Milan—The new California 1400 represents a significant effort from Moto Guzzi to restore its fading image. The cam-in-head, four-valve V-Twin has been enlarged to 1380cc by pushing the bore to 104mm, while keeping the same 81.2mm stroke of the present 1200cc engine.
Compression ratio is 10.5:1, a good value for an air/oil-cooled engine. The induction system appears inspired by that of the renewed V75 “small block,” with a single 52mm throttle body and a Y-shaped manifold featuring long runners that help extract 96 horsepower at a mere 6500 rpm and an even more staggering 88.5 foot-pounds of torque at 2750 rpm. “Ride-by-wire” throttle control incorporates three power-delivery maps, as well as cruise and traction control.
Physically, the bike is huge, with a wheelbase spanning 66.3 inches and rather heavy steering geometry: 32 degrees of rake and 6.1 inches of trail. Seat height, however, is a reassuring 29.0 in., which should allow a large number of riders to comfortably plant both boots on the ground and keep the 743-lb. curb weight under control. The bike rolls on a 130/70-18 front tire and a fat 200/60-16 rear doughnut, while braking at the front is entrusted to the customary Brembo dual 320mm rotors and radial-mount calipers. ABS is standard.
The Moto Guzzi California 1400 will come in two versions: 1) fully equipped Touring; and 2) leaner and more “essential” Custom. The Touring is available in two editions: the rich Ambassador and the super-rich Eldorado, with the latter of the two coming with a large windshield, big saddlebags, a black/white two-tone seat (same as was on the original California of the 1970s) and driving lights. Rather impressive.