Macbor Montana XR1 2023 test: Introduction
Macbor continues to renew its most iconic models (we recently told you about the new Macbor Rockster 2023) and now it is the turn of the successful and charismatic Macbor Montana XR1 2023.
Since its jump to large motorcycles (Macbor began as a brand of children’s motorcycles back in 1999) one of its most emblematic models has always been this small 125 trail. Not in vain the 125 trail has been a strong commitment of the Catalan brand and we can now say without fear of being wrong that the move has turned out well.
The bet is now doubled with the same philosophy. A beautiful and cheerful motorcycle, very versatile, that can meet the needs of a wide range of users. Those who are new to trail riding will find a reliable and docile companion in this XR1 and the most experts can enjoy it as a second bike, smaller and more manageable than their usual maxitrail. The most urbanites will also have a mobility solution with very comfortable ergonomics and very practical equipment.
Some competitors of the Macbor Montana XR1 125 are the Rieju Aventura 125, The Zontes U1-125 or the Motron
Test Macbor Montana XR1 2023: Features and Equipment
The engine of the Macbor Montana XR1 125 is a 4-stroke single-cylinder with liquid cooling, double overhead camshaft and balance shaft to reduce vibrations. The power it offers is 13 HP at 9,500 rpm and its maximum torque is 9.6 Nm at 5,500 revolutions.
The cycle part of the Macbor Montana XR1 begins with 17” aluminum wheels on both axles that mount mixed tubeless tires. The chassis is made of steel. The brakes are provided by a 265 mm front petal disc with a 3-piston caliper and a 240 mm disc at the rear and a single-piston caliper.
The braking is of the CBS type, which partially activates the front brake when we press the rear brake as well as partially activates the rear brake when we activate the front brake lever.
The suspensions incorporate a hydraulic inverted fork with a 37 mm diameter and 120 mm travel. The rear monoshock is preload adjustable and has a linkage system with a travel of 48 mm.
The final assembly declares a final dry weight of 160 kg and maximum dimensions of 2,090 mm, 865 mm and 1,280 mm in terms of length, width and height. The wheelbase is 1,370 mm and the seat is 780 mm from the ground.
Being a rather small motorcycle and accessible to users of all sizes. The tank has 14 liters of capacity and the declared consumption remains at 2.5 L/100 km.
The equipment of the Macbor XR1 is completed with Full LED lighting, 5” LED instrumentation and a USB socket on the side cover. It also comes with three suitcases (plastic), engine guards, skid plate and center stand.
Macbor Montana XR1 2023 Test: Underway
Starting with the design of this renewed Montana XR1, it should be noted that, like its sister, the Rockster 125 has been entirely designed in Barcelona. Macbor is evolving a lot and increasingly controls more and more phases of the development of his motorcycles. The design is a great bet for this XR1 and although it maintains the style of its predecessor, it also seeks differentiation in the market. The brand has started from scratch to design a beautiful trail with countless quality details, instead of resorting to retouching an existing platform.
The X-shaped front lighting with the logo embedded in red is very personal and exclusive. Apart from giving it an important, almost ostentatious look on a 125. But Macbor’s philosophy regarding design is very clear: just because it is a small motorcycle does not mean that it has to be ugly or that the user should forgive the lack of quality. .
That is why we also observe a certain pride in details such as the side covers, which have the brand logo engraved in a repetitive pattern that also serves to increase grip with the knees when we are standing.
The front bodies are modern, inspired by the fins of a shark and the final silhouette dispenses with the everlasting “duck bill” characteristic of the segment, giving this little adventurer its own and very recognizable air. It is a slim and sharp motorcycle and in general the finishes are of quality, without bad finishes or spaces between the plastics.
Likewise, it is evident that Macbor has designed the motorcycle with ergonomics in mind, since the dimensions and position of the controls are very suitable for classic trail riding. The driving position is natural and relaxed. I am 186 cm tall and have been able to feel comfortable on the motorcycle both standing and sitting.
