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Moto Morini teases Calibro middleweight cruiser

Belt drive, adjustable foot pegs, and a 649cc parallel twin

A middleweight cruiser has plenty of appeal for Asian markets. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI

Ever since the brand was taken over by the Zhongneng Vehicle Group in 2018, Moto Morini has been trying to reinvent itself by marrying Italian design with modern engineering standards.

The water-cooled 649cc parallel-twin engine—made by CFMoto and derived from the Kawasaki ER-6—is a staple in the lineup, and will debut in the Italian brand’s new middleweight cruiser at the upcoming EICMA show in Milan.

So, a Honda Rebel and a Kawasaki Vulcan fell in love. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI

It’s not a bad-looking cruiser, too, although it appears like a derivative of the Kawasaki Vulcan S and the Honda Rebel with the low seat and the peanut tank. There are some nice touches like the fairing for the LED headlamp and the way the back of the seat flows smoothly to the teardrop tail.

Depending on the market, the cruiser will either be called the “Caliber” or “Calibro,” and will appeal to riders looking for a middleweight cruiser ideal for daily commutes and weekend coffee rides.

We'd smile more if we had a cruiser in our stable. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI

The 649cc as we’ve experienced on the X-Cape isn’t really much to talk about what with its dull 180° crank, but it’s a proven design and puts out a respectable 60hp.

Props to Moto Morini for painting the sewage pipe exhaust a stealth black, but also subtract a few style points for the enormous radiator shroud à la Indian Scout.

Moto Morini has opted for a belt-driven six-speed transmission, complete with adjustable foot pegs so you can opt for a forward stance or a more street-oriented position.

A 16L tank promises respectable range. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI
Nice job hiding the exhaust, but that radiator shroud is hideous. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI

A depowered 47hp version will be available for European A2 license holders, and we hope that version never makes it to the Philippines. The frame is a traditional double-cradle steel unit, with an RSU telescopic fork and twin rear shocks.

An 18-inch front tire and a 16-inch rear tire are standard cruiser fare, while a 16L tank should provide a good range. The seat height is a very accessible 720mm.

Not a bad-looking cruiser in profile. PHOTO FROM MOTO MORINI

Cruisers are a niche market in the Philippines, but a competitively priced Calibro would give the Rebel 500 and the aging Vulcan a run for their money if it were to ever make it here. Let’s hope it does.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.