Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Derbi Mulhacén 659

Wed, February 3rd, 2010

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NOTE: The Derbi Mulhacén 659 has never been imported to the United States.

2006-2010 Derbi Mulhacén 659
The 4-valve, fuel-injected Minarelli engine is basically the same as the Yamaha XT660/MT-03, and is one of the more powerful, capable singles out there.
Somewhat of a mishmash of high-quality components that unfortunately don't come together and work quite as they should.
Striking and notable without being silly or cartoonish. Minimal, svelte bodywork highlights narrowness of chassis. Too-fat front tire reminds me of Yamaha's goofy TW200, and not in a good way.
Looks good on a spec sheet, and no horrible reports from owners that have had theirs a number of years, but can the multinational mix of Piaggio parts and Spanish build quality match those of the big Japanese marques? ...Probably not in the long run.
Vibrates a bit, not surprisingly. The upright posture and compact seat are both pluses (in the city) and minusus (on long freeway jaunts). Marked down because this has never imported to the USA.
A very cool bike, but from a decidedly un-flashy manufacturer that lacks street cred.
The big Derbi is not perfect by any means, but keeping the big street thumper alive in the modern bike market is a very good thing.

TOMORROW: Kawasaki EX500