Moto Guzzi Stelvio (2024) - Review


Price: from £14,816 | Power: 113bhp | Weight: 246kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 3/5


Welcome to Moto Guzzi’s 2024 Stelvio. Powered by the water-cooled, 1042cc, 8v, V100 transverse V-twin motor debuted in Guzzi’s Mandello sports tourer last year, the Stelvio isn’t a surprise – the factory themselves teased it when they revealed the Mandello in 2022 (so you could say it’s developed alongside, as well as actually in, Mandello).

It’s the second time Moto Guzzi have used the Stelvio name – taken from the famous Stelvio Pass on the Italian/Swiss border and which, at face value, suggests the bike is good at navigating endless hairpins (still, better than calling it the Moto Guzzi M25). The first Moto Guzzi Stelvio, in 2008, was an adventure bike powered by a large, heavy, 1151cc 8v Griso lump – and, funnily enough, hairpins weren’t its forte. The bike featured a bingo-list of Guzzi tropes from the previous century: shaft drive, air-cooling, crank torque reactive lilt when you blip the throttle, transverse V, agricultural transmission, lots of torque, not many revs – plus blobby styling and a paltry 18-litre tank. It was quirky, charismatic, charming, loveable, but not every rapid and fairly crude compared to its rivals – very Moto Guzzi, for the time.

In 2011 the Stelvio was uprated and got a new name – the Stelvio 1200 NTX – and a new 32-litre tank, plus rudimentary traction control, metal panniers, heated grips and a bit more urgency from the motor. A much nicer bike and still worth a second thought on Autotrader if you fancy something a bit leftfield for adventure touring. But, with Guzzi’s own V85 TT in the pipeline (and presumably plans for a new Stelvio kicking about), by 2016 harsher emissions and microscopic sales put paid to the big aircooled lump version of Guzzi’s adventure bike.

Enter the new Stelvio eight years later – still an adventure bike, but that and the name are the only shared items with the old bike. It’s the new, watercooled, V100 engine, and a new frame with new styling, suspension, ergos and electronics. And today we’re about to ride it in the hills above America in southern Spain. Okay, not on the actual Stelvio Pass, but on what locals apparently call the ‘Spanish Stelvio’ – the AL3102 in hills above Almeria.


Pros & Cons

  • Modern, smooth transverse V-twin has unique style and character
  • Comfy seat and decent tank range
  • Cruise control and electric screen
  • Screen is noisy when fully up
  • Suspension needs set-up time and feels budget
  • Not the most exciting power delivery
  • Up against accomplished opposition (namely Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports)
2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review
The water-cooled V100 engine makes its debut in the long-awaited adventure bike for 2024. Ridden and reviewed by Simon Hargreaves.


Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Price

The Stelvio comes in two versions: standard, and one with added forward and rear-facing radar. The non-radar model costs around £14,816 on the road (£14,750 before registration and road tax) and the radar version is £15,516 (£15,400 before registration and road tax). Both versions come in two colours – Nero Vulcano (black) and Giallo Savana (orange).

A range of accessories are available including a 37 litre plastic top box (£356 including plate) or 52-litres (£564), 59-litre plastic panniers (£939), quickshifter (£188), heated grips (£254), centrestand (£188), heated rider seat (£281) and heated pillion (£188).

In this trim – which is about equivalent to Triumph’s Tiger 900 GT Pro (£13,895) – the Stelvio weighs in at £17,348 (before registration and road tax). Honda’s similarly equipped Africa Twin Adventure Sports (minus heated seats but with Showa semi-active) is £16,299. A low heated seat option costs £281 but the reduction over the standard 830mm seat height isn’t specified.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Engine & Performance

The Stelvio’s motor is a direct lift from the V100 Mandello launched last year – no changes at all. That means it’s an all-new 1042cc transverse V-twin – a layout Guzzi pretty-much own; I can only think of Honda’s CX500 as another example (unless you’re a pedant and insist a flat twin is a 180° transverse V). The new motor gets a water-cooling jacket, chain-driven cams and finger rockers; not a pushrod in sight. It’s more compact and lighter than Guzzi’s air-cooled motors of yore. Barrels and heads are rotated down by 90° (and tilted forward by around 5°), so the exhaust exits downwards, not forwards, and intakes sit on top of the head feeding from an airbox under the tank (fuel is moved down under the rider). Lots of advantages to this: exhaust routing is straighter, intakes are downdraught, more room for the rider’s knees and the airbox under the tank lowers the centre of gravity. It’s all standard motorcycle engineering, but it’s a new world for production Guzzis. The result is a claimed 113bhp at 8800rpm and 77 lb.ft at 6750rpm.