Although ideally someone of my size will always be more comfortable on a larger bike, I do think that the shapes of the XR1 can accommodate quite tall people without problems.
When we put our leg over the seat we were faced with a 5” LED instrumentation that I personally prefer to a poor quality multicolor TFT. It is backlit and can be seen perfectly regardless of whether the sun shines on it or not and this seems like a success to me.
A detail that gives a very good impression is the piece that collects and covers the passage of the cables between the seat post and the instrumentation, which provides a feeling of higher quality than what is expected from a 125. For all this, it is easy to Before turning the ignition key, the XR1 will make a good impression on those who test it.
Once up and running, we can see that it can perfectly meet the expectations of a very diverse audience. The heart of this Macbor Montana
It is smooth and progressive and does not present annoying vibrations. In general, he is a small stonecutter who works incessantly to move even my 100kg weight with ease along the roads of the Pyrenees.
I really liked the gear change, it is smooth to the point that it seems telepathic. You just have to think about changing gears so that it enters very smoothly. I always say it, many motorcycles made in China, especially those with small displacements, come with a very fine gearbox. This is partly because of the urban bias they bring. Yes, we are looking at a trail motorcycle, but let’s not forget that many of these units will end up circulating mainly in the city, since they are great solutions for urban mobility as well.
We can perceive this urban bias in the 17” front tire (unlike some of its competitors such as the Rieju Aventura which has an 18”) which gives it a lot of agility in the constant zigzagging of towns. The toll paid for use in the field is not decisive and once again, let us remember that the main use that many people will give it will be mainly asphalt.
Continuing with the cycle part, comment that the suspension works very well. In the test with my 100 kilos, I have not felt any wobbles or pitching of any kind and in general, despite pushing the motorcycle to the limit at times, I have always perceived a good connection with the road.
In bumpier areas, the regulation seemed correct and the suspension reacted without problems or loss of grip. This, together with an engine that is not excessively powerful, but smooth and predictable, and a gearbox that is like butter, makes the overall driving sensation refined and very controlled.
Braking is adequate and brake feel is good. The combined braking system (CBS) works very well on the road and I think it is a good addition for new drivers. It is true that there are still those in the old guard who denigrate it, but I sincerely believe that people who are getting into motorcycles can benefit from CBS. It helps to flatten the bike before entering a curve and provides extra stability.
Of course, in the field things change. The fact that the rear brake pedal acts on the front caliper can cause us to have problems in situations of poor grip if we try to block the rear wheel, because we can exert too much force on the front axle.
Macbor has thought about this extreme and has fine-tuned the regulation of its combined braking system so that it is as minimally intrusive as possible. In the dynamic test, the impression I got is that you have to do a lot of work to have problems, but it doesn’t hurt to take that into account.
And since we’re talking about taking the bike out into the countryside, yes, this little adventurer that is the XR1 is perfectly capable of giving some joy on unpaved roads and not too complicated tracks. The weight distribution and general lightness of the motorcycle make it very bearable off the asphalt.
In my case I have chosen to sit most of the time, but when I have wanted to stand I have felt safe and connected to the terrain without any problem. The engine shines on this other terrain even more if possible than on the asphalt because of that smoothness that I mentioned before and a fairly decent torque that makes the recoveries very solvent. At low revs it continues to push and that makes it easier to pass through rocky terrain, technical areas or that slope that catches you by surprise in a long gear.
In general we can say that despite not being an off-road monster, this Macbor Montana XR1 carries the adventurer label with great dignity.
This trail vocation is also confirmed by the specific equipment that comes as standard, which includes: side fenders, a crankcase cover and three suitcases (the rear one fits a full-face helmet).
For all this, for its behavior on and off the asphalt and its versatility, I think we must recognize this great little adventurer as a magnificent option (perhaps the best) within its segment and displacement.