Living With the Moto Guzzi California Vintage

8 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Living With the Moto Guzzi California Vintage отключены
Moto Guzzi California Vintage

Living With the Moto California Vintage

A Week the Moto Guzzi California Street Cred without the Moto Guzzi has more street cred than people give it credit They’ve been around since 1921; longer anyone but Harley Davidson. But for Davidson, Guzzi’s been cruisers longer than els — their first in the incarnation you see above coming out in with the V700. Guzzi has liked building big bikes, but we adjust scale.

Italy, was Guzzi’s biggest market for of it’s life, had production bikes with less 100cc for decades — a above 300cc was considered

Guzzi was at the top of the heap early on, production 500cc bikes were reliable and sporting. The Falcone of the 50s is an excellent example of a bike with incredible to the point where an American Club member is an original of two, both ridden on to a daily basis for more 50 years! Guzzi builds and they have built for a long, long time.

is no late-comer, me-too, bandwagon built to exploit a market that came about Harley-Davidson’s renaissance. Moto toughed it out for years when with better resources and dealer networks walked all them.

The thing is, they gave up, they never building the platform, and they true to their mission. The cruiser platform is built the laterally-mounted V-twin motor 700cc, now 1100), running an in-line, automobile-type transmission through to a drive shaft and final. After more 40 years, it’s a highly system.

The motor could be described as a two cylinder small-block, V-8. This really a stretch. The cam is in the vee, there is a sump, it has a hemi-head with and rockers.

It also makes and gobs of torque, is insanely to work on, and is …-nuts reliable. The Vintage is a celebration of this from the first V-twins, the Police Bike era and up through The first California appeared on the platform, all white-pin-striped black a white-trimmed buddy seat. So did Moto Guzzi do with (arguments start here) popular platform cruiser ever to come from

The second-oldest continuously built platform in existence? They refined it

The refinements are many. are sport-bike-standard Double Brembos in the and a single in the rear. The 1094cc has a smooth, stumble-free injection The exhaust meets the tough standards, and the standard bags are huge and integrated perfectly the design.

The seat is just sweet. The windscreen has been to assure smooth flow the rider. The suspension comes a Marzocchi hydraulic telescopic with rebound and compression The rear suspension is ubiquitous shock, with preload and adjustability.

That Guzzi is still there. It sounds no other v-twin engine, their more me-too late-comers. It’s kind of but more small block. smiles by the bag load, and you don’t get that Harley patented sound conversation. Unique is

It looks like a real, Magnum Force police The Cal weighs in at about 560lbs, and it shows when the turns in front of you. You have a of three gears at any happy

The Engineers didn’t give in to the look. It’s ALL Guzzi, and means it’s not a Harley, Harley-wannabe; Harley anything. the anti-Harley in the cruiser market. the non-wannabe.

It’s the Cruiser for someone that rides a lot of bikes The combination of suspension, handling and balance make a bike for a non-cruiser-cruiser-buyer. Guzzi give in to fads, it stuck to its No fat tires or huge cubic-inch just not needed.

The Goose definitely go fast enough Barron of Rose Farm claims well over

If you want to ride a bike a anywhere, anytime, in a comfortable position that doesn’t a kidney belt and three of Advil for your sore and buffeted neck, this is bike. I Got up at 5 o’clock that morning, knowing that I was to ride the California Vintage to

I had just wrapped up a two-week of the Moto Guzzi Breva Sport; this was different it would be three hundred of riding on a real, honest-to-goodness made-for-the-long-road cruiser. I picked the up and gingerly rode off. I was that it would be a much bike than I’m to, but after a few miles I was surprised by the feel.

It was nowhere near as and zippy as the Breva 1200, but it nicely and the not-too-fat tires had turn in. I knew that I have to tweak the suspension a but not nearly so much as the Breva. it has almost as many adjustments, than my Ducati even. The shock is also a nice as the windscreen requires it. This is the floorboard-equipped bike I’ve on in about 16 years.

I didn’t what to expect. Friends of said that the Cal’s were small, that it highway pegs, and there’s no to move your feet Well, I have a size 12 and I found a couple of things off the

I had never heard of full floorboards before, and I like

I was able to move my feet in positions while cruising distance.

The big jugs on the Vintage prevent highway pegs, I found a spot where I hang my heels very without them.

The little peg as a pivot for your brake is a very smart idea.

Riding Effortless.

The big-pulled bars take some used to, especially after the motard-y rack. Once the big 1100 pulls like a even from beneath rpm. Gearchange is guzzi which means that you and hold each gear you release the clutch. If you want a little quicker, get the 6-speed on the Sport/Griso/Norge, as it is much more

The five-speed on the Guzzi, slow as it is, is spaced to ride on the street First gear is completely and I found myself cruising the of Santa Barbara in first lights, only shifting I had some yardage between me and the stop. The first-second combination for easy maneuvering and nice moves on the streets.