The motor also runs a counterbalance shaft to negate the transverse V’s characteristic rocking to one side when the throttle is blipped. This is nothing to do with shaft drive (as is still often believed) but a torque reaction to accelerating a crank spinning in-line with the chassis – the rest of the bike tries to rotate itself in the opposite direction (in Guzzi’s case the crank spins anticlockwise as you sit on the bike – blipping the throttle tilts the bike in the opposite direction; to the right). BMW flat twins used to do it until they counterbalanced the motor with a contra-rotating clutch, and Honda’s Pan European, CX500 and Goldwing, and Triumph’s Rocket III would if they didn’t already have a counterbalance (a contra-rotating balancer, clutch or generator) spinning in the opposite direction.

Anyway, the transverse V’s motive force is passed through a six-speed gearbox (using an optional £188 up/down quickshifter) into a traditional Guzzi shaft drive to the rear wheel.

The Stelvio also features a range of electronic rider aids informed by a Marelli 6-axis IMU, with five rider modes – Sport, Road, Tour, Rain, Off-Road – each with four levels of traction control, three throttle response maps and three levels of engine braking, all assignable to the modes (so there’s no User mode).

On the road

From the moment you hit the starter button, you know what you’re in for isn’t a traditional Moto Guzzi experience – there’s no characteristic rock to the right; instead the motor coughs into life (okay, some things never change) and settles into a gentle thrum, the clacking of pushrods and air-cooling replaced by the distant rustle of water jacket and cam chains, exhaust pulsing politely.

The drop into first gear still has a bit of thump but, as the bike pulls onto cool Spanish tarmac, second, third and fourth slide in with an uncanny, un-Guzzi smoothness. There isn’t the usual sense of spinning lumps of metal clumsily shifting about. This particular Stelvio has the optional quickshifter fitted – we don’t get the chance to ride one without – and while it isn’t as quickfire rapid as, say, a Yamaha or Triumph quickshifter, it’s glitch-free and has a positive engagement. So far, so impressive; a modern engine sound and experience, but still with a twist of Mandello del Lario – you can still just about feel pistons jockeying to either side and see cylinder heads poking out in front of your knees.

Throttle control is clean and nuanced – no surging, no snatch, but a bit of hunting on a steady throttle. Open the taps from low down and despite a throaty moan from the intakes, the Stelvio’s power delivery isn’t exactly what you’d call enthusiastic. With shaft drive doubtless sapping a share of performance, Guzzi’s claimed 113bhp feels more like 100 to 105bhp at the wheel, if that – and they’re not the most exciting bhps in the world. An Africa Twin Adventure Sports – also a 1000cc twin, also making around 100bhp – feels much more vivacious, with a real get-up-and-go when you ask of it. Triumph’s Tiger 900 is equally as lively. The Stelvio isn’t laboured, doesn’t exactly struggle, but it’s nowhere near as sprightly. The gear lever needs a bit more of a tap dance to get the bike to shift, and even when you pin the gas in the lower gears the engine is gently entertaining rather than excited to be here. It’s a pleasant vibe, but it’s not a natural-born thriller – whether this bothers you or not depends on the condition of your adrenal gland and your expectations.

But it also makes for a very relaxing ride – on the motorway, the engine is supremely calm and unruffled. 70mph in top comes in around 4200rpm and by 80mph it’s pulling 4800rpm. With a redline at a distant 9000rpm, that’s a lot of space left on the tacho which the engine doesn’t feel all that fussed about exploring. This is a motor that prefers shortshifting, punting through the gearbox and surfing its torque curve between 5000 to 6500rpm. In that much, at least, it’s very Moto Guzzi.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

The Stelvio is more than a Mandello on stilts. It shares the same steel tube frame layout, with the motor as a stressed member, but the adventure bike has extra engine mounting lugs at the front, wider headstock with more bracing, and overall rigidity is up by 20% over the sports tourer. The shaft drive tunnel walls are thicker and stronger, and the swingarm pivot is reinforced – all to handle the larger forces a big adventure bike could potentially generate off-road.

Suspension spec isn’t semi-active; Sachs 46mm usd forks come with preload and rebound damping only, and a KYB cantilever shock with preload and rebound handles the back end – which all sounds a bit budget. Brakes are Brembo radial four-pot calipers on 320mm discs, with cornering ABS.

