You’ve seen the all-new Moto Guzzi California 1400 before, but you haven’t seen it in finalized, production form. Until now, this is it. A unique blend of classic and retro-futuristic styling cues, the bike employs Guzzi’s new “big block” motor. Motociclismo.it reports the 1380cc air/oil-cooled 90° twin produces 96bhp and 88lb/ft of torque. Uniquely amongst cruisers, it’s equipped with an advanced ride-by-wire throttle which enables switchable engine maps and traction control.
Those features, along with ABS brakes that new motor and its 4-valve head make the new California unprecedentedly sophisticated within the cruiser market.
This California is an extremely significant model for Guzzi, 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. The California will form the basis for several spin-off models as well, equipping them with versions of the “big block.” Even if you’re not a cruiser fan (we aren’t) look to the quality of the detailing, the strong visual statement made by the motor’s very clean lines and that retro-futuristic thing as an indicator of where the brand will be going over the next few years.