If you’re the slouched-over, lone, unloved and biker riding position many cruisers offer, going to be disappointed. The best on this bike is a standard up and down, nearly cop-like. comfortable, gives you tons of — you’re eye-to-eye drivers in all but the tallest SUVs.

that see me on the road say that I better on this bike the others that I’ve — time to have a with the wife and see if she likes or black.

The controls have a retro look, but they are definitely modern. Italian owners will be familiar this layout. The clutch is smooth, allows for a lot of feathering and gives a hint of any wooden or grabbiness.

The instruments all have a retro character, and this is attractive, down to the speedometer reads about 10% optimistic.

like Guzzi had some over parts from my old as they read almost Brakes took a little used to. I’m more of a braker person, so I usually the fronts and then ease the brake in for a settling effect.

out that the Guzzi Linked work well for this, I adjusted my technique slightly to use the front brake lever to off speed, and the rear lever to get to business. For those of you unfamiliar, the brakes on equipped Moto bikes operate the left disc in conjunction with the disc. The front brake operates only the front Brembo.

The combination is both effective and Hard to high-side a bike linked brakes when correctly, since you can modulate the of both wheels with the lever. The Cal’s narrower current vogue tires for the bike to turn in beautifully.

I had to the steering shock for high turns, as it tends to have an wobbling frequency around an 80-90 in the big sweepers without it. dialed in it all disappears. The adjustments of the are also welcome, giving me a comfortable ride with handling capabilities.

Lightness, if a like that can be used a cruiser, is apparent. The bike in at only 560-ish pounds, and translates into the flick-ability of Guzzi when compared to rivals, and also accentuates the Brembos abilities. The 1100cc is matched nicely to this — no more engine because you’re traveling and light, not loaded up with accessories, googaws and an extra or more to pull it around.

in traffic The first few miles on the 405 from picking up the bike a nice easy cruise in traffic.

As I neared LAX, the backed up and the commuter lane giving me the choice of splitting or sitting. Like most riders, I chose the former, but caution as I was adjusting to the big Guzzi’s and controls. I have to thank Eastwood and others for putting the of the Guzzi into people’s My black jacket, white helmet and the windscreen/light combo traffic like Charlton in a red bathrobe.

My urban camouflage was successful. Even so, the bags on the big as they are, don’t past the bars or floorboards (I this is part of the philosophy of engineers as exhibited by the Norge’s layout), and the upright stance you so much control over the that splitting lanes is not the ride I had expected. Puppies and to that.

The cavernous bags are a delight. I was able to pack all my in the side bags, and the real was the ability to put my 17? Mac Laptop in without to take a running start. I have easily fit five a We’re talking grocery in here.

The bags come an inner liner, they very wide and of course locks. I was advised to keep locked down at all time to accidental opening, didn’t try to out what would happen if I The only note about the would be to expect to paint the once in awhile as you’re to hit them from time-to-time mounting the bike.

I don’t this is a big deal if you ride it a as stuff happens and that’s part of riding.

The Guzzi is so fun to ride I don’t think any of are going to be bought as hangar anyway. This is a real, ride-me-everyday kind of bike. I the way I feel and look on it. I like seen on it, but I wouldn’t ride it to be seen on it. Does that sense?

Cool vs. Checkbook Looking for a Cool Cruiser or Big The California Vintage is Seriously Cool is Fonzi before the Tank. Cool is James before Roger Lazenby.

before the Pinto. The Blues before Belushi died. it is most definitely true some people that motorcycles from The Motorcycle are cool, it’s not because own Harleys.

They are cool AND chose to ride Harleys.

But are people that are cool and choose to ride Vespas. The here is the great number of that buy Harleys and other motorcycles because it will them cool. This is cool. No work needed, add money and you’re cool.

To whom?

Well, definitely to people that did the same and wrote a check. After one chink in the armor there, and the house of cards could crashing down! If, all of a sudden, that everyone was spending all money on to be cool all of a sudden cool anymore, then the now bubble in that particular for cool would burst, and have a lot of equipment and associated flooding the market, and everyone be trying to get something else is cool.

A classic example of is the Ferrari market just Enzo died. It went the ceiling, then burst as paying exorbitant prices find anyone to purchase, and began that, nearly 20 later, only has about of the values at that point. not saying that the Harley is going to crash. I’m not insinuating that people stop buying cruisers. My is, buy something based on facts, YOU want, and consider all options.

Too I’ll be talking to people want to get a cruiser, perhaps first one, and they are on the Harley, and ONLY the Harley.

you’ll have the Yamaha, Victory or others in the mix, but I hear anyone saying, about that big Guzzi, or I the Guzzi but want the Roadliner, The California Vintage isn’t on radar. Why? Lack of underwear?