The Stelvio runs a 19in front wire spoke front wheel – an interesting choice, what with a 21in front in vogue for some manufacturers – with a 120/70 tyre (Michelin Anakee Adventure) and the rear is a 17in and a 170/60. Wheel travel is 170mm front and rear, weight is a claimed 246kg kerb – about right for the class. The new transverse V is substantially lighter and more compact than its predecessor (the old Stelvio, with a 32-litre tank, weighed in at over 275kg fully-fuelled). The transverse V isn’t a particularly tall engine, but it’s no flat twin and can’t be easily tilted or repositioned in the chassis to optimise weight balance – hence Guzzi’s decision to feed the intakes from the top of the barrels, locating the airbox under the tank and moving fuel lower, partially beneath the rider, is all especially worthwhile. It also gives the rider more knee-room, without inlet tracts to fit in (the barrels are also canted forward by about 5° to given even more room).

On the road

The Stelvio is a road bike first, second and third – any off-road capability is well down the list of priorities or capability. That much is clear from the Stelvio’s 19in front and 170mm suspension travel.

Immediate impressions of the Stelvio’s handling are good – the bike is well-balanced at low speed around town, combining the agility of wide bars and a domineering riding position with the turning stability of a 19in wire-spoked front. But as we wind our way onto more twisty Spanish mountain roads and pick up the pace, it’s clear the Stelvio’s forks are way too soft for the first few inches of travel – the dive on even the lightest of touches on the brakes is instant and almost undamped. The weight balance of the bike isn’t quite right either – there’s not enough on the front, too much on the rear. These are subtle effects but it’s not something I felt I had to adapt to on the recent launch of Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports – same 19in front, similar weight. That bike felt right from the off.

This has two effects – firstly, the forks are still recovering at the bike begins to steer, interfering with the feedback from the front tyre exactly as it begins to roll across its profile – it’s disconcerting, robbing the front of contact purity when you most want it. I’d like more compression damping at the top of the stroke. Secondly, from the apex onwards the bike has a tendency to drift wide – it’s almost as if the Stelvio is set-up on its springs to run with a 21in front, and has that long-legged weight transfer typical of adventure bikes on softer, longer travel suspension. After a quick tweak on the Stelvio’s remote preload adjuster – setting it on max to tip more weight on the front – the bike felt much more secure. It’s a shame Guzzi didn’t up-spec the suspension on the radar-version of the Stelvio, making a wider difference between the two bikes than just the fancy electronics.

Ride quality is decent – nothing crashes through and upsets – and by the end of the day, when the tarmac had warmed up a little, I started to have more cornering fun. But

but having ridden the new Africa Twin Adventure Sports on its semi-active Showa suspension just a few weeks ago, it’s clear the springs on the Stelvio don’t offer the same levels of chassis control and plushness.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Comfort & Economy

The bare numbers are encouraging: 830mm seat height is unadjustable, but fairly low for an adventure bike – it’s only 20mm higher than a Suzuki GSX-8S. Guzzi also claim a narrow ‘waist’, giving the Stelvio ‘best in class’ standover dimensions. The seat is two-piece and there’s a low and a high option (heights unspecified), both only available as heated, for £281.

Bars are classic wide-adventure-style one-piece on risers, with hand guards as standard. The screen is electrically adjustable from a switch on the left bar, over a 70mm range. They say the screen will not operate above 93mph (150kph), presumably because the wind pressure at that speed is too much for the electric motor to overcome.

Moto Guzzi are famous for being one of the first manufacturers to use a wind tunnel for aero development (Guzzi’s self-designed wind tunnel was installed in the factory in 1954, and used in the development of the famous ‘dustbin’ fairings of their 1950s V8 race bikes). Guzzi say the Stelvio is still benefitting from that experience in 2024, with screen, deflectors, tank shape and fairing all designed to provide what Moto Guzzi claim is ‘best in class aerodynamics and comfort’. They say special attention has been paid to reducing turbulence as well as wind pressure.

Rider footpegs are mounted directly to the crankcases, and rubber inserts in both rider and pillion pegs are removable to give a few more millimetres of leg room. As usual with Piaggio bikes, the cam-mounted gear and rear brake lever tips are adjustable. The pillion seat is broad and flat, and a heated alternative costs £188.

Fuel tank is 21 litres and Guzzi claim 55mpg, which would give a theoretical 250-mile range.

