Review: 2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring — Driver’s Seat — WSJ

16 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Review: 2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring — Driver’s Seat — WSJ отключены
Moto Guzzi 850 California

Review: 2014 Moto California 1400 Touring

Dan Wall Street Journal Guzzi California 1400

MOTORCYCLE RIDING is sketchy that these days I do it and with great care. I have to want to ride a bike, not professionally but personally. And I to ride this bike, the new Guzzi California 1400 ABS—a bull fiddle of a a massive Italian-built custom-cruiser its crankshaft stuck in the wrong

With a honking 1,380-cubic-centimeter cackling amidships and a long, more custom-y stance, the (in Touring and Custom trim, and $14,990, respectively) is the big reveal in a $54 product modernization by corporate Piaggio (the California on sale this week).

reboot of Moto Guzzi test the appeal of what has been an exceedingly niche-y defined by its quirks (6,664 sales in 2012). If Moto were any more of a cult, need a chicken.

Moto has the distinction of being Europe’s continuously operating motorcycle based since 1921 in del Lario, Lombardy, Italy—a I consider to be about the center of But the way has not been easy, and Moto has been bought and sold a mule over the decades, spending a stretch in government Free marketers can leave the now.

Moto Guzzi won a lot of races and several wonderful road in its heyday, which was the 1950s and Here in the 21st century, Guzzi wants very to be a part of the Italian fine-goods along with the mass-class Aprilia and Vespa. These are like Birkin bags for

As a brand, Moto Guzzi has a lot for it, starting with its Lake address. This is motorcycle The company’s early history is the of three friends who met in the Italian air during World War I and hatched a to build motorcycles. The winged-eagle is a tribute to one of the trio who died in a crash in 1919.

In 1928, Guzzi rode from the headquarters to the Arctic Circle, 4,000 miles, to demonstrate a new rear suspension. To this Moto Guzzi makes a Norge model in tribute to the

As engineered products, Moto are handcuffed to the brand’s distinctive—and questionable—transverse 90-degree V-twin a configuration that reaches to the 1960s. The V of the cylinder heads out the sides of the motorcycle, and the crankshaft lengthwise, longitudinal to the bike. arrangement results in Guzzis’ gyroscopic effect under

The rotation of the crankshaft imparts a moment to the chassis, so that bikes lean to the right you give them the gas and go strangely off-throttle. It’s not a huge but when you ride a Moto on a winding road, you definitely pay than the usual attention to the

The mission for Moto Guzzi in the is pretty clear-cut: Increase in lucrative markets like the by building bikes with a lot of story, nuance, charisma, resonance, whatever you want to it, while minimizing the downsides of the design.

Ergo, the California The name goes back to when Moto Guzzi won a to supply motorcycles to the Los Angeles Department and California Highway The next year, the company a version of the V7 with many of the of the American cop bikes: bullhorn broad saddles, chrome heel-and-toe shifters, chrome bars everywhere, and the big cop windshield and marker lights.

All of these notes have been with the new California Touring, and I, have never felt so like Erik Estrada. Our was painted law-enforcement white, and as I cars on Los Angeles freeways I see drivers freaking out as they in the rearview mirror. Do us all a favor: get the white one.

She is a large lady, this 710 pounds in Touring trim, the 1.2-cubic-foot lockable panniers on side and a gas tank you could a picnic on. But the seat is low and well-contoured and the leg around the machine remarkably and it’s still somewhere 50 and 100 pounds lighter than the Harley-Davidson.

For a big bike, it’s pretty sleek and pulled-together in with a light varnish of technology—LED taillights and daytime lights—over the California’s classical Details abound, from the logo on the windshield support to fluting in the lenses of the side

The handsome cylinder cutaways the gas tank lower the bike’s center of gravity; alas, also cut into the tank’s I think I got about 120 miles I needed to fill up.

The sideways of the California remains a big-block bored out to 1,380 cubic (up from 1,151), which the says is the largest displacement of any V-twin. This eight-valve, mill is dressed with all of modern engine management, ride-by-wire throttle, multimode mapping, three-stage traction and cruise control.

The Guzzi’s twin kicks out 96 horsepower (at redline, 6,500 and 89 pound-feet of torque at 2,750 The California now enjoys six gears of the five. As per tradizione, the torque is through a drive shaft to the wheel by means of Guzzi’s system (the drive is inside the single swing-arm).

however, Moto Guzzi has had to away from its traditional approach, which uses the block as a load-carrying part of the This arrangement saves but adds vibration because the is rigidly mounted to the frame. To the California’s massive V-twin the bike apart, the redesigned uses a double-cradle tubular as well as, for the first time, engine mountings.

I can’t say if this is a big deal or not. Moto Guzzi models, only ridden a Griso and a and now this California. But isn’t the mounted sideways engine of the signature experience? The weird of the motor with the handling, the shaking, the buzz in the handgrips: Is all a market differentiator?

Do purists

The California dispenses as well the Guzzi’s hydraulically linked system (many people by it, by the way) in favor of an ABS-based system, with prodigious double discs up front and a disc in back. The California’s tire is 200 millimeters wide—relatively it goes a long way toward the California roll smoothly in and out of The floorboards are pretty high in two days of riding, including I never touched down.

How’s it ride? Well, it into a parking space is loading a hippo onto an But once the bike is moving it centers itself solidly and can be tightly at very low speeds.

Moto Guzzi 850 California

The is actually pretty great. And you roll on with the right and the California starts chucking its pistons around, the low-speed phases out and the bike gains in speed and serenity. Merging the interstate with the throttle is the full-on road-hog experience, a big, flapping exhaust the bright gnashing of gears and and an ornery display of torque.

the bike is happiest in sixth at 60 mph, at a loping 3,000 with the rider comfortably behind the cop windshield. Ms. Lohan, way to your motorcade.

If Moto were ever a victim of its own the California goes a long way to that. This is a thoroughly effortless-to-ride big cruiser that manages to retain Guzzi’s its Latin stubbornness.

And it’s beautiful. Did I mention

2014 Moto Guzzi 1400 Touring

Price as $17,990

Powertrain: Air-cooled, 90-degree, eight-valve, cam-in-head, V-twin. Six-speed transmission single-disc dry clutch; double joint rear drive.

96.2 inches/710 pounds

height: 29.1 inches

96 hp at 6,500/87 pound-feet at 2,750 rpm

66.3 inches

0-60 7.5 seconds (est.)

Fuel 23 mpg observed, mixed riding

Moto Guzzi 850 California
Moto Guzzi 850 California
Moto Guzzi 850 California
Moto Guzzi 850 California


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