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.
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.