No lifestyle? What. The is a great bagger for the serious Guzzi gets in the magazines, but the editor of one of these really like anything without 150 or a Munich nameplate, and just bags on Guzzi to the US public. on him.

The Guzzi is well-suited to the US and market. Big, long lots of friends with a loyal following and a requirement for The California Vintage is a freeking

If you were to load up any other with great bags, seats, windscreen, sportbike-level fork and adjustable rear -you’d be lucky to get under Yet, here’s your Vintage, with an incredible best-of-breed suspension, mongo and nicely integrated screen on the platform, standard, for $15K. editors lump it against the because of its weight and engine but the real comparison is the big baggers. If idea of cool is:

Light and


Heritage and Style too much bling

Comfortable seating, but not barcalounger



An incredibly open and owners’ group

You want a commuter cruiser.

Oh, and you aren’t a hangar queen. You’re the road!

If you think the above defines your cool You should consider the Guzzi. You ride the California Vintage and see if for you. Find out when the is going to have rides and get on the bike. Fill up the bags.

the white helmet and sunglasses, and CHP — 1972. Retro some serious riding that’s the California Vintage. The Vintage leaps into the world from 1972 Bob Beaman’s long jump. It may not be bike, but it’s worth consideration.

You’ll be pleasantly Your First Big Cruiser going to go out on a limb here and the California Vintage if you’ve had a bagger before. Reason for is that it’s light. of the really big bikes are incredibly to get in and out of parking spaces, let alone get parking lots.

They are not to get the hang of, and can be downright dangerous to that doesn’t have a lot of or doesn’t ride much. The is well-suited because it’s geometry and low center of gravity a less-experienced rider to easily get a parking lot, and build confidence on the open road. and bumpy turns become no big in no time, and the linked brakes and controls allow the rider to on a piece of newspaper.

It’s a very easy to ride, and if you ride a lot, very rewarding as you’ll be able to DUST some of the big through the twisties.

They may you on the straights (but I DOUBT If you’re like me, that doesn’t matter, as I don’t much with anyone is trying to … or attract too attention from John Q. The Cal is your friendly neighborhood speed bike that is the that sport bike and types should buy.

the cruiser for the rider that is to reel in some big miles year. A side-by-side comparison of the Vintage and Harley Davidson Softail. After riding the Vintage around, I thought it be nice to compare it to the standard of the — The Harley Davidson Softail. I chose the softail it has similar look and purpose.

It is a touring bike with a windscreen, bags, etc. purpose is retro; cop-like, miles, touch of retro as the name suggests, Heritage. I this is probably an accurate of the big Guzzi as well. Price was slightly difficult to figure.

Guzzi has a single price, There are no ups involved. You can buy only accessories, and they’re all luggage, a bag, tail bag and a cover. it. If you want to add 40lbs of leather and items, you’re pretty out of luck here.

Bonus in my because you’re not going to get a whole bunch of stuff you need just so the dealer can up your out-the-door price. The is unique enough as it stands. The base is $17,999. There’s a charge of $330, Wire are another $500, Emissions in are another $200, and a security is $345.

So now you’re at $19,199. Oh Guzzi has that … fork. Harley’s got that but that’s another $1400. bags similar to the Guzzi be another $800.

So now we’re up to 21,399. That’s an extra to pack it like the Moto California Vintage.

So what do you get for the You do get that Harley name so all you’re friends will know that you are part of the and stayed in the box. You get the same (2 years), but I didn’t see roadside which is what is offered by

How about power? Do you get more for your money? Well, the 1094cc motor lists horspower as 72hp.

Harley list it’s horsepower anywhere on their site, but a Google Search I found the output listedas 82hp for 96 c.i. (1570cc) lump. you factor weight in, I get 9 lbs per horsepower for the and 8 lbs per horsepower for the Guzzi. So the $6400 give you one more pound per for the Harley, given that the figures I could find are (I found lower, too).

also delivers an extra 11 of torque, which indeed is to sneeze at. So, dollar-wise, it costs per extra horsepower, and $582 for extra foot-pound of torque. Of Harley will be most to put more ponies under … for an extra charge.

You also just live the stock leather soft on the Harley and save more I fell in love with the forks. You can take them off the if you want, but the handling will suffer and the Guzzi will walk away from you in the

Maybe that’s not you’re but frankly, I believe that if considering a Guzzi, you’re very interested in how the bike handle and move. Guzzi publish it’s lean but from my experience they are sporting. Harley states lean angles are 29 or thereabouts, and sure that Guzzi this mercilessly.

