Moto Guzzi California 1400: first production-spec pictures

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These images have leaked from a private presentation of the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 at the same dealer conference that the concept model leaked at last year. The first images of the all-new, production-spec cruiser, what do they reveal? Well, a bike that looks shockingly similar to the concept. Same tank, same seat, same “big block” v-twin. But, the finned wheels of the concept have given way to traditional spokes and, are those remote-reservoir shocks on a cruiser?!

Update: clearer, larger, more pics from the WildGuzzi forum reveal details.

This new California is a very important bike for the Guzzi brand. Speaking to Piaggio’s VP of Design, Miguel Galluzzi, at Guzzi’s 90th birthday bash in Mandello del Lario last year, we learned that it’s the first bike to receive Guzzi’s all new, “big block” engine. A 1,400cc v-twin that’ll be rolled out across other models based on the California over the next few years.

Last year’s concept model differs in its use of finned wheels, doesn’t have the oil-cooler clearly seen on the production bike and lacks what appear to be piggback shocks.

“The new California will have a 1,400cc engine,” said Galluzzi. “The Guzzi engine doesn’t need a big displacement to have very high torque, so we are going to have a lot of fun with this bike. It’s like having a big block Chevy in a motorcycle. Production of the California will begin around the end of 2012.”

“We are going to have the small displacement (750cc) as we always have, we are going to have something in the middle that is going to be 1,200 or 1,300 and we are going to have the big block,” he continued. “From these three lines of engines, we are going to work to develop new models. The middle is going to be a big middle. Guzzi is about big torque engines.”

Few details about the machine have leaked with the images. All we know of the engine, for instance, is that capacity and a four-valve per-cylinder arrangement.

Incredibly refined details like the finned wheel spokes, sheathed shocks, remote reservoirs with stainless lines and beautiful LED taillights are the kind of thing that’s now going to define the Guzzi brand. Great colors will do that too; check out the classy green paint combined with that white seat.

This California is an extremely significant model not just because of that motor, but because it’s the first all-new product to benefit from the full might of Piaggio Group’s efforts. After hemming and hawing about what to do with the storied brand for several years, Piaggio announced a major re-investment in new model development last year, using the profits of massive scooter sales in Asia to do so. These pictures kind of suck, but when we see the bike in full, we fully expect to be stopped in our tracks by sleek design, amazing details, strong colors, excellent performance and unique character — traits that all future Guzzi models will share.

  • Chris Davis

    Still looks pretty damn good. It’s a different perspective and a crappy shot, but they look like the same wheels to me. Notice how they “lace” in and out in the concept shot.

  • Ben NYC

    It looks like it has a standard seating position, is that correct?

    Looks amazing.

    Guzzi really is on to something here.

    • Wes Siler

      Forward controls.

  • AHA

    Wow. Big leap on the pre- historic previous model. (Where is Erik Estrada these days?)
    Imagine if Guzzi could do even half as much for an already awesome bike like the Griso…

  • paul redican

    Nice, this will be popular with a lot of
    Guzzi riders especially those who like the Cali’s and Bellagio’s. I’d love to see a big block version of something similar to the V7 cafe (which I believe you hinted at being a possibility in an article last year). I’d love a clean naked big block with the lines of the Tonti framed Mk 1′s etc but with the punch of the Griso (which is a stunning machine for sure). Great content lately looking forward to seeing this TV thing you are up to.

    • Wes Siler

      Well, the 1400cc is the big block. There will be a V12 with the new, unreleased 1200cc motor at some point in the future.

  • Coreyvwc

    Dual radials on non-USD forks, very sleek. Not a huge fan of cruisers but that is nice, very nice!

  • Taco

    I love it and I hate it. Does that make sense?

    • Case

      The hate it part does. It looks obese to me.

    • The other Joe

      It looks as if Polaris bought Moto Guzzi Too!

  • Campisi

    The amorphous single seat overemphasizes its length I think. I wouldn’t buy one (I’m not a fan of large motorcycles), but I can see why a lot of people might.

  • Rick

    The Griso’s fat and UGLY sister…hideous.

  • zato1414

    Next to the Ural, it is the ugliest POS I have seen in a while… actually the Ural ain’t bad for a truck!

  • Rick

    Yo. Guzzi!

    Instead of squandering your government welfare lira on stuff like this, spend it on some fresh engineering talent and create a modernized ’76-77 LeMans cafe racer that captures its giant-killing spirit and compact, angular lines. Go ahead, use some of your MGS-01 tech- it’s already paid for.

    You’ve hung the LeMans name on a few bikes over the years, but none measured up to the original’s conceptual purity…and more ugly, bloated, overweight, and underpowered cosmetic replicas will not suffice.

    Get off your fat Piaggio-padded posteriors and work on this idea! Use your own past to safeguard your future.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    And it comes with its own small orchestra as well! The best way to set the mood and capture every perfect Moto Guzzi moment.


    • Ceolwulf

      Now, I love classical music, but I can’t think of anything worse to win over cruiser (read: Harley) riders than an string orchestra … what were they thinking?!

      • BigRooster

        True I suppose, but a Goose is to the “Bond” quartet what a Harley is to “Nashville Pussy.”

  • Kevin

    I love what Guzzi’s putting out these days. With the probable exception of the Stelvio, I don’t see any real “me too” bikes in the lineup. They are really doing their own thing, which I totally respect. Not copying style, not fighting the HP wars… just bikes full of character and style.

    I would be sorely tempted to buy one (not this bike, but I like the V7, the Griso and the Norge) if there were a decent Guzzi dealer in Orange County. I just can’t see owning a bike that I’d have to spend an hour or more trailering to a dealer when pretty much every other manufacturer has a solid dealer (or two or three or four) in Orange County.

  • Your_Mom

    The rear dampers actually look like Fournales – which use pneumatic springing. In other words, those are probably not covers. You guys really need a technical member on your staff.

    • motoguru

      Yep. And they look like they took them off of an ’80′s Yamaha.

  • BigRooster

    The white and black concept version is the best looker of the set but none are my type of motorcycle, but for what they are, they look the business. The detailing does look top notch and high quality and the components are probably high end in typical Guzzi fashion. I’m confident it will look better in full touring regalia and may even steal some RK buyers that want something with a bit more lean angle, distinction, and flair.

  • HammSammich

    I dunno, forward controls coupled with the width of the protruding cylinder heads seem like a bad combination that will only increase the “Waiting for a Pap Smear” seating position. But then again, I just don’t see the attraction to forward controls (increased pressure on my damaged spine, limited cornering ability, and goofy looks).

  • Charlie

    I thought HFL didn’t do cruisers? Griso SE is the Gucci to own

  • MisterGone

    I’m sorry but that’s damn fugly, it brings to mind the R1200C, just kind of a chunky ungraceful cruiser. Please please please Guzzi, do a sleek modern LeMans that isn’t too underpowered and I swear it will sell.

    • Charlie

      Exactly. It’s half rune and half victory. Bold…but wrong. Mk1 Le Mans replica with nice detailing.

  • jason

    Why a california? another boring cruiser.
    Where is the Daytona 1000?
    That was beautiful. This california looks like Ponch and Jon would use it.

  • motoguru

    Does the “production” version look a lot more concept-y to anyone else?

  • Joel

    It gives me the opposite of buyer’s remorse for the Road King I just bought.

    • BigRooster

      Same goes for the Griso I just bought.