The MGX–21 Flying Fortress is Moto Guzzi’s fourth variation on the California 1400 platform. Given the additional stresses that a bagger with a fork-mounted fairing puts on a chassis, the fact that Guzzi felt it was necessary only to beef up the rear subframe says something about how stout the frame was in the first place.

2017 Moto Guzzi MGX–21 Flying Fortress First Ride Review

Moto Guzzi’s first step into the bagger fray comes in the form of a high-zoot, carbon-fiber bodywork with attention-getting bright red highlights. The MGX makes a strong first impression with its 21-inch cast wheel that has a shapely carbon cover installed along with a carbon front fender. While the fairing itself isn’t carbon fiber, the semi-matt surface treatment of the black plastic combines with the similarly colored paint on the fork covers to give a multi-tonal play on black surfaces. The fairing’s angular lines pull the eye back over the sleek tank to the swooping arcs of the hard bags. The red cam covers call attention to the fact that the MGX is not a cookie-cutter V-Twin.

While the 1400cc engine (1380cc, to be exact) is smaller than many other entries in the bagger class, the Guzzi never feels underpowered. The 90° transverse V-Twin’s torque pulls well off the line with smooth, glitch-free power delivery. Though the cruise control can be a little fiddly, the MGX is a great platform for counting off the miles. During the summer months, the plentiful air flow around the fairing will help keep both the rider and passenger cool. The small bags limit carrying capacity for long tours, though.

Moto Guzzi’s first entry into the world of baggers made a strong statement about style, performance, and price. With a MSRP of $21,990, the MGX–21 weighs in quite competitively. Take a look at the video below to see how good the MGX looks in action, and then go read our full review here.

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  • JMDonald

    I am not a cruiser bagger kind of guy but I like this bike. It is a great platform and the styling cues are perfectly executed. The review was well done but this video really makes this bike shine. Where the hell is all the money coming from for you guys produce these high end professional videos? Was that done with a copter or a drone? Good job. Good bike.

    • spiff

      Drones are totally affordable now a days. Especially for the high falutin MO staff.

      I think these bike are good additions for Guzzi, but 2017 was supposed to be the year of the water cooled LeMans. That’s what I want to see. 140 to the wheel, and nicely dressed.

      • Evans Brasfield

        Yes, drones are a lot more affordable, and many of our videographers have them now. However, this video was put together from assets created by Moto Guzzi before the intro began that were combined with action shots of me riding. With 20 or more journalists attending, providing us with high quality video is comparatively inexpensive when the cost of the entire event is concerned, and like with this posting, it gets the story posted more than once.

        Although we do occasionally take our own videographer to introductions, it’s a challenge fitting the time to shoot the video into a busy riding day surrounded by other journalists. So, using drones is usually avoided because of the set up time. My video from the SCR950 intro is a good example of what we can squeeze into a day’s ride on an intro.

        • spiff

          You failed to address the LeMans! Talk to your people, no secrets.

  • schizuki

    Dumb name. A Piaggio-group bike should be named after a Piaggio aircraft.

    (Yeah, I said this before, but it’s a cool plane so I wanted to post it again.)

  • Buzz

    Thank the Lord you didn’t crash this one.

  • Old MOron

    Aye, nice video production. And if this is your style of bike, the Flying Fortress seems like a good one.

  • Derrial

    Evans, I bought a California Touring after watching your review on it back in July of 2014.

    In fact I purchased the bike in Seattle and drove it across country to New England in early May of this year. It was an epic adventure which I thought I was well prepared for until I hit the road and almost immediately hit temps in the 30’s & 40’s to a balmy 100 degrees in Death Valley.

    There was every kind of weather imaginable along the route from rain and snow to hail and scorching heat…

    More than once I said “what the heck am I doing” but right now it’s all I can think about; I have this urge to get back on the Guzzi and do it all over again and I can’t imagine doing it on any other bike.

    I have to say the Guzzi ran flawlessly, it never skipped a beat. A couple of days I did over 600 miles and I’m still amazed at how smooth and dependable this motorcycle is.

    Thanks for the reviews and rest assured people do buy bikes based on’s reviews!

    • Evans Brasfield

      Derrial, sounds like a great trip! It’s the unexpected stuff that makes tours memorable. Thanks for the kind words and sharing your experience.

    • Buzz

      That’s a great story. I have a Custom and don’t plan on any cross country journeys on it but it has been a great motorcycle.