Piaggio revealed the new Moto Guzzi MGX-21 Flying Fortress bagger, the production version of a concept revealed at last year’s EICMA show. The design is a blend of Italian and American styling, born from the Piaggio Advanced Design Center under the watchful eye of Miguel Galluzzi (and yes, the Flying Fortress is coming to the U.S. as a 2016 model).
The MGX-21 is based on the California 1400 platform, sharing the same 1380cc 90-degree V-Twin producing a claimed 88.5 lb-ft. of torque. While the original California 1400 represented a classic style, the MGX-21 adopts a more futuristic look.
The Flying Fortress stays fairly true to the original concept, but with saddlebags rather than the wasp-like tail bodywork on the prototype that only hinted at potential storage space. The fairing is heavily sculpted, almost as if Moto Guzzi wanted to redefine the term “batwing fairing.”
The 21-inch alloy front wheel gives the MGX-21 a tall front end, accentuating the downward slope toward the tail. The front wheel has carbon fiber covers with small gaps between the spokes along the rim. According to Piaggio, the front wheel design offers increased stability and handling due to the way it channels air from one side of the hub to the other when in motion. We’ll have to see how that works ourselves, but from a visual standpoint, the front wheel is eye-catching.
The tall front wheel forced Moto Guzzi to adapt the California frame for a revised steering geometry. The tubular double cradle frame uses an elastokinetic engine mounting system to quell the big Twin’s vibrations.
In addition to the front wheel covers, the MGX-21 also adopts carbon fiber for the fender, tank panels, and engine case covers. Providing some color highlights are the bright red protruding aluminum cylinder head covers and matching four-piston front brake caliper.