I had a weak moment (I had a love at first sight moment) and we picked up a new Stornello.
We've put about 300 miles on the Stornello so far so I thought I'd post some impressions.
Fit and finish on the bike are outstanding. There's really nothing that can compare to it in its class. The Ducati Scrambler looks absolutely cheap next to it and actually looks like a bike built in Thailand to a price point. The attention to the smallest details on the Stornello are fantastic. They missed nothing.
If you've never ridden the new V7II motor with the single throttle body, you owe it to yourself to take one for a ride. It's a really nice package. Torquey, good acceleration, smooth. All the complaints that the bike needs more horsepower are ridiculous. It has the perfect blend of peformance for the bike it's in. It will easily run at 80 mph down the highway.
Maybe the best transmission on any Guzzi I've ever ridden. So smooth that sometimes you have to check that you've actually put into gear. No clunk, no resistance. Shifts are smooth as silk. The new six speeds ratio's seem very well thought out and you aren't constantly stirring the gear box. You always seem to be able to find right gear for the speed you're riding. Coupled with the nice torque curve of the motor, it seems to pull cleanly from every gear.
The anti lock and traction control are pretty non invasive. I took it for a blast in the dirt and could not really notice any disturbing intervention by either.
The only weak spot on the bike is the suspension. The rear shocks aren't great, but the forks are just silly. I think my Ambassador has better forks. The good news, is Matris makes a drop in cartridge kit for it that gives it proper compression and rebound. We'll be doing that before years end. I haven't decided on what to do for the rear shocks yet. Probably end up using some nice YSS or something similar. The Matris shocks are just stupid money.
The Arrow exhaust looks and sounds wonderful. It has a real tractor sound to it, which I really like. The pipe has a cat converter, but you'd never know it. The quality of the Arrow pipe is really nice.
The bike shipped from the factory with little on-off road tires and they seem to handle well on the road and are reasonable on gravel roads. We'll have to see how they hold up. Fortunately, Heidenau makes tires that fit this and that's probably what we'll put on in the future.
Overall, the grin factor for this bike are off the charts. It handles very nimbly and is a joy on back country roads. I'd call this bike a solid win for Guzzi. Supposedly, they're only making 1000 of these, and I suspect they won't last long. They should make it a permanent model in the line up. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]