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.