Demo 2017 Moto Guzzi MGX-21 Flying Fortress 1400

How do we imagine crossing an entire continent on a Moto Guzzi? This is the first question we asked ourselves and the immediate response was, on board a California 1400, a classic that has just been renewed. But we wanted to push beyond our thoughts and dreams, to take a leap into the future. We dared imagine a different way of travelling, cooler, as the Americans would say. And we imagined that Moto Guzzi would design and build its own bagger. How could that be? How could a project like this be steeped in Italian design? This is how our thinking and inspiration turned to the masters and masterpieces of Italian design. I mean Bertone and his extraordinary Alfa Romeo BATs of the 1950s, when these crazy Italians interpreted the American taste for extreme shapes such as fins and translated the wildest dreams into precious metal, masterfully combining Italian creativity with American pragmatism. And of course we thought about infinite spaces, with straight roads heading to distant horizons, to speed records snatched on the expanses of salt lakes, to travelling aimlessly and freely. In this way a indistinct image started to take on a definite shape, and thus the MGX-21 Flying Fortress was born. Miguel Galluzi, head of the Piaggio Advanced Design Center in Pasadena, CA

Demo ProgramThis year, Aprilia & Moto Guzzi have revamped their demo programs to encourage more people to take demo rides and more dealers to offer them. We have always been big on demo rides but we were most often squeamish about letting people ride for more than a few miles. But now, we are encouraged to get more people riding and to encourage them to ride further. Also, we are encouraged to sell our demos when they have been in service for 3 months or accumulated 250 miles, whichever comes first. And before, a demo bikes was warranty-registered the day it was invoiced to us but now, a demo is like any other bike: the full two-year unlimited-mile warranty only starts when purchased by its owner.

So we ordered far more demo bikes than usual, and not just one of a model for the year but one for each quarter. This all means that we needed to create this space so that we could show people what they can demo ride and what we have for sale. Looking for a better price on a 2017? Here's your chance. Perfer a perfectly new bike? We have them too.


Price: $17,990.00 plus freight, setup, and tax, $50 document fee, and title transfer / tab renewal unless verifiable out-of-state residency. All prices reflect a 2% discount for payment by cash, check, wire transfer, direct deposit, debit card, or through financing. MSRP: $21,990.00

Approx. miles: 1020

Factory warranty: two years with unlimited miles beginning when purchased
Financing6.59% for 24-36 months, 7.39% for 48, 7.59% for 60, 8.59% for 72, or 9.09% for 84 months OAC (rates based on 715+ credit score, higher rates for lower scores) through Freedom Road Financial.

Also available brand new.

 Engine: 1,380 cc, 90° Transverse V-twin engine, 4-stroke, 4 valve per cylinder, twin spark
 Maximum power 95.2hp @ 6,500rpm
 Maximum Torque 89.2 ft-lb torque @ 3,000rpm
 Front fork: 45mm traditional fork
 Rear shock: twin shocks with remote preload adjustment
 Front brake: dual 320mm stainless steel floating discs, dual 100mm Brembo radial mount 4 piston calipers
 Rear brake: 282 mm stainless steel fixed disc, Brembo floating caliper with 2 parallel pistons.
 Front Tire: 120/70 21"
 Rear Tire: 180/60 16"
 Fuel Tank: 5.41 US Gallons (1.32 reserve)
 Side bag capacity: 29L per side bag
 Features: 2 channels ABS, Traction control (3 levels + disengageable), Electronic Cruise Control, RBW multi-map engine management
 Carbon parts (as standard): Front mudguard, front wheel aero covers, fuel tank panels, side bag external shell, belly pan
 Speakers: 2x25W with smartphone and USB flash drive compatibility
 Instrument: Double instrument panel with a monochrome dot matrix display and entertainment system including stereo and intercom system
 Bluetooth module & MG-MP standard

Presented in 2014 as a prototype of a futuristic, seductive and powerful bagger, the current version of the MGX-21 is now very close to the final one to be delivered to dealers next year.

The immediately obvious aspect of its appearance is also wholly exceptional. The technical and stylistic features of the prototype, which had surprised everyone when first revealed, have been kept totally intact. This is not a marginal detail, given that very important changes are usually made between a prototype version of a motorcycle and the final production model. Indeed, in the case of the MGX-21 a major detail has been added: the refined Moto Guzzi has become a bagger, gaining a pair of lateral motorcycle cases, which maintain intact the purity of design boasted by the prototype, harmoniously blending into the style of the tail.

The design of the MGX-21 leaves little room for indifference and, like all Moto Guzzis, begins by showing off the engineering of the big 90° transverse V-twin engine. Its two large cylinders seem literally to explode out of the petrol tank, helping to significantly lower and streamline the side view. The red paint of the aluminium head covers emphasises the power this engine is capable of expressing, even in its aesthetics. With a low tail and raised front, thanks to the striking and distinctive design of the big fairing, the MGX-21 takes on the appearance of a large, technological and luxurious motorcycle able to grind out the miles with a smooth ride. It's certainly no wallflower, but rather seeks to attract people's attention with its original shape and the mysterious nocturnal appearance created by the PADC (Piaggio Advanced Design Center) designers in California. To celebrate such a personal, powerful and brave style, Moto Guzzi gave the new MGX-21 the evocative soubriquet of Flying Fortress. The Moto Guzzi bagger keeps the 21" alloy front wheel, now protected by carbon covers with small openings where the spokes intersect with the channel. This design choice also brings the technical advantage of increased stability and ease of handling due to the passage of air from one side of the hub to the other while the bike is in motion.

