of the wind blast experienced by the rider.

The active-aero benefits are not as noticeable as we would have thought, but you can discern a slight change in air pressure once they open. Incidentally, the flaps always remain open when you ride in Rain mode. In the Street and Sport modes, they remain closed in standard form, although you can customize the settings so that they open at a predetermined speed of your preference.

A close-up of the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S motorcycle's active-aero flaps, located on the top side of the fairing below the rider’s wrists.
The active-aero flaps are located on the top side of the fairing, below the rider’s wrists.

As for the hardware, Moto Guzzi has provided some top-shelf equipment with the V100 Mandello S. The Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 event-based semi-auto suspension graces the 43 mm fork and shock, while Brembo monobloc four-piston calipers and a lovely 18 mm master-cylinder take care of the braking duties. Then there’s the six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit that manages the traction control, Cornering ABS, and Cornering LED lights. There’s also an up-and-down quickshifter as standard.

Moto Guzzi has also developed a large range of accessories for the V100, but the first one we’d be going for is the taller seat, one elevated by 20 mm. Given the rather low 32.1-inch height of the standard seat, we found the ride to be a touch on the cramped side after an hour on board. Switching to the taller saddle made for more comfortable cruising, but that was our only concern with the ride comfort itself as Moto Guzzi has done an excellent job with the ergonomics.

Riding the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S motorcycle.
The six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit manages the traction control, Cornering ABS and Cornering LED lights, while an up-and-down quickshifter is also standard.

The V100 Mandello S is one of three V100’s that Moto Guzzi will be creating, the other two being the standard version with Kayaba suspension for $15,490 and the $16,990 limited-edition V100 Mandello Aviazione Navale. The latter variant is a doff of the cap to Italy’s navy, featuring a flat grey color scheme in the same hue as the nation’s F35B fighter jet.

In our opinion, though, the V100 Mandello S is the one to go for simply due to the Öhlins suspension, which gives the V100 a refined touch that the other two lack. This is simply an exceptional machine that’s not only quite removed from anything Moto Guzzi has created in the past, but a nice hint at where the brand is headed in its next 100 years.

Click here for more photos of the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S.

Riding the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S motorcycle.
The Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S.

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