So it's sad to read an article in the latest issue of Italy's most influential bike rag 'Motociclismo'. They carried out a massive and comprehensive 28 page mega-test in Sicily of the current enduro tourers on the market, including the MBW F800GS, BMW R1200, Honda Transalp 700, KTM 990 Adventure, Triumph Tiger 800XC, Yamaha Tenere 660 and the Yamaha ST 1200.
I started to read the spread (as posted above) assuming the Stelvio would be in there - after all, the test was in Italy, and these bikes are its main competition. Then I noted the small panel on the bottom left hand page, with the headline 'Guzzi Stelvio - Absent without Leave'. It continues (imagine terse, tight-lipped speaker) 'The Italian contender is missing from our comparison: we asked Moto Guzzi for the Stelvio, but the bike was delivered extremely late, when we were already well into our test in Sicily'.
Obviously I don't know the details of why Motociclismo didn't get the bike in time, but if five other manufacturers can get their bikes sorted, why can't Guzzi? Or is it Guzzi's masters Piaggio that don't care? It's sad because the Stelvio is easily as good as the BMW 1200 GS (I've ridden both) and probably better than some of the other bikes on test here, but now the readership of Italy's top bike mag aren't going to know that, and people who might have bought a Stelvio might now buy a Bimmer instead.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.