On the road

Ergonomically, the Guzzi feels right. The bars aren’t too wide (some adventure bikes are like rowing a canoe) and legs have plenty of room. The seat and standover dimensions don’t feel as slim as an Africa Twin Adventure Sports, but seat height is manageable and never top heavy for a six-footer. The seat is broad and supportive, and not over-padded or soft – which I like; soft, deep seats that compress too much often flatter to deceive. After all day on the bike I wasn’t shifting about or feeling uncomfortable. Knees have plenty of space behind the cylinders and tuck in nicely to the tank.

The screen isn’t as effective as expected – although again, all this is subjective so you might not feel the same things I did. But for me, on its low setting the screen was most effective, balancing wind pressure, turbulence and noise best. Raising the screen, via the button on the left bar, reduced wind pressure and also reduced the treble wind noise around the top of the helmet – but introduced a bassy, low-frequency buffeting around the base of the helmet, almost around the back. It was a noise my earplugs couldn’t counter because it felt as if it was actually passing through my bones – not aggravating, but noticeable, got worse as speed increased, and I preferred riding with the screen down. My instinct was to lean forward – just a few inches reduced the turbulence. It made me think part of the problem is the distance between the rider’s head and the screen – just looking at the dash, it seems slightly further away than other bikes. In fact I just measured it, and it is – funnily enough, by a few inches. Who knew they made so much difference?

Fuel economy on the road was a fairly respectable 49mpg for an averagely enthusiastic road ride – take off a four-litre reserve and you’re looking at 180-odd miles until the reserve light shows.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Equipment

The Stelvio comes with a 5in TFT screen, which – as noted above – is a bit on the small side and slightly too far away from the rider for some of the information to be easily read without squinting (writes a 56 year-old). All the standard information is available, but there are no alternative display options. The cockpit also features space for an accessory USB port just to the left of the dash (£29 extra). Navigating menus and adjusting the screen is via four non-backlit arrow buttons on the left bar. Riding modes are set on the right bar.

Cruise control is fitted as standard, but heated grips and quickshifter are extras.

The Stelvio comes with a front and rear radar-equipped version – the system is developed in-house by Piaggio. As standard, the system is a warning device only – at the front, the always-active system is watching out for potential collisions and offers a two-stage visual warning – a small amber light indicates an object in front, but an impending collision lights up a slightly larger warning triangle. There’s also the option for an audio warning but, in practice, it’s almost inaudible and at best sounds like a squeaky brake. The front radar doesn’t operate the brakes (as Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT+ does). Radar-augmented cruise control is an extra which you have to pay for (how much wasn’t disclosed at the launch, and it wasn’t available to test).

The rear radar watches for approaching vehicles approaching from behind and rear three-quarters (ie lane-changing), revealing their presence with an amber dot glowing in the mirrors.

Both systems are of questionable value – I would say negligible. The front radar may well detect potential collisions, but does nothing about it – no rolling off the gas, no engine braking, no application of the brakes. The warning symbol on the dash is entirely pointless – if you need a small visual alert to warn you, chances are it’s way too late already. The rear system is also too small and insignificant to be of use – again, the idea of spotting an amber dot in the mirror with enough reaction time to do anything about it is improbable. 


Like the similarly 19in-front shod 2024 Africa Twin Adventure Sports, the Stelvio isn’t designed for serious off-road use beyond easy fire tracks and lightly gravelled paths. Even messing around on loose surfaces quickly illustrates the bike’s limitations of weight, riding position and power delivery. Engine bars are a £142 accessory, and you’d really want them to protect yer valuables.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Rivals

Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports is the most obvious rival for the Stelvio – it’s a twin, it’s a similar capacity and engine performance (on paper), and has a 19in wire spoked front wheel. The Honda costs £1500 more, but comes with excellent Showa semi-active suspension, a bigger fuel tank, a better dash, heated grips as standard, and a livelier, perkier power delivery.

BMW’s new R1300 GS isn’t really in the same class as the Stelvio; it’s up there with Ducati’s Multistrada and KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure – aside from their engines being much bigger and more powerful, if you spec just wire spokes for the BM you’re looking at least £2000 difference in base spec.

