Piaggio’s annual dealer meeting in Monte Carlo always produces some surprises. Last year, Piaggio showed a prototype Moto Guzzi California 1400. This year, it provided a first look at the real thing.
Scheduled as a 2013 model, the California 1400 will go into production sometime between July and September of this year. The bike put on stage looks much more refined and accurately detailed than last year’s prototype. It also appears much better styled and more in line with its mission as a broad-use street machine. Only the solo seat seems improbable; all the rest is real.
While the big, booming V-Twin engine is not expected to deliver more than 110 peak horsepower, that power will come at moderate rpm, not more than 6000, and with great torque, also from low rpm. This type of performance should be what buyers expect from a motorcycle like the California 1400.
Overall design is much more refined than anything that has come from Moto Guzzi in years past. The engine is massive, the taillights are smartly integrated in the profile of the rear fender and the twin shocks, while conventionally located, use the latest pneumatics. Tires and brakes appear to be carried over from last year’s prototype. The latter are Brembo radial-mount calipers mated to an old-fashioned-looking Tenneco-Marzocchi fork.
Aprilia, meanwhile, plans for an evolution of the present Dorsoduro 1200 to go into production toward the end of 2013. It will revamp the name CapoNord and feature an evolved 1200cc Aprilia/Piaggio 90-degree V-Twin and vastly revised rolling gear, though the frame will remain the same. Look for new graphics and 17-inch wheels shod with sport-enduro radials. Expect more evolutionary steps before the CapoNord 1200 shows up in dealerships.