2003 Moto Guzzi California EV Touring: MD Ride Review …

28 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2003 Moto Guzzi California EV Touring: MD Ride Review …
Moto Guzzi California EV 80
Moto Guzzi California EV 80

2003 Moto Guzzi California EV Touring: MD Ride Review

Let’s face it. There are motorcycle manufacturers out there that consistently draw among the most fanatical, and devoted, customers despite producing machines that employ older technology (such as air-cooled, two-valve engines). The devotion, and passion, shown by owners of these particular marques’ machines results from a combination of function and largely intangible elements.

These motorcyclists are receiving something of tremendous value to them totally unrelated to quarter mile times, stopping distances, ultimate cornering ability, etc. What these people get from their bikes is very real to them, nevertheless, and very satisfying. It is not just about style, either.

The simplicity of the technology is part of the attraction.

It may seem silly to attempt to explain what is happening here, but I can’t resist. Bear with me while I take a short side trip that I will try to tie back into my discussion about this Moto Guzzi, and motorcycles like it.


During a time in my life when I was particularly interested in Zen, I read a book called “Zen and Japanese Culture” (this was in the late 1980s). Written by Daisetz T. Suzuki (who died in 1966 at the age of 95, and deserves a much more extensive introduction), this book has an interesting discussion about Japanese art and, more importantly for our purposes, the perception of beauty, or the quality of attractiveness. I won’t bore you with extensive discussion of the Japanese traditional concepts of wabi (poverty or simplicity), sabi (rustic unpretentiousness or archaic imperfection) or the use of asymmetry by Japanese artists and architects, but contemplate these statements by Suzuki for a minute:

However “civilized,” however much brought up in an artificially contrived environment, we all seem to have an innate longing for primitive simplicity, close to the natural state of living. Hence the city people’s pleasure in summer camping in the woods or traveling in the desert or opening up an unbeaten track. We wish to go back once in a while to the bosom of Nature and feel her pulsation directly.

[Regarding the economy and asymmetry of Japanese art,] where you would ordinarily expect a line or a mass or a balancing element, you miss it, and yet this very thing awakens in you an unexpected feeling of pleasure. In spite of shortcomings or deficiencies that no doubt are apparent, you do not feel them so; indeed, this imperfection itself becomes a form of perfection.

We can all participate in a simple exercise when we look at perfectly symmetrical human faces versus the asymmetrical faces presented to us by nature (the left half and right half of any individual’s face is different — they are never a perfect mirror of the other). It turns out that perfect symmetry makes a face, generally speaking, unattractive. I will let the pictures, and their captions, illustrate this point to you.

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