Moto Guzzi California SS — Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice —

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Moto Guzzi California Special

Moto Guzzi California SS 2001)

Moto Guzzi has some major changes to the version of the California Special it’s a far superior product

I was in the middle of that touring zone. You know, the one where the is purring along effortlessly you, you’re lost in about the chances of community succeeding in Botswana, and you’re oblivious to the surroundings — a stray fox decides to run in front of you on a road and threatens your survival.

I’m not entirely on the fox’s motives for the highway but either it was pleading for a ride on the new Moto Guzzi California I was riding, or urging me to pull the on my late-evening journey to the dairy in-laws near Echuca

Needless to say, the fox thought of trying to cross the path of the Guzzi, and performed the best since John Howard’s flip on fuel taxes. it may have been nasty, but again so was the trip to the in-laws. I want a repeat of those for a long while, but I could stomach another waltz on the air-cooled California Special which is the first Moto to leave the Mandello factory Aprilia bought out its ailing counterpart in the second half of

In a sign that Aprilia means business, the differences the ‘new’ Special Sport and the one (apart from the obvious and graphic changes) are quite — although the genes have made this such a success for Moto haven’t been abandoned. more importantly, the specific of contention on the superseded Special been addressed, such as on the header pipe flanges and a gearbox.

The former has been with the addition of smooth-edge to replace the outdated finned and the latter via reduced loads and But there’s one gripe I want to get out of the way — the petrol cap is still sticky to get off and on.

Power Phenomenon

Probably the that stands out most for me on the new vis-a-vis the long-termer that’s in the AMCN lair since (and saying goodbye; see panel) is the greater urge it throughout the entire rev range.

Guzzi still claims the performance figures (73ps at and 9.6kg-m at 5000rpm) on the 2001 it definitely feels much closer in performance to the bare-bones lighter) Jackal Stone, also houses the same donk.

I can’t really the phenomenon: Guzzi has made changes to the fuel-injection settings, or it may be the long-termer is just feeling the of time and kilometres. Certainly to split hairs over, if talking about going in the direction then some questions would have to be

The new $18,999 Sport is a lot cleaner at low rpm the old model, which tended to a beat on a regular basis, from a standing start. tick for the fuel injection.

the’s not as much to enthuse as mileage on the open road at was a fairly average 14.9km/lt up to 3.1km/lt worse off than we’ve got from the long-termer.

equates to around 280km out of the tank. Aesthetically, the engine is now in matt black — if factor was a part of the 2001 brief, then it’s a success.

As mentioned, the wide-ratio gearbox — still the heel and toe shifting mechanism is now velvet-like in 2001 form; less notchy, false are a thing of the past and it’s got a feel.

Business as usual

On the chassis and front, it’s business as on the new Special; not the type of business make you feel like a but for a cruiser it’s still The wide-set handlebars have retained I’m yet to find a where the hands fall to the so effortlessly.

A steering damper is a part of the bike’s decor, continues to be a little out of place its normal habitat — but again I wear swimming while I’m cutting in the kitchen. And I haven’t cried in

The linked Brembo brakes are still around, with one front disc activated by the in tandem with the rear

When the long-termer first its tenure, the severity and bias of the took some getting to, but on the new bike they didn’t enter my psyche. That’s because most of my kilometres churned out on the open road, the shock factor of the brakes is

Available in black and gold or and red, the California Special comes with new rear which are claimed to increase comfort. That’s a difficult one to as most standard twin-shock tend to struggle when the get too gnarly; probably a pillion is the person to answer that

The Sport still comes the same Metzeler rubber front and ME33 rear), performed admirably on the long-termer a variety of terrain. Excessive on the rear tyre was the only (it had to be replaced after 8000km), it did have to cope with heavy payloads.

As for the lights on the they are crackers I reckon I have nearly melted the fox on the if it had continued its ambush. The beam hundreds of metres up the road, so no chance of missing out on what’s

I’m full of praise for first Aprilia-era California Sport. The problems from the model have been it’s got more zoom zoom, it looks better and it’s still got the soul. The doesn’t promise the world, but it where it should — in and comfortable cruising.

Story: Fattore

Photos: Ken Wootton

Thursday, 16 August 2001


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