Moving back down the adventure bike list, there is no other bike with a 19in front and wire spokes. Triumph’s Tiger 900 GT Pro and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050 come with cast 19in fronts. The Tiger is a smaller motor at 888cc, but it’s more powerful and is very well-spec’d with everything the Stelvio has plus heated grips, seats, fogs, engine bars and centrestand for £13,895 – a grand less than the Moto Guzzi. The excellent V-Strom is even cheaper – over £1300 less – and has a similar trim to the Stelvio (minus the adjustable screen but with a quickshifter as standard).

The V-Strom 1050 DE has a 21in front, as does the Tiger 900 Rally Pro, and the KTM 790 and 890 Adventures. A 21in front indicates much more than just a bit more off-road capability – it means wheel travel, weight balance, suspension set-up, grip and overall chassis dynamic and feeling are all very different and, as such, those bikes aren’t really comparable to the Stelvio (in the strict road test sense – plenty of people will of course make those choices personally).


Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports | Price: £16,299

Power/Torque: 101hp/83lb-ft | Weight: 243kg

Heftier price tag but comes with Showa semi-active suspension, a bigger tank, better dash and a few extras as standard.


Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro | Price: £13,895

Power/Torque: 107hp/66lb-ft | Weight: 222kg

No semi-active, comes with heated seats, grips, q/shifter, cruise, TC & modes, engine bars, fog lights, adj. screen & centre stand.


Suzuki V-Strom 1050 | Price: £13,199

Power/Torque: 106bhp/74lb-ft | Weight: 242kg

No semi-active, comes with q/shifter, cruise, TC.



2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Verdict

There was a time – up to the mid-1970s – when Moto Guzzi’s transverse V was one of the fastest road bike engines you could buy. Then motorcycle engine development went nuts through the 80s and 90s, and the old, air-cooled V got left behind as Guzzi failed to maintain it as a truly contemporary powerplant.

But around 15 years ago, manufacturers like Moto Guzzi (and Harley-Davidson, with whom Guzzi share a lot of marketing issues) suddenly found adjectives like ‘charisma’ and ‘quirkiness’ were back in fashion and that outright performance was no longer the prime objective – which is good news if you build slow, charismatic, quirky engines.

Although it presents Guzzi (and Harley) with a problem – if you’ve relied on nostalgia and love of an engine’s specific character to sell your bikes (even to the point of jumping through engineering hoops to keep emissions within new legislation), when you design a new, modern equivalent to appeal to riders outside your traditional customer base, how much of that character and quirkiness can you give up in the search for more widespread appeal?

And more than that – when bikes like the Stelvio have to stand on their own two wheels and go head-to-head with the best products BMW, Honda, Ducati and Triumph can build – and when you can’t make excuses by saying ‘Well, it’s a Guzzi, it’s got character etc’ because some of that’s been lost in the drive to compete... that’s a tall order.

So, if you look at the Stelvio as, effectively, Moto Guzzi’s first effort at a modern adventure bike, it’s a bloody good effort. It’s comfy, it’s quick enough, it handles (with a bit of tinkering) and it feels modern. There are flaws which can’t be written off as ‘character’ – such as the distance between rider and screen introducing buffeting, the rather pointless radar, the small dash – but there’s just enough transverse V left over to make the Stelvio still feel like a unique experience.


If you’d like to chat about this article or anything else biking related, join us and thousands of other riders at the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook page.


2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review Details Price Spec_27


2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio - Technical Specification

New price

£14,816 (£15,516 with radar)



Bore x Stroke

96mm x 72mm

Engine layout

Transverse V-twin

Engine details

Liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke 8-valve


113bhp (84.6kW) @ 8800rpm


77 lb-ft (105Nm) @ 6750rpm


6 speed manual

Average fuel consumption

49.4 mpg (shown on display)

Tank size

21 litres

Max range to empty

226 miles

Rider aids

Traction control, cornering ABS, cruise control, engine modes, cornering lights


Steel tube double cradle

Front suspension

Sachs 46mm USD forks, 170mm stroke

Front suspension adjustment

Preload and rebound adjustment

Rear suspension

KYB cantilever shock, 170mm travel

Rear suspension adjustment

Remote hydraulic preload and rebound adjustment

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs with radial 4-pot Brembo monobloc calipers, radial master cylinder

Rear brake

280mm disc, 2-pot Brembo caliper

Front wheel / tyre

19in x 3in wire spoke aluminium rim, 120/70 Michelin Anakee Adventure

Rear wheel / tyre

17in x 4.5in wire spoke aluminium rim, 170/60 Michelin Anakee Adventure

Seat height





2 years/ unlimited



MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated



Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance



What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.