Moto Guzzi's Technological Flag

The Flying Fortress raises Moto Guzzi's technological flag. The new Italian bagger is distinguished by its high level contents some of which are unique and patented, helping to maximise riding pleasure and comfort, and of course safety. Behind the cowl a sophisticated instrument panel has a monochrome dot matrix display and real entertainment system. The latter includes a stereo and the intercom system. The Bluetooth module ensures full interaction with external devices such as a smartphone, which can be used as a music player or to manage the Moto Guzzi (MG-MP) multimedia platform, an exceptional source of information for the journey. The standard equipment is complemented by a sophisticated electronic engine management system, which includes the Ride-by-Wire multimap, in addition to two-channel ABS, traction control set to three different levels of operation (and excludable) and cruise control. The new Moto Guzzi also stands out for meticulous and obsessive attention to detail. The spectacular optical units use LED technology, while the electrical controls on the handlebars are made of metal. While respecting the solid century-old tradition, the MGX-21 reaches out to the future, employing materials typically used in the most advanced sports motorcycles. Indeed, many parts are made in high quality carbon, such as the front mudguard, the tank panels, the motorcycle case covers, the engine push rod and the front wheel covers.

State of the art technology for maximum riding pleasure

The adoption of the 21" front wheel brought with it a major evolution of the frame to ensure high levels of comfort and riding pleasure. Moto Guzzi worked hard to define the new steering geometry and ensure balance and ease of riding. In so doing it thus combined the comfort and load capacity of a custom with the dynamism and performance of a cruiser, two qualities that are difficult to reconcile. The new tubular structure of the closed double cradle frame adopts the ingenious elastokinematic engine mounting system developed by Moto Guzzi to eliminate vibrations transmitted to the rider when moving. However, when stationary the bike still retains the throb of the Moto Guzzi big block's two powerful 104 mm diameter pistons, which can excite even the most streetwise motorcyclist, intensifying the vibrancy of this model. The largest V-twin ever produced in Europe, which can deliver more than 120 Nm of torque with ease and precision from very low revs, has earned EU4 certification and a new exhaust unit with very long horizontal terminals. All this verve is controlled by a benchmark brake system for the category, worthy of a sports motorcycle, comprising a trio of large diameter discs and four-piston front callipers and radial connection.

No other motorcycle have I had as much opportunity to see through its development as the MGX-21. You see, in July of 2014, Moto Guzzi invited me to join a handful each of Americans, Italians, and other Europeans as 3 groups assessing an early developmental version of this bike. And even months before that, we were asked for input on just what a Moto Guzzi bagger should include. Never before have I as a dealer been included in the development process so early on or so frequently.

And it didn’t stop there. It was neat to see how much the design had evolved by the time the bike was first shown to the public and the Milan Motorcycle Show (EICMA) that November. But then the biggest surprise was having Moto Guzzi start a travelling road show right here at Moto International to gather opinions from both random Seattle motorcyclists and our customers. That was also my opportunity to talk with designer Miguel Galluzzi and learn how development had progressed and what was still to come. By that fall’s EICMA we could see more little tweaks before the bike debuted at Sturgis this summer.

Yes, the MGX-21 is at its heart just the same basic bike as all the Guzzi 1400s. But this one has the feeling of “OK, we got the basic bike done long ago. So now, we can concentrate on the details.”

Of those, my favorite is the saddlebags. I’ve long wished that saddlebags didn’t have to look so much like add-ons, but at the same time, I never liked attempts to fully integrate them, ala Honda Pacific Coast. This bike really does it for me: it neither hides its bags nor makes them too separate. And, getting on & off I don't find myself accidentally kicking them like on so many baggers.

I have to admit one thing: I never liked the idea of the 21” front wheel, nor that its presence figured in the bike’s name. You see, I thought of it as something done for style, or just because Harley and some others had done it. Someone even said in my presence that it was wrong for Guzzi and inauthentic. Inauthentic; that stuck with me.

But then I rode the MGX-21. Wow, what a different opinion! Yes, the steering is still a bit ponderous at super low speed. What the heck? The bike isn’t meant for padding around in your driveway. But at any kind of speed, the steering is unbelievably light. But at the same time, shove a handlebar for a quick turn and afterwards the bike instantly rights itself. It has a magical combination of agility and stability. If that’s the 21” front wheel, then I’m sold on it. I guess we can say that MGX-21 really means it’s a bike for the 21st Century.

Beyond that, I like that the engine feels more refined at idle than did the previous 1400s. Rumor had it that this trait had either been necessary because the engine was rubber mounted or that it was done purposefully to make the bikes feel more like recent Harleys. Whatever, it’s gone. It had never been a complaint to me from customers but I’m happy to be rid of it.

I was curious to see how the fairing worked. I found good hand coverage and even airflow past my helmet with no buffeting, either with my shield up or down.

Power was like any Guzzi 1400: turn the throttle, at any speed, in any gear, and the thing goes whoosh! It’s a little difficult to describe if you haven’t experienced a Guzzi 1400. This thing feels more powerful than a 1400 twin has any right to. Even riders of sportier bikes are impressed when we can get them to ride one. It’s probably one of the best things about all the 1400s: it’s so much fun to crank one on!

And so, it was 2 ½ years between when I first caught wind of this project and when I got to ride one. I have newfound appreciation for the dedicated work it takes to complete a project like this, and this is only a variation of an already-completed motorcycle.

Nice work Guzzi!

Dave Richardson

Available Colors
Stock Status
In Stock
MSRP: $21,990.00
Less Reduction: -$4,000.00
Sale price: $17,990.00
Freight to dealer: $500.00
Setup: $310.00
Document fee: $50.00
Subtotal: $18,850.00
Tax: $1,960.40
License (est): $330.00
Total: $21,140.40

*Tax and license fees apply to Washington State residents only.