Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 test


The time machine.

Moto Morini relaunches its production, on an artisanal scale, with a simplified range where the 9 disappears. ½. Among the 3 models currently in the catalog, we fell in love with the Scrambler 1200….

" to scramble "Is an English verb which means" to climb, to scramble, to rush … ". A Scrambler is in a way the ancestor of our modern trails; a road bike "endured" as one would have said in the past. Yamaha 250 DS6An all-terrain hybrid, with raised pots to improve ground clearance, nipple tires to get off the beaten track and sometimes suspensions slightly adapted to all terrain. In fact, compared to modern trails, which have continued to gain weight, the scrambler is a kind of homecoming, a reference to a period when motorcycles were simpler, more stripped down, more accessible in short. In the 60s / 70s, many manufacturers offered scramblers in their catalog, especially for the American market, very fond of these models. Witness, this Yamaha 250 DS6 from 1971. Let’s see if in 2013, the Moto Morini still really corresponds to this description…


Muscular, stocky, manly, this Scrambler has a "real face". Very authentic, it seems to have come back from the past to remind us of the greatness of the handsome Steeve Mac Queen. Cinema, in fact, since in the 60s, Moto Morini did not offer this model, no more than a 1200 cm3 engine, since at the time, the largest engines were 650 cm3 and that in the 70s the firm was famous thanks to its 350 cc twin cylinder. As you can see, the brand has therefore made old with new and as you will see it is all the better, because in its retro aspects, the Moto Morini is a resolutely modern machine. As a real scrambler, it takes the engine and the frame present on the rest of the range, with a nuance at the level of the lateral rear suspension anchoring, absent on the Corsaro which uses a link system and not a direct attack like the Gran Passo and the Scrambler.

Moto Morini Scrambler 1200

Inside this solid tubular steel trellis nestles the famous Italian V2 open at 87 °, which we have detailed in our section “on your marks”. With short stroke and huge pistons (107mm), it shouldn’t be hindered at the headbones to take turns and spit out horses. In this version, it delivers 119 and that’s very good! Compare to the 59 of its only rival, the Triumph Scrambler … In the past we would also have referred to the sublime Scrambler Voxan, which released 85 horsepower in its basic version and 100 in its “street” version. Unfortunately, the brand has now disappeared.

The look is reinforced by the presence of real studded tires, Metzeler Karoo II, which give it an even more adventurous look. We will see later if their ramage is worth their plumage. The double exhaust comes out from the left side. In fact, impossible to place a bag. Our test bike is also equipped with a single bag on the right side.

Exhaust left side Moto Morini Scrambler 1200

We climb in the saddle ?

In the saddle !

Climb (to scramble in English, for those with short memories …). The term is particularly well suited, because the said saddle culminates at 830 mm. It’s a bit of a shame, since the advantage of the Scrambler is precisely that it is more affordable and therefore lower than the big modern trails. Indeed, here the suspension travel is reasonable (155/165 mm front / rear). This is perfect for a bike that will probably never go off-road. With the fashion for large tanks and large suspensions, big trails are always more voluminous. Rest assured, for those under 1.70m, this is still acceptable, especially as the bike is narrow. In fact, we still put our toes on the ground. The seat is hollowed out and the wide handlebars fall well under the hands. The dashboard is charming with a clearly readable needle rev counter (red zone at 8500 rpm). On the left, a small LCD screen indicates the speed, the engine and exterior temperatures, the kilometers of course, the average speed, the time, but neither the consumption nor the residual range. There is no gauge either, just a spare witness.

Motorcycle Speedometer Morini Scrambler 1200

We start ?

In the city

Despite the retro look, here no kickstarter, but a now classic starter. The sound is nice and the mechanical noises are not very present. We pass the first, noting on the one hand that the clutch is soft and on the other hand when “taking off” that the footrests are high placed. A position that leaves the legs relatively bent. The older ones will undoubtedly have a little trouble settling down. Very quickly we were seduced by the flexibility of the engine, which does not bump for a large twin-cylinder, but in the summer heat that reigns in Genoa, the site of our test, the fan goes off quickly at a red light. The thermometer indicating 97/99 ° confirms that the engine has "its heat". Nothing dramatic, the fan is not extremely noisy and the mechanics seem to adapt to it without flinching or stalling. Perched high up, you dominate your subject, handling is excellent for a 1200 and the weight is reasonable (222 kg with full tank). Overall, this adventurer gets away with elegance and its line will earn you envious glances on the terrace of the cafes..

Moto Morini Scrambler 1200


We know the surprising efficiency of big trails on this playground. With its comparable geometry and its 19-inch front wheel, the Scrambler is no exception. Player, he swings with ease from one turn to another and the solid pickups of the big V2 propel you with joy.
We would get caught up in the game very quickly, if it were not for his studded tires, which paradoxically suited him so well in the city … and especially on the terrace of cafes! Once at work, it’s different. The studs on the Metzeler Karoo II do not offer the feeling of a modern trail tire. Steering precision loses and the pilot is no longer completely confident when setting the angle. Don’t worry about it, tires can be changed and even ordered at the start. Indeed, Moto Morini realizes its motorcycles on demand. For a perfect result, you can therefore order your Scrambler with Pirelli Scorpion trails which offer exceptional grip on the corner. The adventurer aspect loses a little, but efficiency gains a lot, as we have seen by simultaneously trying its sister, the Gran Passo, thus shod. So, no problem in sight. The efficiency of the suspensions is good in terms of comfort. At the front, the large 50 mm Marzocchi fork, non-adjustable, takes bumps without weakening. It does not dive excessively when braking, thanks to its initial setting well suited to use. Behind, the monoamortissseur Paioli is a little less at the party. Adjustable in compression and rebound, it is comfortable, but to obtain a more consistent behavior, we had to tighten the rebound fully. This point should be refined with good tires, but there is room for doubt, for those who want to drive fast, because in terms of comfort, it does its job very well..