The big, bad brembos are something that Guzzi has that doesn’t; I didn’t couldn’t this available from — I’m sure are available aftermarket, just up the bucks. I guess it depends on you want. Many people it extremely important to belong, and I that very much.

community is very strong and has a long and storied lifestyle.

never going to have of a bad boy image on a California Guzzi, the bad cops fromMagnum Force. The is pointed directly at riders want a great handling, and reliable bagger to soak up distances. After all, you’re going 80, ride, handling and braking become important. The Harley will hit the road, soak up the miles, and you get to to the club — and pay the extra in dues. I’ve never much of a joiner.

I am a Guzzi and I will readily admit I am glad that the Guzzi so favorably. The Moto Guzzi Owner’s Club is a great that I just haven’t around to joining, and yet my friends in the still invite me on their and treat me like a member I show up. I think guilt membership there.

The club is family-oriented and friendly as all-get-out. The definitely have nothing about them, in fact, are more anarchic than else.

I think I’ve met the president, but nobody ever club politics, so I think he got by missing a meeting. I guess it on what you want, but I believe a side-by-side comparison of the Heritage and the Vintage is a worthy one. The big really packs a tremendous for the money, and it’s a real to own and ride. I knew this day come. Ok.

It’s not my bike. shared that. I had less with it than the Breva Sport that GuzziUSA was enough to let me ride. I took the back, loving the bike, but I that it had to go on, eventually, to a happy

This time it’s The Guzzi got under my skin. bike is the girl you take to Mom. I wasn’t ready to let go. I up early and decided to take the from Northridge down to Beach in Friday Morning Hour to have lunch a college buddy.

I hadn’t experienced the center of Los Angeles in heavy traffic, and I figured I-5 at 9am would be a perfect crucible. isn’t a short trip. 70 miles on LA’s inner freeway into the heart of County.

I would be traveling areas that are some of the in the US.

Names like East LA where the 110, 10, 5 and 60 all meet in a bowl of roads, and further the Orange Crush near beckoned. I would definitely be some lane splittin’ I hoped that the big, Guzzi was up to its heritage. For a Cruiser, the isn’t exceptionally wide.

The is pretty mellow, really, and the don’t stick out further the handlebars, as far as I could tell. The protrude slightly further, but not so Ride height is perfect for traffic. You sit up high and can look all but the SUV drivers right in the eye. you’re in the canyons between this and a good set of headlights is a plus.

The day started out warm and to heat up to the typical, Santa-Ana Indian Summer day that is in the region. A great test for the Stifling hot, heavy and a big cruiser.

Not as much fun as canyon but if you live in LA or any big city, considering the of this wonderful, big Guzzi, you as heck want to know it can live in traffic in tough Once onto the 5 South, I in comfort until I reach the reaches of downtown LA. Traffic is up. I began to weave between the cars as they moved at 45-55 mph.

Absolutely no problem.

If anything the windscreen was too efficient in that it the air around me instead of through the in my jacket. I continued as the traffic and the myriad ramps of the East LA approached, signaling that traffic and real, slow-speed was in my future.

As I worked my way through the I noticed that I was splitting cars like butter only the narrowest of passages had me or stopped, and this had a lot to do with the Cal someone else’s bike. splitting is a black art that profiling the vehicle/driver combinations you, spotting goof on cell phones, putting on (sharp objects near eyes at speed? stupid!), or reading the paper.

It also people looking back and in their rear view making eye contact with These are the real scary because you don’t know if are going to move out of your way or Assault with a Deadly So I take it easy. Hey!

on a cruiser.

There are a few squids I let by, happy to risk a little I’m 47, taking my Friday and headed for lunch on a bike to me for a week. I’m sure as not going to screw this up, the Guzzis are coming out and I want my on them as soon as I can arrange it! The widen and smooth out into County. Big HOV lanes, smooth and I’m in business all the way to Newport

Arriving off the 55, I realize that my Dean, has moved his office. I and he’s in a meeting. I need to get gas as I want to fill up the tank I return the bike. Time to up one thing to remember about with the California.

The tank is of on the small side. I KNOW it says that it holds 5 but I’ve ridden it 25 miles the reserve light on and still put about 3.8 into it. Jeeeeezzzussss! Can the at Guzzi give us our 6 gallon back from the 60’s?

these wonderful bikes 43 mpg, we’d have RANGE! The seats and riding are comfortable enough for two-plus stints, let’s make tanks that extend the Ok.

Rant over.

Had a nice a few laughs and realized that Food in Newport Beach is different than the Post-Nuclear-Battlefield that is served in the East San Valley Shopping Centers. for the final ride up the 405 in rush traffic to the California’s final More lane splitting, of bumps (the 405 is unbelievably and final arrival. I get here one after picking it up, only 10 short of 1000 miles

I really rode the bike enjoyed it thoroughly and left a sweet taste in my mouth. to go home and negotiate with the

Danilo Gurovich writes motorcycles and technology. He is a published author and technologist and rides any weather permitting.


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