1979 Moto Guzzi: An Italian Motorcycle That’s California Cool — Classic…

12 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1979 Moto Guzzi: An Italian Motorcycle That’s California Cool — Classic… отключены
Moto Guzzi California Aluminium

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Barry Porter’s Benelli Sei 750

Guzzi T3 California

Claimed 59 hp @ 6,800 rpm

Top speed: 100 mph

Engine: 844 cc OHV 90-degree V-twin

Weight 540 lb. (245 kg)

Fuel Capacity/MPG: gal. (24 ltr)

Price $3,250 (est.)/$5,500 —

It was back in 1988, on the streets of Philly, that the Moto T3 California first made a big on me. It was big, with loads of and dripping in style, and it had an exhaust that caught your ear and you turn and notice the nonchalant in black Ray-Bans and an open-face

I was then a 20-year-old Londoner, in the for the first time, playing in a band and looking out for ‘57 Chevys, ‘53 and H-D Knuckleheads — not Italian motorcycles Mandello del Lario, a place I’d heard of.

When I got home, my bought one. It was his first big before a serious Harley kicked in. I was so envious. He lent it to me for a and I racked up 1,000 miles cruising around London — I like the king of the road. He it, but I was determined to own one some day.

The T3 California was just cool; I was

An Italian motorcycle gets a bike’s modification

What the original Moto Guzzi so special is that it wasn’t to be a show pony, but a hard-working motorcycle. In fact, looks probably the last thing on Scotty Henderson’s mind as he over workers at the Guzzi at Mandello in late 1968. over by the L.A.P.D.

Traffic Division, Henderson supervised the of 10 special 750cc V7 Police commissioned after two 700cc (with involvement of U.S. importers Berliner Motor had been tested by police top in Los Angeles earlier in the year.

The and ruggedness of the V7s, along their ease of maintenance, had Moto Guzzi was eager to even more. “At Mandello, I was carte blanche for ideas on how to the motorcycle,” Henderson later “They literally designed a right before my eyes.” oversaw L.A.P.D.-required modifications, the sprung sidestand that be operated from the solo the famous footboards, a left gearshift and a windshield in bulletproof all added to a machine that featured extra lights, a and a radio.

A standing quarter mile in 16 with full police had to be achieved. The Guzzi did it in 14.3. approved and in service in L.A. the quickly became favorites younger officers, who found the agile compared to its Harley

Orders from other departments followed, including the Highway Patrol. “California” eventually define this big the name appearing on a civilian 750, then on the 850cc Special” version. It was like a but wasn’t a Harley. With a big and white solo seat, bags and footboards, the California was established.

Our T3 California — an original a few add-ons

The very clean T3 California shown here is in original condition with a few additions. Based on the T3 introduced in the T3 California retains the distinctive and white paint and saddle footboards, hard bags and door-sized windscreen of the earlier Thanks to Guzzi engineer Tonti’s super-stable and intelligently frame (designed for the V7 Sport and for the 850 T in 1974), the T3 California squats lower than its earlier

This particular T3 was constructed in 1979, midway through the 1975-1982 production run. a “crossover” bike, it features the Borrani wheels fitted to T3 Californias rather than the wheels introduced in 1979, and the clocks, switchgear and “cigarette hard bags (the open like a hard of cigarettes).

The so-called “buddy” seat its big chrome grab rail is named — perfect and comfy for but your passenger should be a close friend or very for you to avoid riding with knees cooking on the rocker hence the handy knee The big front disc brakes stand out, solving the weaknesses of the earlier V7 models, as there’s a third rear and all boast Brembo calipers.

Moto Guzzi California Aluminium
Moto Guzzi California Aluminium

Frenante Integrale it says in on the worn decal on the tank, you of the California’s linked braking that applies the left and rear discs when the foot-operated brake pedal, the lever actuating only the front disc. Revolutionary for 1975.

The 850cc 90-degree engine sits low across the frame, its chrome exhaust curving back to form two lines that tuck under the hard bags. The handlebar, twin horns, headlamp brackets and rim, and shift pedals are all dripping in and the use of stainless steel for both and aluminum for the alternator cover, legs, and clutch and brake all give the California a high-quality

Copious use of Allen bolts practicality for the owner. Need to the 30mm VHB Dell’Orto carbs or the tappets? Maybe strip the heads and barrels?

It’s all in front of you — Guzzi accessibility is not legendary, but damn useful, Replacing the oil filter can be a pain mounted in the oil pan), but even easy.

Touring on a Moto Guzzi T3

Although the California is a big bike, no problem getting both firmly on the ground, and with the key between the clocks on, and the choke mounted on the left rocker open, the Guzzi roars life easily via the start on the right handlebar, current from the big car-type battery to the starter.

If you haven’t ridden a before, it might take a to get used to putting your on the footboards and locating where to position your left to operate the heel-and-toe shift but it comes quickly. I’m used to it, and the Cali into first a Guzzi-typical positive clunk. The is light as a feather — if the cable is correctly and lubricated well, as it is on bike.

Choke off, and a slight lurch, the Cali away. It’s no red-light and changing across the big gap between and second gear requires but once up into third the healthy torque comes play, and it’s easy to use up to fifth gear and back again, depending on what of road you’re enjoying.

fun to sit back and enjoy the California and I’m reminded of an early 1970s World description of the earlier V7 Police Special that “If the Roman Gods rode the Moto Guzzi would be the of Bacchus. It reeks of luxurious a genuine ultra-bike.” Seventies maybe, but spot-on when applied to the T3 California — there is about the handlebar/seat/footboard combination gives you an imperious feeling of and comfort. Combine that a chassis that gives brakes that work and an that feels simply and you can appreciate why the young guns in the Highway Patrol liked it so

The Guzzi’s natural pace is to sit in gear and cruise at between 70 and with the torquey V-twin lazily at around 5,000rpm. The big is pretty efficient at keeping of the windblast off. The linked work very well, and on the brake pedal slows the quickly, though on slower engine braking and a finger on the brake (i.e. right has the same effect.

The 35mm are adequate for a motorcycle of this though Konis have the original rear shocks on bike, so suspension is good. A in touring mode, loaded a passenger, boxes full and a bag, is a stable and safe

Yet point the Guzzi toward roads with plenty of fast or tighter bends, and perform just as well. is excellent, and the hinged footboards you have plenty of ground in tighter bends. It’s such fun to ride, using the big to haul it easily from to right, barely bothering to from third and fourth to the lazy, elastic engine to out of corners.

Its sprightliness completely belies its weight. The low bass sound the seamed Lafranconi mufflers is especially on the overrun or through preferably the ones passing the Alps and into Italy …

If you the looks, the T3 California is an involving and motorcycle to ride, and to own. I bought my own seven years It needed a lot of work, but it’s a keeper.

I love to sit on that seat, toes poking off the of the footboards, and cruise. As a practical they’re hard to beat for usability, and rising prices for and original spares over the couple of years suggest many agree.

That the model, developed 40 years ago by from California in Mandello del Italy, has remained the best model from Moto is no real surprise — a fact by the recent launch of the latest in the the 1400 California. It has much to up to. MC

Moto Guzzi California Aluminium

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