Moto Morini Scrambler 1200


The big inverted fork, the trellis frame, the pretty hydroformed aluminum swingarm inspire confidence. They offer a good rigidity which we have once again verified on the accompanying Gran Passo, because with the studded tires, this beautiful chassis loses some of its superb in fast driving. The paving stones which are deformed do not make it possible to feel the “surgical” precision of the front axle, nor its edge. Too bad, because the potential is there. On these spaces a little more open, the big V2 flaunts its breath and frankly the level of performance is nothing retro, as the look might suggest. Braking is consistent and well adapted and you feel comfortable following your friends.

Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 on the road


There we appreciate the length of the engine which happily takes you beyond 200 km / h. The protection is not great, but the small windshield deflects the air a bit. The manufacturer’s range of accessories does not include a transparent bubble for this model, so it is not a genuine traveler as a big trail can be, but if you get out of a roadster, you will not be disoriented by wind resistance, quite bearable at legal speeds. We will appreciate here the large capacity of the tank (21 L). A feat given its finesse.


With its 298 mm double disc and its 2 parallel piston calipers, the Scrambler offers perfectly correct braking in proportion to its weight, as to its use. For comparison, think that the Scrambler Triumph, which weighs 9 kg more, has only one disc. What we deplore on the other hand is the absence of an ABS option to date, but that will not be long in coming. The firm is working on it, especially since this device will soon be compulsory. The rear is also a bit brutal, but its power will be appreciated as a duo..

Brembo brakes on Moto Morini Scrambler 1200

Rear brake on Moto Morini Scrambler 1200

Practical aspects

The first black point concerning the absence of ABS has just been mentioned. The second is to be verified, but it seems that consumption is relatively high. The manufacturer has told us that they are working in this direction, but in the short term, the Corsaro will be the first to benefit from this development. Since we started with safety, we should also point out that despite its superb “Tagasako Excell” spoked rims, the Scrambler is fitted with tubeless tires. A real plus in the event of a puncture, since in general, the tire deflates slowly, unlike a chamber, which empties like a balloon … with a risk of falling. If you really like escapades off the beaten track, Metzeler Karo II tires will give you satisfaction, with all the reserve that comes from venturing in TT with a 220 kg motorcycle, all full..
We have often compared the scrambler to the gran passo, the “real trail” of the brand. Know that if you are a traveler at heart, the manufacturer offers many accessories that allow, among other things, to charge your machine. This is the case of the right side bag (309 € with its support). For 166 €, you can buy a 15 L rear bag to put on the luggage rack itself sold for 210 €. If you are a loner, another 15 L pannier attaches to the back of the saddle. In short with all this luggage, the Scrambler offers a little more practical aspects. Also worth noting is a promotion, on a customized khaki version with headlight grille (normally sold € 85), leather side bag and other pilot and motorcycle accessories menus for a total value of € 2,182, all sold at the price of original, or € 10,900! Note that this price is € 1,500 lower than that charged in 2009, before the plant closed. A real bargain, especially since the bike is beautiful, well finished and equipped with quality accessories! Ultimate option to report, the Ohlins rear shock absorber, offered at € 1,573 in exchange for the original Paioli. Frankly, it’s expensive to pay. We advise you rather to keep it and if you really find it too tight to use, you will find "made in France" as an accessory at a better value for money. And you will always get 2 for the price of one! Also know if you feel like it, that you can also rent a scrambler to make up your own mind by leaving with a weekend (250 €) to get to know each other, or a full week for 630 €, or even longer. If at the end of this test, like us, you are seduced, this amount will then be deducted from the amount of your purchase. Not bad is not it ?

Off-road mode for the Moto Morini Scrambler 1200


With its Scrambler, Moto Morini invites you to travel through time and space. Powerful, versatile, it bends to the demands of everyday life, adding a touch of fantasy and originality. Classic in appearance, but all in all modern in character, it tastes of an old one, but the performance of a modern motorcycle. When traveling, as in town, you will not have to regret your choice. And when it comes to arsenal, you will surprise more than one … provided you have opted for the right tires. Especially with the pilot’s footrests a little high, it is not necessarily the ideal position, but on the other hand for the ground clearance in bends, it is amazing !!! The finish is beautiful, the line too and the engine really tasty (and very widely tested). Well, enough said, I’ll let you go to the manufacturer’s website to find the dealer closest to you. Were you looking for a motorcycle that is not everyone’s? You found it !

Strong points

  • artisanal construction, but low price
  • originality
  • motor character
  • chassis efficiency
  • finish / build quality.

Weak points

  • Absence of ABS, even as an option
  • saddle and rider footrest a little high
  • studded tires
  • rear shock absorber a little tight
  • consumption to be checked


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6 thoughts on “Moto Morini Scrambler 1200 test

  1. They adopted the Sugomi concept at Ducat ‘ ?

    The line is not far from a Z1000, more classy certainly, but it is not the same price either.

  2. It’s strange these evocations of the Z1000 compared to the V4, I find them so different in aesthetics these machines.

    Without even talking about everything else …!

  3. I admit that I agree with Maars, the Streetfighter has always seemed aesthetically closer to Japanese (especially Z1000 indeed) than to classic Italian guns.

    Especially as regards the front face in fact, and the shape / position of this headlight.

  4. I also find that the front gives it a silhouette reminiscent of the Z1000 and its cartoonish side..

    Aerodynamic downforce on a roadster, by definition stripped down, is, how can I put it …?

  5. Only the parting line of the cast aluminum footrests could be cut in the mass


    (and molded "S")

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